Author Topic: PROJECT OF THE WEEK (15th of November): THE THIRD REICH 'N ROLL  (Read 125 times)


  • Global Moderator
  • Jr. Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 56
  • Fast and Bulbous
    • View Profile
« on: November 15, 2017, 09:35:47 pm »
It seems like Nazis are popping up more and more in the news lately, so it seems like the perfect time to listen to some 60's music! Or something.

Hang on, I'm not moleshow, what is going on?!
« Last Edit: December 18, 2017, 10:43:58 am by Meisekimiu »

Social Buttons


  • Administrator
  • Full Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 206
  • Debatably Helpful
  • Location: Kay See Ehm Oh
    • View Profile
(Jumping off from a discussion of MTR...)

Their methods of using blunt and easily misinterpreted concepts continue on here for The Third Reich ‘n’ Roll. Due to the globally upsetting nature of Nazi imagery, it’s not outlandish to say that while they may not be addressing a specific audience, they were looking to shock them. At this point in their discography, their main focus, visually speaking, was on the use and distortion of topics and imagery that hold great emotional power for a large number of people.

Dressing the still-relevant radio host Dick Clark as Hitler allowed for reactions on two levels, depending on the audience. The first, a reaction of shock and perhaps repulsion at the abundance of Nazi imagery displayed on the cover. The second, though, contextualizes that imagery. Since the album consists of blended covers of the hooks of hits from the 1960s, the assumption could be made that they were referring to the music industry as being fascist in nature, lead by charming hosts. Like Dick Clark. These individuals take up positions akin to those of prophets or preachers- mouthpieces for the God-figure that is the music industry. They bring these figures down from their elevated positions and strip them of their seemingly untouchable identities. As they are a creation of the culture, The Residents treat them as they would anything else created by it while paying no mind to the social boundaries it has set.

The liner notes contain a cheeky note from The Residents’ managing entity that would seem to confirm this assumption, describing the album as a “tribute to the thousands of little power-mad minds in the music industry who have helped make us what we are today, with an open eye on what we can make them tomorrow.” This gives us access to a more in-depth view of what goes on beneath the music.

In this case, The Residents use themselves as a filter through which the music of the previous decade passes. They recontextualize the music by exposing it to the scrutiny of their own inclinations and their own artistic drive, but also by packaging it in a shocking (yet lighthearted, and perhaps even humorous) manner. The music being covered gains a more serious, critical air to it when its creators (and its creation) is equated with the mindsets and creations of the Nazis.

But they use this idea as a point from which they can jump off- seeing the true ugliness of a thing, a manifestation and execution of that which is exceptionally and horrifically twisted within us- one can only go so far down before you hit the bottom. And they seem to paint the musical crimes of the past as a standard of what must be avoided. They look to it and seem to ask “what can we do better?” The music they create is a critique of the culture that produced it as much as it is an example of what stands to grow from it.
"All our lives we love illusion, neatly caught between confusion and the need to know we are alive."