parodies by nacrowe
i was listening the today to long-time noted tech journalist KARA SWISHER's interview with biographer WALTER ISAACSON about ELON MUSK, the subject of an upcoming, as yet untitled book. for those who dont know, ISAACSON trades in narratives about INNOVATIVE SCIENTISTS, POLITICIANS, PHILOSOPHERS and ENTREPRENEURS who left their mark on society; everyone from BENJAMIN FRANKLIN, LEONARDO DA VINCI, HENRY KISSINGER and ALBERT EINSTEIN to JENNIFER DOUDNA (pioneer of GENE EDITING and CRISPR) and STEVE JOBS. his work leans towards HAGIOGRAPHY and his arguably UNCRITICAL approach spares things like the CHARACTER FLAWS and PROBLEMATIC viewpoints of his subjects in order to shed light on the achievements that differentiate them from their peers.
SWISHER admittedly takes ISAACSON to task for glossing over the TROUBLING aspects of MUSK's NARCISSISTIC personality and SOLIPSISTIC worldview, such as his wanton CRUELTY on TWITTER, punching down on less POWERFUL people with repeated VILE HOMOPHOBIC, MISOGYNISTIC, TRANSPHOBIC, XENOPHOBIC and RACIST garbage. he's beyond a troll. he's an ASSHOLE of TRUMPIAN proportions and ISAACSON is SYCOPHANTIC towards him because he has a space ship and manufactures electric cars. it got me thinking about how as a society we treat this class of ENTREPRENEUR differently, going back to HENRY FORD, HOWARD HUGHES and THOMAS EDISON. that in a sense we are all COMPLICIT in this whitewashing of history and that over time MUSK will be no different. a century from now his net positives for humanity related to TECHNOLOGICAL ADVANCEMENT in SPACE EXPLORATION and BATTERY STORAGE CAPACITY will supposedly outweigh the copious MISANTHROPIC BILE he continually spews upon the most VULNERABLE populations on TWITTER. according to APOLOGISTS and ENABLERS like ISAACSON.
when issues like this are raised i always think about my own COMPLICITY in the matter. being a participant in a CAPITALIST SOCIETY, by definition i am benefiting on the EXPLOITED LABOR of some NAMELESSS, FACELESS person in a faraway land. unlike most AMERICANS, ive seen this dynamic at play up close in SOUTHEAST ASIA, LATIN AMERICA, EASTERN EUROPE and WEST AFRICA during my time overseas. its the underbelly of CAPITALISM nobody wishes to acknowledge.
in a way the same goes for music and film. there are countless ASSHOLES in each industry that have done some terribly MONSTROUS things and we are all COMPLICIT, knowingly or unknowingly, in their cultural ascension by admiring and taking to heart their creative work. the second DEER GOD RADIO episode was about this very COMPLICATED dilemma of attempting to compartmentalize the artist from the art. i dont think we differentiate such, but we do and in the long arc of history the films of WOODY ALLEN and ROMAN POLANSKI and the music of R KELLY, MICHAEL JACKSON and CHUCK BERRY will undoubtedly outlive us all.
i am in SWISHER's corner but ISAACSON sadly might be on to something. and thats TRAGIC and UNFORTUNATE. i just try to think past and ignore DEGENERATE MISANTRHOPES like MUSK who ironically have MARTYR COMPLEXES and EPIC DELUSIONS regarding personal crusades and corporate missions to save humanity. just leave me out of it!
embedded below is the second DEER GOD RADIO episode on nonprofit internet radio station MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC, which originally aired this week five years ago in march 2018. the playlist includes some unquestionably SENSATIONAL music created and performed by some truly UNSAVORY and AWFUL human beings. enjoy!
this veritable shitlist of musicians does not include THE CRAMPS.
viva POISON IVY y LUX INTERIOR para siempre!
photo & text by nacrowe
usually film soundtracks are a cash-grab, but the iconic use of class AMERICAN GOSPEL, R&B, ROCKABILLY and even SURF MUSIC in PULP FICTION (MIRAMAX, 1994) by director QUENTIN TARANTINO transcends this sad industry practice. and i mean right from the jump with opening credits utilizing DICK DALE's "MISERLOU" to genius effect. it is probably the most effect use of music in film since JOHN WIILLIAM's score in STAR WARS (TWENTIETH CENTURY FOX, 1977) and even BERNARD HERRMANN in PSYCHO (SHAMLEY, 1960). i'd put it right up there. full disclosure: my favorite score of all-time is PETE GABRIEL's evocative and global tapestry of score for THE LAST TEMPTATION OF CHRIST (UNIVERSAL, 1988), but in terms of popular appeal and cultural impact i will yield to WILLIAMS and HERRMANN.
in a film that is high referential and more than subtly tips its hat to multiple genres, most prominently FILM NOIR and FRENCH NEW WAVE, the fact that such a wide-range of music styles feels authentic to the narrative and the chaotic world it inhabits is a testament to TARANTINO's skills as both a director and a curator. not once in the film does the music take you out of the moment, if anything it transparently embeds you further within the dark seductive depths of depravity that these four concurrent storylines regarding hitman, boxers, gangsters, petty thieves and hangers-on spiral around. it is a real sonic achievement. the only other director that i feel has a similar gift for effectively utilizing popular music in way that transforms it from its original context and bends it completely to the will of multiple memorable scenes is DAVID LYNCH and films like BLUE VELVET (DE LAURENTIIS, 1986), MULHOLLAND DRIVE (ASYMMETRICAL, 2001) and LOST HIGHWAY (ASYMMETRICAL, 1997).
TARANTINO's music curation is also a key part of an overall cinematic aesthetic that has a sense of play in how it thoughtfully re-contextualizes the cultural baggage associated with disparate elements that also include dialogue, set design, editing, camera movements and even casting decisions. his movies are almost just as much about his love and meta involvement in the process of filmmaking as it is about the actual film itself. and that nerdom and intensely interior nature of his films are what make them so much fun and invigorating for movie junkies. and his use of music in PULP FICTION is a master class in said genius
id recommend the music of this soundtrack, but my inclination is to encourage anyone to see their use in the film first.
parody by nacrowe
today's episode of DEER GOD RADIO at 4PM on MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC is dedicated to the legendary CHICAGO record label CHESS RECORDS which is arguably one of the most important ever for its roster that basically created and popularized modern BLUES, ROCK AND ROLL, R&B, GOSPEL and SOUL MUSIC. basically everything AMERICA ever produced of value other than JAZZ. gonna be a fun show!
past episodes of DEER GOD RADIO as well as other MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC shows like MAKE HER SPACE, NOWHERE FAST, THE SYNTHESIZER SHOW and CLASSICAL-ISH WITH NUTMEG are available here at the DEER GOD website.
and if you haven't done so already get the FREE PHONE APP for IOS/ANDROID and enjoy listening to MAKERPARKRADIO.NYC 24/7 at your convenience!