I’m forever promoting things on Wordcore. It’s what blogging is like, I guess – it’s a portfolio of interests, of the things that have caught your eye, and you’re more likely to devote your precious posts on things which appeal than anything else. Just occasionally though, it’s cathartic to let go and nail your colours to the mast without ambiguity. Tonight, I do this with reference to one Michael Bublé.
He is of course, not a phenomenon that has sprung up overnight. However, the Canadian singer has attracted my ire this evening in particular because of An Audience With Michael Bublé, broadcast tonight on ITV1. Now, I cannot claim to have actually watched this abomination, but merely to have been assaulted with some of it while out playing a bit of pool tonight. Basically the format went like this: in a lavish studio, Bublé trots out his nauseatingly cheesy songs, interspersed with choreographed “banter” with his audience of celebrity sycophants. “I’m more popular than Jesus!” he joked, using the line which nigh-on destroyed John Lennon and The Beatles’ American reputation in 1966. That comment came in the middle of a little speech in which Bublé heaped lavish tongue-in-cheek praise on himself, visibly enjoying it. To paraphrase another highlight, “it’s my talent and handsomeness that I credit for my being so humble”.
A lot of people love the man’s music. This is, of course, fine: whilst I may personally think that the songs are a vapid imitation of the “romance” and “emotion” they supposedly represent, I’ll defend the subjectivity of it all to the death. What I really object to is the fact that Bublé’s rapper-esque self-aggrandizing is what the tiny amount of music broadcasting we have is getting used for. From what I could see, tonight’s show was designed not to please “an audience” but to inflate the persona and the image of Bublé himself, to an extent which (to my mind) is vastly out of proportion to his actual talents. But what ought we to have expected?
We live in an era when real earnestness and ability in music is being slowly strangled out of mainstream coverage. ITV are of course among the prime culprits, somehow supposedly carrying away the nation’s hearts with the “drama” that is the televisual car-crash of The X-Factor and its ilk, beholden to the music industry’s greediest and most cynical figures, lining up “next big things” like so many bottles of pop, to be sucked dry and discarded. Worse still, even the BBC, unquestionably the country’s best broadcaster of any kind, seeks to crush its own most innovative and challenging radio station, shielded by the nonsensical non-logic of “money saving”. It’s a sham, an act aptly described by Phil Jupitus as an “act of cultural vandalism”, which will further ghetto-ise the people who refuse to have their tastes thrust upon them by the money men. Am I alone out here on the fringes?