« Sir Viv the sociologist | Main | i, for one, welcome our new financial overlords.. »

June 30, 2009


Andrew Brown

But hasn't it always been like this?

The Stones got their authenticity from Muddy Waters, and the Beatles from Buddy Holly. Bob Dylan stood on the shoulders of Woody Guthrie.

Or to coin a phrase isn't just that Pop Will Eat Itself.

Will Davies

I'm probably flattering myself, but I thought I was making a *slightly* more subtle distinction than that.

Yes, agreed re the Stones et al. And as I point out, at the core of post-punk indie music is a desire to steal influences and reinvent the past. What's curious now is how much people are eager to go back to original sources, in an uncritical fashion.

The reinventers no longer take themselves seriously - they are either just pissing around for a summer or trying to get rich. They don't reinvent in the way that J&MC, Pixies, Stone Roses did. And if this sounds like a fogeyish gripe, I would add White Stripes and Arcade Fire to those who are trying to do something similar; hence why they get held in awe too.

Reinvention (as your examples show) is potentially a recognisable art-form. What I'm trying to describe is that, in the absence of this art-form, you are left only with a generational split between 'original' and 'copy', where the former endures, and the latter are endlessly recycled.

Andrew Brown

Fair points, and I guess that the difficult bit is picking the diamonds from the slurry.

Speaking of which, have you heard Music Go Music (ELO and ABBA) or the Felice Brothers (Dylan and the Band)?

Recycling ain't all bad.


There's a similar debate going on in the dance tent - about whether some of today's electronic music (dubstep, funky, wonky etc etc) is really adding anything to old-school (i.e. late-80s, early 90s) rave, hardcore and jungle.

Most people seem to agree it all fits into what Simon Reynolds calls the 'hardcore continuum' - but there's a huge dust-up in the blogosphere about whether the new stuff is just a poor quality throwback to the old, or remodelling it into something interesting and innovative. And whether big parties in fields near the M25 somehow had a revolutionary political component that Friday night at Fabric lacks.

Two other things strike me about all this. First, how a lot of it can be reduced to cohort effects. We now have a generation of 40-something, ageing ravers taking their children to festivals like the Big Chill and going on to 20-somethings about how it's all been done before. Second, how parts of the internet - particularly things like last.fm, spotify and mp3 blogs - create the possibility that all music is available to everybody, all the time. As a result it's easier both to trace influences back to the authentic, and to be swamped by the fleeting.

Finally, another example of outsourcing the authentic: I watched Orbital play the headline slot at Sonar a couple of weeks back, in front of about 150,000 people. The band were old enough to be my parents, while some of the audience were young enough to be my children ...


acherly, havin been there, people were just amazed the boss didnt have a heart attack

meanwhile, dead weather and fleet foxes, neither of whom pretend to do anything other than rather fine music, caused much interest....

glasto is basically a muso thing - the politix of different biz models for live v. record, market v. gig, etc are left (very left) to one side

oh, and whether your drugs are legal or not, most people are way to out of it after a couple of days to have a coherent debate.....my friends who populate the silent disco (and used to do Lost Vagueness a lot) ae too busy having plain old hedonistic fun to engage in a politico-philsophico debate...

anyhow, as theodore sturgeon sort of said, 90-% of everything is recycled

unlease you are into baba maal or florence and the machine, in which case it is 95%, but very worth while recycling...

codeine vs tramadol

Great. Now i can say thank you!


related: http://www.independent.com/news/2009/aug/20/grownups-guide-indie-rock/

The comments to this entry are closed.