Saturday, November 07, 2009

Noughties By Nature #27: Amanda Palmer - Oasis

It’s the fag-end of the future's first decade and, in the land of the free, darkness is spreading under the shadow of a right-wing fundamentalist ascendancy that threatens reproductive rights and freedom of information. Who you gonna call, if not Boston’s finest punk-cabaret force of nature? On Oasis, Amanda hammers out a relentlessly breezy Beach Boys clap-along, face set in a rictus grin as her teenage protagonist recounts My Rape and Consequent Abortion: the High School Musical Version. This satire on received expectations of feminine behaviour sees life’s little misadventures pale into dismissible insignificance before our heroine's life-affirming receipt of a signed photograph from Oasis. And why not? Described by Palmer as ‘pro-choice but anti-stupid’, the song's strength lies not in trivialising real and immediate horrors, but in rendering them absurd enough to laugh at, and by extension pointing up the equal absurdity of their treatment in the social and political sphere. In a predictable if appropriately head-desking twist, the song’s subject matter meant that both the single and its Palin-baiting video were subject to an airplay ban in the UK. God knows what the Gallaghers made of it, but Oasis remains a jaw-dropping counterpunch for times when laughter is the most powerful weapon to hand.
Rhian Jones

[Album: Who Killed Amanda Palmer]

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