Metal Machine Music live!

Fuck yeah. This is what I’m talking about. I really think that the trend of arranging classic ‘unplayable’ works like this (and Revolution 9 :) ) are part of the new paradigm of commonplace interactivity. 10-15 years ago, when our entertainment was still primarily based on consumption, we were perfectly happy to accept a recorded piece such as this was simply unplayable, just as we accepted that we couldn’t interact with our TV and that our songs were locked onto a CD. As the web matured and as users gained significant power over their entertainment, we’ve started to see people asserting control over things they never dared to before. Thus, the explosion in sampling, mashups (for what they’re worth), audio and video remixing. Even those annoying YouTube videos that have, like, footage from Dragonball Z with a song by Jack Johnson over it is still an expression of freedom and increased control. And in fact, the great thing about YouTube is that it allows someone with an interesting idea to have that idea spread virally between millions of people in a matter of days.

It’s unsurprising then that artists would want to take the experience of such ‘unplayable’ pieces into their own hands. To some extent it’s the same reason the new Ghostbusters video game is coming out. We always dreamed of taking part in the experience, but never imagined it to be a reality. I hope to see more interesting projects along these lines. Some of them are better than others, some feel more futile than others, but overall they are expressions of joy. The ones that pride themselves on audacity tend to be the ones that miss this mark, the projects that seem more like marketing decisions than artistic ones. But that’s enough about that (I’m staying positive this week!). Anyway, the urge for interactivity is a creative one, even if it means the dissection, indeed the destruction of the piece, in it’s reconstruction. It can never replace the piece or top the piece, and should never aspire to. I love good covers – I plan on releasing a Covers album after I finish The Little Death – so I’ve been thinking a lot about what a good cover is and does. A good cover should exist in its own right as a new and unique piece of music, but it should also make you appreciate the original ever more. Even the seemingly destructive, parodical covers by The Dead Kennedys, of songs such as I Fought The Law and Viva Las Vegas, still make me want to listen to the originals.

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