cXnX Shallow Analysis (Satire is Hard To Get Right)4:11:00 PMPaul Clemente
So, this past Saturday, we effectively stomped a mudhole in the hipster idol that is James Murphy, who probably isn't all that nice of a person and who I wouldn't imagine has a great sense of humor about herself, although she's more than happy to take unwitting shots at her unsuspecting fanbase, as we'll be quickly presenting below.
I mentioned during our tightly coordinated attack on Haterdays that I had much more to say about the track "Losing My Edge" in specific that would have to wait until another day with more free space. I realized, though, after one listen through the song that I didn't have it in me to pick apart the ever so subtle and sly references liberally peppered throughout and mock this excuse for a lyricist. So below is what I came up with--
I will note one other fresh point: while fans of this song think that they are distancing themselves from some pretentious group of scenesters, they themselves are the butt of the joke. They are these people, and maybe Murphy probably while (whilst) writing it thought he himself is a removed Salinger-styled observer, but the pompous license with which he presents the following is merely self-deluded and self-righteous. I guess the point is to set himself and those who leech onto ("admire") him apart as true appreciators; the irony of course being that this is a classic hipster assertion--
I have not included an mp3 of this song this week, because I don't want you wasting that much of your time. If you want to be entertained by a(n actually good) song featuring a similar delivery, I direct you here. Now, our rageful and slightly-less-focused-than-usual feature presentation:
Yeah, yknow, I was going to offer a line by line deconstruction of this song and why exactly it bugs me so much, but it would get dam repetitive, like this song. So here’s how the entire thing goes:
“Look how many obscure (and not-obscure) bands I know! Except, I’m playing a character who takes this stuff seriously. Really, people shouldn’t hang their entire identity on how ahead of the curve they are and just enjoy music because it sounds good, but to really get why this is a very clever satire on people like that, you have to know the references and why they even matter, so if you aren’t one of these people to begin with, you won’t really understand the point I’m trying to make as someone who knows a lot of people like this and also is like this to know all these references. So people who get it can feel really smart and pat themselves on the back and quote lines as inside jokes.” And then to listen to the interminable rubbish bubbling underneath his ironic drone of verbal sewage only underscores the point of how insincere this is. I happen to have a pretty strong bond to the opening instrumentation being appropriated here, as it is the same sound produced by the only equipment available to me. I cannot cannot cannot! believe how often fans of his point out the “punk” aesthetic of what he’s doing and would scoff that I don’t know what “punk” is for even contesting that. There is nothing punk or even clever behind this. It is literal name-dropping under the veil of satire alternating with snipey comments the hipster set likes to hypocritically bust out on each other that reveal nothing new about how scenesters invest their time.
So, no, I have no analysis, and only more aggression. Let the idiots devour each other. I was there, when James Murphy was beaten up and made to wear a diaper. I was there. I’m losing my hair, to kids who obsessively need to be told what’s new and quirky and don’t understand anything less subtle than a hammer through glass panes. This isn’t art. It isn’t even interesting. Watching me rant about it isn’t even worth your time. There's so much to be said, but it's all a vamp on the the same theme. So instead...
Great Pop Things
ANd Of Course....
One last point, a question--Even if this were passable satire, who the hell is James Murphy?? Who is he to makes these judgments? I know someone has to, but couldn't it be someone a little more initiated or original, someone witha little more passion, someone a little less lazy? I seen him out the other day, sleepin agains a post!
Yeah, I'm losing my edge. I'm losing my edge. The kids are coming up from behind. I'm losing my edge. I'm losing my edge to the kids from France and from London. But I was there. I was there in 1968. I was there at the first Can show in Cologne. I'm losing my edge. I'm losing my edge to the kids whose footsteps I hear when they get on the decks. I'm losing my edge to the Internet seekers who can tell me every member of every good group from 1962 to 1978. I'm losing my edge. To all the kids in Tokyo and Berlin. I'm losing my edge to the art-school Brooklynites in little jackets and borrowed nostalgia for the unremembered eighties. But I'm losing my edge. I'm losing my edge, but I was there. I was there. But I was there. I'm losing my edge. I'm losing my edge. I can hear the footsteps every night on the decks. But I was there. I was there in 1974 at the first Suicide practices in a loft in New York City. I was working on the organ sounds with much patience. I was there when Captain Beefheart started up his first band. I told him, "Don't do it that way. You'll never make a dime." I was there. I was the first guy playing Daft Punk to the rock kids. I played it at CBGB's. Everybody thought I was crazy. We all know. I was there. I was there. I've never been wrong. I used to work in the record store. I had everything before anyone. I was there in the Paradise Garage DJ booth with Larry Levan. I was there in Jamaica during the great sound clashes. I woke up naked on the beach in Ibiza in 1988. But I'm losing my edge to better-looking people with better ideas and more talent. And who're actually really, really nice. I'm losing my edge. I heard you have a compilation of every good song ever done by anybody. Every great song by the The Beach Boys. All the underground hits. All the Modern Lovers tracks. I heard you have a vinyl of every Niagra record on German import. I heard that you have a white label of every seminal Detroit techno hit - 1985, '86, '87. I heard that you have a CD compilation of every good '60s cut and another box set from the '70s. I hear you're buying a synthesizer and an arpeggiator and are throwing your computer out the window because you want to make something real. You want to make a Yaz record. I hear that you and your band have sold your guitars and bought turntables. I hear that you and your band have sold your turntables and bought guitars. I hear everybody that you know is more relevant than everybody that I know. But have you seen my records? This Heat, Pere Ubu, Outsiders, Nation of Ulysses, Mars, The Trojans, The Black Dice, Todd Terry, The Germs, Section 25, Althea and Donna, Sexual Harrassment, a-ha, Pere Ubu, Dorothy Ashby, PIL, the Fania All-Stars, the Bar-Kays, The Human League, the Normal, Lou Reed, Scott Walker, Monks, Niagra,Joy Division, Lower 48, The Association, Sun Ra,Scientists, Royal Trux, 10cc, Eric B. and Rakim, Index, Basic Channel, Soulsonic Force ("just hit me"!), Juan Atkins, David Axelrod, Electric Prunes, Gil! Scott! Heron!, the Slits, Faust, Mantronix, Pharaoh Sanders and the Fire Engines, the Swans, the Soft Cell, The Sonics, the Sonics, the Sonics, the Sonics. You don't know what you really want.