Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Pop Aphorisms: I

1. Tennyson might say that the special agony of the “Baby Boom” generation is that it must watch its rock gods grow old and gray and beyond desire

2. Elton John is the Liberace of pop, while Keith Emerson is the Liberace of rock

3. The Grammy Awards are to the pop music industry what the Academy Awards are to the film industry: the attempt to resolve the irreconcilable tension between art and commerce on the side of art, and thereby assuage its guilt

4. To lift a phrase from Voltaire, “if Neil Young did not exist, it would be necessary for rock culture to invent him”

5. It is impossible to determine whether the Rolling Stones’ “It’s Only Rock ‘n’ Roll (But I Like It),” is an unironic revision, addressed to the rock culture, of Marx’s insight, “religion is the opiate of the masses”

6. The special genius behind the invention of Top 40 radio was to employ the 7”, 45 rpm single as the means to fill the space between commercials

7. Elvis in ’56 was the cultural equivalent of a tsunami: the many who have followed are fellaheen—those who live off the ruins of a dead civilization

1 comment:

Tim Lucas said...

8. The opening instrumental section of Isaac Hayes' "Shaft" is the urban analogy of the opening instrumental section of The Beach Boys' "California Girls."

I had this eureka the other day, and it plugs in well here.