Art is an attitude. Art is a viewpoint. Art is subversive. Art is a burst of creativity and energy.
Punk rock eviscerated prog rock and corporate rock when those became too contemplated, when they were made for a market instead of the art itself.
Your goal is to make people think. To confront them with the unexpected. To wow them.
Art is conception more than execution.
Art engenders discussion. It’s part of the human condition, you want to tell people about it.
If you were paying attention to the Talking Heads you were not prepared for “Remain In Light,” with its new sounds, its refusal to give the public what it was looking for, more songs about buildings and food. And I love “Life During Wartime” from “Fear of Music,” but not as much as “Once In A Lifetime,” with its bubbling from the deep intro, obtuse lyrics and subliminal chorus.
Letting the days go by, let the water hold me down
Letting the days go by, water flowing underground
Into the blue again after the money’s gone
Once in a lifetime, water flowing underground
This is disconnected from society yet a comment thereupon. The best art is other but in being that it is central.
And you may ask yourself…
HOW DO I WORK THIS?
WHERE IS THAT LARGE AUTOMOBILE?
And you may tell yourself…
THIS IS NOT MY BEAUTIFUL WIFE!
There’s the element of disorientation, having lived in the same world as everybody else yet it now no longer makes sense.
And then at 3:24 comes that buzzsaw guitar, or something that sounds like it, an ugly noise that feels so right, and David Byrne is chanting as he goes down the rabbit hole:
Same as it ever was
Same as it ever was
Look where my hand was
Time isn’t holding up
Time isn’t after us…
The song is going down the drain and you want to cast aside all your accoutrements, your life itself, to go down the pipe with it. That’s a hit record, not one that goes to the top of the chart, but one that changes our viewpoint, our preconception, that we can never forget even though we’ve only heard it once. When the album bleeds into the next track not only are you disappointed, you’re empty and soulless.
So now we’ve got this Swedemason, unknown to me previously, mashing up this incredible Talking Heads song with images of Trump reciting the exact same words and the dissonance is riveting.
How did he come up with this?
This is what we used to ask our artists. Before we were supposed to listen to them recite their hardships and sponsorships.
And you may find yourself
Living in a shotgun shack
There seems to be no floor in America anymore, they want to take away the safety net, get ready for free fall.
And you may find yourself in a beautiful house
With a beautiful wife
And you know you may say to yourself
HOW DID I GET HERE??
David Byrne was not thinking of Donald Trump when he wrote these lyrics, but he seems prescient thirty five years later, then again great art is timeless.
Virality comes after conception. If you’re making it to be famous, you’re on the wrong track, but if you capture something deep inside the audience, they cannot help but tell others about it.
And Trump may ask himself
Am I right? Am I wrong?
And he may say to himself
MY GOD, WHAT HAVE I DONE!