Thursday, June 11, 2009

Building an Art Critical Playlist

It will be no secret to good friends of mine that I've long harboured a "being a rock star" fantasy. Of late, since I've gotten into more art writing and criticism, the fantasy has taken on a "hey, maybe I could be a rock star singing about art criticism" turn. Maybe even in a band with other art writers -- we could call ourselves "The Critics" and do really horrible performances or something. Nothing I wanted to make too real, mind you, just one of those little flights of fancy.

Well... imagine my surprise to read Jonathan Goldsbie's Torontoist report about Newzapalooza, a benefit concert put on by—you got it—bands of writers/journalists. (The kicker -- the benefit isn't even to help save print media!)

In any case, reading about this event has re-sparked my "The Critics" stage-rocking fantasy. The only question left now is... what art-crit-relevant songs are appropriate? I'm open to suggestion, but here's the ones I thought of to start with:

For the painful/bad art viewing experience: "Every time I see your picture I cry" by Luba

This one's more for when you're trying to get a hold of an artist or other for an interview, without success: "867-5309" by Tommy Tutone

For the nasty-letter receiving critic/hurt artist situation: "Do you really want to hurt me" by Culture Club

For general errata-related discontent: "Tribulations" by LCD Soundsystem

A few more ideas:
"Fake Headlines" by the New Pornographers for that sense of surreality and the line "I Filled the Whole Front Page/ With the Catchiest Words I could Find"

"The Real Slim Shady" by Eminem also is suitable in terms of plagiarism concerns.

And for a general sum-up of the main critics--at least in Toronto--and of course I am VERY included: "White and Nerdy" by Weird Al Yankovic.

Any other suggestions? My ability to sing other's people's words poorly crosses all genres and time periods.

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