I've been infected + My complicated relationship with Gang of Four's ENTERTAINMENT!…


16 jan. 2008, 0h43m

Lately, I've been on a major pop kick. Someone brought the new Britney Spears album in to newspaper, I listened to it and I actually found myself enjoying it. Say what you will about her, but Gimme More and Piece of Me are really good pop singles. Of course, a lot of that credit goes to her phalanx of producers and songwriters but I genuinely enjoy them, and not in an ironic, post-modernist way.
Then, there's Ashlee Simpson. Her new single has been rattling round my head for the last two weeks. It's a total Gwen Stefani rip-off, but the video (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GsulZKXFxK8) is HOT. I especially dig the nod to Dali with the melting clock.

So, I received Gang of Four's Entertainment! for Christmas, after hearing so much about its influence and an obsession with Ether last spring. I've spent quite a bitof time with it, and apart from Ether, Return the Gift and a few others, I don't like this album as much as I admire. Yeah, it's terribly innovative and it influenced a ton of bands, and I love the lyrics, the fractured guitar playing, the monochrome bass, the slightly dancey drums, all of that. However, the record as a whole just doesn't *click* for me. None of the songs really embed their way in my consciousness. It's like background music to me almost. Perhaps I need to spend some more time with it, but for now, I'll stick with Wire and The Fall for my post-punk fix.

A career in music
I have two conflicting impulses within me. Some days, I want to be like, this totally underground, uncommercial art-noise act and other days, I want to sell millions of records and get on Oprah and everything. I don't know which direction I want to go in. Like, if I sold 10 million, would I be able to deal with the paparazzi? And if I sold 10, would I be able to deal with being completely unknown? Questions, questions...


  • beepstreet

    Are you kidding? Entertainment is fantastic.

    16 jan. 2008, 19h04m
  • Thelonious9

    Entertainment will grow on you (if you can cope with Wire, you can cope with GO4) - and try some of the later tracks like To Hell With Poverty and We Live As We Dream, Alone - there's a really good comp called A Brief History Of The 20th Century with them on

    17 jan. 2008, 20h13m
  • 1800sseamonster

    Word of advice: Being on Oprah makes you a total idiot. Don't be that guy, I know you're better than that. :)

    17 jan. 2008, 21h20m
  • heaventree22

    wow... we think in very similar ways, i find myself having just about every thought in this post, and very often... especially during my recent madonna/prince kick. people may tease one for admiring a beautiful pop hook, but the truth remains: no matter what purpose the hook was written for, money, art, accessibility, whatever, a good pop hook is a beautiful thing. and a thought that i like: as an american artist making art for american people, don't trust or listen to anyone - not even me. haha. anyone who says anything = bullshit, and don't let them change your art beyond what you believe benefits it.

    18 jan. 2008, 20h30m
  • mathman_mr_t

    of course i'm old enough to have been around when entertainment came out. after listening to what the clash and public image ltd. were doing in the post-punk world, that angular jangle of go4 came across as a bracing wind. it was really easier for me to like that album than it was for me to like some of their later more pop influenced albums like hard.

    9 fév. 2008, 21h00m
  • bobthewalrus

    I tried listening to Entertainment!. I kind of feel the same way about it as you. It sounds fine and everything, but nothing about it really sticks in my head the way some of the stuff from similar artists does. I just figure I 'll give it a couple more listens and see where I stand after that.

    10 fév. 2008, 3h14m
  • pingpong_fiasco

    Entertainment is amazing, and practically my introduction to postpunk way back in the early 80s. Anthrax is still essential to this day. I could go on, track by track, but I restrain myself. But to really like that album, you have to immerse yourself in the decay of late 70s / early 80s Britain, and the perceived horrors that Thatcher inflicted upon the working classes - that's the source of this LP: not aesthetics, but economics. And it is definitely not in search of fans - rather, it seeks bricks and other projectiles, and then the nearest politician. There's no other way to describe the anger, the hopelessness, and the burning rage of that disc. That aside, Gang of Four did turn sucky - check out the horrid Mall.

    15 fév. 2008, 10h30m
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