Is music political?

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trix
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Postby trix » Thu Jun 13, 2002 5:10 am

the best songs have a meaning, and are about something real and honest. people can write some very good songs about things they are passionate about, and politics often comes into it. as a result when its done well, it can be great. but when its done badly it can look pompous egotistical and pretentious.

i think anyway..

ryanking
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Postby ryanking » Thu Jun 13, 2002 8:28 am

Yeah, it's easy to sound pretentious and preachy when you're doing political material. Gandhi said something like, "BE the change you want to see happening," so I submit that bands with a certain way-out SOUND are political by MODELING a sort of politics. Bad Brains first record for example. Very confrontational, chaotic sound. THAT in and of itself is political. And that really backs up their lyrics... "fearless vampire killers"...

jaimoe0
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Postby jaimoe0 » Thu Jun 13, 2002 9:06 pm

One of the big problems with starkly political music is that, within the confines of a 3 to 5 minute pop song, you're kind of reduced to sloganeering. There's little you can say that's substantive, and there's certainly little time to offer an actual course of action and change.

Songs are good for a rant, and that's fine. A good rant with a great hook is a wonderful thing, but if you're really looking for political content, or just information, turn down the stereo, pick up the paper and spend some time with PBS watching something other than Sesame Street. You won't get all the answers, but it's a start, and it's more informative, and ultimately will piss you off more and therefore inspire you to do something radical - like vote for instance - more than anything you'll find on a Rage Against the Machine album.

In response to the original query, yes, music is political. Everything from being on an indie as opposed to a major, exploiting a woman in your cover art, to the lyrics you write to deliver your message, it's all political. Even deciding not to be political with your art is a political choice. I guess.

kurisu_sumisu
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Postby kurisu_sumisu » Fri Jun 14, 2002 2:28 pm

My favorite political album of recent: Desaparecidos! It is the most critical indie pop/rock album that I know of recent times. It is a decree against against poorly planned US suburbia and they do a fine job commenting on the lack of quality of life that follows sprawl. check it out http://www.saddle-creek.com

kurisu_sumisu
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Postby kurisu_sumisu » Fri Jun 14, 2002 2:35 pm

On 2002-06-14 14:30, kurisu_sumisu wrote:
Everything from being on an indie as opposed to a major, exploiting a woman in your cover art, to the lyrics you write to deliver your message, it's all political. Even deciding not to be political with your art is a political choice. I guess.

i agree. living itself is a political discourse. living in a world of music is political, from where you play or don't play, what you write or don't write, cover art, liner notes, label choice, its all unavoidably political and often more political when it is not overtly political (like rage against sony music corporation). and perhaps rage is using their major label money effectively and may have perhaps influenced political curousity in a few apolitical suburbanites, or maybe not. i enjoy (to an extent) their commentary and awareness raising, but it is difficult to take them seriously at the same time. hmm, i've got some thinking to do.

jaimoe0
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Postby jaimoe0 » Fri Jun 14, 2002 6:16 pm

It's probably best not to think about it too much. I mean, we are talking about rock and roll here. A song could have a brilliant political message, but if it doesn't rock, are you gonna listen to it?

D. Phillips
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Postby D. Phillips » Mon Jun 17, 2002 10:36 am

...Enter: Ohio, by CSNY...

Joshua
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Postby Joshua » Mon Jun 17, 2002 1:06 pm

What's the dillyo with the International Noise Conspiracy? They seem to push an overtly political message in their packaging, but their music doesn't really reflect it, imo.

D. Phillips
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Postby D. Phillips » Mon Jun 17, 2002 1:16 pm

We hope to answer that question very soon. Watch GLONO for more...

<font size=-1>[ This Message was edited by: D. Phillips on 2002-06-17 13:16 ]</font>

jaimoe0
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Postby jaimoe0 » Tue Jun 18, 2002 2:58 am

"Ohio" is a great song, but it's reportage, not political discourse. I mean, what's the message there? Nixon sucks and American is a violent place? Thanks... knew that.


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