Friday, May 15, 2009

New Videocast: A Review of Green Day, The Killers, and the Text of Punk














In this new episode I review Green Day's new album, 21-st Century Breakdown, The Killers' recent concert, and the recent collection of photographs entitled Punk is Dead, Punk is Everything.

I talk about the connection between image and popularity as well as the hierarchical nature of success in punk rock culture.

You can view this new episode here.





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graph per http://www.gingkopress.com/_cata/ima2/punkde-0.htm

11 comments:

Dana said...

I also don't quite understand why so many people, myself included, have such a hard time with the concept of taste and how quickly it shifts after a form of art gets/acquires much popularity.

Dana said...

Btw, what do you mean by the phrase 'uber-psychologized culture'?

Dana said...

Also, when you say that the album is staunchly rock, or as Americana as it could be, where are you leaving punk and post-punk influences from across the pond?

Will said...

I think that image is pretty tough to ignore. Some bands are quite good at selling an image that's congruent with the spirit of the times. As Comeron Crowe says, most people like popular music because it speaks of an impulse that most of us are familiar with. That's why, after all, pop music is, well, popular....

Shay said...

I have always thought that Brandon Flowers tried to be mimetic of a Green Day model.
The more people like something, the more attention one needs to pay to the text they epitomize.
I suppose there is something to the whole 'familiarity breeds contempt' notion. The more we hear a band, the more banal its sound become.
I'd like to check out the book you mentioned.

Nicki said...

Tastes do shift and while at times Green Day can get a tad too predictable, what counts is that so many people shared a common taste for said art.
Popularity is not something to always be critical of. There are other things to be critical over. One of them would be the fear to walk away from one's already established trademark. Innovating on form takes much courage.

becca said...

How does large scale popularity relate to taste, acc. to you?

Candace said...

But how would one account for taste changes? What informs a fundamental change in taste?

Anonymous said...

I read a nice bit on the Rolling Stone magazine last night and it was about Brian Williams' discussion of the importance of music in his own personal and even professional life. I thought you'd review that perhaps.
But that aside, I found this interesting. I am not quite so sure about your choices of bands to discuss to make the point of popularity/image, but I think I got the overall point.
I could have suggested other acts like Oasis, The Cure, even The Clash whom you mention briefly....

N. said...

I don't always comment on these, but let me just say that I am enjoying these.

Sra said...

Ok, I'm finally getting around to listening to some of these podcasts from the past month.

This one is interesting. I have an old roommate who would seek out the most obscure music she could find and flaunt it, but once it gained any sort of popular recognition, she shunned it and went on to the next thing. I always thought that strange. If you like something, I thought, isn't it because you think it's good, and what does it matter what everyone else thinks? But I'm kind of connecting this phenomenon to the principal behind your concept of what drives "taste", namely narcissism. I think people in general like to see themselves as unique, and when they've found a band that is not well known, this illusion of uniqueness stands. Once everyone else starts to like it, however, they can no longer look at that band and see it as a reflection of their own unique taste. If that makes any sense.

Actually, I think narcissism drives many things in life.

Finally, to me, "selling out" is when an artist no longer makes her/his art for its own sake but for the sake of money or fame or whatever else. One could sell out and still make good art and one could not sell out and make bad art (of course this is subjective). It's the motivation behind it that matters, in my mind.