NB This is something I started writing a few weeks ago, hence the articles referred to being rather out of date. Didn’t post then ‘cos I was going to do something more with it. I may yet do so.
This is a brilliant piece of writing, by Dorian Lynskey about Pulp’s Common People. (Bad writing about music is the dullest thing ever, brilliant writing about music is, well, brilliant). Jarvis Cocker didn’t see himself as political at all, he says, and yet I can’t think of a song that more accurately captures the zeitgeist. (Common People for anti-X Factor Xmas Number One, anyone? Pulp reunion, Cameron in Downing Street, echoes of Sam Cam slumming it with Tricky in Montpelier in her student days…. Perfect.)
Hadn’t heard of his book before, 33 Revolutions Per Minute, which is a history of protest songs, but going to order it now. In fact I might get my Dad one for Christmas too. (Having left school at 15 and spent all his life doing manual work he went to college when he retired – back home in Ireland – and ended up doing a Masters on the link between John Steinbeck’s books and Woody Guthrie’s lyrics, which is kind of cool).
On a related theme – and related to the previous post too, about the student demo – here’s John Harris in the Guardian, “Someone out there, please pick up a guitar and howl.” And here’s his follow-up piece after people pointed out that there was some protest music out there – though he ends the piece with : “Conclusion? There’s life out there, just about. But in the way of resistance, still no real coherence or clout. The wait, I suspect, goes on …”
I will say profound things about this at some point… but not now!