Thursday, April 3, 2008

Pink Floyd Is Not Punk

Last night’s debate went well, and Christian rock prevailed, according to the audience vote. Much of the debate hinged on definitional questions (What is rock? What is Christianity? What is suck?).

Much as I like to think of myself as a guy who likes to err on the side of expansive, inclusive definitions when it comes to semantic disputes, there are times when we all find ourselves wanting to police the borders, as it were, of certain tribal or definitional zones.

In an example of how definitional and aesthetic matters can become fused, I find it hard to imagine liking the cover described below (per Wikipedia) of what was originally a very straightforward, simple punk song — even with the original singer part of the assembled horde:

A cover of [“Ever Fallen in Love” by the Buzzcocks] was released as a charity tribute single to the late DJ John Peel on 21 November 2005. It featured artists including Roger Daltrey (The Who), The Datsuns, The Futureheads, David Gilmour (Pink Floyd), Peter Hook (New Order, Joy Division), Elton John, El Presidente, Robert Plant (Led Zeppelin), Pete Shelley, and the Soledad Brothers. The single was supported by Peel’s son, Tom Ravenscroft, and proceeds are going to Amnesty International.

Somehow, those last two words seem like the perfect punchline.

And speaking of activists and internationalists, tune in tomorrow, when I turn the weekly Retro-Journal-o-scope upon late 1999 and discover my trip to India and the lunkheads of the antiglobalization movement. (On that international note, I’m off to drink with the Scots.)

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