“‘Culture should be taken out of the hands of the dollar chasers. We need a national subsidy for literature. It is disgraceful that artists are treated like peddlers and that art works have to be sold like soap.’”—
Herbert Marcuse, Negations: Essays in Critical Theory (1968) (via notational)
———————— I wonder if he would have been as interested in a national subsidy for rock and roll? In 1968 the literate culture was being torn apart by the new electric gestalt. The kids went running for the shelter of electric music while the literates could only hear noise.
We just spent millions of dollars on a new home for the Canadian Opera Company, while the kids who want to explore street dance, hip hop, circuit bending, remixing or countless other arts that are probing our new environment have to scrounge around the city for space and equipment.
I’m well aware that Marcuse (Adorno et al.) was not supportive of pop art…and his support of the avante-garde was not also support for the underground. However I don’t feel that I need to agree with everything a thinker writes to agree with some small sharp part.
Adorno’s position on “jazz” (which he used as a catch-all for popular music in general) is the greatest flaw in an otherwise unimpeachable body of aesthetic criticism. It is, to an extent, dangerous to subsidize cultural movements in general: the risk, I believe, is that governments don’t love to give away money without some set of standards to make sure it is being well-spent. What makes rock and roll/experimental music in general so exciting is that it is, at some level, outsider art. Punk rock is the ultimate example of this: it’s what happens when you have kids with inspiration and enthusiasm, but not much knowledge or technique.
What I would really love to see is this experiment: what if, instead of band or orchestra classes, you offered rock and roll as an elective? That is, you gave kids space and time during school to practice, let them form their own bands, write their own material, and work with experienced advisors who would workshop their material the way creative writing classes do? You could use this as an avenue to introduce critical and aesthetic theory, social history, etc., and get kids excited about the music they already listen to (plus introduce extant rock and roll that they might not have heard). I know, it sounds a little “School of Rock”, but imagine, if it was taken seriously, and the kids were more or less left to their own devices, what would result.
Danananakroyd (yes like the actor) is a two drummer 6 piece Post-Hardcore (I use this term extremely loosely) band from England. They self describe their sound as “fight pop”. This song is off their debut LP “Hey Everyone”.
I got into this band about a year ago, I was super stoked on their first album, but, when it came out I wasn’t really paying attention to this kind of stuff (I was listening to a lot of rap, but I digress). They basically sound like At The Drive-In or The Blood Brothers if they tried to make their music way less serious and added the maximum amount of fun. It almost comes off like really scrappy, angry pop punk sometimes. This album is awesome drive way too fast in your car music.
This is the deal. It’s Friday afternoon, the sun is shining, it is warm outside, and I am going to drive around and listen to Danananakroyd. World, if you have problems with that, shove it.
Hey Tumblrinos! So I know many of you follow me on Twitter, and I promise that I rarely cross-post like this, but I wanted to let you all know that I have finally bitten the bullet and undertaken an actual full-length album project. My roommate/collaborator/frequent action-movie viewing companion Ryan Nestor and I are in the process of recording an album of improvisations. Ryan is an alum of the Bang On A Can Summer Festival and an accomplished percussionist/improviser, having played some of the most challenging and rewarding works in the percussion repertoire, and I am a mediocre guitarist who likes contemporary music and heavy metal. We frequently find ourselves at home with little to do and several beers in us, and decide to improvise. We have started recording these for posterity, and, combined with a few other improv-duo type things, we are putting together an album’s worth of these late-night, beer-fueled endeavors. This link will take you to a teaser track from the album, the title of which you can find out if you click through. If you’re into John Cage, Sunn O))), or, really, any of the music I talk about on this blog, you’ll probably dig it. Anyways, we’re hoping to have the album completed by May 2010, and we’re going to release it digitally (for free!). Anyways, enjoy, reblog, and stay tuned for more stuff!
Seriously, I envy her life. He mother celebrated her spirit animal quest by having a party with dancing and four kinds of cake. Four kinds of cake. She must have had a mixture of Lewis Carroll, C.S. Lewis, and J.M. Barrie’s imaginations for a childhood.
I’m glad I’m not the only one who thought that the best part of this whole interview (which, by the way, was fantastic) was that she went on a spirit journey, followed by this totally awesome, typical end-of-high-school party that your parents throw, but augmented with FOUR KINDS OF CAKE.
“Like countless other intellectual fads over the years (“relevance,” communism, “modernism,” and so on—history is littered with them) OOP [Object-oriented programming] will be with us until eventually reality asserts itself. But considering how OOP currently pervades both universities and workplaces, OOP may well prove to be a durable delusion. Entire generations of indoctrinated programmers continue to march out of the academy, committed to OOP and nothing but OOP for the rest of their lives.”—
I’m not sure what the issue here is, exactly. I’m a fan of communism, relevance, modernism (well, sort of), and object-oriented programming (ESPECIALLY object-oriented programming, which I advocate extensively for, and, in the case of Max/MSP/Jitter, use frequently in my creative work). OOP is pervasive because it is the punk rock of programming: in a sense, it’s totally evangelical. It attracts people who would have never otherwise been excited about programming, because there’s “too much rigor” involved, and shows them that ANYONE can program, as long as they commit to the endeavor with some energy. If Richard Mansfield thinks it’s atrocious that programming is now accessible to the unwashed masses (many of whom, I hasten to add, engage in better hygiene practices than the bulk of “real” programmers, so maybe “unwashed” isn’t the best term), then I feel sorry for him, like I do for anyone who engages in this kind of intellectual elitism. I’m not saying for a SECOND that I’m anti-intellectual, or that I’m against intensive, command-line programming: quite the opposite, actually. I just don’t see why programming has to be exclusively the domain of those who commit to learning extensive, complex command-line interfaces. If this was the case with all computing, we’d all still be using DOS interfaces.
Stochastic (from the Greekστόχος for aim or guess) means random. A stochastic process is one whose behavior is non-deterministic, in that a system’s subsequent state is determined both by the process’s predictable actions and by a random element. However, according to M. Kac and E. Nelson, any kind of time development (be it deterministic or essentially probabilistic) which is analyzable in terms of probability deserves the name of stochastic process.
I guess I’m on a Xenakis kick, or something. Nevertheless, if you can do math (and I mean REALLY do math), you owe it to yourself to read “Stochastic Music”. I told my students in my undergraduate non-major music theory class that music composition often is inseparable (nowadays) from higher-level mathematics, and the looks on the faces of my math-science majors was priceless. Seeing those faces light up makes it worth it to grade 150 pages of homework for every class.