Archive for June, 2005

While searching for an authentic voice….

There really is no/little social content to the music I listen to, (or rather it is increasingly being drained). These days it’s all slowly become appropriated by middle-class white kids looking for their next hit of authenticity – something to prop up their identities and to fuel their egotism – that yes, they are somehow important, that yes, people should envy them, and that yes, their lives do have some meaning.

As they pillage the past and the present, secret histories, artistic movements and theories (post-punk, riot-grrrl, no-wave, zombie films, Dada, Situationists, manga, video nasties, blah, blah, blah ), these cultural products simply become food for their Galactus-like appetites (for they are never satiated), in the process the cultural landscape is stripped bare, as these arch capitalists go about their sport using up culture products/artefacts “cool” cache.

It reminds me of the white settles who first went to New Zealand or, Australia or wherever and devastated the local population and wildlife, leaving behind barren environments where nothing can grow. From MP3 blogs, to the people who start a band that sounds like Joy Division, these people despite there ultra-competitive edge have little investment in the culture/s they dismember – once they drain every ounce of meaning out of one signifier they move onto the next.

For instance, to me UT is a supremely interesting band not because of there inherent “coolness” or obscurity but because of the strange angular dissonance their music summons up (it’s like how the world is in my head), the fact that their music fashions a world different from everything else. Context is also important. The fact that UT were still in existence ten years after most of the No-Wave bands had disappeared is interesting in itself. That this band was still in existence in 1989 is, to me, akin to finding dinosaur’s living in Antarctica – the whole context that surrounds their art is interesting. For most they‘re simply a trophy band, you name drop them in conversations to boost scene points.

Today as I look at the audience at a gig I see a bunch of aesthetes interested solely in how highly they are regarded by others. These people are truly snobs. They remind me of Tom and Daisy in the Great Gatsby, flitting from place to place protected by their great wealth (or should I say mommy and daddies) – that allows them to move from place to place destroying everything in their wake, and because they never really invest any emotion into anything they rarely care once it is destroyed.

Of course music produced by black artists is generally beyond the reach of these peoples greedy, grasping claws – casually being dismissed (music for ‘chavs’? -nice synthesis of racism and classism there) and therefore not worth the bother or the hassle.

Anyway, I’m off to go listen to Dizee Rascal.