31 August, 2010

From time to time I read Feministing

I agree with some of it, not all of it, but that's the way I feel about most things I read.

Today I found a link to a really superb blog post about women in music, women in art, and women making anything in general. It was written by Amy who plays guitar for the New York band Titus Andronicus. I have never listened to Titus Andronicus, although I have heard the name before, but this article has given me the impetus to look 'em up.

Here's a short quote (you should really go read the whole article):

"This is not an article about Rolling Stone. Rolling Stone is not guilty of anything, except of being complicit in a larger system that governs the way our country exists. But Rolling Stone, at its purest form, was meant to be about rock and roll, and rock and roll is about rebellion, and if we let that spirit die, than we are missing out on everything the genre has to offer. Are we going to patrol the borders of American culture so as to admit only straight, white males? Or are we going to open our culture up to challenge oppressive systems of race and class, and privilege, and gender, and sexual orientation? This is what rock and roll was meant for, and what the spirit that captures the collective imagination of youth can accomplish, if it is funneled constructively into the future. How many things can you get young people excited about these days, besides music? What else breaks the apathy of large crowds and causes them to dance together, and sing the same words, and not want to fight everyone who’s different from them, for once? If our culture’s “rebellion” actually belongs to those in power, and continues to belong to them, then it’s not a real rebellion at all anymore, and therefore rock and roll is dead."

1 comment:

PnB said...

aaaaah, patriarchy is a bitch, and i'm not saying that because i took a feminist course in college and i want to front myself as some sorta enlightened male. It's just that i'm sick and tired of authority and figures of authority generally tend to be male who rule in a "male way".

I like Amy's critique and her articulation of how the rebellion of rock and roll have been completely watered down, although I'm no fan of proclamations of rock being dead.

But, yeah, i don't think it is surprising that something that was the conduit and expression of rebellion against societal dictates morphed into its very contradiction. The "fringe elements" of society often displace the mainstream. Before punk rock was the hardcore shit, now all these suburban kids who have never faced even a power cut are singing their problems on MTV/VH1 like they are some victims of god knows what! I think the only thing these newer "punk rock" bands have worth expressing are that they are the symptom of something sick- nothing more. Look at Rap. Back when Public Enemy came up it was the real deal. the FBI even open a file on rap fearing they could develop into a force that could destabilize the country. Now it's all about the bloody bling and Benjamins. Now all i see are people claiming to be from the streets, claiming to pimps (i still don't know why they'll gain legitimacy by that sick claim), claiming to be this and that... it's not surprising that rock has taken the same path and now rock really needs to reflect and do something about it than just simply point out where things have gone wrong.