I dont watch today tonight for a reason. Or any of those similarly typed “current affairs” programmes. Im not even sure they spell “programme” like that on these types of “programmes”, and im not sure i should even be spelling it here. Be that as it may, i dont watch them. – They find any random news idea, get one random person that they can interview, show he or she walking through his or her, house or office, or having a cup of coffee while staring pensively out a kitchen window, or flicking through the paper as though looking for a job, or taking up a position as a chimney-sweep, having to dress up as santa claus, or having to dress up as santa claus, purely to be ridiculed (perhaps being bullied by pupils). Not quite. But its all put together with drama, with some element of “controversy”, presented by a concerned host, and told by an interviewer that is expert in shaking their head concernedly. It looks like its a television show but really, its an illusion. A mere filler after the news, and before the soaps.
I saw a band tonight that was in much the same guise. Their music didnt seem to have any soul. Was inspired by a disco of former heroin junkies, dreaming of being on heroin again, whilst hitting instruments lackadaisically, looking through unkempt fringes and kicking their legs sideways. And for some reason had people flocking from many walks of life to see them do it. Music for music’s sake. Like current affairs for current affairs’ sake. Didnt really seem like any point. For some reason, because its trendy, it must be good, right? Like CSI. Or a Livestrong band around your wrist. Or violence. Or a haircut thats longer at the front than it is at the back. And songs about dancing. And being free.
When music like this was truly popular, its fans were half naked, in fields, wearing daisy chains, semi, to fully nude, had moustaches (male or female) and often slept with animals or relatives – usually accidentally, and almost always in tents a similar green to the field that they were in, that looked charming because of the quaint way it was erected (you’ll only know what im talking about if i use stereotypical imagery, because you’ve probably never seen it in real life anyway).
Nowadays, people go and see this music on their own volition. Because it harks back to a day when everything was cool. Literally. With rose coloured glasses, and peace signs coming from the fingers on both of your hands, and perhaps stitched onto one of the legs of your bellbottoms.
This isnt that day any more though, but people still follow. In droves. Unsure what they’re mesmerized by. And not even in an hallucinogenic-induced trance. Impossible to explain. If you asked me if i could possibly deduce any meaning from it.? – “What is it you like about their music?” – “Ummmm – It’s catchy?” – “I like the lyrics?” – “I like his dancemoves?” – What? – Colds are catchy. The lyrics are about as inconsequential as the latest report on your favourite current affairs programme. And his dancemoves are akin to the same tripping over and using the microphone stand as a crutch that Mick Jagger mastered many years prior.
Record companies salivate then, because all these wonderful superlatives being used to describe their music like “catchy!” and “the next big thing!” (wow, makes your heart race, doesnt it?) are all they need to exploit these men – constantly crushing their future offspring with their heavy thrusting in their tight jeans (thank god) – to audiences champing at the bit to devour the next big trend.
Oh sweet world we live in. Where people study human nature, and pry open its weaknesses until they are gaping holes that swallow minds. May there still be hope amongst these crowds? I know there is. – But i see too many pre-pubescent kids with sideways pushed fringes, big t-shirts and self-conscious gaits. Or high-heels, with opaque tights, sideways buns, fake tans and mummy’s number on speed-dial in their phone.
Its tough. It must be tough for them. But they were my entertainment for the evening, as i sat and drank and watched, and avoided going inside to be subjected to what i feared most (the music for music’s sake) … Luckily the ticket was free.
I lasted around 60 seconds of Phoenix – the headlining act. And when i realised i was being fooled into thinking there was a point in coming along (a point in the music, other than an excuse to go out and get retrospective with a friend), watched the audience barely manage to find any meaning in the music, jiggle mindlessly to it, like a shuddering spring and only scream on cue, rather than with delight or real emotion i ran, before i would see all the faces of a herd that could haunt me in my dreams.
The older generation might be clinging to the hope they felt when they heard this kind of music in the past. The younger generation will swallow anything these days – as long as it doesnt have any flavour. Long live exploitation. Fuck the kids. If we’re selling them t-shirts, at least they’re not nude right?