Monday, July 10, 2006

Music thoughts - and yes it relates to comics

On Saturday I saw a lot of good music. One of my favourite moments ever in Ottawa was seeing Brazilian Girls on a Saturday afternoon singing to a crowd of middle aged people in lawn chairs "Pussy pussy pussy marijuana!" Then trying to get all the guys to shout, I need one, I need one and all the women to shout, I got one, I got one! It was hundreds of older people looking on in wide eyed abject horror as their children rocked out to the German woman in a sexy Clockwork Orange style stage get-up. Other favourites were Great Lake Swimmers, Jason Colett and Feist. Friday night I saw Seu Jorge from The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou and Broken Social Scene. I think summer officially starts for me when I see Broken Social Scene at an outdoor concert.

So this got me thinking a little bit about comic book blogs, as summer concerts tend to...

Basically I find myself less inclined to spend time reading the newly sponsored blogs. Has the content changed? Maybe not but my perception of it certainly has. I don't want to begrudge anyone their success, I think they should take what they can get and cash the cheques to continue their hobby. But under it all I'm still a punk kid at heart and I hear a subconscious voice in my skull screaming "Sellout!"

I kind of feel like this is the Jim Guthrie movement of blogs. For those of you that don't know the story (it might just be that the commercials play in Canada only), this guy is an "alternative" or "indy" artist who released a song for a bank before it was on an album. He's now being touted by the business sections of newspapers and magazines as proof that independent musicians want to cozy up to big money. When really it just alienates anyone who was predisposed to the charm of an independent artist, who created for the sake of creation.

I remember a big stink when Bob Dylan's The Times They are A'Changin' was used in a bank commercial. It was one of those end of civilization moments for a certain generation who now tout selling out as a virtue. It's okay for the people they look up to to "keep it real" but their children shouldn't learn that lesson. Yes I'm trying to use clich├ęd speech to make my point.

I'm wondering how many people have experienced the wisdom of Bill Hicks. To paraphrase him "When were banality and selling out to the highest bidder good examples to set for our children?"

I know I had issues with Search and Destroy being used by Nike, even if the commercial was pretty awesome. And now I'm hearing Iggy Pop songs to sell cruises and flowers and Blondie to sell dusting clothes. Yeah I know that these artists probably don't actually own the rights to their songs (I'm not about to do research or anything valid here), but it's still disconcerting. Although hearing Lust for Life, a song about male prostitutes who "hypnotize chickens" selling cruises, is kind of funny whether or not the irony was intentional.

So yeah, the content might not be any different in quality, and they might be doing well for themselves but I find myself less inclined to visit sponsored sights. If I wanted editorially mandated content I'd buy magazines or newspapers or watch television. If I want content straight from the creators head filtered (sometimes poorly like this post) through a keyboard onto the net I'll go to the blogs that keep their own. But that's just me and I can post whatever I like here.

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