Bruce Springsteen: SXSW Keynote Address. “We live in a post-authentic world.”

“There’s no right way, no pure way of doing it. There’s just doing it. We live in a post-authentic world. Today, authenticity is a house of mirrors. It’s all just what you’re bringing when the lights go down.”

“Perhaps the most prophetic comment I’ve heard about pop over the past quarter century was made by Lester Bangs upon Elvis’s death.

In 1977, Lester Bangs said Elvis was probably the last thing we were all going to agree on, Public Enemy not counted. From here on in, you would have your heroes and I’d have mine.

The centre of your world may be Iggy Pop or Joni Mitchell or maybe Dylan, mine might be Kiss or Pearl Jam, but we would never see eye to eye and be brought together by one music again.

And his final quote in the article was “So, instead of saying goodbye to Elvis, I’m going to say goodbye to you.”

And while that’s been proven a thousand times over, still, here we are, in a town with thousands of bands, each with a style and philosophy and a song of their own, and I think the best of them feel they have the power to turn Lester’s prophecy inside out, and to beat his odds.”

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This blog is a shamelessly random collection of cool things, rants and nonsense. View all posts by the anti-laugh

6 responses to “Bruce Springsteen: SXSW Keynote Address. “We live in a post-authentic world.”

  • Tim Footman

    Is the “post-authenticity” schtick his excuse for getting a facelift?

  • Robert Krause

    The exponential fragmentation and acceleration of ‘post post modern’ capitalist culture makes the odds of unifying figures ever slimmer. If some do emerge – and it pains me to say this given rock remains my favourite genre they will probably not be in the very 20th century and anglo-american medium of guitar rock (and its offshoots). Rock is going the way of jazz etc – niche music that still retains enough creative energy to avoid fossilisation. More major icons will emerge convergences between more styles enjoying more universal popularity with youth (hip hop, electronic) and various indigenous musical traditions. Also the individuals/groups will not be preoccupied with universal acclaim or the barriers to its realisation. They will just be doing their thing – putting what moves them into song/rhymes and promoting their music with every fibre of their being. If they are too concious about being/wanting to be gods a large sector of the public will loath them (like U2) for them to attain the stature of an Elvis, Beatles or Bob Marley

  • Howard Jackson

    Read Alex Ross for an explanation as to why music divides rather than unites.

  • Living in the Post-Authentic World | Just Above Sunset

    […] that goes along with the big music festival – Bruce Springsteen gave the keynote address. And he let it rip – “We live in a post-authentic world. Today, authenticity is a house of […]

  • duffiedog

    Thank you for posting more of his comments. Rock has always been divisive, yet with some unifying agreement in areas. I think Lester Bangs was generally correct. Springsteens comments, though, are ambiguous. The term “post authentic world” doesn’t define anything. It reminds me of the culture jamming that’s happened in the OWS movement. It links iteself to the Fluxus movement that nearly defies definition. It’s deep and meaningless at the same time.

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