Monday, May 21, 2012

More Musical Meta

By chance, I heard on the radio, an interview with JD McPherson, together with a sample of his singing. 

He basically re-plows the furrow of rhythm & blues, but with a scholar’s exactness;  and he channels his black masters (this Oklahoma whiteboy) with impeccable intelligence and artistry.   His delivery matches that of any of them;  albeit, half a century too late.

What caught my attention, though, was the title of his album:  “Signs & Signifiers”.  Anyone who has ever attended an MLA convention  will instantly recognize this phrase as semiotic ingroup-speak.  Thus, more than merely retro, his exhuming, or re-imagining, is itself an exercise in meta, or even faux-naif.

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