There is a party. Everyone is there. Country music is filling the room, but the singer sounds young, female, and is singing in French, sigh-singing in the best French pedophile tradition. It must be an intellectual party; artists and their entourage. It must be that kind of place. Who is appropriated in this context: country music, the French language or the party of intellectuals? Who is the true minority?
A venue, a stage. Kids playing punk music. They look too healthy, too well-off, maybe they have a parallel career as investment bankers, maybe their parents are millionaires. Should their protest songs be allowed, knowing they will not be affected by what they sing about? The mismatch between image and content is unsettling. That works for art but not for protest. Is privilege even allowed to enter poorly maintained but authentic working-class gardens, picking up flowers no one noticed before?
At night, dreaming, all want to be the fake folk singer, spinning elaborate lies, fiction so ridiculous it doesn’t apply to anyone, not even the loneliest listener dissecting lyrics looking for clues. Walk into the Mississippi, never over the face of the waters. As we listen to these sad entirely fictional tales, drinking lilac wine (sweet and heady), we remember the times, not so long ago, when Conservative Progrock just put a smile on our face, not an angry comment on our face-book.
Feel sorry for small-assed R&B singers and rappers with equally invisible egos. All need a money maker to shake. Without the lyrical backdrop of sex, violence and dough music quickly becomes as sterile as vegan black metal (‘no animals hurt in the creation of these lyrics’) and dance music for the disabled. From that position it’s all of a sudden not so strange anymore to take white man’s funk seriously, not treat it as the musical equivalent of an oxymoron. After all, doesn’t appropriation end when the effort is laughable. Only A Certain Ratio will still pose a serious problem! Shame on them!
Luckily there’s still Kraftwerk, hailed, adopted, remixed and rehashed by Detroit Techno masters and NY clubs alike. Perversely defying German culture in their love of technology, machines, human machines, humanoids and ultimately just us, humans. Where did the love go? It’s here, still is…inside this little pocket calculator.Tweet