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Death of the record store?
:: Posted by emory0 on January 22, 2013
"This function seems to be taken up by the web; not amazon, but an array of social networks, blogs, and web sites like DGM."
I was quite surprised to find, when I moved back to NYC in 2010 after 4 years in London, that (as far as I could tell) ALL the big record stores in NYC had closed. Tower was gone, HMV, Virgin: I donít even know if thereís a single large media store standing (maybe in Times Square?). One thing I found about these stores is that they only had what I wanted in special circumstance (very recent release of a big label artist). But I learned to NEVER ask someone working in one of these places if they had X because theyíd never heard of X and just looked in the section where I myself had looked. There was, in other words, little reason to shop in Tower except for classical discs.
BUT, we do still have innumerable little stores in Williamsburg and hidden here and there in the East Village and LES. And this is where you can go to be exposed to stuff that youíd never stumble upon through your own slog through the internets. The best of these shops know their shit inside and out (ie, about the "kind of music" their shop specializes in) and, as such, I suspect the internet will never eliminate these smaller shops. A good example? Try "Downtown Music Gallery". Those guys knowledge of recordings is encyclopedic, and I regularly see the owners at the íshowsí I attend (eg, Lori Carson and the Golden Paliminos a few weeks ago). Indeed, when they were a block from Tower I asked them how much the closure of Tower had impacted them, and they replied "Pretty much not at all".
The death of everything?
:: Posted by albemuth on January 22, 2013
New music is not a style, it is a quality. Thatís a Frippism Iíve been influenced by, ever since it appeared on my copy of "God Save the Queen" (which I purchased at the hipster record store Plastic Fantastic in 1980).
Many things probably conspire to kill new music, but any explanation must take into account both the companies and the fans themselves: the new music is marketed by the music industry under some label and, at the same time, the fans come to demand the "true sound" that (suddenly) defines their identity.
This problem goes back, at least to the start of mass marketing. Theodor Adornoís essay on jazz has its inaccuracies, but he spotted the basic problem of music in mass culture: "...expression, the true bearer of aesthetic protest, is overtaken by the might against which it protests. Faced by this might it assumes a malicious and miserable tone which barely and momentarily disguises itself as harsh and provocative."
The hipster record store, be it Reckless Records in Chicago or Third Street Jazz in Philly (now sadly defunct), will no longer be the center of musical microcultures, each one serving a particular fan identity. This function seems to be taken up by the web; not amazon, but an array of social networks, blogs, and web sites like DGM. I doubt that this new arrangement will be any better for new music.
In the new dispensation, everyone has a "true music" to cling to his or her heart. The older musical forms can be brought out of mothballs periodically, to gain their own enthusiasts. It should not be at all surprising that one microculture is not knowledgeable of the other (except to say "I hate country" or "I hate cellos").
I do not want to sound TOO grim. But I do think we are in a situation where it is hard to imagine "music in and of itself." Iím not even sure what that means anymore. Maybe even that will become a market? Well, all we can do is enjoy the new music (and the old) when it appears.
Punk (Wars) are Dead
:: Posted by Ornate_Coal_Man on January 21, 2013
Completely irrelevant these days. You know why? No more record stores, chain, independent, or otherwise. And no more record store hipsters. Have people taken up vigorous discussions on Amazon.comís music review pages? Keith Emerson talks fondly about and with his friend and So. Cal. neighbor, Mr. Rotten, as they both probably talk nostalgically about bangers, mash, and deep fried hard-boiled eggs, Man Ure vs. Man Shitty, and, most probably, *getting the beers in*.
The Onion blurbed about *the spirit of punk* once--one Onion talking head (but not Talking Head) remembered the good-op-days of seeing *Green Day at the Colosseum*.
The last time I had an abrasive moment with punk rock hipster was a couple of years ago at Reckless Records in Wicker Park (Ok there is ONE record store left standing). I was going to see an innovative classical guitarist from Scotland named Paul Galbraith. He plays the traditional classical guitar repertoire. On 8 string. Like a cello. With an end pin. Attached to a resonant sound box.
I venture on in to said Indie Rock record store, asking for directions to the small church where the Galbraith concert was scheduled. I happened to make inquiry to not just a typical Indie Rock record clerk, but, as chance would have it, an atypical Indie Rock record store clerk. From Scotland. Of course, he had no idea who Galbraith is. Or what the Bach Cello Suite was. But not only did I get instructions, I was even reprimanded for my gross mispronunciation. I was thinking *Gall--breath". As in Barry Galbraith. No, no, said the Scotch Indie Rock record store clerk. Itís *Gall-br-eighth". Total Diphthong City. :)
All in all, pretty harmless abrasive punk rock moment.
:: Posted by Rockette on January 21, 2013
>There was something edgy and new to Keith Emerson at the start (playing "America" on his Hammond organ with knives). But, as ELP continued, he seemed to move inexorably toward self parody.
The Nice were an edgy, groundbreaking band, and Keith Emerson remained a great player throughout ELP and beyond. We should remember that for a while ELP were the biggest band in the world, regularly playing to huge stadium audiences. In that kind of arena a bit of spectacle is de rigueur, as weíve seen with the elaborate stage shows of U2 and Coldplay. I donít agree that KE moved towards self-parody - in my view it was just showmanship on a grand, slightly daft scale, and the audiences of the day loved it.
Of course the over-the-top theatrics then presented an easy target to the Year Zero Punk evangelists, but letís not re-write the history books - like them or love them, ELP were staggeringly popular and their organist did for keyboards what Hendrix did for the guitar.
:: Posted by Spingere on January 21, 2013
Albemuth wrote: "I liked punk, and Keith Emersonís revolving piano deserved ridicule".
Carnamagos wrote: "I liked Emersonís revolving piano, and punk deserves ridicule."
Well, I like ridicule and punk deserves a revolving piano.
:: Posted by tariqat on January 20, 2013
I wrote, "What he actually said was..." but to be accurate, I should have written "What he was reported to have said was..." Language is such a bastard.
:: Posted by sweetfeed on January 20, 2013
Will 2013 be the year that we see expanded reissues of the ímissingí Fripp discography? God Save the Queen/Under Heavy Manners? The League of Gentlemen? Let the Power Fall?
Oh go on. The Exposure reissue was so well put together but itís missing its contemporary siblings.
Can DGM offer any clues regarding a possible time frame for these?
Prog, Punk, Pop - music genre starting with a P.......
:: Posted by DrDick on January 20, 2013
I find the whole discussion about the validity of punk and pop rather amusing. Having been born in 1977 I have no first hand experience of any of the cultural background to this. However, it seems to me that the discussion has absolutely nothing to do with the music itself. If we can take the view that music is something "other" and can at times be extremely personal and inexplicable then it becomes a very personal thing. Following that it seems the discussion of musical validity of any one genre or another is pointless, the music finds meaning for some people and not for others. The discussion of musical validity then falls into the trap of human nature where what I like is valid and is art, but what I donít like like is rubbish, and hence if you like what I donít like you must be stupid etc.
I have to admit that when I was younger, I was quite a musical snob, all other music was rubbish unless it was Paul Simon, Peter Gabriel or early Genesis...... Slowly over time my musical "taste" broadened and I found the muse in many forms, none the least in a British band that emerged out of Punk - New Model Army (shameless plug for a great band!). Still there are musical genre that do nothing for me (happy hardcore anyone?) but I know that for some those bands/tracks do for someone what the melody line of Starless, or the mid section of Cinema Show live by Genesis, or for that matter Drag it Down by New Model Army does for me.
Each to their own, live and let live, letís not confuse musical "validity" with the tendency for humans to be vindictive to those who are different to themselves
Taste and history
:: Posted by albemuth on January 19, 2013
It is hard to say why and when a particular pop group is fresh and resonates with the times. There was something edgy and new to Keith Emerson at the start (playing "America" on his Hammond organ with knives). But, as ELP continued, he seemed to move inexorably toward self parody.
Iím sure that much of the punk phenomenon was a manufactured product. But, still, the "fake postures" carried a charge for a window of time. At least some of this spirit of opposition was a real sharing and experimentation between the musicans and youth of a new generation.
Maybe we now are living in the "full postmodernism" that Fredric Jameson writes about, where every trope is available (prog, punk, regge, rap), but none carries a charge for more than Andy Warholís 15 minutes. If so, we should not be too hard on anyone for getting old! From this perspective, I should "cool it" about Emerson.
This evening, I finished with the Criterion Eclipse Series 25, Basil Deardenís London Underground, a great set of 4 independent British films from 1959-1962. Did one of them provide the name for a band Robert Fripp was in?
:: Posted by Carnamagos on January 19, 2013
Albemuth wrote: "I liked punk, and Keith Emersonís revolving piano deserved ridicule".
I liked Emersonís revolving piano, and punk deserves ridicule.
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