October 29, 2005

soon there will be more reconstructions than things that have actually happened

You wait for one Blissblog post and then seven arrive at once.... Amidst the torrent, Simon draws our attention to Stylus' week-long celebration of ELO. I particularly like this piece by Mike Powell, which argues that ELO and Roxy were the 'warped negative image' of one another. Twiggy and Dervla Kirwan have been given the credit for reviving the market performance of Marks and Spencer, but the use of 'Mr Blue Sky' in the television advertising campaign must have been at least as significant.

Interesting how different what both Roxy and ELO did with Pop time - refracting it, bending it, producing unheimlch PKD-style back-to-the-futures - is to the temporal malaise which Simon rightly identifies as one of the blights on contemporary pop. One of the strongest and most convincing aspects of Jameson's critique of postmodernism was his identification of the exhaustion of a sense of historical time as a defining characteristic of the postmodern. Once, Roxy and ELO might have seemed archetypally postmodern, but their thematization of the looping of Pop time is what is missing amongst much contemporary pop which performs the end of Pop history without being able to comment on it. Was just watching The Armando Iannucci Shows (from 2001) in which Iannucci jokes at one point that soon there will be more reconstructions than things that have actually happened. (Jameson's vast new book, Archaeologies of the Future attempts to reconstruct the future that postmodernism has erased).

Meanwhile - although on the same theme really - Simon's remarks on the Gang of Four revival - particularly the placing of 'We Live as We Dream, Alone' as the final track on the Return the Gift album - take on an added piquancy when you read this, which is way more depressing than Go4 being reduced to re-recording their old songs.

Posted by mark at October 29, 2005 12:41 AM | TrackBack