Pop Culture Friday! Wearing your granddad’s coat edition

28 Dec

1.   Macklemore–Thrift Shop–So I had already reviewed the top five downloads which were all very commercial and had their good points, and I was absolutely thrilled to find this at number 6.  If there’s an artist today that makes my heart skip a beat out of pure respect for his unbridled creativity and originality, it is Macklemore, compared to whom, the rest of the artists are so bland, they might as well be porridge.

At first glance, Thrift Shop seems like a novelty song, it’s full of jokes and sight gags and silliness, but it’s so much more.  For one thing the music is very intelligently crafted, the samples will float through your head like raspberries in a punchbowl, and while some of the jokes are a bit juvenile, the song, the video, the everything just pulses with life.  This is no commercial, this is music–music from a real live person about real life stuff.  So behind the (intentionally) ridiculous bragging in this song, we see a group of multi-ethnic, real person shaped, people, having a great time at the goodwill.  The weird thing is that goodwill is the best word to describe Macklemore–he not only wants to live life to the gills, he wants to have everyone around him to do the same.  Part of his genius is always making you feel like you’re in on the joke even when you’re not.

What’s more, he taps into something with the DIY culture that goes with goodwills and youtube and all the rest–it’s a certain amount of muppety grabbing at life that celebrates the differences, even the flaws which make us human, rather than airbrushing everything to oblivion.  (One of his lines in another song, which I think he’s perfectly serious about is “I do not want to be a mannequin” which is the perfect idea, not only for how the personality gets bleached out of musical artists, but also how they just turn into a hanger for things to sell.)  And there’s a huge amount of criticism towards today’s culture of separation and commodificaton of nearly everything.

And it’s one thing to be critical of commercial culture, and to be pushing the DIY thing, but the thing that Macklemore puts in more than anything else, is humanity–humanity, with all our eccentric charms, flows through the blood of every song with such a strong pulse that it trumps everything else.  Let me tell you, Macklemore has vision, and that is why he has my heart.

2.  And the rest–Well the book is The Racketeer by John Grisham, but it doesn’t sound particularly different from his other offerings, and the youtube video was roosterteeth, but it’s just the same sort of silly humor you’ve seen before.  All I have to say, they don’t hold a candle to Macklemore, so I’m telling you to check him out!

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