I don’t know on what planet Jeff Tweedy lives but he is so cut off from the current culture that he didn’t even know there was a new Star Wars in the work, at least this is what he admits in this new interview. At everyone’s surprise, Wilco released an album last month, with a cat on the cover and a weird title, ‘Star Wars’. It really amazed me… how could he get away with that?
The Wilco frontman was interviewed by Rolling Stone, and this is what he had to say about the art cover and the title:
‘It’s kind of an extension of the thought process behind, I don’t know, staying in touch with some sort of wild energy as much as possible and some sort of an irreverence. But that painting of that cat hangs in the kitchen at the [Wilco] loft, and every day I’d look at it and go, ‘You know, that should just be the album cover.’ Then I started thinking about the phrase ‘Star Wars’ recontextualized against that painting — it was beautiful and jarring. The album has nothing to do with Star Wars. It just makes me feel good. It makes me feel limitless and like there’s still possibilities and still surprise in the world, you know?
Then Jeff added he was not a Star Wars fan… ‘ In fact, I didn’t know there was a new Star Wars movie coming out until my lawyer told me.’
But again, how does George Lucas, or rather Disney, now that the famous mouse bought the franchise, feel about the whole thing?
‘Everybody advised me against it,’ explained Tweedy, ‘because there is a heavily protected trademark involved. But I think from our point of view, it was clearly recontextualized, clearly did not have any of the look and feel of what would be protected under law. So, you know, we’ll see. They haven’t said anything so far. I know that the nature of it is that it’s likely that somebody would just because you kinda have to protect trademarks, I guess — you know, otherwise you lose them. But we didn’t see it as that as all. I actually don’t think of that movie at all, and that was kind of the point. You can still take something and make it your own. Everybody feels like we’re kind of, I don’t know, getting into this artistic malaise and this sort of existential malaise… ‘Everything’s been done.’ And I think that’s a bullshit dead-end that’s pretty self-manufactured usually. I’m making it sound like it’s really fucking heavy. It’s not. Like I said, I just felt good.’
Thus, as long as it is ‘recontextualized’, a word he has used twice in this interview, any trademark can be reused? When I saw it, I thought the title was begging for a lawsuit, so his ‘recontextualization’ thing seems like a too-easy way out.
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