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Kill Your Idols “No wave” music scene

    by Andrew Stergiou, Sat., Jan. 24, 2009

“Kill Your Idols” struck by the pseudo anarcho Judeo-Christian based nihilistic title I was disappointed by another pseudo-intellectual dumb ass suck dick art rock video. Another pseudo-intellectual dumb ass suck dick art rock video about another bunch of stupid dumb white people at once of above average intelligence, and at once ignorant and unaware of the world’s existence around them, nor of such a world’s context.

This video at first seemed to be another “End of the Century story of the Ramones” (Jim Fields Michael Gramaglia, Directors) type of BS video (produced in 2004) by what I termed “the loosely described filmmaker” SA Crary but then I had second thoughts. Perhaps “Kill Your Idols: was, is slightly more socially redeeming, because if it did if nothing else, it raised issues, that the Ramone Industry propaganda style video did not even come close to touching.

As I am watching the moaning droning monotone of what claims to be artistically non-formula based, free non-controlled, non-corporate based, intellectually conceptionally based music club scene used and abused, by “what came after them” to exploit what had preceded. Surprise? Naw, isn’t that what capitalism is all about? Do you or I have any delusions about the purpose of capitalism when we get charged for a glass of water in a restaurant, or have to be a customer to use the toilet there?

So why is it any surprise to these deluded neurotic middle class aspirants in the arts, music, video and performance arts? Why is it that they have never bought into the concept of non-commercial cooperative projects rather than allow themselves to be exploited by the merchants of commerce?

Is it any surprise that the last notable American cooperative project was the United Artists Studios: 

“UA was incorporated as a joint venture on February 5, 1919 by four of the leading figures in early Hollywood: Mary Pickford, Charles Chaplin, Douglas Fairbanks, and D. W. Griffith. Each held a 20% stake, with the remaining 20% held by lawyer William Gibbs McAdoo.[4] The idea for the venture originated with Fairbanks, Chaplin, Pickford, and cowboy star William S. Hart a year earlier as they were traveling around the U.S. selling Liberty bonds to help the World War I effort. Already veterans of Hollywood, the four film stars began to talk of forming their own company to better control their own work as well as their futures. They were spurred on by established Hollywood producers and distributors making moves to tighten their control on star salaries and creative control, a process which would evolve into the rigid studio system. With the addition of Griffith, planning began, but Hart bowed out even before things had formalized. When he heard about their scheme, Richard A. Rowland, head of Metro Pictures, is said to have observed, "The inmates are taking over the asylum." The four partners, with advice from McAdoo (son-in-law and former Treasury Secretary of then-President Woodrow Wilson), formed their distribution company, with Hiram Abrams as its first managing director.” (Wikipedia).

With the noticeable notable except of intense words of anger animosity regarding the commercial art and music world, punctuated by the words and wisdom by the lovely soulful and vivid Lydia Lunch I found the it all boring: Fuck don’t let her know she might quote me though she doesn’t like those mushy things (she said) and might have to eat her words.

In any case Lydia Lunch attack in retrospect on the American musical psyche of so called musicians playing music:

not because they are worthy but because they could as spoiled pampered brats afford to; and, not because they are self-assured and confident in what they were doing but as if playing the stereotyped artist

neurotic and insecure searching for the recognition that their families, society and the cruel mean world never gave them. In an array of musicians who were paraded before the camera though many stated they were not musicians, nor knew how to play music.

Hmm ….. Was that the middle class manner of false modesty that was imported into New York city with all the other refugees from small town America and parts west of New Jersey?

Refugees who generation after generation have gravitated to the false centers of culture of major cities in the United States because so often in the heartland of America between the empty highways between those centres there is often even less than the soulless cites. Refugees who generation after generation have mimicked their idols in trekking to be where it was all happening, when where it was really happening was where they originally were at.

I spent my time searching for something to touch me as she did on occasion while I watched Marty Rev of Suicide but for one hour and fifteen minutes I found nothing more than another lost generation, lost without any true socio-political context, totally without any philosophic perspective of what it all was about.

The references to the corporate commercial world were pale except where they stated the corporate types have taken over. Surprise? Naw!

But as the video ended I was treated to a show on “the fine art of whistling”? Preparing to enter a whistling contest? Jeez, whistling by what seemed to be a poultry truck driver, an office worker and ordinary folks? Wow, and they didn’t have to buy instruments, nor find a place to rehearse, nor store instruments, nor put up with money grubbing exploitative bar owners. Wow, art in the vacuum of ordinary existence, of ordinary people: Isn’t that unique?

But that is where the coterie from the downtown scene goers interviewed in the short documentary about the New York, 'No Wave' music scene, failed to bridge the past and present. This “movie starts out well, and the interviews with some of the older artists were great. Truthful, unpretentious, no holds barred.”

Nut exactly “was 'No Wave?”

“A musical movement that grew out of Punk Rock. Was it Punk Rock? Well, sort of, but not really. It was/is a more artistic expression, more of an experimental ethic. Unconventional to be sure, but the association by sound (with Punk) isn't as strong as the ethic (revolutionary). This documentary was obviously trying to show the continuation of this ethic, from past to present. I think it would have been better served as a focus on the roots of this movement, as the connection to the current music scene (up to 2004), paints the current group as more concerned with commercial aspects of their success, than they are with an honest expression of their own music”

Well as of late each generation of musicians in the American Amnesia of short term memory has to come to terms with the music industry as it is not as they wish it to, but unfortunately what it is. Revealed for the most part to artists finding out what is reality and what is not, and what is  hype and what is not, hopefully all not too late. Cheers!! Rock my Rolls!!

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Kill Your Idols “No wave” music scene by Andrew Stergiou is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States License.