Ch. #29 – “Where do we separate the art from the artist?”

 

Yeah. That’s the question I’m going to attempt to tackle today. Or at least prod around a bit with. I don’t know, it’s a big question that I hardly think I could offer all the perspectives and even less the answers to. But it’s a topic I have thought about for a while now but balked on more than one occasion due to the gravitas and moral complexity to it that I have finally decided that I wanted to give it bash and at least offer some thoughts on it.

The context of this question how we as a society but also as individuals should pose and relate to artist and their art when the artists have or are doing something objectionable. Examples from recent months of this could be the allegations against and ongoing legal preceding around R. Kelly, the controversies around Michael Jackson that has flared-up again in the wake of the recently release documentary “Leaving Neverland” or the hullabaloo around Morissey for publicly supporting the right-wing nationalist party “For Britain”.

When an artist perform an act that is either or both an offense in the sense of the law or in the sense of morals or ethical standards it naturally compromise the character of said artist. And by compromising the artist it naturally also spills over to the work of the artist. But to what degree? Or even does it always? And what does it mean for you whom are a consumer of the work’s of said artist?

…yeah, that’s a though cookie. So harking back to my initial question and tee off of this blog entry; where do we separate the art from the artist?

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Ch. #28 – “Sleeping Satellite”

 

We’re continuing today with the theme of last week, the historic Apollo 11 voyage and the Moon, as I’m putting the spotlight on a-oft forgotten little gem from the 90s, a sleeping satellite if you will.

The artist in question is 90s one-hit wonder Tasmin Archer and the song is her 1992 hit song that is an ode to the Apollo missions, the Moon and the yearning and endeavors of humankind.

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Ch. #27 – “Fly Me to the Moon”

 

Beyond being a huge music nerd I’m, out of many things, also a bit of a space nut. Hence I have the past week spent quite some time pondering over the anniversary of the Apollo 11 mission which completed the momentous and to this day mindboggling feat of successfully sending a living person to walk on the surface of the Moon. A feat which took place this very week 50 years ago.

Thinking about this huge chapter in the history of humanity as much as I have during the past week have spilled over to the topic of this here piece, clearly, and also in the song selection for today.

In tribute to the Apollo 11 Moon landing and Neil & Buzz sauntering on the Moon all those years ago, let’s simply be swoon by Frank Sinatra singing the classic “Fly Me to the Moon“.

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Ch. #26 – “Yesterday and its surprising lack of The Beatles”

 

So the other week I went out to see “Yesterday“, the new The Beatles themed film directed by Danny Boyle which I had looked forward to seeing a great deal since I saw a trailer for it a number of months back.

Just the idea of a film featuring a bunch music by the Fab 4 almost had me sold but what I really piqued my interested is the tantalizing and quite frankly mindboggling “what if” scenario the film is based around; imagine a world where The Beatles didn’t happen nor did John, Paul, George and Ringo write any of the classic songs in their dense discography yet somehow, someone know about them and their songs… What would that world look like and what would you do with that knowledge? Great Googly Moogly Batman!

This piece is hardly meant to be a complete review or rundown of the film but elements from it will be mentioned, so if you haven’t seen it but want to and are hypoallergenic to spoilers you may want to stop reading here and get back once you have seen the film. You have officially been warned!

With everyone officially warned, let’s proceed to chew a little over “Yesterday” and The Beatles.

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Ch. #25 – “Slacker Rock”

 

As I’m writing these words I have just gone on my summer vacation and will be spending the couple of weeks slacking off, recharging the ol’ batteries and hopefully catch some rays. That said, I’m only taking vacation from my day job and not from this here blog. There is no off time from New Year’s wows.

While it’s itching in my fingers to do a minor freak out about two of the albums I have been looking forward the most so far this year; the comeback records of both The Raconteurs and The Black Keys, “Help Us Stranger” and “Let’s Rock“, another band, song and topic had to proceed them today.

With thought about chilling, slacking and mellow out orbiting my mind the last few days given my impending vacation I have also unsought been thinking about another gem of a band from the 90s; Pavement.

Saddle up partner, today we’ll be digging some Slacker Rock.

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Ch. #24 – “Bird is the word”

 

No, no. Don’t turn away. Relax, this won’t be a piece about either The Trashmen and their song “Surfin’ Bird” or the Family Guy episode and joke that made the band and the song famous. Even though I still find that episode utterly hilarious some decade later.*

No, the word of the day is “Bird” because of English rising Pop/Country/Americana star Jade Bird that have lately swoon the hearts and ears of many listeners, myself included.

I don’t really have much of an anecdote to share or a story to tell today, except making the case about why she is awesome and that you should check her and her music out if you haven’t already.

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Ch. #23 – “The decade I wished never happened (not really but kind of)”

 

The last couple of week’s worth of blog posts have been very 90s centric so I thought I would break out of that pattern today by turning to a decade that I haven’t really featured or hardly even mentioned in passing so far in this blog’s existence. And that would be the 1980s.

The main reason for this is simply that I don’t fancy much of the music, styles and themes of the aforementioned decade. In fact I would probably have to rank the decade dead last if I had to rank all the decades up to date in context of music.

That said there is a small but exceptional class of 80s artist that I think used the new technologies and innovation that fuled the overall music style of 1980s in a real tasteful and slick manner. For that I adore them for it and will forever tip my hat for them despite what I think of the decade overall. And the artist of the day is truly one of them.

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Ch. #22 – “How I rediscovered live music”

 

It’s funny for me to think about it today that there was a time when I generally frowned upon the concept of live music given how amped I’m about the thought about seeing a band I like in the flesh today. And remarkably that wasn’t all that long ago.

I should clarify that with “frowned” I didn’t necessarily mean that I thought live music was just bad, but I thought for the longest time that live performances were inferior to polished studio cuts. As far as I was concerned music were for the most time just better on record.

It was a belief I held for many years; from my early teenage years until almost my mid-20s. Then around that time in my life I got hung up on The White Stripes and began sifting deeper into their discography and footage of them performing. One faithful evening I decided to watch their live video album “Under Blackpool Lights“… and after that viewing I was a different man.

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Ch. #21 – “From Chicago, with Grunge”

 

As alluded to in last week’s entry I had more than one show lined up last week other than Lenny Kravitz‘s. The latter’s show was great and all, on and off downright amazing to give credits were credits are due. Watching his performance reaffirmed my view of what an baller of an artist he his. So I’m very happy I got to see him live finally.

…that said, to be real honest despite how psyched I was on seeing Lenny Kravitz perform I was possibly even slighter more excited to see the other band who was in town last week; Chicago’s fabled 90s Alt-Rock posse The Smashing Pumpkins.

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Ch. #20 – “Summer shows ahead!”

 

Summer around this part of the world is just about around the corner, and summer that means… summer shows! I’m thoroughly jovial about getting the sun, the delectable warm and brights nights and live music back in my life again. And although I might need to hang on for another few weeks still for the former to get here my concert summer begins already next week with two shows at Gröna Lund in Stockholm. I can’t even put into prose to describe exactly how pumped I’m for this!

Therefore, not surprisingly, the feature song of the week is by one of the artist I’m planning to see live this coming week. Non other than Romeo Blue himself; Mr. Lenny Kravitz.

Continue reading “Ch. #20 – “Summer shows ahead!””

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