I’M PUTTING UP A SERIES OF ESSAYS ABOUT WORKING ON MY NEW SHOW AND THIS IS THE FIRST ONE– IT’S ABOUT SAMPLING
Wicked Clown Love is the sixth full length show in my pop star/pop music based performance series. As I’ve been working on this show I’ve been thinking about the elements I’ve worked with as I’ve made this series of pieces. I’ve decided I’m gonna put up a variety of lil essays about these thoughts for you as they relate to my work in general and my upcoming Insane Clown Posse based show (Feb 2-4, 2012 at the Kitchen! Be there!!) in specific so that you, the American public, can read all about it, if you so desire… Here is Part 1, entitled SAMPLING CHANGED MY WHOLE FUCKING LIFE
SAMPLING CHANGED MY WHOLE FUCKING LIFE
My Michael Jackson Thriller record on my Fisher Price record player, and watching him on Motown 25 fucking demolish everyone with his talent (while lipsyncing!!!!) made me want to be a performer.
Sampling in hip hop established what I would do as a performer.
Sampling blew my fucking mind.
I distinctly remember sitting in my room as a kid, listening to songs with samples and drum machines and being all:
Wait, hold up. These people take songs you already knew, play bits of them in some new arrangement with a drum machine beat?? And they don’t have a band! They just have a guy with a record player playing that song! And he’s owning up to it because he’s moving the record back and forth! And that scratching noise is so fucking awesome! And it’s noise, it’s not even music! And it’s like a fuck you to “actual” recorded instruments! It’s the fucking future!!
AND I know that song that’s sampled! So it’s like they’re doing all this stuff over a song I already know, making it something else entirely but still reflecting the sampled work! It’s not even necessarily always a comment on the “original” song! It’s a new song! One that speaks through, within and without the other song!!
I followed the court cases over sampling, believing in my heart that the American legal system would find a way to say sampling is OK. After all, it’s the most American thing I can think of.
We killed or put away the authentic inhabitants of this land and since then have built an entire culture of stealing and appropriating and sampling. My white southern preacher using cadences of African American church services, themselves mashed up African and European and American Protestant religious acts, and all those things sampled and sexualized and secularized and re-invented by James Brown, et al, and then now a guy with two turntables looping, sampling, and scraping a needle across ALL OF THAT while someone else rapped about some other thing, all folding up together into a New and Novel Artistic Experience.
So anyway, after all these years, with plenty of time spent playing and experiencing punk music and its ethos; years spent delving into and exploring the strategies of experimental music; the past decade or more making performance art and moving about in contemporary performance and art; ALL those things are processed through and in reference, to me, to sampling, hip hop and America.
So there’s that.