Monday, May 17, 2010

well rockism is easily traceable, it was coined by pete wylie of Wah! Heat in an NME interview in 1980, he meant something rather different i think than how it's come to be theorized

it was a term that was in a lot of currency in the early 80s, faded a bit but never completely died away all through the late 80s and 90s and then really blew up in those I Love Music/Freakytrigger/New York London Paris Munich circles in the Noughties, all those disputes about pop and M.I.A., and people thinking they were very cool liking Abba (as if the Spin Guide to Alternative Rock hadn't already included Abba in 1995, and it wasn't a particularly fresh, contrarian thing to do even then!). and then rockism just went viral didn't it -- so it would be hard to track as it's always had so many users

>Plus: is there also an umbrella term for the mistrust of >sophistication and >musicianship that has sort of >become pro-forma in anti-rockist stuff ? (Prog hate >?) A good example of this was the Julianne Shepard and Jessaca Hopper vilification >of the first Vampire >Weekend album on the grounds that they knew how to >play >their instruments, and "could probably read sheet >music."

i think that would have to be called "punkist". it's the same as e.g. ageing punkie howard hampton (a buddy of greil marcus) saying in new york times circa kid A that Radiohead were just like Pink Floyd. the return of prog as this horrifying spectre, when

-- in alt/indie music, proggish tendencies have been seeping back in since.... well there was Slint and math-rock, but Paul Leary in buttholes was if not quite prog then certainly doing virtuososity and guitar-hero type soloistics

and yeah you are right there is an equation of technique with gentrification with the upper middle class, that collapses on lots of levels:

often working class music (e.g. a lot of black or ethnic minority musics) are totally about slickness, skill, sounding tight, .... but also metal, there's a big emphasis on technicial skill and complexity, blast-beats, hyper-fast playing, contorted song structures

prog's following, certainly in the UK, had quite a strong working class contingent i think (esp in liverpoool for some reason, where they would love to get stoned and listen to zappa and floyd)

also what could be more connected to the collegiate and upper middle class than lo-fi, mumbled vocals, amateurish playing, etc etc ?

i think that's what's interesting about vampire, dirty projectors etc is that they've broken with those constructed notions of the authentic as the sloppy, intuitive, etc

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