At a recent reading/séance/celebration of his new book Supernatural Strategies For Making a Rock 'N' Roll Group, D.C. punk provocateur Ian Svenonius touched on the idea of the rock band as a unit reflecting the national and global psyche, rich with subconscious ideology and sociopolitical context. The successful rock group, he argued, knows how to channel this subtext and power, whether cynically or naively—and if the group is fully cognizant of its place in the zeitgeist, the "rock" part might not even be necessary.
"Did Whitehouse ever even have any songs?" he asked. "Of course not. The music was never remotely the point with them. They offer an entire way of being, a fully-formed worldview you align yourself with. The music might as well not exist at all."