A long, long time ago…way back in 2003…  I was a First Year BA Commercial Music Degree student at University of the West of Scotland when it was University of Paisley…

It was back in the day when you could buy music singles on compact disc, magazines were printed on paper, mobile phones had camera attachments if you owned a Sony Ericsson T300, iPod shuffles were the size and shape of a packet of chewing gum and Girls Aloud had just won Popstars: The Rivals and had a UK Christmas Number 1 with the amazing Sound of the Underground which I remember buying on a CD single in Our Price, Virgin or HMV- in a shop- on a street!

I remember learning the word pseudoindividualisation from an amazing lecturer called Kate McBain, whilst sitting in a Popular Music & Culture class with Kim Higgins, Glyn Jones, Kanta Rakhra, Gemma Davidson, Kenny Thom, Kirsty Munro, Kirsty Kennedy, Gavin Lawson, Chris Shelswell, Louise Grimmer and a whole load of other amazing people who were studying the same degree as I was.

A wee while after learning the meaning of this word, the sadly now defunct magazine, The Face, ran an article on the Russian pop duo, TATU who had re-released an English language version of a track called Ya Soshla S Uma under the new name of All The Things She Said… describing them as a ‘pseudo- lesbian’ pop duo!

My new favourite word of 2003 was now bastardized with the word lesbian!

Fast forward a good few years… I now read everything from books to newspapers to magazines on a  piece of plastic called a Kindle, my phone IS a camera AND an iPod, an iPod shuffle is a teeny wee square thing and Pop Idol, Popstars and Popstars: The Rivals have been relegated to YouTube clips and the darkest depths of iTunes.

So… along comes Katy Perry in 2008 with her ‘pseudo-lesbian’ (that magic word again!) debut song entitled I Kissed A Girl… followed by some other songs.

Then in 2011 she released this kinda strange, hip hoppy, ravey, rocky, ballady sounding track called E.T. that was quite hypnotic, nervous sounding and rather quite catchy!

From the moment I heard it…

That word from 2003…

It came springing back into my consciousness…

Pseudoindividualisation- Theodore Adorno- his theories of popular music where consumers and music fans believe that they are expressing their own individuality, when in reality, they are merely imitating others and unaware that that what they listen to… is already listened to for them… it’s the same thing, but different, but essentially the same…

I am sure if you really care, you can search for Adorno and pseudoindividualisation in Google to get a proper definition of this!

In homage to my experience of the ‘pseudo-lesbian’ genre of pop music, I made a mash up of TATU’s All The Things She Said and Katy Perry’s E.T.

They kinda sound the same, but are different, but are the same!

Hope you enjoy…


About johnmcblain

Scottish Musician, Artist and Lecturer in Music & Sound Production.

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