Tim Rogers, M.I.A and Born Freeeeee

I really enjoyed Tim Rogers’ performance on the Marngrook Footy Show tonight.  I found it to be a really sweet piece of song-story telling, really well crafted.  First time I’ve connected with him, so it’s always good to open up to new experiences.

It’s also good to see a footy show with indigenous presence; any program with indigenous presence.  Yet it still is just so weird to live in this massively lopsided world where half of the population is ‘the norm’, where men’s sports, men musicians, etc, etc, are the norm.  It gets fatiguing, bewildering, and then I re-snap back to incredulous fury about it.

Which is why snapping back into M.I.A on Later with Jools Holland was liberating, especially her track Born Free.  Female presence, female anger.  Female thought: no that I mean this in a limiting way.  

Again I enjoy the Jools Holland show for that simple, powerful idea of musical dialogue, of these different styles, ages, atmospheres of music right beside each other; in the round.  Why Eric Clapton got that level of praise I don’t know.  He looks to the past for the future, M.I.A is definitely associated with the new (even as she had the fantastic The Specials play with her).  

It is so weird to see Eric Clapton watching Louis Armstrong footage, then doing that same song.  It did seem strange, the whole thing of Eric doing a cover of this song that is from a specific tradition.  I know that even the debate around different cultures using something like the blues (let alone other forms) is so old, yet here was Eric (and, it must be said, older white males) doing this chugging-old blues.  For me, he wasn’t a mind-blowing guitarist (or vocalist). There’s so much room to do something exciting with a cover like that.  

Without perhaps even being conscious of it, Eric named only male guitarists as his inspiration, and said there’s some many “young guys”.  And I re-snapped back to how weird and lop-sided this freaking world is.  Where (a little) less than half the population is the ‘norm’.  

And I felt M.I.A again, with her tight, focused female drummer and fellow female vocalist and synth player, singing in a new, caterwauling assemblage: Born Free. Fuck yeah.



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