Thursday, February 17, 2011

Thoughts on Music - albums for interesting times...

I've been taking a break from writing posts and one that has, unusually, lasted almost a fortnight. Suffice it to say that I have still been listening to and thinking about a great deal of music in the meantime. In part I have been seeking out new music, while also thinking about bands that I would like to see at this summer's festivals...
I intend to try and pick up the dropped stitches with a selection of music that I have had on-rotation during this time.  It comes with a warning: this is not uplifting music except that, just possibly it is comforting for its sense of hopelessness at the state of things albeit often in an abstract sense.  That things have changed has been deftly short-circuited by the recent Grammy and Brit Awards - both in the nominations and indeed the winners.
The relationship between Music and Politics took a turn for the better and it started to change in the Bush/Blair era but, I wish to contest, now the major labels are on the defensive the tide is going to be hard to change in the Cameron/Obama one.
The rise of music, largely without the political shackles that the major labels imposed, is likely to actually be one aspect of 'The Big Society' that Cameron can rely on getting in the real world. Punk was a total break.  It laid the foundation for an intelligent blue-print on which to call and promote; as happened, and with great success: that is grunge!
Tony Blair was "friends" with Oasis, in the so-called 'Cool Britannia' phase, and he also played guitar. It happened but was actually a poor publicity stunt. 
It is hard to imagine the possible invitees (except for TV talent show cast-offs) to such a soirée at 10 Downing Street, were one to happen in this new age of austerity; less likely still those, except the desperate, that might accept the invitation.
That is not to say that Britain does not have a wealth of talented musical artists, and ones increasingly good at taking their talent to export markets, for it does. Just now, however, is a time when they simply don't need that particular patronage.
This artist should be top of the list of "the uninvited". It is the eighth studio album from one who is never shy to pull punches when it comes to politics, subject or timing and therefore was only released on the Monday just gone.

Can one album cause a Government to fall? Well - and at least this is true - it has not happened yet.

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