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thinking allowed? - Echoes of Flavio's Ghost Dreaming
thinking allowed?
I hadn't heard the 'Today' programme for a while. Caught it on time just now to hear a very tedious conversation about whether 'rock' (whatever that might mean these days) artists should be 'allowed' to make music that was less immediately accessible -less immediately catchy or easy to listen, if you like. Allowed? If an artist produces a piece of work that is difficult at first and manages to find people to produce it and release it, it is up to you whether you buy it or not. 'Allowed' doesn't seem to me to go into it. We all have different tastes and some of the music I like (and some of the music I would like to make) is bound to be excruciatingly boring to you -but that is also true, in all probability, the other way round. Nothing wrong either way.  One of the jobs of the artist can be -I'm not sure it should  be in all cases, though- to push ahead a little bit.

The main thing I picked up out of this is that I'm not that interested in listening to the Today programme any more... 


8 comments or Leave a comment
glensc From: glensc Date: February 28th, 2011 09:14 am (UTC) (Link)
I guess "allowed" might be a reasonable word if the piece was a commisioned piece but beyond that it doesn't really make sense to me either.
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: February 28th, 2011 10:21 am (UTC) (Link)
Indeed. At first that was the first thing that struck me. They were interviewing two people -one I didn't know who it was, the other one an old time DJ, Kershaw I think, that went on about the 'rot having started to set in with Sgt. Pepper'. So I think the bottom line was that pop artists should be 'entertaining' and not have intellectual pretensions. Who said there wasn't room for both in the world and, indeed, that a work couldn't be both. And of course we all have different tastes.

glensc From: glensc Date: February 28th, 2011 10:41 am (UTC) (Link)
Absolute rubbish, the rot set in in 1948 when Les Paul recorded "Lover (When You're Near Me)" I mean, one person playing more than one instrument, not at the same time, and not in real time either...Bah humbug and damn these ultra modernists, that's not music... etc etc etc
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: February 28th, 2011 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Was Mr Kershaw at the premiere of Stravinsky's Rite of Spring, ready with the tomatoes to throw?:D
(of course, different kind of music but still, the same argument has gone on for ages about this on that side of the tracks...)
arkady From: arkady Date: February 28th, 2011 09:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Perhaps what they mean is "should record companies allow their contracted artists to put out albums that won't be instant hits and sell in large volumes"? Or in other words, should artists be allowed to have artistic integrity or should they just resign themselves to the role of "record company whore". :-/
flavius_m From: flavius_m Date: February 28th, 2011 10:26 am (UTC) (Link)
Indeed, that could be a sub-text to that, although I understood it more in the sense that pop artists should make music that was easy to listen, 'tuneful', without arty intellectual pretensions. I tend to like a lot of those pretentious intellectuals, as it happens. I think the world would lose something without the lot of them, Tom Waits or Diamanda Galas or Brian Eno or Fripp (although some of these list would probably punch me at hearing themselves described as 'intellectual' artists).
djpsyche From: djpsyche Date: February 28th, 2011 10:44 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes, unfortunate choice of words... perhaps what they meant is "should the market allow artists to make less accessible music", and of course, what the market rewards is what people want to hear. So if sales drop, that's the artist's consequence to bear.
jaketherat From: jaketherat Date: March 2nd, 2011 04:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, what a spectacular bag of nonsense. I knew Today had gone downhill recently, but I wasn't aware it had descended into the realm of the totally meaningless.

Are you sure it was Andy Kershaw? That doesn't sound like the sort of statement the man who brought John Cooper Clarke to the masses would make...
8 comments or Leave a comment