Thursday, May 06, 2004

Waiting for the great leap forwards

Terrible shame I couldn't make it down to the Savoy to join all those obsequious fawning tossers for the special evening do to commemorate the 25th anniversary of Maggie Thatcher's election as Prime Minister. The daft old bitch.

Anyhow, the occasion has inspired this article about protest songs (thanks to Inspector Sands for the link). Some of the post-article comments are awesomely stupid, especially this one, from a Mr Oliver Kamm: "Do you have any idea how silly you look taking seriously the affectations of pop singers to be social critics?" Look, let's get this straight. OF COURSE pop history is littered with examples of musicians leaping aboard political bandwagons in the transparent hope of securing credibility and sales. OF COURSE those who take up a cause out of a genuine concern are not always "well-informed" (whatever that means - and it often means "informed of the right way to think by the Telegraph and Daily Mail"). And OF COURSE some of the songs that arise out of this genuine concern are embarrassingly crude in their rhetoric. But the day that art responds to the demand that it should be divorced from the political and social reality in which it's produced is the day it dies.

Every song is political, Mr Kamm. Every song is a political comment on some aspect of life, whether explicitly or otherwise. Let's stop perpetuating this myth that pop music is trivial, shallow, escapist nonsense with no connection to reality, to be valued only insofar as we find ourselves singing along in the shower or humming the tune on the bus. It matters.

A propos of absolutely nothing in this post, here's a review of a recent Sebadoh 'turboacoustic' show.

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