Sunday, July 18, 2004

v/a College Rhythm, dance bands 1927-34; DNA on DNA.

Decent day Sat., except for the crushing guilt. Library sale in Glendale in a.m.; despite the hoarders and dealers, scored about 40 LPs, 50 cents a piece, and various books. Will spare you a list, but highlights include:

Stockhausen on Wergo, feat. Rzewski,
John Cage & Lejaren Miller/Ben Johnston split on Nonesuch,
MJQ w/ Swingle Singers at Place Vendome (kinda beat up, though),
Joplin's The Red Back Book cond. Gunther Schuller,
Melanie, Castles in the Rain, Buddha pressing,
10" of songs from Look Ma, I'm Dancing, starring a very young Nancy Walker,
Your Own Thing, a 1968 rock musical "suggested by Twelfth Night,
and two copies of the Painted Smiles LP of Elmslie/Richardson's The Grass Harp (w/ the Brainard cover, I think I have 4 now, and am trying to think of how to give a couple away).


a 1949 illustrated ed. of M.F.K. Fisher's translation of Brilliat-Savarin's The Physiology of Taste,
a bibliography of music articles from Ebony, 1945-85,
an untitled protolinguistic artist's book by Guy de Cointet, w/ various library markings and sleeve for check-out card glued in, but still a major find, esp. for two bits.

Lunch in Pasadena with my old friend Robert Vodicka; went to hear the racist cracker in the evening. Uneven; energy on the low side (even w/in their expected range), Claudia was behaving oddly, I thought.

That said: What does taking M. Fields (of all bands) as an instance of male-paradigmed indie rock, or writing that "Giving in is only natural; hence the popularity of Franz Ferdinand" while other folks are busy working out the homoerotics of "Michael" say about one's attitude toward some other kinds of Otherness?* Any chance that what's being read as Merritt's "whiteness" is -- not instead, but also, which is harder -- the queerness of some of the musical traditions (musical theater & cabaret, but also disco) into which he inscribes himself? Any chance at all that there might be some obstacles to a gay man embracing hip-hop? Does Stephin articulate this or make fine distinctions in his interviews? No. Is there something blameworthy in this? Likely, yes. As things stand, are there some complicated problems in negotiating among various forms of inclusiveness? Ding-ding-ding. Should we be satisfied with tossing bombs to see where they land? One guess.

*Oh, and what was that notion a while back about starting a marginal-but-good (read: accessible)" band to plant seeds of radicalism in an impressionable audience w/o "access to cooler record stores"? Whatever FF's intent, if "Michael" is the overture to a few coming-out parties down the road, good on 'em. Enough? No, anything short of 'the' revolution is not 'enough.' Nothing? Your call.

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