Here’s a little story that I made up, so let’s make believe: four years ago I had a party that was too much fun for me…
Back in 2009, I had a little fun drafting up my list of the top twelve Pop artists from the first decade of the millennium (I get bored, it happens). I made up a little narrative of the icons that lived the blueprint for a global lifestyle – more than a genre, an ongoing epic poem defining the general public of that elusive scene, scape, soundtrack we like to call Pop. I was fresh out of undergrad; but forever a 90s kid caught in the nostalgia of homecoming kings, queens, and courts, naturally I paired off the lords and ladies of the said vanity fair, in a fitting hommage to the heralded pantheon of celebrity (which is effectually no more than a glamorized high school) #youcantsitwithus Five coupled jesters of the court, a pair of regal deities, and a pair of honorable mentions (because it’s America – so as long as you’re the best loser, there’s space for you on the podium – but don’t get crazy).
The list went a little something like this…
King and Queen
Monstrous Mavens (Fame Fatales): Kanye West, Lady Gaga
Pop Pillars: Jay Z, Madonna
Bandstand Breakouts: Justin Timberlake, Beyonce
Southern Phoenix: T.I., Britney Spears
… four more from several years ago
The Inkwell: Lil’ Wayne, Amy Winehouse
Foreign Firestarters: Radiohead, M.I.A.
… and a pair too proper to dirty pop
Honorable Mention (The Standards): Coldplay, Christina Aguilera
Needless to say, here we are four years later and that make believe story has manifest itself into an acting baseline for all things Pop #whoknew So, I figure why not revisit 2013 from the retrospective of a kid who called the post-apocalypse way back when we were nestled comfortably in the handbasket (where am I going, and why is she next to me in this handbasket?)
If 2013 has taught us nothing (which it hasn’t) it’s that good gracious the gods can do anything if and when they put their money, minds, and blurred lines to the marketplace.
That said, this year, I am acknowledging this once-in-life-beyond-the-lifetime year where the Pop canons shot for the stars and collectively crafted the constellation, the anatomical structure, for the new age’s iconographic Pop body #welcometoRADIOactive
Cerebral, the nervous command central – never shook, always shaking, lightyears ahead, if only for the sake of abandoning all things reductive… esoteric projections in liberation from former convention, art for freedom – or something to that effect… brainstorms and bittorrents, the tsunami, the mother spinster, still going and going – detached from the masses, pensively penetrating from the ivory tower…
Magna Carta Holy Grail – The Suit
Businessman, business, man… legal eagles and corporate partnerships, not so much music as an audio-based app, crooning for capital, daddy dearest whose road to redemption has shone most clearest… not show friends, but show business, music is the medium but the monarchy remains monetized… not the human beneath, but the threads that keep the soul or void hidden and chic for the Brooklynized sheik.
The 20/20 Experience – The Tie
Stranglehold on the formal, teflon dons and well-tailored maintenance of the white-collar standard… a bow here, a bollo there… a cherry on top to manufacture the anti-flop. Necessary symbols of male convention, ladies love it – in theory and private practice – but effectually nothing more than the lingering neck brace of Southern Hospitality #oldtimestherearenotforgotten
Beyoncé – The Flesh
The meat, the carnal, the barrier bridge between skin and bone… nothing more, nothing less, just the lauded mask that is the flesh
ARTPOP wore itself on a birthday sleeve. For a woman who is not known for wearing pants, choosing meat instead, ARTPOP follows suit by existing as its own. Some say it’s spread too thin, others say it lacks depth; either way it covers the bases: it contains the necessary elements within, it maintains its longevity by practice of routine destruction and regeneration so constant it becomes the standard. The decay of the pop star is nothing more than the fallen veil of mortality in motion toward immortal transcendence – and evolutions involve apparent descent.
The most visceral, innate, core … the organs that pulse those deepest functions … the gut feeling, the intuition, the cardiac rhythm, the intestinal fortitude, the constant circulation, the digestion and regurgitation, the depths of grotesque that bear the burden of consumption and expulsion – so necessary the central cavity, so human that darkness… no one quite understands it beyond their insatiable need for the unknown vital … the pulsing purge … the cyclical surge … that liquid adherence of the human viscera
“ft. T.I.” – The Adrenals
Flow steady, take two and pulse it in the morning… jewels and drugs, dynamite and blurred lines – tip the scales for a rush to the head
The hard-white. The future fossil fuel. The support system. The first and last element. When the emperor loses his suit and tie; when the skin is scalped; when fire sears the flesh to cleanse all sins; when the innards give out, and the viscera vaporizes; when the brain shuts down for salvation before shortage: all that remains is the skeleton. Bone to remind us of our blueprint, marrow to manifest the next when necessary. Outside the closet, inside every human creature. America: meet your archetype – the Mitochondrial Eve you’ll never know, the embedded code they’ll never show. Beyond the Achilles tendon see, and best when clean broken – watch for the fracture, and reveal the evolutionary flow.
#eightsoneightsoneights … unfinished symphonies play-on endlessly…