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What happens when you mix what is - arguably - the world's most interesting record company, with an anarchist manic-depressive rock music historian polymath, and a method of dissemination which means that a daily rock-music magazine can be almost instantaneous?

Most of this blog is related in some way to the music, books and films produced by Gonzo Multimedia, but the editor has a grasshopper mind and so also writes about all sorts of cultural issues which interest him, and which he hopes will interest you as well.

Tuesday, 2 October 2012

MICHAEL DES BARRES: The Blues Aren't Really Dead - They're Alive in Hip-Hop


Howlin' Wolf wears a baseball cap now. Muddy Waters are the subject of a rabid environmentalist's grievous concern. Son House is a tanning booth in a San Fernando Valley mall. John Lee Hooker is now John Lee escort.
I could go on, you know I could, but you get the picture. The blues is essentially dead, but not really. It hangs on in the garages of baby boomers dreaming of Eric Clapton's slow hand, while seeking respite from an untidy world and an irksome domesticity.
Aficionados, obsessive collectors and graying bluesologists have all the blue vinyl they need. No new fix, it seems, to appease their addiction. They have downloaded the endless configurations of blues classics. They have been to the digital crossroads a 1,000 times. They are now indeed blue in the face.
I consider hip-hop the new blues. News from the streets. Emotional journalism. Still the dark tales of oppression, still the sexual braggadocio, still clad in flamboyance. Still gritty, carnal, obscene, vengeful, in despair, in love.
Exactly the same human experience that birthed the songs of Lightnin' Hopkins, R.L. Burnside and Robert Johnson. Reportage from the soul. Live coverage of a world gone mad ... Glocks and Gucci ... John Gotti and the ghetto ... connecting the polka dots of the human condition right now. Healing, enraging, provoking, clarifying and uniting.
If you have not done so already, check out Michael's Gonzo Artist Page

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