Ironically, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is not very rock n' roll.
While it's rare to hear anyone excited about anything that happens in Cleveland, the music world is abuzz with news of the 2020 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees.
Being inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is among the top honors any musician can hope to achieve, and past inductees include a wide range of icons from Bob Dylan to Etta James to The Grateful Dead. This year's honorees include Notorious B.I.G., Whitney Houston, Pat Benatar, Dave Matthews Band, Depeche Mode, the Doobie Brothers, Judas Priest, Kraftwerk, MC5, Motörhead, Nine Inch Nails, Rufus featuring Chaka Khan, Todd Rundgren, Soundgarden, T. Rex and Thin Lizzy. Those who receive the most votes will be inducted May 2nd, 2020 at a ceremony at Cleveland's Public Hall.
While fans and media personnel take the Hall of Fame very seriously, it's not uncommon for rock stars to display nothing but nonchalance and cool when faced with this great honor, or even to snub it altogether—which, honestly, is pretty rock and roll. So, in celebration of the 2020 nominees, we've compiled a list of times musical icons didn't give a f*ck about the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
1. Todd Rundgren
Todd Rundgren, among the 2020 nominees, met news of this honor with a simple, "No comment." This is the second year in a row Rundgren has been nominated, and many consider it a major slight that he has yet to be included in the hall of fame. He told Billboard last year: "I didn't expect it and have never cared about it. The hardest thing was keeping my fans' expectations within reasonable bounds because they are very naive about it. I'm not; It's some weird Illuminati thing and nobody understands how it works and who does the voting and the nominee selections and all that sort of crap.
I'm not looking for some organization to acknowledge me, somehow. Besides, the Hall of Fame doesn't make any sense to me because musicians don't have to retire. Athletes retire, and that's when they go into the Hall of Fame, because they're not playing anymore. But everybody (the Rock Hall) is inducting now is still playing, so how can you say you've got the measure of them? You don't. So, no, I really don't care."
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Let's take a look at Nazi-inspired fashion.
Villains always have the best outfits.
From Darth Vader's polished black space armor to The Joker's snazzy purple suit, bad guys always seem to show up their protagonists in the fashion department.
Way more handsome than Batman. static.giantbomb.com
But could there possibly be a real world equivalent to the type of over-the-top villain fashion often found in fiction? It would have to be sleek and imposing, austere and dangerous. Probably black.
Maybe it's him. Maybe it's fascist ideology.
Let's call a spade a spade. From an aesthetic standpoint, the Nazi SS outfit is very well-designed. The long coat tied around the waist with a buckle portrays a slim, sturdy visage. The leather boots and matching cap look harsh and powerful. The emblem placements on the lapel naturally suggest rank and authority. And the red armband lends a splash of color to what would otherwise be a dark monotone. If the Nazi uniform wasn't so closely tied with the atrocities they committed during WWII, it wouldn't seem out of place at Fashion Week. Perhaps not too surprising, considering many of the uniforms were made by Hugo Boss.
Pictured: A real thing Hugo Boss did. i.imgur.com
Of course, today, Nazi uniform aesthetics are inseparable from the human suffering doled out by their wearers. In most circles of civilized society, that's more than enough reason to avoid the garb in any and all fashion choices. But for some, that taboo isn't a hindrance at all–if anything, it's an added benefit.
As a result, we have Nazi chic, a fashion trend centered around the SS uniform and related Nazi imagery.
History of Nazi Chic
For the most part, Nazi chic is not characterized by Nazi sympathy. Rather, Nazi chic tends to be associated with counterculture movements that view the use of its taboo imagery as a form of shock value, and ironically, anti-authoritarianism.
The movement came to prominence in the British punk scene during the mid-1970s, with bands like the Sex Pistols and Siouxsie and the Banshees displaying swastikas on their attire alongside other provocative imagery.
Very rotten, Johnny. i.redd.it
Around this time, a film genre known as Nazisploitation also came to prominence amongst underground movie buffs. A subgenre of exploitation and sexploitation films, Naziploitation movies skewed towards D-grade fare, characterized by graphic sex scenes, violence, and gore. Plots typically surrounded female prisoners in concentration camps, subject to the sexual whims of evil SS officers, who eventually escaped and got their revenge. However, the most famous Nazisploitation film, Ilsa, She Wolf of the SS, flipped the genders.
The dorm room poster that will ensure you never get laid. images-na.ssl-images-amazon.com
Ilsa was a female SS officer and the victims were men. She spent much of the movie wearing her Nazi uniform in various states, sexually abusing men all the while. As such, Ilsa played into dominatrix fantasies. The movie was a hit on the grindhouse circuit, inspiring multiple sequels and knock-offs and solidifying Nazi aesthetics as a part of the BDSM scene.
Since then, Nazi chic fashion has been employed by various artists, from Madonna to Marilyn Manson to Lady Gaga, and has shown up in all sorts of places from leather clubs to character designs in video games and anime.
Lady Gaga looking SS-uper. nyppagesix.files.wordpress.com
Nazi Chic in Asia
Nazi chic has taken on a life of its own in Asia. And unlike Western Nazi chic, which recognizes Nazism as taboo, Asian Nazi chic seems entirely detached from any underlying ideology.
A large part of this likely has to do with the way that Holocaust education differs across cultures. In the West, we learn about the Holocaust in the context of the Nazis committing horrific crimes against humanity that affected many of our own families. The Holocaust is presented as personal and closer to our current era than we might like to think. It is something we should "never forget." Whereas in Asia, where effects of the Holocaust weren't as prominent, it's simply another aspect of WWII which, in and of itself, was just another large war. In other words, Nazi regalia in Asia might be viewed as simply another historical military outfit, albeit a particularly stylish one.
In Japan, which was much more involved with WWII than any other Asian country, Nazi chic is usually (but not always) reserved for villainous representations.
OF COURSE. i.imgur.com
That being said, J-Pop groups like Keyakizaka46 have publicly worn Nazi chic too, and the phenomena isn't limited to Japan.
In South Korea, Indonesia, and Thailand, Nazi imagery has shown up in various elements of youth culture, completely void of any moral context. For instance, in Indonesia, a Hitler-themed fried chicken restaurant opened in 2013. And in Korea, K-Pop groups like BTS and Pritz have been called out for propagating Nazi chic fashion. Usually such incidents are followed by public apologies, but the lack of historical understanding makes everything ring hollow.
So the question then: is Nazi chic a bad thing?
The answer is not so black and white.
On one hand, seeing Nazi chic on the fashion scene may dredge up painful memories for Holocaust survivors and those whose family histories were tainted. In this light, wearing Nazi-inspired garb, regardless of intent, seems disrespectful and antagonistic. Worse than that, it doesn't even seem like a slight against authority so much as a dig at actual victims of genocide.
But on the other hand, considering the fact that even the youngest people who were alive during WWII are edging 80, "forgetting the Holocaust" is a distinct possibility for younger generations. In that regard, perhaps anything that draws attention to what happened, even if it's simply through the lens of "this outfit should be seen as offensive," might not be entirely bad. This, compounded by the fact that Nazi chic is not commonly associated with actual Nazi or nationalistic sentiments, might be enough to sway some people–not necessarily to wear, like, or even appreciate its aesthetics, but rather to understand its place within counterculture.
Ultimately, one's views on Nazi chic likely come down to their own personal taste and sensibilities. For some, Nazi chic is just a style, an aesthetic preference for something that happens to be mired in historical horror. For others, the shadow of atrocity simply hangs too strong.
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Atmospheric dreamscapes, catchy pop melodies and sci-fi moodiness.
Mr. Hudson recently dropped a new album, entitled When the Machine Stops, featuring Vic Mensa, Taylor Bennett, Goody Grace, Petite Noir, Josh Dean & Schae.
Hudson describes the music as "sad robot music," an exploration of isolation in a digital world, enhanced by Hudson's decision to produce and mix the album on his laptop computer.
When the Machine Stops is his first album since 2009's Straight No Chaser. Since then, he's released a series of collaborative singles: "Zombie Love," "Screwed," featuring Zoe Kravitz, "I See Love," featuring Joe Jonas. He's worked with Kanye West and on Kid Cudi's album, Kids See Ghosts.
Popdust sat down with Mr. Hudson to find out more about feeling secluded even when surrounded by people and Billie Eilish's influence on his sound.
Mr Hudson - CHICAGO feat. Vic Mensa (Official Lyric Video) youtu.be
How would you describe yourself?
I'm a musician: singer, producer, writer, and, at the moment, an Englishman in L.A.
What is the most trouble you've ever gotten into?
I was once chased through the streets of Camden by the police. I didn't realize they were chasing me. I was just jogging to the studio. They thought I'd stolen a bag.
What's your favorite song to belt out in the car or the shower?
Probably "Life On Mars" by David Bowie.
Who is your favorite music artist?
How did you get started in music? What's the backstory there?
I was lucky to have older brothers who were passionate about music, so it was normal for me. We had a piano and guitars in the house. My parents were very tolerant of our heavy metal experiments.
Why make music? I mean: What's the point for you?
It's been my life since I was 8. I was a small kid for my age, so sport wasn't fun. Music made me feel ten feet tall. It's the closest thing I have to a religion.
Rumor has it your new album, When the Machine Stops, was influenced by Billie Eilish's moody style. What do you find intriguing about her sound?
I just loved how quiet the vocals were to the point of claustrophobia. Quiet is the new loud, it seems. Finneas' production is silly good. I love the fact that they made the record in his room on Logic.
The new album was crafted on a laptop rather than in a glitzy studio. What motivated you to move in this direction?
It just felt more in keeping with the times. It's so much quicker, and the software is catching up with all the big expensive hardware. Plus, you can work anywhere rather than saying, "I'll do it when I get to the studio."
There's a remote, secluded savor to the songs on the album – a feeling of isolation. What induced this "lonely" mood?
I spend a lot of time alone and the record was mostly made in solitude, often with headphones on at the airport or in a hotel room. I produced it and mixed it, so I just had to lock myself away with my laptop and get it done. To be honest, the life of a musician can be isolating. Even when there are lots of people around, you're not necessarily with your people.
What's next for you, musically?
I've been working on music for others, which has been refreshing. It's been a pleasure working on new songs with John Legend, and I'm excited by a new artist called Duckwrth. Get familiar!
Will you be doing any touring?
I'll do some shows towards the end of the year. Probably quite a minimal setup. Piano, suit, good bottle of wine.