26
Jul 04

STILL NOT GETTING IT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

FT + New York London Paris MunichPost a comment • 258 views

STILL NOT GETTING IT AFTER ALL THESE YEARS

“Beyond that, though,” says mr blissblog, “I’m not sure of the extent to which you…can make the charts the foundation of a pop theology. After all, they’re simply a structure for tabulating what’s selling, a statistical format. There’s no aesthetic essence to chartpop…” Um hullo yes that’s EXACTLY THE POINT!! The fetishising of an “aesthetic essence” (viz the boiling away of the particular to establish a GENRE or a MARKETING NICHE or a MOVEMENT or an ATTITUDE or TREND) (ie ignoring what may be difft/interestin/exciting abt such-and-such a record or song or performance in favour of a general rah-rah bigging up of the specialist section of the record shop it’s stacked in/section of the musicmag it’s reviewed in) as the grounding for excellence = the ROCKIST FOE IN PLAIN VIEW. The charts – in this theology – throw stuff in front of you for reasons which is (in strictly aesthetic terms) merely random, or anyway so scrambled that you can’t read back from the ultimate public selection to the formal material choices that went into its making.

this WASN’T JUST a matter of paul m’s wickle indie dahlings charting huzza!; i think it wz much more a matter of “his” postpunk terrain and “manufactured” pop overlapping, soundwise and affectwise, esp.once you switched away from the bogus critical territory of intentionality (which always boils down to making sociological assumptions) (viz: when these foax make this noise it is GOOD bcz they have read that book; but when THOSE foax make the same noise it is bad bcz they have not and also are gurlz probably)

(also also: but wz it a jibe at r.cook? —> i really REALLY doubt it, for exactly the reasons SR gives; cookie’s address to music wz/is pretty rigorously universalist – he wrote abt the WHOLE of jazz (king oliver to derek bailey)* plus HARDCORE plus 80s SOUL plus AFRICAN POP plus PSYCHEDELIA plus REGGAE plus PINEFOXIAN MOR plus THE FALL plus plus plus (anyway *i* certainly didn’t read it as anything except a jibe at Rip Rig and Panic) (haha the jazz insects supported them – a couple of them were nice but most of them were dicks)

*jazz which has been mangled even worse than rock by rockism (i argued once on ilm that “jazzism” wd be an acceptable alternative => the line quoted is a good reason why “popism” in content-free formulation (though at a pinch you cd argue that eg simon cowell is a popist – if (that is) he exactly maps quality onto sales) (which in fact i don’t think he does)

[post courtesy two bald men fighting over a comb productions]

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