16 March 2005

Where was I?

Hipster people buzzing about M.I.A. (BoingBoing et al.). I'd usually ignore it except that some of the music blogs have picked up the obsession also (gathered and glossed nicely in Tim Rutherford-Johnson's recent entry). He refers to clap clap blog's detailed analysis of M.I.A.'s song "M.I.A."

Since Rhapsody only has "Galang," "Sunshowers," and "Fire Fire," I can't really comment on "M.I.A." On the others, however, I don't see much of interest beyond "It's FUN!!" What to cause such an outpouring of interest (and in my case, interest in interest)? The Village Voice piece mirrors my cynicism. If you take away the colorful back story and ignore the performance side of the equation (watching is a different experience than listening), the music has little depth to offer.

Maybe I'm not listening closely enough.

Clap clap's analysis is valuable because of its close reading, but close readings can be made for anything--relevant or irrelevant. Pop analyses are interesting because of their dissection of minutiae and the commonplace (interest could be eeked out of an analysis of all soda commercial music, for example). It's not the analysis that baffles me, it's the rushing force that has brought M.I.A. to the foreground. How did she, how did this average music, come to get so much attention?

Again, maybe I'm not listening closely enough.

Regarding M.I.A.'s "street cred," T R-J also made a quick comment about how he's deeply sceptical of authenticity debates of any sort (more of which in another post, probably). I'm sure he'll have greater insight than I did a few days ago. Although, like my recent posting on Knuth that I later found paralleled over at Titus's and /., music blogs apparently have the same silent connections as geek blogs.

Check out the remix of a M.I.A. song 10 dollar (poj cutprice mix) over at boom selection. And while you're at it, get the very popified version of "Gay Bar" from Peaches over at Copy, Right? That site also has (more silent connections) two tracks from the Petra Haden remake of The Who Sell Out.

[ posted by sstrader on 16 March 2005 at 8:42:07 PM in Where was I? ]