Hedwig house music playlist

**EDITED POST – Here is the original list, with the updated one below**

Always a bummer when we don’t have an intermission to play even more music in. 🙂

But, here’s our house music playlist for Hedwig and the Angry Inch, which opens this week and runs 90 minutes straight through with no intermission:

Tommy, Can You Hear Me? – The Who
Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
Come Together – Ike & Tina Turner
Search and Destroy – Iggy & the Stooges
Rock and Roll N*gger – Patti Smith
Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed
I’ll be Your Mirror – The Velvet Underground
The Six Teens – The Sweet
Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill

**And the new list with my story**

I can get too scholarly sometimes. It’s a failing of mine, and it’s exacerbated by an iconoclastic artistic temperament that too easily can go “well, screw you if you don’t get it.”  High on my own sense of rebellion. Fair go, so.

I added the Patti Smith song above because a) it’s my favorite song of hers and b) contested as the n-word is in our culture today I can defend Smith’s use of it at that time because she was making a point about her place in rock as well as rock’s place in society, drawing it even more broadly by saying anyone countercultural (e.g. Jesus Christ in his time) gets marginalized, treated like a second-class citizen. Roddy Doyle makes the same exact comparison in The Commitments in how he positions the Irish and defends the band’s co-opting of soul music, “The Irish are the blacks of Europe, Dubliners are the blacks of Ireland, and the North Siders are the blacks of Dublin.”

In our context, Hedwig is also such a figure.

Blahblahblah, I get it. Some folks just won’t get past the word. If I have to submit a paper to go in the program for people to read that contextualizes my music choice, it’s probably not a good idea, particularly when dealing with such a sensitive, fraught issue as race.

I’ve had the house music playing all week and not one person said anything. I intentionally didn’t draw attention to it, waiting for a guest or someone in the cast and crew to bring it up. It was only last night when we had a few visitors and the track came on that it became a hot topic of conversation. I was met with extreme resistance, despite my defense (“Tarantino used it in Natural Born Killers” “she’s not talking about race”). I thought about it though, I listened, and it became clearer and clearer that they had a good point. It’s not worth sending someone out the door before they’ve even had a chance to see the show over a sensitivity to the word (and let’s be fair, Smith repeats it a lot). I can argue to them all the reasons I chose it, but without them experiencing/knowing the show the way I do, it won’t matter.

One guest who saw the rehearsal last night, who was pretty vocal about the song being a poor choice prior, came up to me after and said it made sense now and to keep it. I’m glad she thought that, and that she took the time to say it to me, but I learned a greater lesson in that others may not be so open minded. I can’t run that risk, particularly before the show even starts.

So, here’s the new playlist, this is a fight I’m not interested in having despite what I might think. I have a greater responsibility to my show and my audience:

Tommy, Can You Hear Me? – The Who
The Six Teens – The Sweet
Ziggy Stardust – David Bowie
Come Together – Ike & Tina Turner
Search and Destroy – Iggy & the Stooges
High on Rebellion – Patti Smith
Walk on the Wild Side – Lou Reed
I’ll be Your Mirror – The Velvet Underground
The Ballroom Blitz – The Sweet
Under Pressure – Queen & David Bowie
About a Girl – Nirvana
Rebel Girl – Bikini Kill

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