moments before the wind.

June 2, 2006

did i show you this picture of my nephew

Filed under: authenticity, music, news, reviews, rock, writing — alimarcus @ 4:39 pm

If you were waiting for my post on last night's amazing show, you're going to have to wait once more. I've baked three pies today and been inspired by some fantastic writing and am going to weigh in on what strikes me. The posts I'll link to are full of a maze of about a week's worth of posts, so it's a lot to wade through but definitely worth it.

Simon Reynolds blasts the ongoing discussion about Greil Marcus and his potentially racist or rockist (is there a difference?) perspective on some things, and brings in Mao and Nietzche, which goes to show just how heated this talk is getting. Reynolds believes that strong writing – even "the fantasy scenario of popular justice exacting retribution against a corrupt and parasitical rockstar ruling class" – trumps an irrelevant argument. He is reacting to a series of posts from John Shaw, of which this is currently the most recent, addressing in general a comment of Marcus' in context with the Stephin Merritt brouhaha and rock crit and everything else. Shaw writes, ostensibly directly to Marcus: "Love or hate Celine Dion or Anita Baker or REM as you hear fit, but please keep your dislike, should you have some, to what they sound like and not how they dress." The Celine reference is there because Reynolds also calls out Carl Wilson for his Celine investigation which I wrote about once. Carl's reaction is all heart, and is by god the kinda stuff that keeps me ticking.

I'll tell you what I think. People can and will argue about this for quite a bit longer than anyone thought possible, or necessary. The fact that it's happening is what I love; the exchange of all this impassioned offense and defense is nothing short of inspiring. Simon's right on, demanding that we should have strong opinions. John admirably challenges us to get beyond the surface of things. And Carl has the sense and the decency to not presume to know better. I can only hope to find more of this and absorb it as thoroughly as possible. Every now and then I'll be shooting off steam about my own hang-ups and truisms, knowing that at least some of you people reading this will be getting a similar kind of education from it.

Back to pies. More on the show later.

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