by carl wilson

Continental Grift

What to do? I didn't have the time and the stomach to return to the rhetorical ring of "is M.I.A. a phony art-school aristocrat ripper-off of the people's music?" (Isn't it funny how awhile ago she stood accused of stealing grime and when that didn't work they revealed her true crimes against baile funk?) And yet Simon had just offered his most balanced (and internally contradictory) enumeration of points so far. (Mainly because he finally owns up to just not liking the music that much.) Luckily, Clap Clap Blog has come to my rescue. He doesn't make all the same points in the same way I would but on the basics - she's not pretending to be part of anything she's not, she's making pop; being a lone wolf is as complicated as repping a scene (you'd have to reject way too much if that weren't true); politics is only one part of what MIA's music is about and is taking up too much of the conversation; everyone is real and everybody's a fake; nobody needs a "ghetto passport" (Joe Strummer, keep your filthy white hands off that reggae!); it's not about fandom (musicians are always music fans); etc etc etc - he gets it done. I'd add: Pop's musical "nowhere" isn't just "utopian" in potential. That's a privileged dropout move. But from other positions, what Simon sniffs at as "nowhere" is also dystopian, about being outcast as a starting point and your own voice as a line you throw forward that can begin to pull you towards land. M.I.A. is a complex example of that voyage in pop, and how wonderful to hear her doing it dancing and laughing all the way.

The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Tuesday, March 08 at 03:31 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (4)



don't get me wrong, i have no prob with eppy's analysis. i think that shit is cool. i just think it's as far as anyone needs to go with MIA.

Posted by steve on March 9, 2005 08:24 PM



Eppy's willingness to actually talk about music as music is one of the best things about his site. It's not the end of a conversation but a fresh starting point. (And if you think the MIA subject's over with - remember the record isn't even actually OUT yet!)

Posted by zoilus on March 9, 2005 07:59 PM



That's what you motherfucking do with music.

That said: yes, the baby can now be safely swaddled.

Posted by Eppy on March 9, 2005 07:04 PM



fantastic assessment. we've now successfully managed to examine the structure of an MIA song from measure to measure, key to key, as we might do with mozart. may we now put this issue to rest?

Posted by steve on March 9, 2005 12:52 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson