Monday, January 05, 2009

Are We Musically Unshockable Now?

I've been wondering for a while now if we're past being shocked by music anymore.

In the 60's the Rolling Stones singing Why Do We Live Together created a huge stir.
This continued with all the inuendo of 70's disco.
Then the 80's and the door pretty much came down
Though the 80's was when i was paying by far the most attention so my perspective may be skewed:

- Violent Femmes Add it Up where Gorden Gano asks: Why Can't I Get Just One Fuck?
- Frankie Goes to Hollywood openly sang about oral sex and it later became clear the singer was gay.
- Prince and his Little Red Corvette which wasn't a car
- Madonna getting it on with a holy statue in the Like a Prayer video
- Rap really got going and while it started out in politics (my favorite) it quickly became (or went back to), getting really explicit about sex (and misogyny).

In the 90's and the 00's people get more in to a lather about the conduct of the artists than the music, which is nothing new. Keith Moon blew up toilets, 100's of guitars and hotel rooms have been smashed and trashed. but now it's more about celebrity drama and bad judgment. We have Wardrobe Malfunctions (which was more just a risky choreography move gone really wrong on one of the most public of stages - the Super Bowl), leaving your babies in a car while you go shopping, somewhat controversial African child adoptions. But none of this has anything to do with the music. Even when the Dixie Chicks were having their CD's run over by red state tractors it wasn't the music, it was them dissing Pres. Bush. (which puzzled the blue states and funny how that doesn't happen anymore even in the red states.)

Even songs like Detachable Penis are novelty songs and no one that I know of protests them.

I got my hopes up while listening to Alice Radio (97.3 in the bay area) when they played "I kissed a Girl and I liked it." The singer, Katy Perry, goes on to say she hopes her boyfriend doesn't mind. The DJ came on and said that her boyfriend did mind and dumped her and has written this blog entry about it (I should look it up, but I haven't). But is anyone protesting the song? Ok Google tells me that a church in Ohio is trying (by putting on their marque that homos are going to hell - yawn, be more original please) and it seems to be backfiring or having no effect at all besides people being really annoyed at them (Ref.) So once again, it's about the backstage drama, not the music.

My research continues, this is fun.

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