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Arts & Culture

Is America Awash In A Sea Of Twee?

Flickr Creative Commons, Thai Weber

http://cptv.vo.llnwd.net/o2/ypmwebcontent/Commodore%20Skahill/Colin%20McEnroe%20Show%2007-11-2012.mp3

This is one of those shows where you may start by saying, "huh?"  But with any luck, 30 minutes from now, you'll start to say, "Oh!" 

I got interested in the word "twee" and in the idea that it's a mostly undocumented cross-platform artistic movement.
 
There is no question that, in the 1990s, a musical movement called "twee pop" arose, first in England, spearheaded by a label called Sarah Records. Acts like The Field Mice and Talulah Gosh were embraced as twee by fans who wore their twee-ness with pride.
 
There's a phrase that was used over and over again, but I can't repeat it here. "Twee As ----." The overall vibe was: rock and roll with sweetness and light where the sex and drugs used to be.  And that was the limit of the "twee aesthetic" until quite recently, when it started cropping up in movies, commercials and in graphic design. Miranda July, "Juno,"  Zooey Deschanel. "Moonrise Kingdom."
 
David Edelstein, Kyrie O'Connor and I become the Twee Stooges on the audio featured here. 
 
Leave your comments below, e-mail colin@wnpr.org or Tweet us @wnprcolin.

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Colin McEnroe is a radio host, newspaper columnist, magazine writer, author, playwright, lecturer, moderator, college instructor and occasional singer. Colin can be reached at colin@ctpublic.org.

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