Topic: Media Research Center
In an Aug. 16 Media Research Center Culture & Media Institute item, Ryan Robertson responds to Devo's new song about Mitt Romney's dog, which was infamously strapped to the roof of his car, not by critiquing the song but by attacking the band.
The headline of Robertson's article calls Devo "pop has-beens," while the article begins, "It’s kind of sad, really – a novelty pop band with a lone hit 30 years ago trying to make political hay of an incident of about the same vintage."
Dismissing Devo as noting but "a novelty pop band with a lone hit 30 years ago" shows a serious (though unsurprising) lack of musical knowledge on Robertson's part. According to Allmusic, Devo's first album was "one of the first pop albums to use synthesizers as an important textural element," and it "revived the absurdist social satire of the Mothers of Invention, claiming punk rock's outsider alienation as a home for freaks and geeks."
Further, according to Allmusic, the band's founding concept of de-evolution -- the idea that instead of evolving, mankind has actually regressed -- was informed by one band member witnessing the deadly National Guard shootings at Kent State University. Devo dramatized conformity, emotional repression, and dehumanization in order to attack them, not to pay tribute to them.
And Robertson's dismissing Devo as "pop has-beens" is ironic given that his employer has given a regular column to a musical has-been who hasn't had a hit in at least as long, Charlie Daniels.