Posts Tagged “Music”

07w49:2 Carl Wilson on Celine Dion

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Taste Test | Vish Khanna
“Noted music critic Carl Wilson raised eyebrows when he announced his first book was about Celine Dion. In his renowned work as an editor and writer at The Globe and Mail, and his popular blog, Wilson champions all manner of counter-culture practitioners and is a great proponent of Toronto’s underground arts community. The notion that he might contribute a volume to the 33 1/3 book series (on specific albums by everyone from the Minutemen to U2) is intriguing, but why focus on a multi-platinum seller like Dion?” // an intro to the  …

“I came to realise that I definitely have been one of those people who’s staked a fair amount of my self-worth on my ability to have an insider’s knowledge of things culturally and felt like that was some kind of social capital for me. What I came to feel as I thought about it and the ways in which those kinds of cultural self-categorisations separate us from people who are unlike us and don’t share that language is that, that’s no longer so interesting for me. The culture and the art still is interesting to me but what that implies about me is not so interesting to me any more. As I get older, I feel like what I’m actually interested in is finding out about people’s experiences that are unlike mine. By having so much at stake in the question of taste, that forms a barrier between yourself and those people because the more unalike your experiences are, the more likely that your tastes are very different. If you feel like that prevents us from having anything in common to talk about, then that’s a way of segregating yourself in a certain way.”

07w37:4 The Mediocrity of Music

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Pitchfork Gives Music 6.8 | The Onion
“Coming in at an exhausting 7,000 years long, music is weighed down by a few too many mid- tempo tunes, most notably ‘Liebestraume No. 3 in A flat’ by Franz Liszt and ‘Closing Time’ by ’90s alt-rock group Semisonic,” Schreiber wrote. “In the end, though music can be brilliant at times, the whole medium comes off as derivative of Pavement.”

04w51:1 All in the Family

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 51 number 1 (all in the family)


Eminem Is Right | Mary Eberstadt
“If yesterday’s rock was the music of abandon, today’s is that of abandonment. The odd truth about contemporary teenage music – the characteristic that most separates it from what has gone before – is its compulsive insistence on the damage wrought by broken homes, family dysfunction, checked-out parents, and (especially) absent fathers. Papa Roach, Everclear, Blink-182, Good Charlotte, Eddie Vedder and Pearl Jam, Kurt Cobain and Nirvana, Tupac Shakur, Snoop Doggy Dogg, Eminem – these and other singers and bands, all of them award-winning top-40 performers who either are or were among the most popular icons in America, have their own generational answer to what ails the modern teenager. Surprising though it may be to some, that answer is: dysfunctional childhood.”

How Hip-Hop Music is slowly transcending its circular culture | Stefan Braidwood
“Hip-hop started out as a counter-culture expression of pain-laced, defiant joy by New York’s penniless and angry. You make studio time and instrumental tuition too expensive for me, place me in ghettos I lack any means to escape or improve, cut off the power to my housing block, keep me locked down in a miserable job for pathetic pay and generally treat me as a politically powerless and racially inferior minority? I will mix records together with no respect for their discrete heritage or creators; set your anthems as backing vocals for the rhymes I’ve spent my fruitless hours of drudgery whetting with pent-up bitterness; paint your greyly hideous constructions wildly, vibrantly beautiful; and funnel the electricity from your streetlights into my decks and speakers, to dance with my peers in new and explosive ways that pay homage to our frantic, cooped-up energy. And I will tell my people that they are beautiful, and that you cannot hold us forever, for this raucous, rhythmic, illegitimate music will bring us together, and in its crude but irresistible power we will find and share our impoverished strength and soul once more.”

All to Blame | Sum 41
“And now we’re all to blame/ We’ve gone too far/ From pride to shame/ We’re hopelessly blissful and blind/ When all we need/ Is something true/ To believe/ Don’t we all?”

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 13 December 2004 @ 2:50 PM

04w27:2 Religion?

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 27 number 2 (religion?)

Fight the power | James Verini,3858,4960930-110760,00.html
“Only a quarter century into its history, hip-hop has not only taken over American popular culture, but it has also gained a surprising respect among the intelligentsia. […] On the other side of the debate there are not as many prominent voices. In fact, there is really only one: John McWhorter, a black professor of linguistics at the University of California at Berkeley, and an unabashed opponent of rap. McWhorter finds the music pernicious and humiliating. He thinks of it as the musical manifestation of the worst traits of black America, particularly, and America generally. […] Ask McWhorter the question he’s been asked countless times since throwing his hat into the ring several years ago: why does he hate rap? Surprisingly, he says he doesn’t. ‘I like listening to rap, actually; the problem is that it’s very, very catchy. The poetry is interesting, the rhythms are fantastic. But when I hear it, I hear it from a distance. For some people this music is a religion, and I don’t mean religion in a hyperbolic way. It’s at the point where a lot of people have never known the world without it. It’s all the music they listen to. They wake up to it, they lose their virginity to it, they go to sleep to it, it’s what they hear when they go to clubs. They have a vague sense of it as part of some political movement. It’s a body language, it’s a way of speaking. It’s a creed. It’s literally a religion.'”

In Art We Trust (Since We Can’t Explain It) | Mia Fineman
“‘Artists are the new clergy, the monks and nuns of our day,’ he said. ‘When you see a man dressed in black walking down the street in Los Angeles or Manhattan, is he more likely to be a priest or an artist?’ […] In his current ‘Art Ministry’ project, Mr. Melamid uses religion as a lens through which to examine the ingrained pieties and genius worship of museum culture. ‘The whole idea of art is based on belief,’ he said in an interview after the lecture. ‘You cannot explain it, you cannot understand it. Just try reading art criticism — all you can do is have faith.’ While the project has its parodic aspects — the Art Ministry’s motto is ‘Close your mind, open your eyes’ — he insists that his message is sincere, asking, in his heavy Russian accent, ‘Why the truth cannot be funny?'”

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emailed by Timothy on Saturday 03 July 2004 @ 2:25 PM

04w13:1 Dirapideerap

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Good Reads Mailing List | 2004 week 13 number 1 (dirapideerap)

Rap’s last tape | Nick Crowe
“[…] even farmers in Devon have swapped their overalls for Adidas trainers and puffa jackets […] For a genre that is 25 years old this year, hip hop has little to show for its maturity. While its influence has stretched into the shires and beyond, walk down any megastore hip hop aisle and scowling back at you is a line-up of the same kind of hardmen as a decade ago. […] Repetitive images of material excess and recidivism continue to dominate the commercial rap market, and while production techniques have evolved to become the most sophisticated in pop music, rapping itself – the essence of hip hop culture – has not developed in at least a decade. […] In an essay last year in the Hudson Review, the poet (and head of America’s National Endowment for the Arts) Dana Gioia deconstructed rap’s prosody, holding up its rhythmic vitality as a contrast to the weakness of free verse. Gioia argued that rap represents a reconnection with fundamental principles of rhythm that literary poets – in their effete self-consciousness – have long since abandoned: ‘Rap characteristically uses the four-stress, accentual line that has been the most common meter for spoken popular poetry in English from Anglo-Saxon verse… to Rudyard Kipling.'”

Disappearing Ink: Poetry at the End of Print Culture | Dana Gioia
“The end of print culture raises many troubling questions about the position of poetry amid these immense cultural and technological changes. What will be the poet’s place in a society that has increasingly little use for books, little time for serious culture, little knowledge of the past, little consensus on literary value, and—even among intellectuals—little faith in poetry itself? […] No driver can negotiate a sudden turn in the road by looking backward, and neither can a critic accurately see what is most innovative in contemporary poetry through the now-antiquarian assumptions of Modernism and the avant-garde. Those powerful ideas once produced great art, but now nearly a century old, they reflect a culture without radio, talking-films, television, videocassettes, computers, cellphones, satellite dishes, and the Internet.[…]Roland Barthes, a creature of print culture, saw the world as a text and announced ‘the death of the author.’ Anyone attentive to the new popular poetry sees the antithesis—the death of the text. American culture conditioned by electronic media and a celebrity culture based on personalities has given birth to a new kind of author, the amplified bard ”

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emailed by Timothy on Monday 22 March 2004 @ 1:54 PM

04w04:2 Latin vs. Dizzee Rascal

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The utterly new sounds of Dizzee Rascal, Britain’s rising superstar. | Sasha Frere-Jones
“As a sensory experience, Boy in da Corner is a bit like being trapped in an MRI chamber while somebody yells at you; it is hammering, anxious music. ‘Grime,’ the term record stores and critics have agreed on, feels like the right word. While American hip-hop songs sometimes show up as instrumentals in live grime sets, grime moves nothing like American music. The tempos are faster than hip-hop’s. Jay-Z, for example, favors the 100 beats per minute range. Grime lives around 130 BPM, a zone of urgency and movement. 50 Cent sounds like Simon and Garfunkel next to Dizzee Rascal.”

Roman rebound | The Economist
“Small wonder then, that some people still prefer their news in Latin, and that the centre of Latin news broadcasting nowadays should be Finland, a country of translucent birches, lakes and blondes, and with a language the opposite of universal. The Finnish Broadcasting Company (aka Radiophonia Finnica Generalis, or YLE) puts out a five-minute bulletin, Nuntii Latini, every week, and has done so for 14 years. The bulletins are broadcast worldwide, and are also collected and published as books. The conjunction of Latin with Finno-Ungaric makes for some bizarre listening and reading, as in ‘Anneli Jäätteenmäki, quae munere ministri primarii a mense Aprili functa est, a praesidente Tarja Halonen dimissionem petivit et accepit.’ But people in more than 50 countries, from East Timor to Uruguay, are tuning in, sending Latin letters of appreciation and begging for ancient Greek.”

video is Latin for “I see”
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emailed by Timothy on Tuesday 27 January 2004 @ 3:32 PM