"Cool Generator" starts out deceivingly upbeat with Bad Moves (Emma Cleveland - Bass, Vocals, David Combs - Guitar, Vocals, Katie Park - Guitar, Vocals and Daoud Tyler-Ameen - Drums, Vocals) playing the track against a backdrop of bright visuals. But as the seconds begin to pass their message is revealed, the band packaging an important statement inside a powerful few minutes of punk. There are occasions when you hear a piece of music and discover its true intent or purpose and realize that anything you write is inadequate. So, instead, read what the band had to say about the track and its message below.
We’ve often introduced this song as being about how the art and fashion produced by marginalized people, people of color and queer people specifically, are the source material most often appropriated by the mainstream entertainment industry. And yet, those communities themselves are the most likely to be at risk — of poverty, police violence, mental illness, et cetera.
The New York Times Popcast did a great interview recently on the subject of rap stars being targeted by the criminal justice system, which gets at some of the same ideas that originally inspired us. Kenneth J. Montgomery, a criminal laywer, talks about the entertainment narrative of the “young black dangerous guy,” and he says, “Everybody benefits off of that, except the people that generate it.” Basically, there are cultural producers who are happy to profit off of a criminalized version of black identity for its entertainment value, while doing nothing to protect those cultural generators from a system that disproportionately targets them.
As far as synthesizing that complicated social dynamic into the lyrics of a power-pop party jam, we did our best. It’s a song about how certain people take the markers of culture and benefit from them without being put at risk, and how, when we consume a commoditized version of culture uncritically, we ignore the social precarity of the people who generate it in the first place.
Tour with Jeff Rosenstock + Martha
- 4/18/18 - Washington, DC @ Union Stage
- 4/19/18 - Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
- 4/20/18 - Brooklyn, NY @ Warsaw
- 4/21/18 - Boston, MA @ Paradise Rock Club
- 4/22/18 - Philadelphia, PA @ Union Transfer
- 4/24/18 - Lakewood, OH @ Mahall’s
- 4/25/18 - Ferndale, MI @ The Loving Touch
- 4/26/18 - Chicago IL @ Logan Square Auditorium
- 4/27/18 - Minneapolis, MN @ Coffman Memorial Union (University of Minnesota)
- 4/28/18 - Milwaukee, WI The Back Room @ Colectivo on Prospect
- 4/29/18 - St. Louis MO @ Off Broadway
- 5/1/18 - Columbus, OH @ Ace of Cups
- 5/2/18 - Pittsburgh, PA @Spirit Hall