British Sea Power – Who’s in Control (2011)
On a loop in this head since the beginning of 2012, even though it came out at the beginning of 2011. Ooh, my hipness has dipped somewhat since the beginning of the 21st Century and I was never hip to begin with.
The speed, the acceleration in the dissemination and distribution of new music in the past decade makes it impossible to keep up with everything new or even anything no longer new but recent. This and he says somewhat hopefully, the expansion of my uuuurggggh – my snobbish, nonsensically melodramatic younger self from my teens and most of my twenties would be enraged at my use of this word – musical taste. Laziness and just common sense perhaps.
Unless you are directly making your living from the industry in some form, the vast selection and variety of music along with the online libraries or archives at our disposal, it can potentially become a rabbit hole in which the value of time spent actually living in the physical world is devalued or simply dissipates. Listening to music which once a collective or individual pastime which demanded concentrated attention, a form of social glue – which it still can be in a live form of course – can still bring solace, joy and spiritual replenishment but now there is the nagging pull of other shiny things and various lifestyle enhancing activities now commonplace in a modern way of life in which motion is the primary mode of existential currency.
Now, Ive prattled on quite a bit. How could my vague thesis and the feeble argument of a culturally impotent thirty something male have any connection to a song by a (cult) British rock band?
Whos in Control? from their fifth album Valhalla Dancehall has the delicious line ‘Sometimes I wish protesting was sexy on a Saturday night’ and seems to be a song about the current State of Things but its energy and anger is leavened with dry humour, a point of view which suggest both individual and collective confusion. We are angry but why and at whom?
So a debate, celebration, a howl of impudent rage filtered through a rollicking turn the guitars up to 11 indie rock anthem executed with elan, wit and emotion that bloody minded British rock bands of years past (The Who, The Smiths, Pulp, The Manics etc etc etc…) make seem as natural as breathing air.