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Thursday, 26 June 2014

WEST COAST EARLY 90S GOTHIC

I was reading a review of Lana del Rey's Ultraviolence the other day, in Q or the NME or somewhere, and I came across the suggestion of a new pop culture genre that had hitherto been vague to me, though one I knew I loved - without naming it - even as I very much lived through it.  In fact, the reviewer doesn't make a claim of a new genre, but mentions that her new album seems to be in the same world as early 90s American artifacts like Twin Peaks, the song 'Wicked Game' and Mazzy Star's heroin-pop music.

There was a deviant, weird twang to that time, basically a twisted 50s vibe, where everything decent and American from the 50s became reinvested with the subtextual sex, subversion and queerness that was always latent in its Sirkian surfaces.  Buried Camp revisited, this time as a darker sultrier post-modern reorganisation - but dreamy, haunted, weird - Ed Wood the movie, as it were. Well, okay, I buy into that - the creepy post-modernity of X-Files (also West Coast and Gothic) fits, as does the fascination with the thwarted love affair between Lecter and Starling.

And, the more I thought about this, I realised, I came into my own, poetically and aesthetically, in the early 90s - my first pamphlets published then.  Suddenly, my own post-modern style came to me - I too was a West Coast Early 90s Gothic kinda guy, at least up until my second collection, Cafe Alibi. Just thought I;d mention that, because, 20 + years later, the 1990-1994 American period in America seems most fertile muck indeed.
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