Breakout, Black Uhuru, Iron Storm, 1991
Awkwardly, I really don’t have anything to say about Black Uhuru except to reiterate that I really like them. I do listen to reggae a lot, and strongly feel that Black Uhuru makes the best reggae on the market. But…Being hopelessly beholden to the cult of personality, well, my range of interest is limited. Black Uhuru has changed lineups multiple times over the years, without any drastic change to their sound, and nobody has emerged as a powerful star or driving force. That leaves me repeatedly featuring a band I know nothing about. I could do some research beyond the minimal effort of Wikipedia requires. But this isn’t a band about whom whole libraries are written, and there’s not much information easily available. The problem remains that I base my interest in rock stars on how good their hair looks in pictures. (Although the members of Black Uhuru do all have awesome hair.) I wonder if that’s a faulty basis for a career as a wanna-be critic. I’ve always argued that image is a vital part of performance and anyone neglecting their image is a lazy flop. On the critical end of things, is it unfair to judge an act by its image? I’m going to say no to that question. I’m also going to say that it is no way shallow or unfair if I renounce certain performers for being too ugly to be a fan of. You’d be hard pressed to find anyone with less musical aptitude than me, so music is very mysterious to me. Not having a clue, I’m basing my judgements on totally intangible things, like my own feelings stirred. And I have these moments of wondering what the hell I’m writing about and why, and I justify myself. I’ve already established that I’m not qualified to provide real criticism, nor do I feel up to unearthing any useful factual information. The alternative is to skew more strongly towards the personal. What I’d like to achieve is an impressionistic approach of listening to music – or does that sound a SOUPÇON pretentious? It help to view this whole blog as just a writing exercise, until the moment when I have the inspiration to really write something. I’m wondering many other bloggers view their page as a vehicle for polishing their prose. It’s a weird platform, this blogging – so anonymous and so public. I have to say, I really really love the internet, and I love this damaged culture that’s evolved with it. (BTW have you read the latest issue of Vanity Fair, which bemoans the horrific impact of reality tv and exposes the dark side of ‘Teh Qte’?) Because it gives me the freedom to go off on a stupid tangent like this one and put it out to world, as opposed to just thinking it or possibly soliloquizing to a captive audience of one at some party or bar, and feel like I’m doing something creative in this life, ass all the while safely planted in my favorite chair.