Thursday, October 28, 2010

What Was It That You Tried to Say?

What Was It That You Tried to Say? The Degeneration of the Voice in 'Kid A'

is an essay I wrote for PopMatters's excellent 10th anniversary of Radiohead's Kid A.

Although, I wish I'd mentioned at the end how media's tendency to marginalize outside voices has served to hold back experimentation in the music industry as much as political voices. Pop can remain unadventurous and secure in its own mechanizations, because the long tail will take care of all those who want experimentations. Here every one is allowed everything all of the time, but we're only offered what our personal marketing robots think we want. Hence, a post-Kid A diaspora of widely divergent sounds celebrated in their indigenous circles, but rejected by the institutional mainstream and thus failing to survive as breathable commodities. As great as all the album we praise online all are, they fail to chart and make an impact on popular culture. The greatest way to attack Animal Collective or Noam Chomsky is not to censor them, but to exclude them from the conversation, making them seem perhaps more fringe than they would if we were all forced to talk about them the way we discuss Lady Gaga and the Tea Party.

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