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Thursday, May 1, 2014

Ten Reasons Urban Outfitters is the Enemy of Music

Posted By on Thu, May 1, 2014 at 4:23 AM

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4. According to UO, John Coltrane is the only jazz musician ever born.

Coltrane.jpg
Photo courtesy Jonathan Patrick
Don't get me wrong, Coltrane was a genius. But there were and are other geniuses in Jazz. Arguably even better ones. From shirts and posters to UO's narrow LP selection, Coltrane is essentially the only jazz player represented here. I'm not saying ditch the Trane, I'd just like to see some of those duplicates of A Love Supreme replaced with some Coleman, Mingus or Sun Ra.

5. If you're dead, famous and a musician, then you're also a shirt at Urban Outfitters.

Elvis.jpg
Photo courtesy Jonathan Patrick
Hendrix, Elvis, Biggie, Tupac, Marley, Cobain: they're all images constantly recycled at UO. Certainly, these figureheads are worthy of remembrance, but perpetual commercial re-appropriation has to be one of the absolute worst ways to go about it. Considering these artist's reputations are directly tied to cultural memory, it's a dangerous practice to continually reuse and abuse their likenesses in ways grossly out-of-context. 6. Even non-musical celebrities are exhumed and made-up like musicians.

bruce.jpg
Photo courtesy Jonathan Patrick
The perversion might not be full-on Orwell's Ministry of Truth; but it's not far off. At the very least, this is a mockery of Lee's disciplined legacy and a trivialization of the DJ art form. Granted, he may well have been a mean DJ, but that's beside the point.

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