Torpedoing the authorship of popular music : a reading of Gorillaz’ ‘Feel Good Inc.’

  • This article addresses problems of authorship and creative authority in popular music, in particular in view of a pervasive split between modes of aesthetic production (involving modernist assemblage, multiple authorship, and the late capitalist logic of major label policies) and modes of aesthetic reception (which tend to take popular music as the organic output of individual performers). While rock musicians have attempted to come to terms with this phenomenon by either performing a ‘Romantic’ sense of authenticity (basically by importing folk values to the production process) or ‘Modernist authenticity’ (by highlighting experimen- tation and alienation), Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, creators of Gorillaz, found a third way which ingeniously allows them to do both. By creating a virtual rock band, and by hiding their own media personalities behind those of their virtual alter egos, they brought themselves into a position which allows them to produce ‘sincere’ popular music which ‘playfully’ stages the absurdities of major label muThis article addresses problems of authorship and creative authority in popular music, in particular in view of a pervasive split between modes of aesthetic production (involving modernist assemblage, multiple authorship, and the late capitalist logic of major label policies) and modes of aesthetic reception (which tend to take popular music as the organic output of individual performers). While rock musicians have attempted to come to terms with this phenomenon by either performing a ‘Romantic’ sense of authenticity (basically by importing folk values to the production process) or ‘Modernist authenticity’ (by highlighting experimen- tation and alienation), Damon Albarn and Jamie Hewlett, creators of Gorillaz, found a third way which ingeniously allows them to do both. By creating a virtual rock band, and by hiding their own media personalities behind those of their virtual alter egos, they brought themselves into a position which allows them to produce ‘sincere’ popular music which ‘playfully’ stages the absurdities of major label music business while very successfully operating within its very confines.show moreshow less

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Metadaten
Author:Lars Eckstein
URN:urn:nbn:de:kobv:517-opus-59116
Series (Serial Number):Postprints der Universität Potsdam : Philosophische Reihe, ISSN 1866-8380 (80)
Document Type:Postprint
Language:English
Date of Publication (online):2012/03/29
Year of Completion:2009
Publishing Institution:Universität Potsdam
Release Date:2012/03/29
Source:Popular Music. - ISSN: 0261-1430. - 28 (2009) 2, S. 239 - 255, DOI: 10.1017/S0261143009001809
Organizational units:Philosophische Fakultät / Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik
Dewey Decimal Classification:7 Künste und Unterhaltung / 78 Musik / 780 Musik
Licence (German):License LogoKeine Nutzungslizenz vergeben - es gilt das deutsche Urheberrecht
Notes extern:This article was first published by Cambridge University Press: Popular Music. - 28 (2009) 2, p. 239 - 255
ISSN: 0261-1430
DOI 10.1017/S0261143009001809