Anachronism: noun, 1. A chronological mistake; the erroneous dating of an event, circumstance, or object 2. A person or thing which seems to belong to a different time or period of time.
I am not so serious
This passion is a plagiarism
I might join your century
But only on a rare occasion
I was taken out
Before the labour pains set in and now
Behold the world’s worst accident
I am the girl anachronism
(Dresden Dolls, ‘Girl Anachronism’)
This effortlessly inventive and insidiously catchy track from the 2003 debut album of the self-styled ‘Brechtian punk cabaret’ duo Dresden Dolls is the perfect example of how a pop song, albeit a particularly clever one, can expand the vocabulary of average listeners. Witness the comment by one viewer on the Youtube clip below, who says: ‘I know what almost every member of the audience is thinking – “what the hell does anachronism mean?”‘ Hopefully at least a few of them knew the meaning beforehand, but maybe I’m being optimistic! (Extra marks for using ‘plagiarism’ in there too).
The live footage below is a great example of a well-honed band really enjoying their performance, and the Weimar chic get-up doesn’t hurt. I love how singer Amanda Palmer squirms like Tori Amos when playing the piano, as if she’d much rather be a lead guitarist dominating the stage rather than being cooped up behind the keyboard. Palmer, these days a solo artist, was recently the subject of a pleasingly large groundswell of fan support when a foolish music company exec told her she was too flabby (i.e. not emaciated enough) to appear in a music video. Charmingly, the support lives on at the website Rebellyon.