Taste Like Honey: Reminiscences from the Αlbum Εra


Bruce Springsteen – Born in the USA


He wasn’t cool. Far from it. Bruce Springsteen was off limits if you were to respect yourself. And the people you had drinks with, to be precise. They call it peer pressure nowadays. It didn’t matter if you were into indie rock or 60’s garage bands or electroclash or whatever alternative else: “The Boss” was out of bounds.

By that time, Bruce was already a rock star performing in stadiums for large crowds. We usually attended gigs with less than a few hundred fans. Even though reasonably, he was still representing the American Dream. When it came to its representation in arts, we could only affirm its imaginative deconstruction. Springsteen looked like a modest, straightforward and honest guy. We craved for the complex, ambiguous, and weird ones.

All things considered, I went against the tide of my alternativa fraternity and bought “Born in the U.S.A.”. Obviously, I was cautious enough not to publicize my subversion. Not to mention, I had far greater problems.

In the spring of 2003 the Americans would invade Iraq. Before long, I would unreservedly join the antiwar march against the stupendous greed of the neocons rallying around George W. Bush. At that point, I believed that we lived in the period of the Bolivarian Revolution of Hugo Chávez, Manu Chao and the Zapatistas.

Needless to say, “The Boss” was a complication. An unexpected error. He was after all the quintessential American hero, an archetype of American, fairly sophisticated, soft power. 


That’s how it went, all right: the law of attraction/repulsion, love and strife, Eros & Thanatos ladies and gentlemen.






Taste Like Honey: Reminiscences from the Αlbum Εra


Madonna - Confessions on a Dance Floor



Once upon a time, Madonna’s “Secret” dominated my lustful teenage thoughts. But no one had to know. Publicly I went along with Shirley Manson from The Garbage.

To confess is to unburden yourself. People come clean inside a church talking to a priest, or even Saint Onuphrius directly, in a forest hugging a tree while crying a little bit, in the offices of a newly founded counter-terrorism unit and, last but certainly not least, in their bed lying gratefully next to their mistress/misteress:

to make a clean breast is to take the air in the era of ‘I Can’t Breathe’.

Madonna’s “Confessions on a Dance Floor” came out in the summer of 2006. “Hung Up” almost instantly became the song I listened to when I needed a fix of make-believe good vibes. Before long, I was forced to admit to myself that gone were the nights I had to play the Smiths DVD (“This Charming Man!”) when I needed to boost morale ahead of another electrifying Saturday night. A new dawn was rising.

In the end, I stopped feeling “Sorry” for dancing to the rhythm of my veiled longing for mainstream pop. After Madonna, came Kylie Minogue with “Can't Get You Out of My Head,” Nelly Furtado with “Say It Right,” and many more.

I had finally escaped the self-imposed penitentiary of so-called guilty pleasures.

Later, I was informed that guilt was anyway imported from the North of Europe. We, Mediterraneans, got shame; Germans got guilt. To put it clear, it is certainly not my intention to contest the unwritten laws of geography.