Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Simulacra and the Name

It's a dubious coincidence that keeps happening at work, this butting up against musicians preying on the appellative arraignment of those that came before. First, it was the Better Beatles, a 1980's Omaha degenerative combo that was the Bizarro Four. These dudes didn't even bother with songwriting, going straight for the hatchet job, and recombining hits like "Penny Lane" into a much more visceral, physical hit. Always to the dome, be it bludgeoned or inhaled.

I blame this on Pandora, as I do the next one. The Dutchess & The Duke channel was on full tilt, with perfect picks rolling out of that robot, so when someone piped up to ask what was on, I got really confused when I read Boris Smile. This is some weird nameology here; what kind of commentary is going on when a folked out band takes band name and album title without any further permutation? How does this relate back to Boris at all, a band already fucking with iconography and its own musical ancestry?

I have no idea. But it has to, for some reason, big or small, superficial or endlessly philosophical. The relationship may be forced, but it's still there. We can't help but draw the connection, the way we can't help but read a word on a page. If you put a hat and a shoe next to each other, after all, you'll try to find meaning, even if the whole point is that it's pointless to try. Imitation is flattery, but I don't know what to call assuming the one concrete thing that can identify something as slippery as identity, a name.

And what the hell would we be thinking about The Offspring if they really had jacked "Chinese Democracy (You Snooze you Lose)?" We would've at least finally been able to put that name to a record, and maybe it would've been the right one. Finally.

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