Tuesday, September 7

Reason to Smirk

“Musical Credibility sucks! No wait … Musical Credibility Rocks! Hang on … Musical Credibility … is cool, I guess?”

Above is an except from Dr. Blake Applebottom’s
Cool Like Me: A Scientific Exploration of Attractive Anthropology, exemplifying the mutable nature of “cred” or “cool” as it relates to music of the recent past. In the chapter, “Remember when David Bowie Wasn’t Cool?” Dr. Applebottom focuses on the reciprocal relationship between people considered “Cool” and “Cool shit they are into,” particularly, marginalized music or music once deemed “un-cool.” He explains this phenomenon, as an evolutionary meta-self-actualization beginning with personal enjoyment of an artist or album currently thought of as un-enjoyable. The process mutates the music into an interstitial phase sometimes defined as a “guilty pleasure.” At this stage, “cool” people are allowed to enjoy the artist or album ironically; the uncool music is still uncool, but is enjoyable by virtue of its “total uncoolness.” Dr. Applebottom theorizes that initial signs of proliferation are apparent in this phase of the process through various mediums as “Blogs”, “Themed Dance Parties” and extremely loud public I-pod use. “Earnest Enjoyment” and sometimes “Scholarly Pursuit” mark the flourishing phase in the process; the “cool” person completely immerses themselves into the artist or album and usually praises the influential effects of that artist or album on "cool" music in general. Dr. Applebottom notes wide-spread proliferation at this point, ultimately spawning other “cool” people by association to this newly “cool” element. The final stage is known as “backlash,” when the once uncool band or album becomes too popular and the “cool” people announce that the artist or album is uncool again. Certain recent examples of the process at work include: David Bowie, Hall and Oates, Bruce Springsteen’s Born in the USA, The Grateful Dead’s Terrapin Station. Below, I’ve reprinted Dr. Applebottom’s theoretical principle for predicting the next uncool music that will soon be cool.

UCM (Un Cool Music) + TLA (Totally Lame Aesthetic) / HCMOW(How Cool Music Once was) x MCBIUTOT(Music Critic Bringing it up that one time) = Cool Again (or, in some cases, cool for the 1st time)

Using this formula I’ve determined some predictions of my own.

- Fleetwood Mac’s
Tango in the Night
- Rufus Wainwright’s
Want 2
- Bon Jovi’s
Slippery When Wet
- Dogstar's Our Little Visionary
- Any of Prince’s albums after the ‘80’s
- Wilson Phillips
- Master P
- Steely Dan
- Jam Bands
- Whitney Houston