Month of March, 2010

Hedged

Saw Pareles bash glo-fi for his SXSW roundup. I love a good pisstake, but I am wondering about this statement:

"It’s annoyingly noncommittal music, backing droopy vocals with impersonal sounds–a hedged, hipster imitation of the pop they’re not brash enough to make. Which doesn’t mean that, sooner or later, one of these bands won’t stumble onto a hit."

Maybe Pareles is complaining about the hype, which seems a bit behind the ball since everyone's been complaining about glo-fi since Ryan S. decided it was a thang some what, year ago?  Then there's the ritual decrying of hipsters, it's own tired troupe of the pre-indie boom authenticity police. And all of it it in the Times, from The Vet, no less. These tropes are officially retired.

I am not convinced that it's these artists fault that they're so big, and that their aesthetic isn't somehow fresh or zeitgeist. It sounds to me like the perfect mix of AnCo swoon vox, Arthur Russell miserable minimalism, downtempo Hot Chip and with that dose of melacholy that, for all the articles about the death of indie, persists as part of the post-post rock our-slum-is-the-mainstream vibe. Yeah it's a macro micro trend, welcome to the looking glassland.

Actually what annoys me is that subtle challenge to sexual bravado that haunts that passage - "droopy" vox, a chastising for not being bold enough -- queue Sean Nelson -- to love, to rock, to seize the power of the spotlight to make some epic pop statement. I am in full support of wallflowers saying fey in the spotlight, not backing down from their lack of commitment, staying hopelessly fragile in the Austin heat. If 1,000 people heard it and still came waiting for a hit that doesn't exist, fuck 'em - some music gives you pleasure without giving you what you want, and that is a great lesson for SXSWsters to learn.

 

Dyspeptic Ouroboros full interview

Here's the full version of the interview I did with Noah Berlatsky. 

It looks like he will be doing a series interviewing arts critics, like Todd from Stylus did back in the day. 

 

Noah Berlatsky interview me for MadeLoud

A few weeks ago I got a long list of email questions from Noah Berlatsky. All the of the questions were great, but I fear that I was a bit longwinded about it. Here's the interview, in two parts:

 Part 1

Part 2

Thanks to MadeLoud for the interview!

 

Free Culture/Svobodna kultura

Am busy at work this week finishing up the text for the exhibit Free Culture  / Svobodna kultura  to go up this March in Dox Centre for Contemporary Art here in Prague. The exhibit will include address the concept of authorship and the cultures of exchange in the 21st century, and wil give case studies of Czech, Brazilian, and US Creative Commons projects, and will also feature a collection of Czech appropriation art. We'll be hosting the Czech premier of Copyright Criminals, running a Creative Commons salon, and hosting among other events. I'll keep you posted.

 

jstor you're what i'm made for

Just had a strikingly nerdy moment of joy when I found out that there was a journal called Slavic & East European Information Services. And it has everything I need to succeed!