The Null Device

Fascists and gay vikings

In his journal post today, Momus talks about postmodern mash-up/pastiche artists like Chicks On Speed, The KLF and Donna Summer referencing rock, with a layer of detachment:
It fits a template Ex-Berliner music journalist David Strauss has called "playback music", which includes Berlin-based artists like Chicks on Speed and Kevin Blechdom. Possibly even me. The playback artists ... perform a sort of pomo cabaret music, sampling and playing back selected music from the past, recombining it like curators. They're, inevitably, taking the piss, and never more so than when they feature their ultimate object of veneration, delectation and derision, the phallic electric guitar. That's why I call them chicks with dicks. They have ironic dicks firmly in their cheeks. Jason, aka Donna, is one of them, one of us. He calls it Cock Rock Disco, but it's the same difference, really. We don't play guitars! Yes, we do! But ironic ones!
ll pop music is parody to some degree, but some are clever enough to disguise it and can therefore tap into the inherent fascism of rock audiences. Because, make no mistake about it, rock music is fascist. Anybody addressing a stadium is basically reliving the Nuremberg rally. But because Jason is a nice, intelligent, cultivated man, and because that's pretty apparent—come on, look at those cute vikings, the tasteful references to 1960s Czech animation!—I suspect his recontextualised rock riffs will strike American adolescent Nordic Supremacist ears—hould they ever strike them at all—as gay. Because "gay" is the word the not-so-bright use instead of "ironic".
I wonder where he would place bands like The Darkness and Wolfmother, who play over-the-top rock with apparent 110% sincere belief in the power of it, whilst being aware of the referentiality and formulaicity of what they are doing, and slyly acknowledging their references.

There are 2 comments on "Fascists and gay vikings":

Posted by: kstop http:// Tue Dec 20 19:24:44 2005

CoS cried when someone threw a pint glass through their PowerBook last time I saw them in Dublin. Real girl tears. It's the risk you take when you play ironic rock.

Posted by: Eli Schmaltz http:// Fri Dec 23 00:58:39 2005

They don't make laptops like they used to.