The platform is a fire hose of asinine recommendations for songs you haven’t heard that were only recommended to you because they’re as similar as possible to songs you have. (In the words of one Guardian writer: “You like bread? Try toast!”) In pursuit of its goal of perfect, frictionless streaming, Spotify encourages you to outsource the work of deciding what you like and dislike, and of figuring out why.
I love them. True dudes.
— How Phoebe Bridgers Made ‘Punisher’, Angie Martoccio in Rolling Stone
I was watching Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (1999) the other day. It’s the height of camp, and I was trying to work out what the elements were and what they reminded me of. Then it came to the introductory Potiphar number and it clicked.
The Rich Man’s Frug is a dance number that appears in Sweet Charity (1969), a musical comedy directed by the choreographer Bob Fosse. It typifies Bob Fosse’s style: absurdist elements, people-as-stage, and intense camp.
At its most basic level, music is simply a series of amplitudes and frequencies that make human beings move and vocalise in diverse and strange ways. However, like all other forms of human expression and entertainment, it is now a commodity. This commodity is now packaged to be sold, streamed, licensed and advertised to us. The people who distribute the music define our experience with this basic human commodity. These days there’s very little you can do to hear music without interacting with a third party of some kind, short of listening to a friend play guitar in your living room (as long as he’s lot playing from sheet music, royalties abound).