February 7, 2010

Zola Jesus

A major press score for this rising independent artist from Wausau, Wisconsin. Among her own favorite music:
Brethren — Hail Aids
This is a very bad song. The context of the song and the mission statement of the artist is incredibly insular and bigoted. It is hard for a lot of people to get past that when listening to Brethren. But his songs are so passionate, so intense, so brutal and raw, and you know what he’s saying he means with such conviction. It is frightening but at the same time kind of empowering that someone can make music like this. Almost like a testament to America’s freedom of speech. I don’t agree with the context of his project but I respect that he has the freedom and certitude to do this. And this song is so powerful. It’s really moving.
It takes courage to say something like that. On the other hand, we routinely praise Richard Wagner, who was viciously anti-Semitic,* although his lyrics in that regard were less overt than Brethren's.

* See esp. Nietzsche's letters to Wagner.

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