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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Mon Nov 29, 2010 1:22 pm 
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Joined: Mon Oct 11, 2010 3:40 am
Posts: 15
Location: Baltimore, MD
I think there's a plethora of meaty items going on in this thread, and I'll re-read them with a more thorough eye later.

But to start, I'm focusing thusly:

1. Until very recently, culture seemed to move in what seemed like 15 year shifts, punctuated by what I'll call a "cultural spike."

Think of it this way: In the middle to later 1970s you had all sorts of conditions that led to traditional punk to blossom (or putrefy if you prefer) in London, NY, etc. sort of spiking into a mass consciousness thanks to the fact that commerce was actively trying to mine youth culture, and that initial commodification was typically brief. But that brief spike leads to the adoption of hardcore type values in smaller, seemingly less likely communities — not just NY, LA, London, etc. This broader — but shallower — acceptance spends the next 15 years or so collectively percolating, gaining new adherents, developing, etc. while the mainstream just kind of does what the mainstream media purveyors always do. They gobbles something up, ride it until it's dead, beat on it for a few years, until the typical buyer gets sick of it, then goes out looking for a new horse to do the same thing to.

So 15 years or so on from traditional punk that spike would be grunge — Nirvana, etc. Alternative music. And there's a big cultural spike. 1991, etc. This was stuff that had sort of bubbled out of that network and grounding that hardcore had given world consciousness. You saw parallels in hip hop, britpop, you name it, you can make the parallel between what was big in your country/region/etc. at that time in history, and the spirit of DIY coupled with an expression of dissatisfaction, etc. And yeah, there are different ethno-cultural touchstones, but in general at the time the spirit was the same across even those boundaries.

And a shit ton of people all over the place eventually saw Pavement, and Polvo, and Superchunk and all that sort of thing as most of the rest of the world went on with cultural business as usual listening to a mixture of the Backstreet Boys and Korn, and the kids who got it said "Shit, I can start a record label too." Or perhaps "I can totally be in a touring band." And even "Maybe I can be a music journalist even though I don't write for Rolling Stone." And probably "Hey, I can be poor, and a dork and still be fashionable." etc. etc. ad infinitum.

And that's where our hipsters arose from as mainstream media goes on doing what it does — grasping everywhere for something slightly new, and interesting to beat into the ground. And just like back in 1991, there's some good stuff and some bad stuff. Some real stuff, and some A&R guy "we can totally make you into this" stuff.

BUT here's the thing…

We live in a time that is vastly different on a multitude of levels than the time of people who made the biggest most recent mass conscious cultural dent.

There's the relatively ubiquitous presence of technology. This does a number on culture and how it progresses in a bunch of ways.

1. It takes nothing to find music anymore. You don't have to go into a record store and flip through bins for hours and ask someone you respect. You can run a search for something that strikes your fancy, and miliseconds later, there's a result.
2. Once you've got that list of results, if you want to you can easily acquire that kind of music for next to nothing or for free.
3. With a little effort, and a little money comparatively, anyone can do insane things in terms of multi-track recording. Got a laptop? Know how to use BitTorrent? Come up with enough cash to buy a midi controller, some mics, and a big enough hard drive, and — I'm sure I'm oversimplifying here but… you can pretty much reproduce a decent studio set up in your bedroom and make something that doesn't sound like it was done on a half melted cassette recorder.
4. The way we transmit data, and communicate makes the concept of setting much less important. We don't have to move someplace artsy to find other artsy people. And our lives become that much more compartmentalized as a result. It's much easier to wear the mask in 2010 than it was even in 2000.

So what does all of that mean? Main thing it means is that there's a LOT of stuff out there to sift through if you're really looking for something GOOD, something to change your world — hell, to change the WHOLE world. It also means that our interests and tastes and the things we emotionally respond to have crystallized — calcified.

We've labeled and subcategorized like crazy, and it's made it harder to relate to people in a universal way. And I think that's one big reason out of a few why that next "cultural spike" that — by my watch — should have happened about four or five years ago is taking so long to come if it ever comes at all.

Seems to me that we have little ones every six months now, and thus nothing really gains a true cultural foothold, and there's no place left for real art/music/literature, etc. to start percolating enough to make shit matter to us more than the last "next big thing" that happened six months ago.

Culture has accelerated, and this makes it even easier for the people that want to sell us stuff to direct and foster that behavior.

Relatively minor intellectual property failures aside, it's just like every revolution, they always find a way to make sure that nothing really changes.

Love to ramble more, but this is already a novel.

—ryan in baltimore.


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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Tue Nov 30, 2010 4:24 am 
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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 2:17 am 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:48 am
Posts: 112
Location: Perth Western Australia
this thread is totally making me have one of those...
..."from now on" moments

the search for a more meaningful existence begins today


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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Wed Dec 01, 2010 7:59 pm 
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Joined: Fri Sep 17, 2010 1:28 pm
Posts: 94
the problem is not enough people listen to Warning's "Watching From A Distance" album. can you feel me?


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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Thu Dec 09, 2010 6:31 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:05 pm
Posts: 19
(fuck it. why lay in bed and stress about work all night. i think i'll sip coffee and post something on PSM)

Trying to get 2 people to decide on something is a lot harder than 1; 3 people coming to a solid conclusion even more so; You get the idea. The decision that results from all this is always more general, more generic. This probably should probably be some law defined in physics, cause it always holds true. This law applies to most walks of life, including film and music. A movie or a song simply can't appeal to everyone unless it was extremely general. If someone wants to broaden their appeal, effectively, they will be generalizing their appeal. And consequently, by blaming these people we blame the system in which we exist.

How many people on this forum smoke weed, put on a Expo 70 record, and hang out with 60 year old mom, and their brother's 2 year old and 3 year old kids? (It's rhethorical) Not that many. More likely, it will be that shitty new Jack Johnson album everybody's craving about, you know, that one with the talking monkey (or whatever the fuck it is) that was turned into a movie, so I guess that makes it a soundtrack, but not really a soundtrack in your sense of the definition. However, it safe for kids, so your sister in law likes it, so you deal with, just like mom, cause she will probably go home and put on some music that suits her taste later that evening.

Pitchfork isn't evil. They are simply catering to an audience that is bigger than our taste. Simple as that.
If you don't wanna hear the shitty music, and hang out with the family, just leave the room. In other words. Stop visiting pitchfork.com! Move that bookmark/favorite right into the little fucking trash icon and say to yourself (w/ a smile) "Latter bitches".
And we know what music we like. Why are we checking out the Pitchfork site anyways? Is it cause we need to know that others enjoy the same music we do? People who listen to Kanye are doing just that, just on a much bigger scale. And the universe is all about scale, so don't loose any sleep on that in and of itself.
I'll caution anyone who says that they are having tuff time existing, cause they create something special, somthing unique, and find it hard to believe that it is not embraced by all. They might suggest that the only way forward, is to create something more bland, something that will be more digestible to all whom need consume it. That is exactly what Pitchfork did, so effectively, they will have become the thing they despise, which will be a much harder thing to live with (compared with other minutia like financial woes). But if one chooses to go that route, and sees the purpose of a site like pitchfork, and can appreciate it for what it does and what it serves all the more power to you.

I don't have to (and can't) understand everyone, and everything in this universe. Though, I can appreciate it's purpose, it's existence.


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PostPosted: Mon Dec 20, 2010 3:10 pm 
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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 6:53 am 
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Joined: Fri Sep 10, 2010 4:07 pm
Posts: 49
Location: Shores of the Acheron
[youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYB0VW5x8fI&feature=related[/youtube]


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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Sat Jan 29, 2011 7:09 am 
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Joined: Wed Oct 06, 2010 9:41 am
Posts: 81
Location: Toronto, Canada
thanks for that Nina!

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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Wed Feb 02, 2011 5:38 am 
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Joined: Mon Aug 23, 2010 7:05 pm
Posts: 19
My supervisor pointed out to me yesterday what my problem is (supervisors are good at this kind of shit). She said my problem is "I over think things", and that, "I over analyze thoughts in my head". Naturally, of course, I thought about this leaving her office.

I thought, maybe it's not my problem; maybe it's the problem.


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 Post subject: Re: The Problem.
PostPosted: Fri Feb 04, 2011 4:44 pm 
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Joined: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:48 am
Posts: 112
Location: Perth Western Australia
the problem we have in australia is that everyone is like this...


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