Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Today's PStUM: "Dance Punk"

This little tyke considers
James Murphy his muse, but
isn't too good at describing
First of all, I admit it: I can’t deflect the term “hipster.” I like good things- PBR is better than Keystone, good music is better than shitty music, irony is better than sincerity. Some, but not all. My pedigree is mostly comprised of the music I like- indie shit, post punk junk, unlistenable artiness. A lot of that music, like LCD Soundsystem, Matt and Kim, and Crystal Castles (Suicide or New Order if you apply the tag retroactively), are roughly grouped together by music critics (my cousins) into the bullshit category of “Dance Punk.” The problem is not the music itself or the desire of certain cultural gadflies to put some kind of genre tag on the music they like. The problem is that Dance Punk doesn’t mean fucking anything. The term applies two tags that are associated with an impossible diversity of sounds and moods, creating a pretty heavily overlapping Venn Diagram over the whole of contemporary music. None of the aforementioned artists are more “Punk” than any other thing on the radio, nor are they any more “Dance Music.” They are electronic-leaning poppy indie acts that do not in any way necessitate a genre description on their own. Dance Punk serves the same rhetorical function as the ignorant conservative slogan “Pro-Family;” they both assume a broad term reflects one’s own small-minded definition of its function. Gay people still have families, you can dance to whatever the fuck you actually want, and I think that if “punk” means anything today, (which is highly dubious) it applies to The Wiggles much more than it does to whatever garbage local deathgrind band whose 8-track you most recently bought. When punk came to describe half of all rock music and when someone started nodding their head to Swans, these two terms lost all meaning. Much like your local conservative senate candidate, the mavens of Dance-Punk exist in their own ignorant little sphere, immune to the modern world around them and oblivious to any values or opinions remotely different than their own. Dance-Punk is not real.

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