In Conversation with… Sabian Wilde

Marketing Lecturer. Writer. Music Bod. Claims to have coined 'Perthonality'

Debating – Life is a Cabaret

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Current Music: Still no music… hey, it’s only been a couple of minutes.
Current Mood: bouncy

A friend of mine is preparing for a debate tomorrow, the proposition being; CABARET IS THE NEW ROCK AND ROLL. She asked for my thoughts on the subject, and I hope she won’t mind if I repeat them here…

Well, she shouldn’t. I don’t think she knows this place exists.


Cabaret is the new rock and roll? I’m assuming you’re meant to be arguing the affirmative… I don’t know that I have anything funny, but I can always shoot you some ideas, which you may be able to riff from.

Actually, one of my first public experiences of being funny is when I was involved in the debate; Film Is The New Rock And Roll…

I was on the negative team with two rock’n’rollers, both of the opinion that only rock can rock…

I took a slightly different view — namely that rock was quite often stupid, unable to properly explore themes with any real sophistication etc, and thus any real lover of film would be unable to claim film as the new rock and roll and still have any respect for the medium…

It’s less funny written down… I got a great deal of laughs, applause and support for my efforts, with the added bonus of being able to publicly rip my old boss to shreds (she was arguing the affirmative)…

But let’s see…

The rock and roll of yesteryear was built on the premise of melody and entertainment, largely based on themes about love or teen rebellion; purposefully designed for dancing, with many songs creating their own dance numbers to accompany them.

Modern rock is built on the premise of hero worship, while the heroes themselves are introverts who often hate themselves more (but no less importantly) than the world that shaped and created them. Their music reflects this by torturing the melodic basis of the song (Trent Reznor, Marilyn Manson, Staind, Korn etc are sort of in the front of my thoughts here) in much the same way that they perceive their own inner artist to be tortured by a world that doesn’t care, and poorly made eyeliner which keeps running down their faces.

In contrast, Cabaret is currently the stronghold for a musical artform where songs are made for dancing that will entertain rather than give everyone concussion, stars are required to be able to sing in tune, generally about their lives, loves, hopes and dreams without inspiring the audience to kill itself in a fit of empathic pique. Thus, by it’s very nature, modern cabaret is the true home of the spirit which originally animated this thing we call rock, so clearly deserves to be recognised as the new rock’n’roll.

Clearly, this is a little too cerebral, but as I said, maybe you can riff something off the theme…


Written by Xab

Friday, February 4, 2005 at 2:07 am

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