kudos of course to k.'s anti-rockist manifesto, which is even more amusing than usual bc it anticipates its own backlash- that k! - which i suppose means that in some ways, k is still playing the rockist's games, even as he urges readers and indeed, his fellow writers, to examine how they use music writing and think about what 'pop music' is.
my one defense of rockism is that it correctly presumes that the music industry is evil, exploits artists and rips off fans, and that for 'good music' to exist, it somehow must either ignore these things en masse or critique them in some clever way (as opposed to whiny michael jackson style flip flopping). the negative side of this is the privledging of artists who make explicit their anti-industry status (aka punk, underground hip hop) or whose work is 'art' in spite of its mega-monolith distribution/marketing (aka bruce and the bunch). the positive side of this is that even asskissing rolling stone still writes articles looking to the consumer/listener's side of the debate on downloading, and that generations of music fans can learn early on (via no doubt both punk and hip hop, among others) to examine the music that they listen to not just for its artistry (as k suggests we should) but also for its history, its place in the economy (politically, socially, aesthetically), and its use in (har har) everyday life as a form of communication, art, and/or pleasure.
ON ANOTHER NOTE: am out in San Diego. Lovely here. Went to Disneyland bc even though I hate the monoculture, I love private public space built as urban/suburban utopias, and you know what, I wouldn't mind having been Walt Disney. The place was so exhaustingly detailed that after a while i surrendered entirely, almost looking for beignets in the fake new orleans, i was that distracted. the music there was positively horrific, however; even on the Mark Twain riverboat ride ("I never read him, we only read European literature in high school" said the girl in front of me. I mean, the dude has his own ride in Disneyland ferchristsakes, like how is it possible that he's not part of the canon?) the lazy banjo pickin' (hey hey authenticity) sounded supercanned, tinny and not even in that winsome oldtyme way. It occurred to me that Disney's imagineering has rendered itself obsolete - everything looks like Disneyland now, so what's the next step?
And no, I didn't forget the election, I'm merely mortified and already near saturation point with the giddy rhetoric of 'the dead heat' and the pundit fever pitch. My good thoughts go out to folks like Caryn Brooks who are tramping down doors in my homestate. Fight to the end, my friends. Tonight I think I convinced my mom to vote Kerry. That's one for me.