Posts tagged ‘Led Zeppelin’

Three Cheers for Cultural Appropriation

Of all the stupidities coming out of modern college Progressivism, perhaps one of the dumbest is the opposition to cultural appropriation.  Progress comes from cultural mixing -- a good way to think of this is to imagine the opposite of "cultural appropriation" which would likely be something like "cultural apartheid".  That doesn't sound good.

Take just one example -- popular music over the last century.  For a variety of reasons (including their outsider status for much of American history), African Americans have been a font of musical innovation unmatched in the entire world.  Jazz, blues, rock, Motown-style pop, funk, disco, and hip hop all owe much or all of their origins and power to American black music.   Go ask even famous white groups like the Beatles and the Rolling Stones and Eric Clapton and Led Zeppelin who their inspirations were, and they will rattle off mostly black names from Howlin Wolf to Chuck Berry to George Clinton.   Seriously, what Renaissance Italians were to painting, American blacks have been to music.

Being of German decent, I am not going to spend my life listening to just Wagner and polka music. Which reminds me of a story -- not to go all Godwin on you, but the Nazis were a great example of that "cultural apartheid" term I made up earlier. They didn't want pure Germanic culture to be tainted by other (they felt inferior) cultural influences. I have seen the Germans interviewed after the war joking that they were sick of "der fledermaus" because it seemed to be the only opera that could get past the Nazi cultural appropriation police and get played in the years just before the war.

I refuse to inflict this on myself.  I am going to appropriate music from African Americans and anywhere else I feel like.

Postscript:  By the way, Black music in America is in some sense a story of the improvement of the fortunes of African Americans.  In the 1950's and 60's, Black blues musicians couldn't reach white audiences, and bands like the Rolling Stones made a fortune because they played blues music but with safely (for the time) white faces.   White performers ended up with most of the financial rewards from black music.   In the 70's-80's, black musicians started to reach white audiences directly, and enjoy some of the financial rewards, but still were mainly controlled by white producers and record labels.  Today, innovative black musicians (often from the rap / hi hop world) are not just performers but have staked out powerful positions in the industry itself.

Prog Rock

I am always hesitant to recommend bands I have just discovered, at the risk of demonstrating my complete ignorance of a band everyone else has heard of.  "Hey, have you ever heard of these Led Zeppelin guys...."

Anyway, at the risk of such an outcome, I was searching for some 70's/80's style prog rock and found a band called The Mystery.  Prog rock fans might check them out if I am not the last person on Earth to hear of them.  Just as a taste calibration, I like a lot of different music but early Genesis and in particular the live album Seconds Out are among my favorites.

I am just emerging from a fairly obsessive phase over the last few weeks listening to Dream Theater and the related Liquid Tension Experiment almost to the exclusion of all else.

Prior to that I was digging through the John Petrucci and Al Di Meola catalogs.  Also exploring Steven Wilson at the recommendation of a reader.


Wow- a video of Jimmy Page in 1957.  For you younger folks, Page was lead guitarist for the Yardbirds and Led Zeppelin, among others.

Internet Name that Tune - Awesome!

Maybe this is one of those things that I am the last person on the Internet to find, but here you can find a name that tune game that is customizable.  This particular one is for Led Zeppelin, but you can fill in the band or artist in the upper right, and you get a name that tune game for that artist.  Of course, you need speakers and a fast enough connection to get the streaming audio.   Thanks to Post Modern Meanderings for the heads-up.