The Null Device


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.

culture irony momus postmodernism 2

The Brazilian city of Nova Iguacu has such a large transvestite population that the local council will require public facilities to provide them with separate lavatories.

"It was a real problem. The women didn't feel comfortable having them in the ladies' room, and the men didn't want them in their bathroom either," said Mr Moreira, who is married and the father of two children.
Mr Moreira said there were nearly 28,000 transvestites in Nova Iguacu, a poor city of about 800,000. He said many transvestites were reluctant to go out because there were no lavatory facilities for them. He denied that the cost of building a third room would pose a big problem for restaurant or club owners.
Which adds up to about 3.5% of the population of Nova Iguacu being transvestites. I wonder whether this is some kind of local quirk specific to this city, or a common phenomenon in Brazil, perhaps analogous to Thailand's "ladyboys".

Not to mention what the icon on the door of the transvestites' toilet would look like.

brazil sex society transvestites 3

It looks like hopes for a reprieve for legendary New York rock venue CBGB were short-lived; the venue will now close on Halloween of 2006. The owners are planning to open a new venue in the Lower East Side some time afterward, and/or to devote their energies to the lucrative "CBGB's & OMFUG" merchandise business.

(via xrrf) cbgb history marketing new york punk rock 0