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Friday, January 15, 2016

Numbers 150 - 126, "Kill All Hippies"

The plural of medium is media.

And the noughties have offered a proliferation of previously unimaginable channels for the production and distribution of music that have been tantamount to a revolution in the entire way music is communicated. And if music is little else than a vehicle for communication, then this is a revolution in the very essence of the medium.

What does it mean that anyone with an internet connection can stream almost at will practically ANY song from the ENTIRE body of human recorded history? And this is neither much of an exaggeration nor any real extrapolation. The Alan Lomax recordings are all on Spotify now.

Alan Lomax (r) with Wade Ward, 1959-60
Does this mean that we are set to witness the death of recorded music as a physical object? A casual look at the sorts of prices collectible vinyl still goes for would suggest no. In fact the other real trend we saw in the noughties was the resurgence of vinyl as a fetishised object, wherein it has connotations of authenticity and of connoisseurship. Values that rock/pop ideology has always valorised in its heirarchies in contrasting the 'commercial' with the 'authentic'.

But as we'll see in the next installment, what the noughties have done is blur that boundary between commercial and authentic. Since the days when Biz Markie first 'yes y'all'-ed forth, hip hop music has had its aim squarely on destroying this dialectic. The accumulation of bling actually became your route to authenticity, not its opposite. And any casual look particularly at contemporary music video culture shows how quickly discourses from this arena have become pop culture stereotypes.

Five minutes on any given Video Hits channel trammels up a bewildering array of variously rehashed stereotypes that owe considerably more to cheerleading and other communal dance activities than they do to a popular music heritage that runs all the way back to the 1950s.

So here we are in the perpetual now, shorn of our history and all its context. Naked and unformed whiteboards waiting to be scribbled on and erased, where we have NO BASIS for attaching quaint, unitary, historicity to anything, where any value judgement is subjective - can never be definitive. By definition that can never be defined either.

It should really be no wonder that in this environment political music died a sorry death. And Neil Young, the already dead, is the only fellow in today's list who could conjure its true spirit. #146, below. Enjoy.

150.MotorbikeWooden ShjipsDos (2009)
149.Track Of The CatPramDark Island (2003)
148.This Is HardcorePulpHits (2006)
147.MonsterYou Say Party! We Say Die!Lose All Time (2007)
146.Flags Of FreedomNeil YoungLiving With War (2006)
145.Welcome to JamrockDamian MarleyReggae Mix (2004)
144.Dream OnChristian Falk Ft. RobynDream On (2008)
143.Playground LoveAirTalkie Walkie (Russian Edition W/Bonus) (2003)
142.Do You Want To-Franz Ferdinand(2005)
141.HaHTRKMarry Me Tonight (2009)
140.BonkersDizzee RascalTongue N' Cheek (2009)
139.Sing It BackMolokoThings To Make And Do (2000)
138.Smile Like You Mean ItThe KillersHot Fuss (2004)
137.Bottle BabyAugie MarchMoo, You Bloody Choir (2006)
136.DareGorillazDare (2005)
135.1 ThingAmerieP (2008)
134.Tear You ApartShe Wants RevengeShe Wants Revenge (2006)
133.Hard To ExplainThe StrokesIs This It? (2000)
132.Kill All HippiesPrimal ScreamXtrmntr (2000)
131.No One Does It Like YouDepartment Of EaglesIn Ear Park (2008)
130.Take Me OutFranz FerdinandFranz Ferdinand (2004)
129.Come Pick Me UpRyan AdamsHeartbreaker (2000)
128.Island In The SunWeezerThe Green Album (2001)
127.DominosThe Big PinkA Brief History Of Love (2009)
126.SpaceapeBurial Feat. The Space ApeBurial (2006)