The Hits Keep Coming

Upon starting QS, there was no particular plan for me to become a part-time video jockey.And yet the impulse seems to be there. I stopped keeping up with new music sometime in the early 1990s (long story) so my instinct when looking around (whether for something to listen to while working, or for performance clips) is to find things from earlier decades. One of the few exceptions to this normally arriere garde mode was discovering the Toronto-based musical collective Broken Social Scene a few years ago.

That was well after everybody else had heard of them, so perhaps my record of un-cutting-edginess remains consistent after all.

An article from last year by one Nick Southall -- who otherwise sounds way more plugged into the contemporary than me -- contains some reflections that square quite well with my own experience:

Back in 2003 I ignored Broken Social Scene because I didn't think I "needed" (yeah, I know) a Canadian multi-piece postrock oligarchy in my life, but earlier this year I finally bought You Forgot It In People, and was thoroughly impressed with it. The thing is that people had spent a sizeable chunk of 2003 telling me explicitly to get YFIIP, and I ignored them. Why? I dunno. Well, I kind of do. Getting YFIIP two years after the hype had died down and my friends had stopped saying "you need this" meant that I was able to listen to it with fresh ears, so to speak. I'd been told by all and sundry that it was packed with transcendent moments, flashes of punctum, etcetera. But when you get told that so often and find yourself listening to something about which that has been said, you can find yourself straining too hard to hear those moments of transcendence and punctum, so hard that you miss them. Why do you miss them? Because they belong to other people, firstly, because you need to find your own moments for yourself. Hearing "Anthems For A 17-Year-Old Girl" four months ago was incredibly evocative and moving because I'd forgotten what I'd been told to expect, and the tune floored me on its own merits, sans hyperbole. I often find it easier to appreciate records after the initial rush has died down.

I'll second that. You Forgot It In People is on the short list of my all-time favorite records -- one that I listen to with a sense of mystery and fascination that is hard to put into words, not quite sure sometimes how to name the emotion that a particular song on it evokes. Southall refers to "Athems" and that's certainly at the top of the list for evocative inexplicability:

It's followed on the album by a very different, but also quite cryptic song called "Cause=Time," the mood of which defies paraphrase, at least by me:

Some of the lyrics make me guess that this is a satirical comment on lefty activism as lifestyle niche. But the feel couldn't be more different from, say, "California Uber Alles."

See, now I'm back to wanting to listen to the Dead Kennedys. Didn't think I'd stay in the '00s for long....

March 9, 2007 10:45 AM | | Comments (2)

Categories:

2 Comments

Blah, blah, blah. What the heck are you trying to compete with thirteen bazillion catblogging music lovers for when there's only one Scott McLemee?

Thanks. But is it possible that I'm not trying to compete with anyone and simply enjoy putting up music videos that I like on occasion? Yes, it is possible.

Leave a comment

Recent Work

Fidel Castro: My Life 
A review from Newsday
40 Years of "The Crisis of the Negro Intellectual" 
Marking the anniversary of Harold Cruse's great book
Style and Grace 
A review of a book by the late, great Grace Paley from ... sheesh, almost ten years ago.
Oh, Canada 
National identity -- going south?
The LaRouche Tabernacle Choir 
An interview with me about the LaRouche movement, on Pacifica radio in Los Angeles
Open Library 
An interview with Aaron Swartz, one of the developers....
Sailing From Ithaka 
The new report calling for a digital platform for scholarly publishing deserves a wide audience
more

Readings

Battle of the Titans 
Dinesh D'Souza and Alan Wolfe debating? Imagine a slime mold in conflict with a patch of mildew. It's just that inspiring.
To the Tehran Station 
Not about Edmund Wilson
more picks

Blogroll

About this Entry

This page contains a single entry by Quick Study published on March 9, 2007 10:45 AM.

Live from New York was the previous entry in this blog.

Speechless is the next entry in this blog.

Find recent content on the main index or look in the archives to find all content.

AJ Ads


AJ Blogs

AJBlogCentral | rss

culture
About Last Night
Terry Teachout on the arts in New York City
Artful Manager
Andrew Taylor on the business of arts & culture
blog riley
rock culture approximately
critical difference
Laura Collins-Hughes on arts, culture and coverage
Dewey21C
Richard Kessler on arts education
diacritical
Douglas McLennan's blog
Dog Days
Dalouge Smith advocates for the Arts
Flyover
Art from the American Outback
Life's a Pitch
For immediate release: the arts are marketable
Mind the Gap
No genre is the new genre
Performance Monkey
David Jays on theatre and dance
Plain English
Paul Levy measures the Angles
Real Clear Arts
Judith H. Dobrzynski on Culture
Rockwell Matters
John Rockwell on the arts
Straight Up |
Jan Herman - arts, media & culture with 'tude

dance
Foot in Mouth
Apollinaire Scherr talks about dance
Seeing Things
Tobi Tobias on dance et al...

jazz
Jazz Beyond Jazz
Howard Mandel's freelance Urban Improvisation
ListenGood
Focus on New Orleans. Jazz and Other Sounds
Rifftides
Doug Ramsey on Jazz and other matters...

media
Out There
Jeff Weinstein's Cultural Mixology
Serious Popcorn
Martha Bayles on Film...

classical music
Creative Destruction
Fresh ideas on building arts communities
The Future of Classical Music?
Greg Sandow performs a book-in-progress
On the Record
Exploring Orchestras w/ Henry Fogel
Overflow
Harvey Sachs on music, and various digressions
PianoMorphosis
Bruce Brubaker on all things Piano
PostClassic
Kyle Gann on music after the fact
Sandow
Greg Sandow on the future of Classical Music
Slipped Disc
Norman Lebrecht on Shifting Sound Worlds

publishing
book/daddy
Jerome Weeks on Books
Quick Study
Scott McLemee on books, ideas & trash-culture ephemera

theatre
Drama Queen
Wendy Rosenfield: covering drama, onstage and off
lies like truth
Chloe Veltman on how culture will save the world

visual
Aesthetic Grounds
Public Art, Public Space
Another Bouncing Ball
Regina Hackett takes her Art To Go
Artopia
John Perreault's art diary
CultureGrrl
Lee Rosenbaum's Cultural Commentary
Modern Art Notes
Tyler Green's modern & contemporary art blog
Creative Commons License
This weblog is licensed under a Creative Commons License.