Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past: Simon Reynolds : Faber & Faber

Retromania: Pop Culture's Addiction to Its Own Past
Simon Reynolds
Faber & Faber

It seems we are living in a pop age gone crazy for it’s own past. Now-a-days every past band from Bananarama to Urge Overkill is dusting off their equipment and heading out on a reunion tour. Re-formations, expanded reissues of classic albums and outtake-crammed box sets, remakes and sequels, tribute albums and mash-ups all will inevitably follow.. Ok nice, given the aging populations. the new availability of formats like MP3, itunes, etc. But remember, Pop and Rock are really only n it’s first generational cycle. What happens when we run out of the past? Author Simon Reynolds asks “Are we heading toward a sort of culturalecological catastrophe where the archival stream of pop history has been exhausted?”

Creator of Rip it Up and Start Again, punk’s great legacy, Simon Reynolds has been lauded as one of the finest music writers of his generation. He suggests that we are nearing the tipping point and that although earlier eras had their own obsessions with antiquity —For instance the Renaissance had obsession for Roman and Greek classicism, the Gothic movement’s worshiped medievalism, The Victorian embraced the historical artefacts of Japan and the new colonies— never has there been a society so obsessed with the cultural artefacts of its our own immediate past.

This book examines the cult and industry of retro and asks the question: Will our obsession for the past kill off any originality and distinctiveness of our own? In the light of recent Big Day Out Headliners Soundgarden and upcoming tourists Creedance Clearwater Revival it would be worth asking what role and relevance these bands play in today’s music culture. Soundgarden, for example have long been referred to as Grunge Pioneers, yet by their own admittance they are a band that is not intended to last. Adopting the punk ethic of a do-it-yourslef, paper the cracks and live fast and die young the band created a maelstrom of driving chords, infectious tunes and power angst that was meant to sum up the youth of the 80’s but never to last past the decade. I wondered as I watched three greying rockers (dressed as bike mechanics, slowly moving about the stage) what their impact would be on the teens of today. So has Reynolds, when he questioned the revived tours of The Sex Pistols and panty dampers Boyzone. Truth be told, the main audience attendance in all cases were guitar players and aging punks with their nephews. And in the case of Boybands, grownup teeny bopper mums and their daughters. CCR will attract a sing along classic hits crowd. The simple truth is that we like to connect with our past and relive the glories. Why else would grown men collect old cars, women keep love letters or grannies keep their wedding photos and marriage china. The reality is our past is what makes us. Music is no different and Retromania feeds off that.

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Noel Gallagherclosed the show, saying 'See ya round, maybe.'

No fanfare, or spectacular close. No fireworks or any kind of Rock 'n' Roll finish. Russell Brown happened to be standing next to me, smoking a joint and quipped 'Is that it? No Encore". "Don't be stupi," his mate replied, "This is still the Gallaghers. You're lucky they turned up!."

Meet the punters at BDO 2012

Friday, January 20, 2012

The coffee Bar Kid is at the Big Day Out...

I'm currently in the crowd watching LIVING END. The crowd is an average size but I'm expecting more following 5pm and the end of working day. Best act so far was regurgitator.

Local skater - BDO 2012 ^

<- Laying down the law at BDO 2012.

The Foam dome at the Big day out.

To follow the coffeebar kids BDO adventures, hop over to his Facebook page:!/tim.gruar