Real Life Rock Top 10 (10-17-16)

“Kurt Weill and Bertolt Brecht must be jumping up and down in their graves in happiness: this is so German, so 1920s, so after-hours-Berlin with everyone doped to the gills and shouting along. The song takes flight with its chorus, the Putin Girls, pumping him up, erasing his doubts, jabbing him in the side to get him going. ‘I can’t do it!’ he shouts, as the weight of history presses down on him—can he become the master of the world? Then he thinks back to the glorious past. ‘Who won Napoleon?’ he yells and the girls answer: ‘We did!’ ‘Who won World War II?’ ‘The Americans,’ comes the answer, but he knows they’re just boosting him up: ‘That’s a good one!’ Then fear takes over again: ‘Lenin couldn’t do it! I don’t know, Stalin couldn’t do it! If they couldn’t do it, why you think I can?’ Because who else is going to do it?”

(The October 2016 installment of RLR Top 10 features Randy Newman, Little Walter, John Oliver, Colson Whitehead, Whitesnake, Kaleo, Billy Bush, Bob Dylan, Pinetop Smith, and more.)

Pitchfork, October 17, 2016

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