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June 7, 2004

Still Alive

So I've been sort of out to lunch lately, busy looking for some studio space, sleeping a lot (which was real nice, I tell you what) and sorting through various levels of cerebral noise concerning art and the image in society. I'd promise some posts of substance (and I really hope I can flesh/flush this stuff out in an articulate manner), but I've made that mistake before, only to fall through on said promise. For what it's worth, my mind's been abuzz (between reading, working and Seinfeld reruns, not to mention the Stanley Cup Finals) with thoughts of, among other things, Abu Ghraib, the professionalization of art, and the art market and vulgar commercialism (on the heels of the art fairs and auction week). More to come... possibly.

For now, some minor snark. On the Rock beat:

Firstly. (Old news, as in November '03 old) "Subculture hacker" Malcolm McLaren brings his romanticized revolutionary shtick to bear on hacked Gameboy chip music. I know not of which I speak when it comes to the subculture he's 'unearthed,' but you have to figure any scene is maintaining its underground cred on borrowed time once McLaren and Wired get their hands on it.

How out of touch/disingenuous is McLaren? To wit: "The next record was an EP - an extended-play 7-inch - by a Stockholm artist called Role Model. The last time I had come across this format was in the 1960s, when I bought my first Rolling Stones record." Of course such EP's are hardly the rarity he makes them out to be—every two-bit emo outfit from Akron to Ann Arbor has some material out on a split 7-inch with some other no name punks. But as Malcolm would have it, vinyl fetishism is something new, as if an indie scene obsessed with retro authenticity, not to mention turntable-centric DJ culture, hasn't maintained an anachronistic love for these black platters from the first whiffs of Compact Disc ubiquity.

Secondly. Okay. I thought this ad campaign got nixed after it first aired, so I didn't really sweat it. But I just saw an ad again the other day, so am forced to comment: what the fuck is up with the Ban deodorant riot grrrl ads? Are they pandering to the Avril set or what? Some time ago, while studying magazine ads for a graphic design class, I came across a Pringles ad from Teen People that featured a skinhead punk in full regalia attending some alterna-teen's birthday bash. This was funny. It was subtle, had no real logic to it and no doubt floated by unnoticed by most Teen People readers. This Ban thing is less funny than simply bizarre. (Of course Ban is no newcomer to the girl power bandwagon.) Link: I am so great: Ban these nuts.

Plusly. Whose payola is crudding up my airwaves with that godawful new Lenny Kravitz song/video? Yesterday it even managed to infiltrate the rarefied turf of Byron Allen. Is nothing sacred?

Where are we runnin'
We need some time to clear our heads
Where are we runnin'
Keep on working til we're dead
Where are we runnin'
Ooo wee ooo wee oo
Where are we runnin' now

Where indeed, Lenny?

Finally. Jim Derogatis' and Greg Kot's Sound Opinions on XRT features special guest Wayne Kramer of the MC5 tomorrow night. The MC5 are probably best known as the logo on that t-shirt Rachel wears in an episode of Friends (and subsequently in the opening credits). Less well known is that they were also a pretty damned fantastic band (latterly pigeonholed as proto-punk) hailing from Detroit Rock City. Hopefully Jim and Greg will be able to chat him up regarding his legal entanglements with Chicago-based Future/Now Films over their documentary (ahem, rockumentary) MC5 * A True Testimonial, but I'd imagine he might be reticent to discuss it. You can read the full tale of suits and counter-suits here for a fee of $1.95, get a free nibble here and here, and follow a bit of the back and forth here and here.

Jim and Greg, faces made for radio and print, also host a half-hour televised version of their show, Sunday nights on Channel 11. I think I'd pay good money to watch these motherfuckers kick out the jams in the crowd at a show. Check out Derogatis rocking the skins Soviet style.

"Still Alive"
Posted by Dan at 04:21 PM

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Referenced in this post:

Avril Lavigne
Bewitched Ban Sponsor Opening
Chicago Tribune: Once more with feeling—Greg Kot
DKT/MC5
DKT/MC5: Editorials
Detroit News: MC5 in turmoil yet again—Susan Whitall
Entertainment Studios: Background Materials—Chairman and CEO Byron Allen
EntertainmentStudios.com
Future/Now Films: MC5 * A True Testimonial
I am so great: Ban these nuts
Jim Derogatis
Jim Derogatis and Greg Kot
Jim Derogatis on drums
Lenny Kravitz: Baptism
Motor City 5
Movie Poop Shoot: Elsewhere 4/30/04
Patterson & Associates: Byron Allen
RockCritics.com Interview: Greg Kot—Andrew Lapointe
Sound Opinions
WTTW 11
WXRT
Wikipedia: Malcolm McLaren
Wired: 8-Bit Punk—Malcolm McLaren