Saturday, April 28, 2007

Cut and Paste Abstraction

Empire is still a word we are very afraid of in America, but the spread of western influence to the four corners of the globe was a long, forceful process that has been the focus of many nations and empires. It seems that since American aggression is more subtle and patient during this time period, it is fitting that the fruits of these conquests are so long lasting and relevant even today. The victims do not “die” immediately like in traditional battle, but rather whole cultures are taken over and modeled to be profitable for investors and overlords. These trends exemplify the movement as one of ongoing strikes from labor unions, a loss of public trust in the incumbent government, fear over terrorism and international entanglements and a general breakdown of a seemingly comfortable new world order. You are probably pretty aware that the biggest revolutions come out of the most depressed areas culturally, but this created an atmosphere where censorship was not very necessary because the artists were too afraid to do anything radical or had fled the country. Let’s start learning about the protest of the Chicago Democratic convention in 1968, when the MC5 started playing and were supposed to be backed up by their brothers and sisters in rebellion, and find themselves all alone with the police moving in. The Northeast was very frightened of losing their political control with more territories added to the Union, so the FRC allocated stations different bandwidths in order to eliminate the chaos that had characterized early radio. Basically, these white people thought that their dark skinned fellow humans were of a completely different history and completely incompatible with white values and traditions. I was particularly surprised that the loyalists of Napoleon were looking for a place to put their fallen leader in Eastern Texas. We go to great lengths trying to convince ourselves that everything we do as a nation is done as selflessly as possible. Obviously, this country did not want to support any art that digressed with their world view or criticized them in any way. If I was molded during the same time these educated representatives of American interests were, I would most likely be one of the oppressors. The popular opinion is that American interference in other countries is for the good of the invaded, not for empire building. I just wrote this song called, “Tampa Tried to Kill Patti Smith,” because she fell off a stage in Tampa and broke her neck or something here in about ’78 or so. Overall this was an uncertain time, filled with many obstacles for everyday life. Do you think this area of suburban Florida or maybe faux city environment has shaped your music or personality in any way or ways? The natives could not defeat the invaders because they could never completely unify against their oppressors. It is only foreign because today every single thing in the world seems state sanctioned, especially the happenings on the continental United States. They did this to capture a raw sound, but there are times when the music was so loud that members of the band couldn’t hear what was going on. Stations would come and go on specific tunings, making the listening experience a kind of experimental practice. It is also unfamiliar that all these people were raising arms and armies and attacking places practically independent of state support. Governments around the world spent trillions of dollars over the next month beefing up their police forces to keep the revolutions down. These characteristics simply lose some of their importance when they are mass produced, especially the texture and size.

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