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Musings n’ shit: Hey Ladies, The Vintage Caravan Wants You to Make them A Sandwich And Fuck Off Afterwards (Allegedly)…

07 Dec

When is an offensive and derogatory comment not an offensive and derogatory comment?

When it’s IRONIC, you muppet! Ah, these days everyone seems to be running with some massive post-modernistic irony filter spamming up their brains. It’s great isn’t it? It apparently allows you to say and do whatever you want, and you don’t even have to get pulled up on it.

Say that women are bitches and hos, etc, that deserve to raped in the face with a rusty screwdriver? It’s humour! And we were in character when we said it as well. Lighten up killjoys!

Doll yourself up to look vaguely “Asian,” with a silly “Hong Ching Mong” accent for no discernible reason at all? Chill out guys – it’s just a joke! Isn’t life more fun when people have different opinions?

State that you’d like to run a woman you don’t like over with your car, then back up again and run over her twice while reversing? Have you not heard of satire? She was probably asking for it anyway.

These days, by merely stating that you find something crass, insulting and lazy, you are immediately outed for being too sensitive, for overreacting, for lacking a sense of humour, or even worse a FEMINIST!! On top of this, everyone seems to be implementing some kind of nonchalant meta philosophy of apathetic vacuousness that seemingly separates you from such trivialities, that you can simply be above it all. (Why are you even complaining about this when there´s REAL injustices going on out there? Do you just want to BAN everything?).

Frankly, I’m just getting tired of it all. But in a wonderful piece by Nadya Lev on the creeping sexism and misogyny today in goth, industrial, and other forms of music, she confronts this bullshit head on. When artists are confronted about their actions, she noted, many reply that it’s “Satire,” or a “Joke.” Sometimes the “artistic defence” or that the person responsible “was playing a character.” Much of this, she goes on, smacks of lazy cynicism and deflects and disengages any meaningful attempt to explain their actions and motivations, and it now happens so much that it’s risen to the form of cliché.

Now I was thinking about this when I recently listened to some songs from the latest album from THE VINTAGE CARAVAN, ‘Voyage.’ I reviewed their first album a while back, and felt  that while they seemed to have that classic ’70s dadrock sound down to an absolute tee, and that there was definitely a lot of virtuosity going on for a bunch of guys who were only 17,  it was going over the same road that had been travelled so many times before. They took just about every late ’60s/’70s hard and heavy rock cliché stereotype going in their quest to be the covers band for the most rockingist rocky rocker rock band that never existed. It’s like when the band Gomez tried to sound like a bunch of Tom Waits soundalikes when they were barely out of their teens.

I hadn’t given them too much thought after that until this year Airwaves, when one of our reviewers, Arit John, gave them a bit of a thumbs down in her assessment, saying that there was a fair bit of misogyny in their music, in particular one song, “Know Your Place”. She found it a bit insulting, but she truly had no idea if they were being “ironic,” or not (God that word again!).

Hmm…. surely this song couldn’t be that bad, I thought. So I listened to it on YouTube.

Just to help, here’s the lyrics:

Know your place woman, and scrub that kitchen floor

Know your place, and get out of my sight.

I got my eyes on you

Cook my meals woman, and get out of my sight,

Cook my meals woman, and get out of my sight

And get down, get down on your knees

Do what I say, or I’ll make you pay.

Know you place woman, and scrub that kitchen floor

I got my eyes on you

Do what I say, or I’ll make you pay. 

Um… yeah….

When you read this shit out loud, I’m surprised they didn’t add the line, “And while you’re there, make me a sandwich you whore!” There’s not much more you can say about that really.

So after pretty much having the first thoughts of, “What the hell did I just hear there??” I mentioned the song a few nights later to some mates in the pub. One of the group, who had recently directed a video to one of their songs immediately said, “Oh yeah, that one. It’s definitely a piss take.”

Really? Hmm…. Excuse me if I don’t get it, but that just brings up more questions than answers to me. I mean, despite being a total pastiche of every hoary rock trope going, the thing with TVC is that despite not being dour and sullen, they launch into all of this with a complete lack of irony or subtlety. That’s, their “Thing” – they really feel the rock with songs like “Cocaine Sally,” “Expand Your Mind,” and “Wild Child.” They’re living the hard rock life down the highway to the max!

And what is it they so need to feel the need to take the piss out of anyway? Those old rock songs with their of-their-time lyrics they look to ape so much (“Squeeze me baby/till the juice runs down my leg”)? Is it their fans who, let’s be honest, are more of the unwashed male variety who drone on about “Real” music and rock? Or is it just to get a rise out all those silly people who complain and get all angry about “Offensive” lyrics? You don’t really know just listening to the song, do you? If it’s a satire that doesn’t really sound or look that much different to what they normally do, how can you tell?

It is of course worth pointing out that these guys are still teenagers barely out of Grunnskoli and are likely to say and do dumb shit without thinking about it too much.Remember how many people were getting their nuts in a twist when the boys from Odd Future were rapping about raping and killing women and gays? or when Danish teen punks Iceage got into bother with people calling out their flirtations with fascist imagery? In both cases, it just seemed like your usual teen immaturity mixed with post-internet cynicism   and there was no true underlying malice. There’s every chance that TVC are doing it just to get a rise out of all of us, by doing something offensive and “Edgy,” especially since they introduced the song at Airwaves with, “This song is a bit of a controversial song.”

If that’s the case, then the saddest thing is that despite the song being obnoxious and seeking to be edgy, it’s so bloody lame. As a way to court attention and to come across as ironic satire  it’s just pure laziness and derivative cheap rabble rousing. It just makes them look like a bunch of gawping bozos to be honest.

Are TVC a bunch of nasty wimmen hating misogynists? Not really. Are they a bunch of dumb-asses that really need to get some new ideas about how they approach their music? Too bloody right.

 
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Posted by on December 7, 2012 in Iceland, music

 

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