Showing posts with label REFERENTIA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label REFERENTIA. Show all posts

Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Talking of the onset of patternwork....

There is a 10th Anniversary Edition of Interpol's Turn on the Bright Lights out this month

I'm sorry, there is no earthly or unearthly reason why Interpol's Turn On the Bright Lights should be commemorated for having existed for a decade, let alone get the copious in-depth sleevenotes treatment.

I liked the record at the time, but it was hardly an epochal release.   (If it was, then it wasn't much of an epoch, let's be honest).

Pitchfork reviewer Matt LeMay avers that "in retrospect, 2002 may have been the very year that we stopped talking about how music sounds, and started talking about what other music it sounds like."

Hmmm, that was going on for a goodly while, I'd say.  It goes back at least as far as the mid-Eighties, starting in fanzines like Forced Exposure, where a kind of record-store-clerk delirium referentia set in.  The writers could assume a shared knowledge base among the readership and use comparisons as shorthand. It was simply how they processed new music: in terms of its relationship to preexisting music.

Increasingly fanzine-culture type bands approached music-making the same way. Often like Pavement they'd worked in record stores (c.f. Quentin Tarantino who worked as a video store clerk before becoming a director). In a sense it was totally natural, an authentic state of irony and knowingness.  That doesn't of course deflect the decadence / Nietzche "On the Uses and Abuses of History" / patternwork arguments, of course -- one can be authentically enfeebled c.f. earlier more vigorous stages of one's own culture.

Maybe it has got worse in this decade. But if so, the reviewing things in terms of references, what it reminds you of, etc -- that's a response to what the bands are doing, how they're laying it all out there.  Cultural capital: a portfolio of influences spread out for you to scan and approve.