Situationist influence on music

Discussion in 'music, bands, clubs & festies' started by ska invita, Sep 3, 2017.

  1. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Ooh yoko, she was situ and no-one even knew.
  2. chilango

    chilango *shrugs*

    I used to have this cd which I guess is relevant
  3. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    The book doesn't even have a section on bristol.
  4. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Aye. Also I assumed that they would've liked free jazz (inasmuch as they liked anything).
  5. Casual Observer

    Casual Observer binoculars

    I thought Stewart Home's book was mostly a pisstake of other origins of punk books that were popular at the time, particularly Greil Marcus' Lipstick Traces. Marcus claimed that punk started with the French Revolution, or maybe that was Home taking the piss again. Funnily enough, there was some shit-hot 'proto-punk' and early punk in France (1970-76) that few people know about (Rotomagus, Angelface, Loose Heart).
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2017
  6. chilango

    chilango *shrugs*

    Nobody's mentioned the Manics yet :D
  7. S☼I

    S☼I it's my room get out

    I considered it :D
    4 Real
  8. chilango

    chilango *shrugs*

    I used to know the girl whose mum dressed and bandaged that. #truestory.
    Voley and S☼I like this.
  9. Kaka Tim

    Kaka Tim Crush the Saboteurs!

    Any link between bowie and the situationists? He was very much a student of the avante garde accross different art forms - he would have come accross them for sure. Him and angie doing their gender swap thing and his public statements of bi-sexuality were clearly designed to shock - then creating ziggy as a persona to embody his "otherness" - artifical pop icon as cultural weapon - Dunno. Going all paul morley now ...
  10. krtek a houby

    krtek a houby Turnips - big! Swedes - small!

    Pere Ubu?Pretty sure Greil Marcus linked them to situationism in The Shape of Things to Come.Or maybe it was David Thomas, himself. Great book, btw.
  11. chilango

    chilango *shrugs*

    Wasn't the whole lemon thing something to do with riots and tear gas or something too?
  12. chilango

    chilango *shrugs*

    Negativland, KLF and others heavily into subversive sampling influenced by detournment? Maybe?
  13. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Situationist music?

    [“I was wondering if the Situationists anywhere discuss music specifically? I can’t remember reading anything by them on this (except of course where they talk about art or culture in general); I googled ‘situationist music’ and didn’t find anything.”]

    The SI members scarcely wrote anything about music. They may have felt that it was a more “neutral” art, more a natural part of life rather than a construct that needed to be detourned etc., and thus that it called for less examination. Or perhaps they simply were not so into it and it was a blind spot for them. One of the founding SI members, Walter Olmo, was a composer, but he was among the first to be excluded. Later situ-influenced people did write about music. Francis Pagnon’s book En évoquant Wagner: La musique comme mensonge et comme vérité was published by Champ Libre (1981). David and Stuart Wise’s pamphlet The End of Music (1978) was reprinted by AK Press and also included in Stewart Home’s mostly silly anthology What Is Situationism? But these works, to say nothing of the many later writings linking the situs with Punk, would in most cases not have been approved by the SI. The pro-Punk writings usually imagine that certain kinds of music (e.g. Punk) are radical and other kinds (e.g. classical) are reactionary — a very crude and ignorant notion that would have been dismissed with contempt by Debord, who when he does use music in his films, chooses Handel and other Baroque composers, a jazz passage by Art Blakey, and a Lino Leonardi accordion piece originally written for one of François Villon’s poems.

    For what it’s worth (matters of personal taste, not of theoretical judgment), the pre-SI lettrists were reputedly very fond of Germaine Montero, who is also one of my favorite singers. And I, like practically all my situ-influenced French friends, love Georges Brassens. (See my piece at, though that is, of course, my own take and has no necessary connection with what the situs would have thought about all these singers and songwriters.)

    I forgot to mention Pour en finir avec le travail: Chansons du prolétariat révolutionnaire, a 1974 LP, reissued as a CD in 1998, then again in 2008 under the title “Les Chansons radicales de Mai 68.” It includes one traditional radical song, but mostly new songs to traditional tunes, with lyrics by Debord, Vaneigem, Alice Becker-Ho, and the recently deceased Jacques Le Glou, who also produced the record.
    [March 2011]

    SpookyFrank, chilango and Fozzie Bear like this.
  14. Casual Observer

    Casual Observer binoculars

    Don't know how many of King Mob were in SI but if Charles Radcliffe was then he might merit a tenuous footnote mention. Radcliffe, along with business partner Howard Marks, co-funded Lucifer's 'Fuck You' single released in 1972. The identity of Lucifer was originally a secret but turned out to be a bloke called Dennis Irving who died in a hang gliding accident a few years later. A double album's worth of archive material came out a couple of years ago - it was awful, apparently.
  15. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    Yes he was a member of the short-lived british section. Resigned rather than expelled like the others. I suppose we could follow some Fred Vermorel threads here as well.
    Casual Observer likes this.
  16. butchersapron

    butchersapron blood on the walls

    On King Mob - this is the back cover of Cat Stevens The View From the Top - the Blake aphorism was done by them: cat-stevens-the-view-from-the-top-2.jpg

    Also an article in King Mob Echo #1 called Desolation Row.
  17. Casual Observer

    Casual Observer binoculars

    That was done by King Mob's Al Green who was obsessed with Blake and presumably also did 'the road to excess leads to the palace of wisdom' nearby. Heathcote Williams later improved it (in my book) by changing 'wisdom' to 'Willesden'. I may be jumping to conclusions here but I'm guessing a few of of King Mob may have been Blake obsessives, given as he's connected to the Gordon Riots from which the group take their name. I'm also getting off the music theme so I'd best leave it there.
  18. Fozzie Bear

    Fozzie Bear Well-Known Member

    Short for “détournement of preexisting aesthetic elements.” The integration of present or past artistic productions into a superior construction of a milieu. In this sense there can be no situationist painting or music, but only a situationist use of those means. In a more elementary sense, détournement within the old cultural spheres is a method of propaganda, a method which reveals the wearing out and loss of importance of those spheres.

    - Internationale Situationniste #1 (Paris, June 1958).

    "We want a wild and ephemeral music.
    We propose a fundamental regeneration:
    concert strikes,
    sound gatherings with collective investigation.
    Abolish copyrights: sound structures belong to everyone."

    - Paris '68 graf

    "electronic music could be seen as an attempt (obviously limited and ambiguous) to reverse the domination by detourning machines to the benefit of language."

    - “All the King’s Men” in Internationale Situationniste #8

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