My somewhat rambling article on style from Sunday night/Monday morning found some serendipitous company today in Colin Holter’s article on NewMusicBox.org. The piece was his reaction to a bad review by Pitchfork and a discussion of “indie-classical,” also written about by Pitchfork here. I of course know I’m not the cause of the article – it’s on a separate topic, and I’m not that narcissistic. What really piqued my interest was that it provided a good example (I think) of just what I wrote about: style, jargon, and canon.
I’m not here to be snarky. While that generally creates more traffic, this isn’t that kind of blog. But I do find it curious that instead of critically avenging the abysmally-reviewed musical work, Holter goes on to nit-pick the meaning of a style via unloading jargon and canonical references. At the end of the article I was left with the following thoughts:
• What about Travis Morrison’s “extraordinary solo debut”? Why is o.o stars offensive?
• I’m on the same page as Colin concerning a “definition” of indie (and the mention of the protohipster!)
• Why is everyone so caught up on the stylistic label? Whether a composition is labeled “indie-classical” or “progressive grindcore” (a description of TOOL I once read in the late nineties, its absurdity is why it’s stuck with me ever since) should be secondary to whether or not it’s musically good. Once again, unfortunately, the style has trumped the content.
On another front, there were a couple links I intended to mention last week but decided against it. (Again, I’d rather this blog not be reduced a Tumblr-like series of links.) However, since I’m on the subject of timing, I thought it was funny that my MTH-V post on Tricky in early January was followed a few weeks later by this NPR article on trip-hop. (Why they don’t link to Tricky’s main site in the first paragraph, since there’s no NPR page for him, is beyond me.) Then, a few weeks later (or, rather, last week) there was this Rolling Stone announcement about an upcoming Tricky performance. While I’d like to think that cosmically I was somehow involved in those other two posts, I know it’s simply a coincidence.
Just some interesting nuggets from my RSS aggregator.