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A list of 20+ performances that have shocked

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These are my notes from a lecture/workshop I just gave in Creative Performer 2 at QUT this afternoon.

I forgot to give my students break in the three-hour class, so several of them were gasping for a choker by the end. We sat around discussing music mainly, and the ways context (space, audience) affects performance. The title of the lecture was ‘Performance as Shock’. I didn’t show all the following by any means, and we showed several others – notably one featuring on men’s dicks substituted by heads, some featuring big booby-ed women, and one from those  bloody performing North Korean children – but most of these were discussed in one shape or another.

I drew the line at coprophilia.

Sorry GG Allin fans.

PLAYED (intro)

1. Elvis Presley – Mystery Train (to tie in with a quote about Sam Phillips drawn from the Greil Marcus book of the same name)

2. Madonna – Like A Prayer (always good to mention the stigmata)

The following four were subject of a class discussion.

1. Sun Ra (dissonant but not shocking)

2. Justice Yeldham @ Le Bourg, Lausanne, Switzerland (we only lasted a few minutes into this, as I took pity on a couple of students sheltering behind their laptops)

3. Katie Stelmanis – Natural Woman (agreed that middle America would find this disturbing)

4. Teddy & The Frat Girls – I Wanna Be A Man (relented after two minutes)

http://www.collapseboard.com/everett-true/song-of-the-day/song-of-the-day-391-teddy-and-the-frat-girls/

ALSO

1. Neneh Cherry pregnant on TOTP (no one quite understood why this was considered shocking, even at the time)

2. The KLF + Extreme Noise Terror (at the Brits!)

UNPLAYED

1. Marilyn Manson – Beautiful People (he’s so 00s)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ypkv0HeUvTc

2. Bowling for Columbine clip (see above)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cYApo2d8o_A&feature=youtu.be

3. Odd Future – Oldie (they’re so 2011)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fzi24Nssiow&list=UUvvMe-A4FbvtMk-V_vE9PpQ&index=10&feature=plcp

4. The Jesus Lizard (not mentioned, but it’s a good clip)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Uu9lUbf5GQ0

5. Frank Zappa in front of US Marines (seriously now, you didn’t think I was actually going to play Zappa to a class, now did you?)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ngEZi7kfz0

6. L7 tampon throw (not mentioned, but good to relive)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uLVjwUModIQ

7. David Lynch – Industrial Symphony No. 1 clip w/ Michael Anderson (not mentioned, too much noise not enough shock)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Z4bwxRmw04

8. Gilberto Gil e Os Mutantes – Domingo no Parque (not mentioned)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8ayWVcuOoPw

9. Bob Dylan – Electric “Judas” Incident (1966) (very shocking!)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=axqCLfwgs9g

10. Minty – That’s Nice (not mentioned)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=r9GBO7i-6GI

11. Gertrude Michael in the (dreadful) Paramount musical Murder At The Vanities (1934) (not mentioned)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnySJxE_XQA

12. GG Allin (story told of how he used to correspond with me from prison)

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QMSWRT6ynhs

ALSO MENTIONED:

The Legend! – I Want To Fuck (A Man With A Beard)

Katy Perry

Nicki Minaj

Lady Gaga

Janet Jackson’s nipple

M.I.A. flipping the bird

David Bowie

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