Postmodernism: a somewhat succinct (if a little simple) explanation. Featuring Tame Impala
Post-modernism is a very difficult thing to get your head around at first. What's worse, is it's a very difficult thing to keep under your belt. Once your memory of its meaning begins to dwindle, loses a little clarity, you find yourself clutching at straws trying to explain it to anyone who'll listen (as they make excuses and leave).
I was watching some concert footage from Reading the other day with a pal & came upon a good example of postmodernism; music. One band in particular, Tame Impala.
Whilst you watch 'em, ask yourself who they sound like; some early shouts, T-Rex, Cream (wait till it kicks in), Pink Floyd/LedZep/Chemical Brothers and on top of that a voice that sounds like John Lennon. That's just from my knowledge pool but you get the jist, they sound like lots of different bands - but the main thing - when they want to. Each song is a pop-pastiche to different trends of music.
And that's it, post-modernism.
If you think, for a band like the Beatles, when they started out their only source of inspiration was 1) whoever was on the Radio, and 2) whatever the local record store had to offer. The same for the Punks, all they could do was backlash against what came before (what was on Top of The Pops & in the record shops) - same right up to the likes of Nirvana, who's music stood counter to the over-produced 'hair & flying V's' that rock had become; they came along and brought back the dirty underside of rock. Sure they were no doubt inspired by the punks, but they're knowledge of the past was only short sighted, compared to ours today..
Today we have a wealth of knowledge, a complete back catalogue, right at our fingertips. A band today can say "we wanna play like... Jimmy Page era Yardbird's', or 'riff's like John Lee Hooker', or even 'sing like Paul Robeson!" (good luck..). If the other people in the band/studio/under the bridge don't know all they gotta do is wap out there phone and google it.
I think that picture at the start sums it up quite neatly. We got a wealth of knowledge right at our fingertips. Only most people are too lazy & sedate to reach for it (oh look, X-Factor's back on the telly..)
A couple of quotes on Po-Mo
Intertextual references are emblematic of the hyperconciousness of postmodern pop culture.
Po-Mo highlight's an 'ironic knowingness' in the audience..
A post-mod person wants to say 'I love you Madly!', but, knows that this already is a cliche, regardless of how true it might be, & so, as a post-mod person, wisely qualifies the remark with the perspective "As Barbara Cartland would say, I love you madly!" & thus, in an unspeakable world, is able to speak honestly
- Post-modernism, as explained by Umburto Eco.
END. If i'm wrong feel free to tell me.