Friday, December 18, 2009

Killing in the Name of ... Processed Pop

+++++++Update, Rage's Killing did make it to the christ-mas number one, seeing off Cowell's 'sterile pop monopoly' as De La Rocha put it, and carl's justification for the campaign was far better than most others' glib defences.+++++

Deep misgivings about the Facebank campaign to usurp the Cowellshit with Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name as Chrimbo Number One. Certainly, the decade's xfactorisation of pop, the return of the primetime talent show where you come out either winner, loser or psycho SuBo, has led to one of pop's periodically bland phases (occasional good voices at the service of shite reheated content), but gimmick tactics aren't going to make any long-term difference even if it does herald a victory for the 'democratised' nature of modern pop buying (something Cowell's progs rely on too). Of course, the Daily Mail took delight in blaming it on a BBC anti-ITV conspiracy. And sorry Guardian, I'm not having your plea to take it less seriously.

Great thought process by the instigator this must have been (was he or she really a RATM fan? are those getting behind it RATM fans?); 'like, what a bummer it will be if Joe McElderry gets to number one for chrimbie, why don't we try to get a real rebel song to beat it to number one. That'll show 'em. You know what, let's get a SHOUTY one with SWEAR WORDS." Yeah truth up, the Man will be truly socked. Particularly like the use of a tune that completely ignores the real politicised lyrical content of this early 90s rock-rap classic (possibly the only rock-rap classic, whose crowning glory for me was guitarist Tom Morello's solo mimicking the howl of turntable scratching; superb). Then there's the even deeper irony that this song is against coercion, and now it's in a campaign to persuade you to do something impossibly banal. Then of course the song title makes for some uncomfortable association - Killing in the Name of... bland pop covers? It's shite yes, but find some positive energy from the infinite entertainment sphere.

Morello came out in favour of this little British diversion (not clear what singer Zack De la Rocha thinks about it yet), but what kind of achievement is it to get a belated number one in the UK via a kind of populist payola, a twisted engineering that has very little to do with Killing itself? Now i sound like i'm bothered about the pop scene. Rage Against the Machine's Killing in the Name is a great song, sonically primetime nihilist fodder in my more youthful and destructive moments, but generally very inspiring, so my message to the faecebook group really is 'fuck you, I won't do what you tell me'. Enjoy and be moved by the song for what it is, not what it now sadly is being asked to represent:

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Anonymous Anonymous said...

Rant felt from here. I loved the fact Five Live pulled the song midway yesterday when they started swearing on the live feed. Apparently they’d promised not to. Ummmm … isn’t the last line, “f+ck you I won’t do what you tell me.” ? And you thought they’d … ummmm … do what you

El Vasco

2:58 pm  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Excellent. I did buy that RATM single. I like it when he goes ‘rhhaarrrrrrrrrrr’ like a petulant teenager. Chill out man, the decade is over, and we have failed to paint it black.

Jon Cocteau

2:59 pm  

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