Posts from 17th October 2002

Oct 02


I Hate Music1 comment • 641 views


How do you follow The Six Wives Of Henry The Eighth and King Arthur And The Nights Of The Round Table On Ice. Well this is a sorry tale and one which explains his scraggly beard and red faced gait. Rick Wakeman – keyboard master extraordinary and fat cockney barrow boy – was searching around for a new live spectacular to bolster his coffers. But what did the fake ivory tinkler come up with?

The Magna Carta – On Fire.

What would I have given to see the Yes-man running out of the arena with his bushy beard on fire.

Scroll down a bit

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Scroll down a bit to “Great moments in rock critic bluffing Part 2” and you’ll see M.Matos’ fine dissection of one Robert B. Ray’s theories of “critical overcomprehension” – which summarises as: critics take fads too seriously cos they’re scared of being caught out. MM takes his arguments to bits specifically, but thinking about this I came to a couple of conclusions about pop criticism in general.

First off I think that pop critics should work on the principle that nothing is a fad, given that there’s almost no style of music which hasn’t found itself re-evaluated or re-appropriated since (individual records are a different matter). In a pop culture which has forgotten how to forget, how useful is the idea of a “fad” anyway? (Of course you could operate equally well assuming that EVERYTHING is a fad.)

Secondly – well, it’s unarguable that some critics do worry about history judging them as chumps and hedge their bets accordingly. But this line of thinking is madness – posterity may or may not have an interest in pop music but it is very unlikely to have an interest in writing about pop music (unless posterity is as big a geek as I am). It does not matter what ‘line’ you take on current pop, everyone will have forgotten what you said in a year anyway. The crits Ray invokes who said rock would never last only survive to look silly, and only look silly because they invoked posterity to back their claims up – if they’d just said “rock is shit” they’d be completely forgotten.

And this surefire obsolesence is a liberating thing for the pop critic cos it frees them up to write about what’s happening now and whether it’s good or not and not care if they’re getting it wrong. Maybe rock critics bang on about posterity out of a kind of hopeful envy of the way the music ‘lasts’ – but it seems to me they might just as well sidle up to Las Ketchup instead and offer empathies. “Doomed to be forgotten? I know exactly how you feel.”

How to ruin Ryan Adams’ day

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How to ruin Ryan Adams’ day – and get your money back!

Send In The Clowns

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Send In The Clowns: fifty versions of this fine song reviewed, one by one. (So far Van Morrison and Stan Kenton). I was/am actually planning to do a similar piece with another song so I hope Mike won’t think I’m bitin’ his ideas!