Obviously, this was my fault.
With this idea that domination masks itself as liberation, I’d like to return to Record Store Day. This celebration of authenticity via fetishized commodity presents itself as resistance and opposition to digital/info capital: Screw the big corporations, support your local record store. Screw the major labels and their Bieber-ification of music, support your local artists. Etc. But, what we are told is oppositional and resistant actually plays into and supports hegemony. How does Record Store Day actually bolster white heteropatriarchial capital? Here are a few ways, expressed in the form of questions (b/c I’m a philosopher and I like questions:
……I thought the “new” Web 1.0 (P2P) and Web 2.0 (social networking) modes of distribution were actually better for musicians than the traditional record contract? Record contracts are notoriously exploitative. The self-production and self-distribution made possible by postmillennial advances in consumer tech let musicians avoid recording studios, distribution practices, and many of the main reasons to sign to a label in the first place. So, does RSD encourage us to celebrate a form that is actually more exploitative of the musicians we supposedly admire and want to support?
I love, love, love so much of this article (even though I have/do support RSD - I can still be critical of things I enjoy). I really miss cultural/gender/marxist studies A LOT.
Now about the article (which you should read in its entirety):
Are RSD participants (both artists and consumers) looking to be viewed as oppositional? I spent over 60 bucks on records that day and I’m pretty sure was just being a good American capitalist consumer, albeit one supporting local businesses and “independent” artists.
I use the term “independent” quite loosely though. How do we even judge resistance/Independence? I firmly believe that in order for any group/subculture to be resistant to mainstream culture/hegemony they must be judged on what is created by them, NOT what is consumed by them. Alternative business, distribution and copyright models, (THE INTERNET?) are key to this I think. There is nothing oppositional about making your biggest fans wait in line for over an hour to buy a shiny blue vinyl copy of a limited edition 7 inch. Complete artistic control is good. But complete economic control is better.
Meet my cat cookie jar, Roy! (HI ROY!) He lives in my office and tells me to eat all of the snacks. Bad Roy. But you make life delicious!
(for the upcoming food & pop culture issue of unnamed publication)
I would LOVE to write about the role food plays in expressing the relationships between characters in Mountain Goat songs. Whether it’s fierce loyalty, destructive codependence or raw sensuality food plays a huge role in demonstrating the emotional state or instability of these characters lives.
For instance take these words of devotion from “Yam King of Crops”
“I felt sick in a good way
felt the fever climb when you came down
all the way across town
and you brought me a plate of sweet potatoes”
Or these passionate lyrics from “I’ve Got the Sex”:
“the wild strawberries drove me on, as i lapped them up off of your skin
and i could feel your basal body temperature rise as the cold came in”
Or the straightforward, yet poetic simplicity of “Earh Air Water Trees”:
“i love you, i love you because
you gave me sausage and cheese when i was hungry.”
Or the extravagant, yet self-destructive relationship described in “Faultlines”
“we drink, vodka from russia
we get our chocolates from belgium
we have our strawberries flown in from england.
yeah but none of the money we spend
seems to do us much good in the end.
i’ve got a cracked engine block, both of us do.”
There lots more examples (Darnielle has written over 600 songs, so there’s a wealth of material to pull from) Perhaps I can make a list of the top 5-10 examples?
Let me know what you think.
(anyone else have more examples/ideas??)