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The Miraculous

The Miraculous: Music

16. 1977/1978, Somewhere in England

A 19-year-old British musician whose band has just released their first single, explains to a journalist, “All I write about is youth and hate.” When someone else interviews him at the age of 20, he confesses to feeling so much older that he can no longer write “kids’ anthems.” His musical tastes, which are grounded in 1960s pop, haven’t changed but his sense of his own authenticity has: “I really like youth songs, really old classic youth songs, but I mean, it's just a lie to carry on writin' 'em."

The Miraculous: Music

17. 1992, Select Magazine

“I became a pop star because I hated football at school,” recalls a British pop star who was bullied in Catholic school for being “soft” (i.e., gay). “Becoming a pop star was my revenge. Revenge for being bad at football. For not being athletic. For being mocked.”

The Miraculous: Music

18. 1988/2019 and various times in between, England

Asked by a music writer at what point did he realize his band was going to be a success, a singer songwriter says that he knew instantly. "There were lots and lots of people ready to identify with what I was feeling. Hatred! Hating everything, but not being offensively hateful (chuckle). It was like hate from quite gentle people." After the band breaks up, he titles his first solo album Viva Hate. At first this seems like an extension of his famously combative personality, but in the years that follow, as he makes frequent anti-immigrant remarks, repeatedly criticizes those who speak out against sexual harassment in the entertainment industry and, during a performance on the Tonight Show, sports the logo of a notorious far-right political party, more and more of his fans (or, as they now have to think of themselves, ex-fans) conclude that the kind of hate he espouses has morphed from post-adolescent angst into pure cruelty. In short, it’s no longer charming.

The Miraculous: Music

19. 1994, France

fter achieving best-seller status in his mid 40s, French novelist who comes from a long line of organists and is himself an accomplished cellist, abruptly cancels an international music festival he founded only four years earlier and severs ties with another music festival he co-directs. He also ceases his own public cello performances. The motivation behind these actions becomes clearer two years later when he publishes a book titled La haine de la musique (The Hatred of Music).

The Miraculous: Music

20. 2016, New Orleans

A famous singer-songwriter takes her husband, their 11-year-old son and one of his friends to a concert by a legendary German electronic band. She loves the band, and is especially excited to expose her son and his friend to the music. She explains to them as they enter the venue how important the band was to early hip hop.


The Brooklyn Rail

SEPT 2022

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