Tuesday, June 30, 2015

music music # 10

The torrent resumeth -

ThusSpakeSomerville  suggests

Michael Smalle  deposits a large amount

Always meant to "do" L. Cohen, but never really have, despite swooning to his songs on McCabe and Mrs Miller

Ah, Larry...  He'll be returning in due course with one of his later bands.

Shout going out to Andrew Mueller.

"Apparently about Boy George" says Michael

Always forget how great Pere Ubu are - what a fantastic piece of music

Douglas Keeley   bringing some unusual nominations

About which Doug comments: "In that clip I can't help but think that he looks a little bit like Josh Homme?  Back in the mid 90's Jarvis Cocker was presented with an award (perhaps the Mercury Music prize?) and his entire acceptance speech consisted of the lyrics of this song (make of that what you will!!!!)"

Doug: "I went for this version which is like something from "Godspell" (remember that film from 1973?) rather than the Kiss version.  A stadium singalong with some nice "noodley" prog elements....but oh so cheesy!"

"Made after his LSD enlightenment/breakdown in the mid 1960's.  He doesn't write about music in general terms like the other two - just his own music ('Brand New Cadillac' etc) and I find the backing track genuinely unsettling and creepy."

Wow that is weird....

Ed Torpey pops by again, proffering this good 'un

James Parker points to an essay he and a Tiny Mix Tapes colleague wrote about self-reflexivity in pop and nonpop, which they argue represents a conceptual turn.  James says "this  meta-thing has obviously always been around [but] it's gone into overdrive in recent years. Almost to the point that, as a conceptual strategy, it has come to define the contemporary moment. In other words, the argument chimes quite strongly with some of what you say in Retromania, but with a more optimistic a spin."
Fascinating read - and as James says there are lot more contemporary examples of self-reflexive music posted to illustrate that essay than have appeared in this collective blog series, so far

That said, I'm not sure self-reflexivity per se is the main thing I'm pursuing here with my own posts - more like songs that proffer some sort of wisdom - or at least thoughts - concerning the nature of music and the role it plays in anyone's life... the power and the mystery. Vernacular philosophizin’ about music - giving praise to music - love songs to songs.  
But certainly pop's persistent compulsion to refer to itself is most interesting. It runs all the way through the music  -  things like ‘Rock and Roll Will Stand’ were recorded when rock’n’roll was barely out of diapers.

Then you get your sort of genre-patriotism songs, your national anthems for the jungle nation, the garage nation, the heavy metal people, and so forth.   Hip hop, with things like Naughty By Nature's "Hip Hop Hooray". Reggae - innumerable examples.  This literally seems to come with the territory, in so far as they are the byproduct of  territorialisation, in the Deleuze/Guattari sense. As soon as there’s an us versus not-us dynamic, you get the reflexive anthems.

I don't get the sense it's quite the same with pre-rock'n'roll genres of popular music, although obviously you have your "There's No Business Like Show Business" type songs, your "It Don't Mean A Thing If It Ain't Got That Swing" numbers... 

CJ comes again with a few more goodies

I think there must be more from Pavement that fit this category - what with them being a bunch of former record store clerks.

Love that song - might be my favorite thing by him, still. 

In some ways, quite a silly band, The Clash. 

Kevin Quinn back again with some more 

At the Boogaloo launch in London for Rip It up ten years ago (goodness me, is it really ten years?) I started by saying that postpunk was like a gigantic answer record to "It's Only Rock and Roll", saying "no it isn't... this music can contain Dada and disco and Futurism and free jazz and Suprematism and noise and changing the world and dub and Situationism and musique concrete and a thousand other things". However later I wondered if perhaps I hadn't misunderstood what "It's Only Rock and Roll" was about...   What is it about, anyone?

Ah, postpunk's great foe!  The butt of its abuse, I mean. I'm sure Chuck Berry didn't give a toss about Wire and Cabaret Voltaire's calls for the de-Berryfication of rock. 

One of the greatest things to watch is Chuck Berry bossing Keith Richards around in the rehearsals for some kind of rock superstars gathering round to celebrate the godfather of r'n'r type anniversary concert... making him replay the riff until he gets the twangy little whammy bar flourish exactly to his liking...  Keef visibly fuming but keeping his trap shut.

Kev fingers this as "one of the many sites of plunder for Ronson's Uptown Funk"

I am of the opinion that 1999 is a really poor album. 

Keith McDougall offers

Completely forgot about the existence of this one. Back in the day it spurred some fun posts about the concept of "Alt-Rock Slow Jamz"

And a bunch from meta-man Jeffery Lewis

Out in the parish: Cardrossmaniac2 again, twice