Friday, June 04, 2004

Since parties not exactly slack in their interpretive skills have misunderstood, I’d better make this explicit. I don’t mean to assign every stripe of anti-rockism to anyone who uses the word as per my recent complaints. Fr’instance: SF/J is under no circumstances to be assigned the view that “tracking the basics in one room” is bankrupt, questions of genre aside; there’s photodocumentation, if proof be needed. (I’d love to work at Water Music sometime myself.) A distinction should also be drawn between the notion that bandin’-it-up is not the royal road to effective recordings, and the view that working this way (because of the availability of other technologies) can only bespeak aesthetic conservatism. The first strikes me as beyond question. Experience, rather than a theoretical principle I can point to, makes it difficult for me to accept the second, stronger view, which clearly requires a further argument. But I’m certainly more comfortable when the argument can at least be implicitly reconstructed from particular critical claims than when it’s wholly a matter of assumption.

I suspect my own tendency is to think of recording, at least as I’ve practiced it, as doctored photography. Enough worrying of this tooth for a while, I think.

UCLA hooked up some faster connections in the Phil. Dept. building, with the result that I finally managed to download Todd Haynes’ Superstar. (Here's the page again.) Just great, and as sad as it means to be; full marks for marriage of form and content. Also, “Rainy Days and Mondays” is a killingly good song and performance. (I listened to the ‘50s-retro side of Then & Now, one of the few not-entirely-pre-rock albums my parents owned, a good deal in the years before I discovered N** W***; especially obsessive on “Dead Man’s Curve” and “Johnny Angel.” That, and an 8-track of Evita.) I don’t think I’ve consciously followed Haynes, but I realize I’ve seen everything but Safe. Poison was the occasion of one of my worst dates ever – Genet + near-stranger = uncomfortable drive home, though this of course depends on the stranger. Entirely down with the Sirk-y one; I ‘got’ Velvet Goldmine, but didn’t take much pleasure in it. I recall disliking the visual style (editing, maybe), but can’t produce specifics; Hedwig did some of the same things better.

Saw Lambchop last night; I admire Kurt Wagner’s lyrics, but the constant undersigning is tough. Mainly listened to the playing, esp. their pianist Tony Crow, who I straight-up envy. I gather a good number of the members work straight Nashville sessions when they can. They’re back here in Feb. to accompany Murnau’s Sunrise. David Sefton much?

Really am trying to keep these more digestible, so it’s later this weekend for Rose Subotnik’s presentation on Tin Pan Alley and Adorno, which may well interest a few of those who link here.

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