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An Endless Free Supply
by Molly Lambert
I love the early Peter Green incarnation of Fleetwood Mac and the spouse swapping coke party it later became. They were basically the Abba of America in that regard. I also love Abba. Anyway “Then Play On” sounds a lot like Los Lobos at times. I also love Los Lobos. They had a song over the credits of The Sopranos the other day. Another impeccable choice from whoever their music supervisor is. Who do you think it is? David Chase? Little Steven? Frankie Valli? Anyway it’s clearly the greatest job in the world.
It’s too bad the internet has taken all the fun out of music fandom because it used to be one of these things we used to differentiate ourselves from one another. Music has been the dominating youth cultural affiliation since the thirties (Frank Sinatra was the first Mick Jagger). Now that we can all consume as much music as we stand without being limited by money, most people abuse the privilege. The desire to find more music becomes a horrible insatiable master. There is literally an endless free supply.
And all the trappings of music fanship, band loyalties, merchandising, grassroots promotion, have been expanded to the nth degree by the web. But the walls between genre preferences have largely collapsed. People used to claim they liked “everything but rap and country.” But that’s barely true for anyone these days. The iPod is “singles-based.” It blends well with the MySpace culture, which is also based on single people who want to make a staggering amount of information about themselves available in the public domain.
This is that “e-generation gap.” It’s not that we’re better with computers, or more literate, it’s just that we got them so much earlier. We were taught how to interact with machines in elementary school. They’re as much a part of our lives and identities as cars. Highly complicated pieces of machinery that are the favored toys of adulthood. In the steampunk thirties, there would have been Frank Sinatra message boards. This is nothing new.
I’m just saying that fandom, this concept of worshipping a figure who appeals to you for whatever reason, has gotten much more cohesive. Outcast weirdos who might in earlier times had to just conceal their eccentricities forever can now meet and interact. There is no fetish so weird that there is not somebody who is totally into it. And often more than one somebody. Enough somebodies for a message board.
In Japan the concept of “idols” is even more gigantic than it is here, or maybe they just acknowledge it in a way that’s more direct. How we all have figures we adopt as models for out behavior, or who become our ideal romantic partner when we’re single and spending too much time on MySpace. The new Harmony Korine movie actually looks sort of awesome, which would be more shocking to me if I hadn’t decided Larry Clark was a great filmmaker after seeing “Bully.”
Korine & cast at Cannes. Korine possibly sober.
Anyway this new one, called Mister Lonely is Diego Luna as a French Michael Jackson impersonator, and Samantha Morton as a Marilyn Monroe impersonator married to a Charlie Chaplin impersonator and their daughter is a Shirley Temple impersonator. And Werner Herzog pushing people off bridges or something. Maybe it will take Harmony Korine, of all people, to finally explode the post-modernist vogue.
Molly Lambert is the Memorial Day senior contributor to this recording. She lives in Echo Park California.
PREVIOUSLY ON THIS RECORDING
The sex scene and the novel, according to Ms. (Mrs?) Lambert.
Molly objected strenuously but in vain to the picture of Natalie Portman that was mysteriously inserted in this post to emphasize the similarity between Portman’s character in Garden State and her own mysterious ENTP personality.
Molly became the head of some weird insurance association.
Molly reviewed the new Wilco and Spoon, plus a boatload of Wilco for your to share with your loved iPods.
The science report returned with a b-b-b-b-bang.
She fought her doppelgangers with automagic weapons and rapid fire sarcasm.
Tomorrow: we experience the Wii, plus links galore, plus more of everything.
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