09 Feb 2010

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The Guardian posts an article on ‘The lack of a political edge’ in music

Their fascination with the pastoral and apolitical is augmented by the other major strain in the US underground: nostalgia. With their intoxicatingly naive, redolent and melancholic music, the likes of Ducktails, Julian Lynch and James Ferraro retreat from the realities of modern life to the rose-tinted and half-remembered plains of their childhood, scattered with the imagery of Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Global Hypercolour T-shirts, and red Lamborghinis.

So why is this happening? Kevin Drew of Canadian band Broken Social Scene articulated the current difficulty in songwriting in a recent interview with Pitchfork, saying that post-Bush, “now we’re in the ‘yes, we might be able to’ world”. There’s no machine to rage against any more, no one to be calculatedly hedonistic about.

Of course, you could argue that the lo-fi hipster slackers would never have raged anyway. And it’s easy to fire accusations of privilege as these (overwhelmingly white) musicians who comfort to look outside their immediate surroundings at an America of topographical majesty. Their use of lo-fi recording, once such an anti-corporate statement, is now often merely retro, or used to signify reality.

Tags: music, politics
written by Salad Fork
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