Here’s a little story that I made up, so let’s make believe: four years ago I had a party that was too much fun for me…
– “I’ve Just Begun (Having My Fun)”
Back in 2009, I had a little fun drafting up my list of the top twelve Pop artists from the first decade of the millennium (I get bored, it happens). I made up a little narrative of the icons that lived the blueprint for a global lifestyle – more than a genre, an ongoing epic poem defining the general public of that elusive scene, scape, soundtrack we like to call Pop. I was fresh out of undergrad; but forever a 90s kid caught in the nostalgia of homecoming kings, queens, and courts, naturally I paired off the lords and ladies of the said vanity fair, in a fitting hommage to the heralded pantheon of celebrity (which is effectually no more than a glamorized high school) #youcantsitwithus Five coupled jesters of the court, a pair of regal deities, and a pair of honorable mentions (because it’s America – so as long as you’re the best loser, there’s space for you on the podium – but don’t get crazy).
The list went a little something like this…
Stumbled across my now-defunct first blog from back in 2007 #thatyear and in the past six years… not much has changed at all… what can I say?
For the sake of morbid curiosity… from October 2007… my first blog post… #itsadoosie #notheresnopictures
swiper sighs manifesto
So until I figure out this whole music blog thing i’ll just blog about pop culture, pseudo-politics, philosophy, anthropology, sociology, ology … the usual and of course media/entertainment which includes music, movies, tv a bit, books, or whatever suits my fancy.
Ummmm as for the music scene right now – it’s lacking in the mainstream. American Top 40 isn’t a good representation of music, the Top 40 should be indicative of the culture. The top 40 is watered down everything, even pop is watered down. Say what you will about Britney, Christina, N Sync, and Backstreet – but they were Pop: down to the core. They were catchy and they got into your head. They were like Saccharin; they were too sweet, and it was so synthetic, but they were devoured by the masses. You could not deny the sheer “Pop” of it.
So… if nothing else, 2012 proved that by George the Mayans had it all kinds of right: this year proved a renaissance of apocalyptic proportions – a year when the culturally amnesiatic cynics failed to recognize a sea change over the screams of their own skeptic scoffs… alas, even in the midst of privately-backed Super-PAC pocketed media, bindered women, NRA publicity stunts, mass school shootings, a deluge of false formations and knowledge starvation, the spectacle’s continued triumph over literacy shrugged – and oh, Sandy; even in the midst of all that, there was music – glorious music – because after all, to mark the fall, the birth of tragedy is forever conceived in the spirit of music.
Somewhere along the 365 steps on the road to perdition, albums debuted, someone named Franked caused an Ocean of tears, a boy named Ken lamented the m.a.a.d. urban terrain, and Fiona spun the wheel while time idly passed by… but this isn’t about them – although everything else prior has unremarkably revolved around the former two – this list is about five albums I listened to, five albums I didn’t need people to tell me I liked, five works that are tragic in their own right, five that may not be cool, may be too young for school, but five that at the end of the day reminded me of what “those” Mayans might play had they lived to see this day…
MDNA – Madonna
This was easily some of Madonna’s best work to date – contextually – period. Although sonic cohesion and precision ebb and flow within the confines of Madge’s contemporary discography, MDNA solidified a mood and melody for the Monarch’s tumultuous mindset. Ciccone grabbed the circuit and spun it up proper, regardless of all analog static enveloping the release. Best friends, boyfriends, and rhythmic revelations in tow – Madge dropped a bomb, aurally addicting, introspectively intriguing, albeit misguided at times, but always spectacular – MDNA what a mighty majestic show.
MDNA… the last time I wrote those letters in said sequence was, well, four years ago when I was at AU studying Advanced Bio; proper Madonna album debut… the last time I sat down to indulge in one of those was, well, four years ago when I was in life living Advanced Pop. Those were different days, simpler days. Days where Hard Candy was a passable stab at soundtracking Pop’s sticky-and-sweet soul, until a few years later when we’re in the midst of the reality that it was more a passable set of fillings in the cavity-laden mouth of Mod Pop. M-D-N-A… the last time I chanted those letters in said sequence was but a few moments ago when Pure Pop emerged from the cultural tar pits of Detroit born-and-bred, Euro wed-and-bedded electronic sublime filth that is “I’m Addicted” – that is the cosmic bass stealth anthem from the primary piece of modern Pop’s genome: M.D.N.A.
Wonderful Monday on our hands. Sun is shining and a brand-spanking-new addition to the Pop family has graced us with its bouncing beautiful baby presence.
As I’m still coming to terms with my equally brand new bouncing baby quarterlife crisis (Aside: leave it to Madonna to wait four years to release an album, that upon completing the first full listen, one realizes IT’S BEEN FOUR YEARS. Leaving subsequent questions such as: “What have I done the past four years?” “What has Timbaland done in the past four years?” “We have Healthcare reform, we’re out of Iraq, bin Laden and Gaddafi are no more, and people are looking to Gingrich?!” “What is a Lady GaGa?” “Did I leave the front door open?” All coalescing to the inevitable answer: “I’m old.”) I’ve decided to put together a quick trip down Memory Lane this Monday (no, the other one, after the left at Drury Road – sorted) compliments of MDNA #biologicalpopbuildingblocks
Easily one of the best produced Madonna tracks of her extensive catalog, the Pharrell masterpiece Incredible was just that – an incredible diamond in the rough desert that was 2008’s saccharin infused Hard Candy. I left the album for awhile, I’ve had my bouts, but a fresh set of ears delivered a 2012 revelation of apocalyptic sorts… “Incredible,” Hard Candy, this in all of its “thisness” that is going on now #lookitup is a most honest and sincere plea from the place of the detached deity…
Oh that Madge… I can’t help it, I’ve got the biggest Cheshire grin plastered above my chin right now…
See the thing about it is, I wanted to not like this video – hear me out: I wanted to not like this video because after the hoopla and hype, after the media blitzes and reductionism, this era was gearing up to be the bark of Confessions with the bite of Hard Candy #notgreat then, there’s the distractions and the white noise pulling attention from the product at hand and towards the peripheral gossip… in a nutshell: I was ready to not like this video for the same reason I was gearing up to not like Born This Way – because people were going Gaga over Madonna; but lo and behold… Pop never lets you down.
Welp… this, is… bleak; that said… just dance – gonna be okay
It’s like… when the Bayou Brady Bunch subbed out their Sunday Best Sears photo-op for a blurred backstage glimpse into when what could have been wasn’t, when what you shudder to recall overshadowed what should have been, and what is translates into: “Listen, we all we got.”
Madonna fan since Blond Ambition #whenididnthavetolietothekids #truecolors Oprah fan since the mid 90s – after I made sure she wasn’t #thehelp at The White House #postreaganbush… Twenty-five years later; twenty-five years of singing “red, and yellow, black and white – all are precious in his sight” #exceptyouyouandyou at Pro-America rallys… getting introduced to the wonders of Kabbalah #seeidohaveajewishfriend #herlastnameisciccone… the genius that is Dr. Phil #osophics enabling me to raise your kids better than you #noYOUREnotcertified… the culinary marvels that are Rachael Ray’s EVOO-laden 30 minute home-cooked meals #thiswillcuthoursoffofthenannyscookingtime… the dangers of adolescent drug use “Who knew Crack was so rampant on campuses?! I need to rally the PTA for this – must focus” #theresanadderrallforthat #mysons … the ins and outs of cyberbullying #imtheonlyfriendmykidsneedonfacebook… I made it through The Rapture to see the Promised Land
Watch This Space: God only looks after children and fools… #jesussavesdesperatehousewives
So the question remains… who’s going to look after you? #watchyourback
“I don’t want to be part of the machine – I want the machine to be part of me.“
Again: somewhere, Reagan is crying on Basquiat’s shoulder…
Born This Way is a perfect record. It is uncomfortably euphoric. First spins are ideally experienced with a few close friends, or those who have spun before; likely obtained through contraband means however – the first spin is usually experienced in the wee hours of the night or morning… where the rush of the synesthetic synthetic splendor triggering peaks and valleys – previously unfathomed – comes with a conscious uncertainty: as to whether you like it or hate it, whether or not said rush is result of the product itself, or the hype surrounding and building up to the first taste, and whether or not this is in actuality real life, some surreal fantasy – or just the delirious drunkenness of well-deserved fatigue… It’s personal, political, public, and cultural; it’s the social catalyst, sedative, signpost and staple; it’s the universal shared experience, and the pre-eminent polarizing sign of the times – like blood flowing through the veins of a buncha bad kids: Born This Way is a trip down Alice’s glitter way – and one hell of a drug. #rhythmicrapture