My special lady friend sent me this song today and I’ve been listening to it nonstop.
I was already a fan of Mike Oldfield and Jon Anderson, so this is like some kind of liquid gold straight into my bloodstream. Then I found out Kanye West had sampled the song for his “Dark Fantasy”
I guess in part I’m writing about this because I have a pet fantasy of sampling prog artists for rap beats. I tried making an archive at one point but obviously gave up on the project. Kanye has been mining prog for a while now, taking big chunks from Can and King Crimson etc… enough so that I, a person with only a cursory interest in mainstream music, took notice.
So anyway that kind of thing always raises my hopes that maybe kids’ll get interested in rigorous and dense music. I don’t know what I’m saying. It’s a hope that always lingers in my heart.
I don’t like Kanye’s music in general. I like the title of that song “I Am A God” but in the first verse he basically chickens out. I like Kanye as a music award ceremony troll: calling attention to how easy it is to disembowel the idea of prestige those events try to project.
I was listening to the Oldfield song over and over, and then trying to listen to the Kanye song. It feels like a perfect reflection of my feelings on modern pop music: What he’s done is essentially taken a new age spiritual pop masterpiece and re-appropriated it to relate to the feelings surrounding dark material success. And that’s today’s radio in a nutshell.
The Dark Fantasy video is sort of provocative with the image of an angel crashing to earth and Kanye getting out of his sweet sports car to take her somewhere. Apparently it’s part of a series of videos but I don’t feel like watching them. There’s some kind of dark spiritual fatalism going on. But that dark Hollywood fatalism seems to be jizz blasted all over pop music lately.
I heard this song at karaoke the other day. And then I heard it again during an Uber ride. I’m watching this video for the first time. It’s actually kind of cool haha. Anyway the song is basically a romantic celebration of Tamas which is ironic because I just attended the Dalai Lama’s 80’th birthday where a half-face-showing Sia sang happy birthday in her shitty blues inflected cigarette-y American Idol voice. Maybe one of the most horrid things I’ve ever accidentally witnessed. I’m sure Sia didn’t write the song anyway. Not the happy birthday song, the chandelier song. (I looked it up and it was co-written by Sia and Jesse Shatkin aka “Belief”. So who knows what that actually means.) Other examples of dark Hollywood pop are Sky Ferreira’s “You’re Not The One”, Miley Cyrus’ “We Can’t Stop”, and basically any other song that uses the word “tonight” or talks about dying young in their lyrics.
So what am I getting at? I don’t know, this kind of stuff just hits me every once in a while. I don’t know what to do with it. I really like that Mike Oldfield song. I guess I’ll end this post with the darkest, most fatalistic and paranoid depiction of Hollywood life ever.
It looks like I’ve unintentionally created a blog post that resembles a tower reaching from the depths of spiritual hell, to material purgatory, to spiritual salvation.