musicology #440

Fragments #6

(New Power Generation – Guess Who’s Knockin’)

“The objective is always to pull out the tablecloth without in any way changing the arrangement of the table

Short but so sweet. Scathing social critique from a master of suspicion.

The cut is courtesy of Prince project The New Power Generation. Featuring lead vocals from original member Tony M. Just like to add that by laying this one down I’m risking the wrath of a certain musician whose name I shall refrain from mentioning because rumour has it that he had it removed from this, the original 1993, set due to an unlicensed sample…so do me a favour and keep it on the ‘DL’.

The connection? .. The set was released in the same year that Baudrillard penned the fragment above.


musicology #439

Fragments #5

(Junior Byles – Fade Away)

“There is nothing left to protect us from the scene of the real. Nothing left to protect us from the obscenity of the virtual, (of information, transparency etc). We are no longer the actors of the real but the double agents of the virtual”

Baudrillard, (among others), spoke of the ‘Hyper – Real’. Which, as I have understood/interpreted it, is the place where reality, (of human contact, emotion, character and such things that used to define being human), is replaced by the virtual, (particularly visual media). Almost everything in the virtual is created, faked or at least edited to present and maintain the illusion of progress..politics and the news are clear examples…both offer but deliver nothing real.

Society is rotten at the core, (maybe it has always been?), and to cover that truth/reality the hyper – real was created to take our ‘eye off the game’. Look at the growth in so called social networking, (or to put it another way the network economy), which is clearly the brave new world of the hyper real…

almost everyone I know, (rebels..hold firm), is on children included.  It seems to be the place where people choose to ‘communicate’ to their ‘friends’ and more importantly colleagues on the banality that fills the post modern desert that has been created for and forced on us. Do a search and see for yourself  what the champions of the hyper-real are trading in. My guess is that it’s value-less mediocrity or in the case of politricks….tomorrow. the day that never comes.

Anyway…enough of the social comentary and on with the musicology…Today’s cut is from the enigmatic Junior Byles..well known slice of the Channel 1 pie that has trembled my marrow for at least 25 years…Seems like the right time has come to throw it down.

musicology #438

Fragments #4

(The Stars Of Harmony – Rough & Rocky Road)

“The advantage of being happy is that one is rid of the question of happiness. The advantage of being free is that one is rid of the question of freedom.

It is at this point that everything begins: when the concepts which existed only as questions appear as answers. It is the end of the cycle and the beginning of a new turning point: how can we rediscover the question behind the answer – how can we rediscover, behind happiness, the idea of happiness?”

Today’s slice of the musicology pie is a majestic piece of gospel courtesy of a vocal group that go by the appropriate name of ‘The Stars Of Harmony’…enough said.

musicology #437

Fragments #3

(Akon, Feat T-Pain – U Got Me)

“The dialectic of the emotions is like that of the sign and the ascendant. The two may be in conjunction or opposed. The sign alone is not enough: you have to have the ascendant too. It is not enough just to be happy: this has to give you pleasure too. It is not enough just to be unhappy: this has to hurt. Without the aura of pleasure, happiness is sad indeed; without the idea of pleasure, there is mere mammalian enjoyment. But without the aura of suffering, unhappiness is also sad indeed.

There is always a transcendence of pleasure or unpleasure beyond the fact of being happy or unhappy.

The hypocritical accounts which set happiness and unhappiness in opposition miss this subtlety which unites them in a common division – in that reversibility of each which, in the end, constitutes our true happiness. We still have the freedom to use this and abuse it extravagently, and only what takes this freedom from us makes us truly unhappy beings”.

The cut today is from a contemporary artist who for me is proof that music continues to transcend and inspire even in this age of banality where e-con-omics has reduced everything, (especially culture), to profit and loss..Of course this artist makes money, (and plenty of it), but the cat still delivers quality. I would imagine that part of this musical ability is his heritage..Akon’s pops is famed Senegalese percussionist and cultural historian Mor Thiam whose surname means “historian” in his native tongue and comes from a family whose members use drums to tell the story of Senegal’s Wolof people..

musicology #436

Fragments #2

(Marvin Gaye – In Our Lifetime)

“The psychiatrists, analysts and all the psychological and social experts complain that they have to repair the immense damage done, to children in particular, by the social , parental and educational systems. But this human wastage is their stock in trade, whether they be therapists, politicians or social workers and the like. If everything only went well, the social welfare field would disappear, and all these fine people would be laid off. The system feeds, then, on its own misfortune. And every agonizing revision or alternative would involve an even more complicated, even more perverse machination”.

the musicology is courtesy of Marvin with a quality piece of 80’s Boogie from his final Motown set ‘In Our Lifetime’

musicology #435

Fragments #1

(Beres Hammond – Giving Thanks)

New theme starts this week the title of which is owed to the small book that I have just read and been inspired by, (this theme could run for a while).The author is Jean Baudrillard and what I plan to do is highlight one ‘fragment’ every day and lay it down here. First up;

” History reproducing itself becomes farce. Farce reproducing itself becomes history”

backed up by a random slice of musicology that is not necessarily connected to the quote but has also ‘spoken’ to me recently….

On the subject of inspiration I would like to take this opportunity to pay a special tribute  to a true friend, (and they don’t grow on trees), whose company I had the PLEASURE of sharing on Friday night and well into Saturday morning who has been a constant source through these troubled times…and I hope will continue to be bring the sun out..thank you.

The cut is from the magnificent Hugh Beresford Hammond..Jamaican musicologist of the first degree..whose career stretches back into the 70’s and is yet another Jamaican singer and songwriter who deserves far more international exposure than he has received especially when there is so much po(o)p out there these days..anyway, rather than launch into a tirade about the state of the music industry I’ll just let Beres ‘speak’