This Is Pop
Streaming from June 22nd
What is pop? According to this upcoming Netflix series it is a modern music course at a struggling university, looking to get in some dollars from those otherwise hard to place students who would have formed a band in the 1970s, for a bit, before getting a proper job and a life of misery. But who nowadays get sold a dream by failed pop stars and hospital DJs who have had just enough experience to teach them degree level Beatles chords at the local technical college or showbiz school.
With a focus on the USA instead of the obvious place to go to, the UK - where pop music has long been considered an art form without need of the kind of authenticity that has blighted American music. And a whole show devoted to the ‘phenomenon’ of Swedish/Scandi pop, who’s only benefit to people-kind has been yearning-old-cunts-dreaming-of-their-youth song, Dancing Queen, the rest just bloodless Beatles melodies articulated from between perfect cheekbones at a genetically higher height than the rest of humans.
Reasons to avoid…
There is only so much fabulous footage that remains unseen outside of Youtube, so expect rehashes of, say Grace Slick amazed that dawn has broken over a smelly field of hippies or Oasis on that show with that Manc geezer Terry and too much lighting.
The choices for interview. Barring Suzanne Cianni and Dr Andy Hildebrand there’s no-one mentioned who hasn’t already told us their memories and opinions in depth on one retrospective show or another.
The choices of festivals. Mont de Marsan? The 100 Club? The Trips? Sunrise? Windsor Free? Leigh Festival (Fac 15)? Probably not… instead we will have the standard Monterey and Woodstock and probably a bit of Isle of Wight.
Britpop – there’s still something desperate about the continuing manufacture of Britpop as a cultural phenomenon. After the almost as desperate creation of the ‘Baggy musical movement’ of 1990 came a whole bunch of British rock bands who were probably the most derivative yet, many of them having switched their styles as the gothic/jangly 1980s came to a close in the same way British beat groups grew their hair and stomped fuzz boxes as psychedelic rock outmanoeuvred their tweeness in the late 1960s. The result? White lines at Groucho's and a head first dive into culture as defined by the News Of The World and its attending publicists. Why it is celebrated is a mystery beyond the fact that a certain age group still active in the media see it as a their salad years.
It would be great to watch a truly pop-inspired, in depth, knowledgeable and original historical series but my fears are, this aint it.
This Is Pop 8 streaming on Netflix from June 22nd.
Main Image - Demi Lovato video screengrab, the best we could do.
March sees a greatly expanded reissue of Elliott Smith's most critically acclaimed album Either/Or
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