This is the Modern World

We were thinking about students contemplating the idea of Modernism burning out, turning in on itself (e.g. Post-Modernism), and regrouping. We looked at this phenomenon through the lense of rock performance as demonstrated in the youth subculture movement in Britain that derived its name from Modernism: the Mods. Here in the U.S., we associate this movement with The Who. Their song Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere from 1965--with its lyrics ("Don't follow the lines that been laid before") reflect the prevailing mid-century cultural forces of mass-production, advertising, self-absorption, disregard for sustainability and an emphasis on artistic novelty that are aspects of Modernism. Viewing The Who's performance of Anyway showcases four lads on a path to self-destruction (RIP Keith Moon).

We compared The Who to The Jam, a band that directly referenced The Who's 1965 style.  We see the same attitudes and ideas take a different sahpe as The Jam revive The Mod movement. There is more specificity and self-consciousness in their songs Art School and The Modern World. We'll still do what we want, but with an awareness of contemporary cultural resistance and historical precedent. The rage is focused on the music. Everything about The Jam's version of the Mod seems more contained and streamlined.

No comments:

Post a Comment