Monday, August 27, 2007

New wave protest music

"Ohio"---Devo

Not just another Devo cover: Bassist and founding member of Devo Gerald Casale was friendly with victims of the Kent State shootings and was witness to the crime. From the Wikipedia:

The pivotal moment for the formation of Devo was the Kent State shootings of May 4 1970. Casale knew two of the students who had been killed, and even claimed to see one student, Allison Krause, with exit wounds from the M1 Garand rifle. At this moment, Casale claims he changed the idea of Devolution into a serious concept.
"Devolution" has always been a concept in-between "dark joke" and "really dark joke". Devo is definitely one of those bands that becomes more interesting the more you get into them, which is why they're such an obsession of mine. The Devo conception of devolution has little to do with the fallacious notion that we're sliding backwards on some evolutionary progressive ladder, though that's its ironic origins. It's more a mockery of and at times a celebration of the inanity of Americana. The War on Terra has been a bevy of high devo moments---everything from 9/11 kitsch to Bush wearing a jumpsuit in front of a "Mission Accomplished" banner could safely be described as "devo".

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5 Comments:

At August 27, 2007 at 1:54 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Not to be a whiny little unappreciative dude, but what are the odds that you could set up this blog so that Peel could access the songs? All the cool kids are using it these days.

 
At August 27, 2007 at 1:55 PM , Blogger Amanda Marcotte said...

What's Peel?

 
At August 27, 2007 at 6:04 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

It's kind of beautifully accusatory.

 
At August 28, 2007 at 11:15 AM , Blogger Jeff said...

I always thought if you're going to do a cover you shouldn't slavishly imitate the original. This certainly meets the requirement. Comparing this to the original, it almost seems like a parody. At least the music. My ear isn't good enough but listening to the intro melody, it sounds like they either reversed it or played it upside down. The music backing the verses in the original is a pretty standard chord progression and the Devo version just uses a single chord. Then there's the decaying sine wave in place of the lead guitar. It is a very complex song, there's a lot to listen to.

I had no idea that Kent State was a catalyst to Devolution.

 
At August 28, 2007 at 1:20 PM , Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hmm. Let me try again.

GetPeel is the site - it's a music player/blog viewer for music blogs. Awesome. Mac only.

Jeff

 

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