Postmodern to the Point of Pain

Jonathan Bellman

The Leningrad Cowboys and the Red Army Chorus (and musicians, obviously) doing "Sweet Home Alabama."  Not sure they completely understand such lyrics as "I hope Neil Young will remember/Southern Man doesn't need him around, anyhow" and "Now Watergate does not bother me/Does your conscience bother you?".

In all its glory.

Seems appropriate today, somehow.

About jonathanbellman

Professor of Music History and Literature and Head of Academic Studies in Music at the University of Northern Colorado. Author, *The _Style Hongrois_ in the Music of Western Europe* (Northeastern University Press, 1993), *A Short Guide to Writing About Music* (2e, Longman, 2008), *Chopin's Polish Ballade: Op. 38 as Narrative of National Martyrdom* (Oxford University Press, 2010), Editor, *The Exotic in Western Music* (Northeastern University Press, 1998), author of bunches of articles and reviews and so on. Likes to play the piano, the mandolin, and even guitar sometimes. A. M. and Jo Winchester Distinguished Scholar at UNC, 2011.
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5 Responses to Postmodern to the Point of Pain

  1. Mark says:

    That was well worth 2:14! What about the line “Muscle Shoals has got the swampers”? But really, there are probably several who have thought about the lyrics, of those red army guys and rockabilly clowns. What about the people in the audience, they don’t seem to be thinking about the lyrics, just rocking out.

  2. I remember seeing that on the 1994 MTV awards. I had spent that summer playing trombone/euphonium in a circus band for a theme park in Lake George, NY, and they had us up in hotels for the last week of the gig. Since there’s not a whole lot to do in Glens Falls/Lake George on a Sunday night in early September, I was in the room and had the TV on.
    It was surreal then, and it hasn’t gotten any less so over the years.

  3. Peter Alexander says:

    Wow! If this doesn’t sprain something in your brain . . . I gotta tell everybody I know about this. Thanks.Jonathan! –p.a.

  4. Michael says:

    You know, I’m not sure I “completely understand” a tune like “Moscow Nights”, either. But I try, and it doesn’t hurt. Why should this clip be painful? Maybe it’s the hair.

  5. sigs says:

    😀 don’t take the thing so seriously, they don’t either… the band in the picture just happens to be a somewhat anarchistic/punky band in its home country (Finland)
    The red army choir thing points to the name “Leningrad Cowboys”. Also, in the chaotic times of the 90’s in Russia, the currency plummeted and unemployment was the biggest pest of former army officers. That means that a pee-pee-poo-poo-band like Leningrad Cowboys could hire them (the former pride of the Soviet Union, or something) to sing in the background.
    TL;DR: it looks probably just as dumb and absurd it’s meant to.

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