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Posts Tagged ‘joy division’

Why yes, yes they are.

I was at a poetry reading by a “famous” (in the poetry world) Irish poet named Paul Muldoon, whose most famous poem’s refrain is something like “with a rinky-tink dinky-tink link link,” or something like that.  For such work, Muldoon has won a Pulitzer prize in poetry, which to my mind says something about the state of the arts at this point, but we’ll get to that in a moment.  Inevitably, perhaps, during the question and answer period one of the undergrads in the audience asked Mr. Muldoon:

“Sir, do you believe that song lyrics are poetry?”

And Mr. Muldoon said:  “Well, no, son.  Not really.”

And I wanted this supposedly world-famous, ultra-talented spokesman for modern poetry in the world to explain for us, why, indeed, this was not so.  All that he could manage, however, was something along the lines of, “Well, poetry is different; it’s more complex, and it often has forms which are not compatible with simple song lyrics.” (more…)

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The best album cover ever?

Last night on VH1 Europe they did a countdown of the top 25 albums of all time.  Prince made no. 3, and, inevitably, I guess, Thriller made no. 1.  But REM’s automatic for the people made no. 2.  What I found very weird about this, is that people since about the mid 90s have been intentionally forgetting that, between the period 1977-1995, ‘mainstream’ rock, or ‘establishment’ rock, was cosidered by the listening public to be entirely different from ‘alternative’ rock.  At least, that was the case in the US.  In britain, they always seemed to blur the line more, and ‘alternative’ acts often scored top 10 hits, which in the US happened much more infrequently.  But there was still a clear idea that alternative was alternative, and mainstream was mainstream.  And today, people realize this when shopping for music on Amazon:  i.e., “the killers” and DCFC are known to be ‘alternative,’ with ’emo’ in the latter’s case being a subgenre of alternative:  and everyone has always known that Prince belongs in an entirely different category (of its own–file under ‘weird.’)  (more…)

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