Monday, 21 March 2011

Rest easy: the foul-mouthed gross-out is alive and well

First thing every morning I check the New York Times, our "newspaper of record."

This morning I awoke to the news that rocker/activist Bob Geldof is unhappy. According to music critic Jon Pareles, in a "grumpy" keynote speech at the 25th annual South by Southwest Music Festival, Geldof "bemoaned music’s loss of relevance. Although there was no shortage of 'cool bands,' he said, music didn’t have the kind of broader social impact that it did with the Beatles, Bob Dylan, punk and grunge. He argued that music was no longer channeling rebelliousness and discontent."

Not to worry. Pareles has glad tidings:

"[Geldof] might have changed his mind had he seen Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All, the teenage Los Angeles hip-hop collective..... Rapping about drugs, rape, murder, getting pulled over by the police and wanting a father’s respect, over blotchy low-fi tracks, members of Odd Future climbed stage scaffolding and dove into eager crowds. Audiences responded with mosh-pit surges and hearty chants of 'Wolf Gang!'"

What a relief! Thanks to what Pareles calls Odd Future’s "foul-mouthed gross-outs," Geldof's vision of Satori -- a permanent state of adolescent angst, rebellion, and self-destructiveness -- is intact.

As usual, Pareles, the music critic, goes on at great length without ever telling us whether he actually liked the music. You can always rely on the New York Times.

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