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Grooving Down Downing Street
Politics and pop never go great guns together. For every "The Revolution will Not be Televised" there are countless foul fingers plucking a rubbish tune against the Man and more. Popsters that get directly involved with politicos are far worse - Art should not exist to serve Power.Given the world that the 60s/70s/80s agit prop popsters have left us, devoid of growth, hope and the kinds of opportunities they took for granted and dismissed, political music can get pretty bittersweet. The Baby Boomers rejected not just their parents vile prejudices and straight haircuts, but things like full employment, pay raises, bosses paid 10 times what you got, not 10,000,000 times, the ability to get by on not much cash, growth and building stuff like railways and sewers that work. And more and more.Just last night I was listening to a lovely copy of CSN+Y's underrated 4 Way Street purchased from our favourite record shop, and it kind of stung. The Democratic National Conference in "Chicago" '68 sure was an ugly scene, with blood and mayhem in the street. But the Man they wanted to take down and replace with flower power tear down the walls ban nuke stuff yippiedom was not a monster. He was the mild mannered massive Statesman, tireless Civil Rights advocate and New Deal Democrat Hubert Humphrey.Sure, Hubert had square hair and realised that ending the Vietnam War without accelerating the bloodshed might take longer than a weekend, but was a dimension beyond anyone in Western politics today in wisdom and morality. No matter, he was major uncool to the yippies, hippies and student stunt agitators. As as result, the planet got Dick Nixon. Cheers, for that, Graham Nash, though at least I suppose the world you helped usher in allows for more interesting tax arrangements.And creativity with taxation is sure something the Big Labels and Web Retailers know about. But they've got friends in Low places - and one appeared like a stripper out of a cake at the latest BPI shindig.The BPI is the industry ARSEociation dedicated to the prosecution of NDubz downloads and David Cameron turned up to applaud the UKs "world beating music industry". Well with all the metal beating stuff as in shipbuilding gone, and not much left but bankers and call centres I suppose Adele downloads in Singapore can seem pretty important. UK based "artists" have a 13.3% share of the global Album market. Up from 12.6%. Tectonic economic news like this can only warm the heart.Whatever your politics if any, it is clear that Dave is pretty lightweight figure for the times we are in. Kind of like wearing a novelty "Chillaxin" poncho in the eye of a scatological hurricane. An ethnic slur against the Oxfordshire squirearchy, some have said the best way to understand Cameron is Alec Douglas-Home at Glastonbury. Not a familiar name? That's the point. The chap was not a PM worth remembering, but compared to today's politicians he would have been Titanic.Dave took this brain dead PR appearance as an opportunity not only to suggest that a 0.7% increase in pony popshite being slung as a new economic dawn, but to detail what HMG is doing for the music industry. Of course sending nasty fines to kids caught with the wrong One Direction MP3 was a priority, along with unspecified and unfunded Other Stuff. So I thought, what could the Man really do to help music on this lost island? Here are few back of a fag packet rant ideas:Make it dead easy to get a live music licence. There are far, far fewer venues for people to DJ than ever before, much less have a band.Stop trying to revive the dead identikit High Street. No-one will miss it. Use the space left by Blockbusta and all the other irrelevant businesses to let people be creative in all kinds of ways.Make it easy for people to get a tax rebate for doing or funding creative stuff, and buying creative kit.Sell Radio 1 to Crapital. Replace it with a bastard fusion of 6 Music, 1 Xtra and a rotating crew of real Peckham pirates.Declare an International Day of the Rat where worship of vinyl and all that is groovy is as compulsory as sex segregation at a Saudi shopping mall.And if you waste your Saturday anywhere near a mall, you'll miss a load of magic.We have a lot of jazz funk and hip hop and soul and classic rock this week. And more jazz funk. Plus a bit of jazz funk. Catch the drift? And here are some names:O.C, Geto Boys, Wu Tang, Riz Allstars, Junior Delgado, The rootsman, Search, Hijack, Wild Turkey, Royal Flush, Jeru the Damaja, Fontella Bass, Morphine, Pacific Jam, New Age Steppers, Ijahman, Julia Holter, Julian Cope, Funkadelic, Dylan, Diamanda Galas, Instant Funk..So cast your vote for The One.
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