machinations in the economic base have rippled out into the superstructure

Tha means the euro isn't cool anymore. Bands touring Europe now want to paid in US dollars. The great benchmark, you know, it rhymes with deustchmark. Is that good or bad? So, like, this relates to the multipolar world somewhere.

The euro no longer floats the boat of Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers | John Harris | Comment is free | The Guardian (external - login to view)

The euro no longer rocks Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers

Once Jay-Z like to handle wads of euros. But now top US acts find Europe increasingly uncool
    • John Harris (external - login to view)
    • (external - login to view), Wednesday 7 December 2011 22.30 GMT
    • Article history (external - login to view)
Metallica now plan to visit Europe next year as opposed to 2013, for fear of losing millions if the value of the euro plummets. Photograph: Sipa Press / Rex Features

To truly understand the gravity of the eurozone crisis, you need to look not just at oscillating stock markets and national credit ratings, but at decisions being taken some distance from trading floors and international summits – by the rock bands Metallica and the Red Hot Chili Peppers. Or rather the two-man team that sees to their management, and has now decided that the prospect of Europe tumbling into economic chaos is enough to entail a drastic rewriting of their tour plans.

Both groups are managed by a company called Q Prime (external - login to view), commanded by the music business veterans Peter Mensch and Cliff Burnstein. The former is the husband of the Tory backbencher Louise Mensch; back home in the States, the latter used the Wall Street Journal to serve notice this week that Metallica and the "Chilis" were now set on visiting Europe next year (external - login to view) as opposed to 2013, lest they lose millions if the euro goes even further south.

His case is simple enough: "Over the next few years, the dollar will be stronger and the euro weaker, and if that's the case, I want to take advantage of that by playing more of these shows now, because they will be more profitable for us." Burnstein also says he is pushing acts into countries where strong currencies and insatiable audiences mean that there are altogether more dependable fortunes to be made.

In other words, the ideal modern touring itinerary is increasingly not built around such legendary stop-offs as Amsterdam's Concertgebouw (referenced in Paul McCartney's 1975 anthem

Rock Show) or the Forest National Arena in Brussels (where the Rolling Stones recorded a famous 1973 performance, finally released officially last month (external - login to view)), but Sydney, São Paulo and Jakarta.
What's telling about Q Prime's manoeuvre is twofold. First, there is a neat pop-cultural subtext. In 2007, when the dollar's value against the euro was falling fast, the rapper Jay-Z made a point of waving around bunches of €500 notes (external - login to view) in the video for a song titled

Blue Magic, while the Wu-Tang Clan set the online price of their CDs (external - login to view) in the currency, and the model Gisele Bündchen (external - login to view) insisted on being paid the same way. No more: to use Marxist language, machinations in the economic base have rippled out into the superstructure, and euros – and by extension, Europe – are just about the least fashionable things imaginable.

Second, for those Europeans fearing the worst but being comforted by, say, the Chilis' rather underwhelming latest album, I'm With You (external - login to view), the likely projections seem simple: if you live in such comparative pop-cultural deserts as Italy, Spain, Greece or – pardonnez-moi, but they've never been much good at rock music – France, 2013 may mark the beginning of a long period of frustration.

For the British too, a large-scale American no-show will have serious consequences. During festival season in particular, US musicians tend to bundle up their European and British engagements into one big busman's holiday, and then return home with enough money to tide them over till Christmas. If big acts decide to stay away, the silence – particularly at the metal and hard-rock end of the market – will be deafening.

So what to do? The last time the UK was in a period of economic stagnation, we were treated to something called the new wave of British heavy metal (external - login to view), aka NWOBHM (or "new-wob-bum"), whose plebeian, no-nonsense music and aesthetics were perfectly suited to the wider moment – and caught the attention of the young Metallica. Thirty years on, if that band and their ilk spurn these shores for lucrative treks around the southern hemisphere, it may again be time to apply jump-leads to home-grown rock. If so, as the saying goes, I'll see you down the front.
The superstructure, such poetic English here by the English, you'll never find anything like this in a Canadian newspaper. They are just too darn practical. Europe is still very fashionable overall, even if their money is a mess. But then, imagine Canada with three dozen languages, things would be a little complicated. We have trouble with two.

Those people in Brussels are just too pushy.

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