What Music Do You Want To Talk About?

I think this is an interesting take on their work, and I can say that they certainly are functioning that way for me. I hit on clipping. and got really hooked on their synthesis of various bits of weird and experimental music, and it got me looking for related bands that focused on individual bits of the whole clipping. package. They feel like an index of the current state of the weird and strange music that’s getting cranked out these days, but one that brings it together to provide commentary on the underlying truth.

They speak directly to the frustrated and fucked up world in which the weird live, y’know? They talk about all of it in a way that’s compelling and makes you want to live there too, and helps you understand it.

So then they’re kinda like, the ushers into the underworld? They’re showing you the neighborhood and leaving it up to you to explore it.

I also kind of take it as punching back against the long-running fetishizing of the kinds of lives clipping. wants to talk about. Media has long kinda glorified gangland life by turning it into the contemporary “rock and roll bad boy,” y’know? It’s taboo and out there and a lot of (particularly white) media have capitalized on that, and I kinda take one of the overall messages of clipping. to be something like “you don’t know what it’s really like down here so let me show you.”

Y’know, in a way, they’re kinda like ICP except actually good. Using genre-blending music to speak to people who live in the margins of society, and acting as champions of those people while speaking their real truth.

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Who’s got Spotify? Spotify wrapped 2020 is out. I kinda don’t like that they do it at the start of December. Good music comes out in December! That being said, I think it would be fun for some people to get together to share their Spotify wrapped with some Discord streaming action. If anyone is interested.

EDIT: Boo. It doesn’t seem like it’s doing the big presentation thing it usually does. It’s just a landing page with playlists.

I got the big presentation thing.

Said I listened to 245 new artists. That sounds… a lot higher than I would have guessed. Wonder what their criteria is.

Mine was 734 new artists but that seems about on par for what I expected. Most of mine I predicted, minus the most listened to artist, We Rabbitz.

I really cut down my Spotify use this year, with a lot of my time being spent on YouTube mixes and bandcamp. But, Spotify was still on blast at times and so it’s funny to see from all that what I get.

527 new artists and 128 new genres

Top Song: How Soon is Now by The Smiths

Top Band: City Morgue

Sure?

The big presentation was mobile only. In the past you could do it in your browser.

I love the Spotify Wrapped! This was a slow year for me though, I spent way more time listening to Ebooks.

461 new artists
90 new genres
Top Song: Human by The Killers
Top Band: Twenty One Pilots

I wonder what the criteria for those are. You’d think that if your top song is a Smiths song, then the top band would be Smiths? I don’t have Spotify; do they explain how they come to that determination for top band?

I imagine it’s something like breadth of listening or variety within discography. Just curious!

This is anything but on topic, but I want to compliment your Mario S Thompson avatar publicly.

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I mean that one Smiths song is the only Smihs song I’ve played much of, and happened to land on multiple playlists that see regular rotation in my shop.

So for any given song I’ve played, How Soon Is Now saw the most plays, somehow (there’s tons of other songs on those playlists that are always coming up) but otherwise I don’t play a lot of Smiths.

Meanwhile I’ve pumped all the City Morgue albums multiple times so I think if you tally the time spent listening to a given artist they come out way ahead.

Funny enough because of how they credit the City Morgue songs, SosMula and ZillaKami are also my #4/5 top artists of the year.

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I wish I could take credit for it, but I just found it elsewhere years ago haha. Thanks tho!

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https://youtu.be/5vtZcojS9KA

Steve is Steve. This song is kinda weird but funky and cool.

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I want to talk about an intersection of music and US politics that recently came up for me. I’ve had something of a realization that I’m sure others have had, but that I think is still worth talking about. If you’re not up for getting politics in your art - well, fuck you, art is political. But I guess skip this if you’d rather not hear it.


The other day, I spun up some Megadeth for the first time in a while. I was feeling some thrash and despite Mustaine being a giant piece of shit, Rust In Peace is still a masterwork of the genre. I had their catalog on shuffle, and “Peace Sells…” came up. I let it play out because ages ago I was really into its sneering contempt for The Establishment and The System, and its expression of individual truth.

And…wow, does this song land way differently in 2021 than it did back in the early 90’s when I first heard it:

“Whadda ya mean I hurt your feelings?
I didn’t know you had any feelings
Whadda ya mean I ain’t kind?
Just not your kind
Whadda ya mean I couldn’t be the President
Of the United States of America?
Tell me something: it’s still ‘We the People,’ right?”

This is literally just him saying “fuck your feelings” and expressing an arrogant assumption of greatness and dismissal of expertise - expressing that he should be able to be President is sort of like saying “all political opinions matter” and oppressing through forced equalization -
and wow, it made me realize that Mustaine has always been this way.

I have long wondered how so many prominent members of the punk movement and the explosion of rebellion shortly thereafter could grow up to become massive fucking conservative toolbags - and these lines really hit me. They made me look at it differently.

The rebellion expressed by quite a lot of the punk movement wasn’t really about social justice or fixing inequality - it was about asserting independence, and separating from the mainstream. Separating from society as a whole, and running off doing your own thing no matter how weird it is. The DIY punk movement contains an element of rejecting help and rejecting others in favor of asserting the primary of individualism.

And this has morphed into today’s reckless individualism enshrined in conservative US politics. A life of white privilege convinced a whole generation that they didn’t need anyone else, and that society was simply holding back their greatness, and so in many ways a segment of punk culture was rebelling against things that really weren’t problematic in the first place.

I had always thought maybe it was just money or success that made someone shitty, but no, I think the cultural rejection by punk of the importance of other’s perspective on your own life in many ways directly contributed to the further collapse of civil society in America.

Discuss.

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I would refute the word “morphed” here since it was part of the founding generation of punk. After the Hippie Dream died and the violence fetishist genre of punk emerged, a lot of people who had been or would have been Hell’s Angels’ to spite the squares were drawn to punk. It flourished in London with bands like Skrewdriver, and you could reliably expect fist fights between Nazi Punks and Clash listeners outside the clubs. London even developed the “Oi!” subgenre which is basically London Punk’s version of “why do you have to bring politics into this.” 1970s New York punk, perhaps because it revolved around Lou Reed, never had a thriving community of that, but Johnny Ramone was an avid White Supremacist, having the whole band dress in SS uniforms during the Blitzkreig Bop era (brief aside but I can argue that Dee Dee King is the best white rapper before The Beastie Boys because that album only exists to piss off the Nazi in his successful band). Nazi Punk caught on pretty quickly outside New York, though. Not a surprise that it was a huge phenomenon in the California scene since Hell’s Angels had been based there.

This is a pretty reliable problem in outsider cultures. If the point is to “own the squares” to mix some terminology, you can expect reactionary politics in the mix. Lyndon LaRouche had been mixing Communism and Nazism for years, keeping portraits of both Hitler and Stalin in his office, and as Yippies and SNCC took a stand for the Viet Cong, he found followers by reaching out to their ranks. Even groups who were directly targeted and literally murdered by reactionary politics can fall into it, as the Gay Russian Neo-Nazis prove (second brief aside, that logo REALLY stretches Poe’s Law).

All this is why I hate people who say punk is inherently Leftist and reactionary punks “aren’t really punk.” It’s this subculture’s version of “this isn’t what America is,” and it denies the number of people who aren’t in punk spaces or communities whose perception of punk is influenced by this. The meaning of a word is dictated by it’s usage, and Nazi Punks have been a significant presence for so long that denying that they’re punk is just denial of reality.

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I don’t know about punk music, but I find the same issues with a lot of cyberpunk. I often enjoy the cyber part, but the punk aesthetic, while cool, can’t soften the often nihilistic or self-centered world view which so often framed as just-as-cool, but I find depressing and disappointing. The counter-corporatism or counter-nationalism is in no way progressive, just selfish yells of “I’ll be okay when I strike it rich”.

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Yeah. Cyberpunk is rarely about destroying the corporations that run the world to restore democracy. More often a power fantasy where a few individuals with special skills actually have all the power despite the megacorps. Even something like Tron, which says out loud that the goal is to give power back to the users, doesn’t really ever show the user.

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I think like, maybe early William Gibson cyberpunk had anything to do with actually taking down megacorps, and pretty much everything after became tech-wank-fantasy and nihilism.

That’s absolutely true, good point. I suppose my initial assumption was that there was some kind of “pure” beginning to punk and Nazis were interlopers, but the truth seems more that it included them from the beginning. This parallels some internal reckoning going on in neopagan communities that I’m part of, where people are beginning to understand that Nazis haven’t recently coopted Asatru and other things - they were involved from the very beginning.

It does seem a little weird because even the “good” punks are literally a reactionary movement. The whole culture is a reaction to “mainstream” life, but with different takes.

I understand how it’s uncomfortable for people to realize that your ideology can easily be pointed at heinous things, but you really have to come to grips with it if you want to participate in soci-

Ah, right, there it is. A self-supporting cycle where you flee from criticism of your ideology by retreating from the “mainstream.”

This also happens in the extreme metal community, in pretty much the exact same way, so it does seem to be a pretty common feature of “fringe” culture as you suggest.

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I’d argue that the pure beginning of punk is Iggy Pop in a bar in 1968 hearing “In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida” on the radio and going “we gotta do something about this.” Raw Power doesn’t exactly have a political ethos.

I’m also gonna take this moment to plug the last article I published over at Oddball, which is basically a defense of music that is just mad at the squares, because most of the songs people consider “profound” are even emptier.

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This piece on Pitchfork says absolutely everything there is to say right now pertaining to City Pop.

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Found this youtuber who’s doing history research videos on music movements, artists, and specific pivotal songs for british pop and rock performers. I’ve really enjoyed his delivery and framing with song clips, live performance videos, and reading out interview text to inform context around the stories he’s telling.