I’ve been catching up on some articles from the last couple of months, following up links and bookmarks that I didn’t have time to read in the end-of-year rush. Here are three 33rpm-relevant pieces that I wish I’d written:
Maura Johnston at the Village Voice explains why Jessie J’s Price Tag was the most infuriating song of 2011. Jessie J is an appalling pop star on every level. Like Katy Perry without the sense of humour or Lady Gaga without the imagination, she combines bulldozering crassness with the delusion that she has Something Important to Say. On Price Tag sanctimony collides with zero self-awareness and rampant hypocrisy to create something truly noxious. As Maura writes: “In the context of other artists, the slightly ignorant ‘screw money, let’s party’ sentiment espoused by the lyrics might seem merely misguided, a tone-deaf attempt to capitalize on the bubbling anxiety about the world’s problems carried out by someone who hasn’t had to worry about what happens when ‘the money, money, money’ runs out in quite a while. But in the context of Jessie J’s prolonged multimedia assault, it’s downright offensive.” File under: Problem Mistakes Self For Solution.
Josh Hall at The Line of Best Fit gives the “commodified authenticity” of the Mumford-led faux-folk revival a good going over. Worth reading the whole thing, and I plan to investigate Alex Niven’s book Folk Opposition, but in a nutshell: “As Niven says, the lionisation of this painfully upper middle class clique is indicative of the fact that we apparently care neither about the creative industries being dominated by the offensively moneyed, nor about the fact that they are currently amusing themselves by siphoning through the rubble of English heritage in order to find something marketable.”
Alexander Billet at SociArts names “the nine most important songs of 2011”, including El Général, Arabian Knightz, Tom Morello, Lethal Bizzle, Lady Gaga and Lupe Fiasco. Not sure what the Amy Winehouse and Tony Bennett duet is doing there but it’s a good list with some songs that I either left out of my 11 for 2011 or completely missed last year.
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