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Re: [thewire] Digest Number 1075

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  • wheelhdog@aol.com
    In a message dated 4/4/01 12:02:43 AM, thewire@yahoogroups.com writes:
    Message 1 of 1 , Apr 30, 2001
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      In a message dated 4/4/01 12:02:43 AM, thewire@yahoogroups.com writes:

      << Message: 7

      Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 08:34:05 -0400 (EDT)

      From: "R. Lim" <r-lim-1@...>

      Subject: RE: Re: subcultures and hegemony.


      On Tue, 3 Apr 2001, Jawed Ashraf wrote:


      > Jazz was a rarefied privilege, too (but not, as far as I can tell, because

      > of a lack of education/money). I think you're trying to accuse me of having


      In what sense?


      > a black and white argument, when all I'm saying is that there is a continuum

      > of the mutuality between culture/music and capitalism that stretches quite a

      > long way back. Just because an audience is privileged doesn't reduce the


      I'm not really challenging your overall claims (as I keep saying, it's

      already been said in a much more in depth fashion). However, you keep

      referring to "commodity" and "capitalism" in inappropriate ways. Read

      your Marx, for Christ's sake.


      For instance:


      > a sense "folk"). e.g. withf jazz: where do you separate the birth of jazz

      > from its assimilation as a commodity? I think you're saying that jazz had,


      It sounds like you're suggesting that jazz is something that has to be

      mined out of the earth and that the "capitalists" have laid waste to the

      site of authenticity by strip-mining. Another thread about the

      co-optation of "our" underground music by "the man," how fascinating!


      I used jazz as an example, because a) it's an idiom that requires study to

      appreciate (more or less from bop onwards) and b) even after all this

      time, it is essentially a performance-oriented music. I don't think it

      has been "assimilated as a commodity" so much as it has been embalmed and

      made museum-ready. Its situation is very similar to classical music,

      whose current practitioners have found their natural audience (basically,

      themselves) and which is otherwise preserved as historic legacy.


      Anything else you think I'm saying about jazz is probably stuff you made

      up.


      > Either that or you are trying to say that *only* in an era characterised by

      > non-live music (radio, recordings) has this "mess" of

      > music/culture/exploitation/capitalism arisen.


      Yes, because without mechanical reproduction, there is hardly the

      possibility for capitalism, no? How many Backstreet Boys concerts can you

      give at once? How many Backstreet Boys CDs can be listened to at once? (I

      would use 'N Sync as a more contemporary reference, but I can't be

      bothered).


      > > I think one of the fundamental problems is that people who contribute to

      > > these discussions have very little understanding of history, musically or

      > > otherwise

      >

      > Count me in. Or had you already?


      Um yeah, sorry.


      > > (yet are more than happy to wax endlessly about the economic

      > > implications of digital media or namecheck Deleuzes).

      >

      > I haven't done those things, yet. There was someone on this list, recently,


      Dude, you just posted a link to a website about "meme music".


      -rob



      >>

      Message: 8

      Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 08:45:06 -0400 (EDT)

      From: "R. Lim" <r-lim-1@...>

      Subject: Re: Re[2]: Re: subcultures and hegemony.


      On Mon, 2 Apr 2001, Patrick Oliver wrote:


      > get funding. Over here our Mayor, Rudi Guilliani, is

      > threatening to put together a "decency commission" to

      > look in to who the city's arts funding goes to. The

      > concern: should tax payers' money go toward funding of

      > art that some tax payers find offensive. Chris Ofili

      > actually received death threats for his Holy Virgin

      > Mary piece. And yet I found his intentions with the


      The city didn't fund the artwork's creation, it funded the museum that

      exhibited the work. It shouldn't be a surprise to anyone that not a whole

      lot of public funding goes directly to artists. Which is probably the way

      it should be- I wouldn't trust the US gov'ts taste in art.


      -rob




      ________________________________________________________________________

      ________________________________________________________________________


      Message: 9

      Date: Tue, 3 Apr 2001 06:10:03 -0700 (PDT)

      From: Patrick Oliver <patrick_oliver@...>

      Subject: Re: Re[2]: Re: subcultures and hegemony.


      Which is probably the way

      > it should be- I wouldn't trust the US gov'ts taste

      > in art.

      >

      > -rob


      You're right, of course, Guilliani's concern is that

      public money is going to museums that house CERTAIN

      works that CERTAIN people find offensive. It gets more

      ridiculous every time I go through it in my head. The

      Brooklyn museum of art has a stunning permanent

      collection including fine early Egyptian and

      Mesopotamian pieces. Rudy was planning to close the

      whole thing down because of the (temporary) Saatchi

      exhibition. One can't help noticing that a certain

      Charles Saatchi was the only person in this whole

      sorry story who not only got away scott free but made

      a decent coin at the same time...


      Patrick



      ________

      Message: 17

      Date: Wed, 4 Apr 2001 03:22:20 +0100

      From: "Jawed Ashraf" <Jawed@...>

      Subject: RE: Re: subcultures and hegemony.


      > > Jazz was a rarefied privilege, too (but not, as far as I can

      > tell, because

      > > of a lack of education/money). I think you're trying to accuse

      > me of having

      >

      > In what sense?


      I mean in the sense that jazz was a "scene", an "underground" or whatever

      you want to call it. I don't mean this pejoratively.


      >

      > > a black and white argument, when all I'm saying is that there

      > is a continuum

      > > of the mutuality between culture/music and capitalism that

      > stretches quite a

      > > long way back. Just because an audience is privileged doesn't

      > reduce the

      >

      > I'm not really challenging your overall claims (as I keep saying, it's

      > already been said in a much more in depth fashion). However, you keep

      > referring to "commodity" and "capitalism" in inappropriate ways. Read

      > your Marx, for Christ's sake.

      >

      > For instance:

      >

      > > a sense "folk"). e.g. withf jazz: where do you separate the

      > birth of jazz

      > > from its assimilation as a commodity? I think you're saying

      > that jazz had,

      >

      > It sounds like you're suggesting that jazz is something that has to be

      > mined out of the earth and that the "capitalists" have laid waste to the

      > site of authenticity by strip-mining.


      Not my intention. This debate does tend to implicate that point of view,

      though, as an ideal - for some people.


      > Another thread about the

      > co-optation of "our" underground music by "the man," how fascinating!


      Well, I think the co-optation is a by-product of capitalism and I'm all for

      capitalism (naively, naturally) so there it is.


      What's interesting is the audience's reaction to the co-opted music. If you

      have an audience that's there through no fault of its own, what's the

      reaction? If an excerpt from Matmos's "Cymbals and Aspirin (A Breakthrough

      in Pain Relief)" (track one on the April The Wire covermount CD Draw Me a

      Riot - really love this track) was used in a trailer for a TV documentary

      series on the history of painkillers/anaesthetics, we Wiresters could get

      pretty excited, but I'd expect most peeps watching would get well wound up.

      (In Europe terrestial TV broadcasters have a blanket licence that allows

      them to use any music they like in basically any context: drama, incidental,

      trailer, titles etc. I don't think broadcasters in the States have this.

      You get to hear all sorts of cool choons on the telly - Dead Can Dance is a

      particular favourite, it seems.)


      I accept that musicians like to throw things at an audience, so things like

      this happen at the instigation of the musicians - not merely in the course

      of exploitation by TV companies, say. I'm *not* saying the use of this kind

      of music in the trailer is wrong, or that it undermines that body of music.


      We're discussing musical sub-cultures and how the genie escapes, and what

      happens afterwards. What is the "pop" version of avant-wank electronica?

      Do those of us with an interest in electronica have much interest in the

      upcoming tide of pop-e? What happens to Matmos's new music when the

      musicians get ultra-rich and lose the plot, because of laziness bred by

      critical-laxness-through-exploitation. Does the audience that

      cares-for/grew-up-with Matmos simply shrug its shoulders? Do the kids even

      notice as they're transforming it in their own image?


      >

      > I used jazz as an example, because a) it's an idiom that requires study to

      > appreciate (more or less from bop onwards) and b) even after all this

      > time, it is essentially a performance-oriented music. I don't think it

      > has been "assimilated as a commodity" so much as it has been embalmed and

      > made museum-ready. Its situation is very similar to classical music,

      > whose current practitioners have found their natural audience (basically,

      > themselves) and which is otherwise preserved as historic legacy.


      You're saying that jazz and classical music are the essential preserves of

      musicians/audiences who care about these forms of music? First to people

      "in the industry" and second to people who have some historically detached

      view of these musics (i.e. listen to/study them from an historical

      perspective)?


      So jazz used to "set the mood" in drama (e.g. a love scene - a token mood

      piece, one step up from muzak), or classical music used to provide a feeling

      of centuries-old authority (e.g. selling pensions) are not examples of

      commodification. If not, then what is?


      >

      > > Either that or you are trying to say that *only* in an era

      > characterised by

      > > non-live music (radio, recordings) has this "mess" of

      > > music/culture/exploitation/capitalism arisen.

      >

      > Yes, because without mechanical reproduction, there is hardly the

      > possibility for capitalism, no? How many Backstreet Boys concerts can you

      > give at once? How many Backstreet Boys CDs can be listened to at once? (I

      > would use 'N Sync as a more contemporary reference, but I can't be

      > bothered).


      I think our whole discussion founders on this point. You're saying that to

      perform in an arena to 70,000 (e.g. as part of a world tour) is not

      capitalist because the performers are live? I am missing something. Can

      somebody explain this distinction because there's something going on here I

      just don't get.


      > > > (yet are more than happy to wax endlessly about the economic

      > > > implications of digital media or namecheck Deleuzes).

      > >

      > > I haven't done those things, yet. There was someone on this

      > list, recently,

      >

      > Dude, you just posted a link to a website about "meme music".


      Hehe, I got in there just in time, didn't I? But, erm, that page of links

      isn't about "meme music", it's with reference to a set of memes *in* music

      that the authors value.


      Jawed
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