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 Everett True

Where has the art of genuine protest gone? asks a ‘concerned’ music industry insider

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The Clash, NME cover, August 2011

The editor of the NME writes in The Guardian today how there are no political bands anymore. Isn’t that a little like me going on Collapse Board to complain how there are no good metal bands anymore? Or the editors of Pitchfork and Wire complaining about the lack of female music writers? I rarely write about metal. The editors of Pitchfork and Wire have an aversion to female writers. NME rarely covers political music. So of course – for the NME – there is no political music anymore.

It’s ridiculous to claim that’s true outside the NME‘s pages, however.

Krissi Murison writes:

Time was when rock stars, and not just the Clash, used to have lots to say about lots of very big, important things. Or so I’m told. The truth is that in my eight years as a music journalist, I’ve never found one.

She really, really can’t have been looking very hard. To be honest, the whole article reads like an abdication of responsibility. Let me get this straight: the music industry does not, or SHOULD NOT, dictate a music paper’s agenda. The editors and writers should dictate the music paper’s agenda. Either the NME covers political bands, in which case their editor’s statement is nonsense. Or it doesn’t. In which case, their editor’s statement is meaningless. Either way, it kind of makes nonsense of the cover line on the image above, don’t you think? “How the ’76 punk explosion changed music forever.” Yeah, right. I’ve always hated the fucking Clash. The equivalent NME cover in 1976 would have featured the Jimmy Dorsey Orchestra from 1941. Isn’t it about time the UK music press moved on?

What next is the editor of the NME going to claim doesn’t exist because her paper doesn’t write about it, I wonder.

The planet Mars? John Howard? Mothballs? Breast feeding? Ordinance Survey Maps?. Crewe railway station? Polar bears?

Here is where the music press is really at in 2011
Of course, it doesn’t count when women or blacks do it. A collection of 20 present-day political pop songs
Of course, it doesn’t count when women or blacks do it. Part 2.

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