5.04.2009

Lukewarm dollar-a-slice pizza will kill me before the cigarettes even have a chance...

I think what I was getting at, badly, in my most recent writing comes down to this:  I miss punk. Not the sound of punk, nothing of the aesthetics, but more the power of it, if that makes any sense. Do you understand how tedious it is, tracking the boring and slow aesthetic evolutions of complacent genres? I love music but I want something more visceral. I can't stand the idea of another "unique voice" in composition, or jazz, or whatever. The weight of the whole history of music, etc. I think Johnny Rotten probably liked Pink Floyd on the day he wrote "I Hate" on one of their shirts. But he knew it was time to throw accepted wisdom and chin-scratching connoisseurship out the window for the benefit of something more. That is how I feel. I love Reich, but fuck Reich. I love David S. Ware, but fuck him too (though I hope he recovers from his illness). And fuck techno and house and fuck indie especially for saying fuck you to its own history of saying fuck you.  

And if you want to tell me about how boring bearded indie band x or fashionably-attired techno producer y or genius country-blues artist z or anybody else is really going to change things, for me, or in general, or whatever, then fuck you and fuck off.  

Appreciation is the new censorship. Or, as a button my friend gave me way back in the sixth grade said, "If you open your mind too wide, won't your brain fall out?"

4 comments:

Kartsaklis said...

Qualifiers: love your writing, have no idea who you are, and couldn't agree more with the sentiment expressed in the subject title.

Your most recent post (before this one) got me thinking about some of the indie labels I've been getting into lately, thanks to frequent tips from a friend. I'm in one of those situations where I haven't been paying much attention to anything but techno and house over the past few years, but my musical "social upbringing" was during the time of the last gasps of far left punk.

What strikes me about the indie labels I'm into now is that I'm almost completely removed from the context within which these labels operate (especially v.v. the internet - I was stunned to find out that a whole website, supplemented by a forum, exists from where a lot of these labels gain much of their hype - I was even more stunned to find out that certain of the bands on these labels were regularly being featured on sites that I don't often read, like Pitchfork). In a way this allowed me a certain degree of credulity that's all but vanished since coming to the above realizations. What define these labels is little more than aesthetic - the aesthetic in all cases are "solid" but (loaded term alert) of what substance? Precious little other than that it seduces the soft spot in the brain open to being massaged by nostalgia.

From my perspective, I see an easy tie between certain of these indie rock labels (I'm not trying to name any names, but a few f'rinstances - Captured Tracks, Woodsist, Not Not Fun, Post Present Medium, that whole extended network of American tastemakers, whose output I can't help but dig on and purchase, now, when I have the chance) and what's happening in the dance world (throwback techno from Ostgut Tontrager; rear-view looking "wilin' out" -step from Zomby; the bleak Chicago references of Radio Slave; not to mention the innumerable Basic Channel facsimiles) and I tell myself that it's just another necessary step of mutation/necrophagy - a dominant sound needs a few antitheses chipping away at the fringe, but there's precious little time between the emergence of these sub-strains and the point at which they become rote, re-tread, "tired." I guess the only way for me to handle this is to embrace my naivete - what drew me to techno in the first place was that I had little idea of what was going on, or what had happened since Plastikman and Swedish techno. I tell myself the possibilities are there for something weird, but I worry that the other half of the mantra may not be true, that something "new" and (in the spirit of what you're saying) powerful may not quite be around the corner.

As you well know, it's totally frustrating to try and articulate these thoughts, so apologies in advance for any incoherency or limitations to what I'm trying to say. Small steps.

:-p said...

Really appreciate your post, and I do understand what you are trying to say. My next post should address at least some of what you have brought up.

kek-w said...

"Bearded indie band" - an oxymorn, surely. Well, mostly. I thought clean-shaven post-Smiffs Indie.Twee always saw *us* 'Beards' as The Enemy.

Naivete's a good thing to embrace.

:-p said...

I think I totally could just vanish into my old Velocity Girl records if there weren't so many bands trying to copy them now ;-)