Friday, May 15, 2009

The in crowd.

Ramsey Lewis' sofa sweater set jazz classic from 1965 seems like a perfectly inappropriate place to start this rumination on scene versus genre brought on by blissblog's emanations of late.

I specifically picked that You Tube clip for a purpose. Did you watch it? If you didn't go back and push the play triangle. If you knew only the albuum version of this tune, you're probably hipped into Ramsey Lewis as a kind of black version of Dave Brubeck: solid playing but nothing really to write home about. After all he DJs on a "smooth jazz" station in Chicago now. Jazz for the buttoned down set ala the comedy stylings of say . . . randomly . . . no not really – Bob Newhart and Bill Cosby. That's what we call a skin deep analysis [pun intended]. In my old life I also called it a C unless it was poorly written and then the gloves came off and down goes Frazier!

In fact Ramsey, while churning out crowd pleasing hits and being noted for his performance style, is a player of innate gifts, Brubeck is always about weird irregular time signatures like say Take 5/4. Sorry! Sure neither of them is Cecil Taylor, but then who is? and does it really matter?

But to get back to the larger point about genres and scenes and the ilk. You really need to look closely, pay attention and listen hard before you begin to talk confidently about such things. After all The Cos was a more than creditable jazz drummer in his day and he's able to talk intelligently about one of the most idiosyncratic cats who ever lived and a personal Culture God, Lester Bowie. That basically makes up for all the reactionary right wing BS he's been spouting of late. See Cosby understands how to listen to music and talk about it intelligently. Some people really shouldn't be given faux doctorates it gives them the WRONG IDEA! Enough peroration.

This all started as a short note to Mr. RIU&SA
Interesting 2nd piece today which so far I've only skimmed quickly out of blogger dashboard. Did your throwaway bit about few talking about dancing provide a subtle glance at any papers from the almost simultaneous EMP conference, say Douglas' discussion of the figure of DJ? Just wonderin'. The whole scene versus genre distinction is fascinating as it brings up all kinds of issues both synchronic and thus primarily geographical and diacrhonic where tume [sic] and place intersect and get caught up in the vortex of the coninuum.

A short riff on my bugabo Noise. We can pretty well define some basic generic components of it, though there will always be nitpickers and genres can overlap. Some shoegaze is noise but not all noise is shoegaze et cetera et cetera get your Venn diagrams here. And we know two of it mains centers of "production" are NYC and Japan. But start talking scenes and everything is wrong again (sorry I couldn't resist) In Japan each city has its noise scene Osaka eYe Boredoms Tokyo Merz bow et al. hell in Tokyo there are probably prefecture demarcations I would never understand in a lifetime. It's all back to studying gangs a la the 50s youth culture research by Hoggart, Hall et al out of the Birmingham Center.

A quick glance at NYC. No Wave was a specific time and place, esp. when thinking of what Eno "curated" on the scene naming disc and to a slightly lesser extent what Moore and Colley have recently reported on more expansively. today merely secondhand I take it the noise is happening out in Williamsburg in Brooklyn. So not only do you have temporal distinctions to make between 1970s and 2000s let say but also the Welataunschang [If only I had taken that typing class back in high school?] of an "outer" borough as opposed to downtown Manhattan comes into play. Kind of Mike Davis' wheelhouse if he would ever leave the great SouthWest. Enough nattering on but a lot of grist for the mill. Thanks.

Speaking of the 'Nuum do you think David Barker has finished tearing his hair out yet over this "desecration" of his brand "image"? ;^)

Of course it could be worse, you could end up in Simon's mythical neither nor place:

Oh and finally the scene for the In Crowd: Bohemian Caverns Washington, D.C. May 13, 1965 naturally.

Like Byron's Don Juan I can't seem to keep hold of the thread. So this will be a multi-parter; yes I am so a copycat.

Next time the role(s) of space[s] and place(s) in defining scenes and maybe a bit onto genrefication.

Books to look at before I write again

Gaston Bachelard, The Poetics of Space
Dick Hebdige, Subculture: The Meaning of Style
Stuart Hall and Tony Richardson, eds. Resistance Through Rituals: Youth Subcultures in Post-War Britain
Pierre Bordieu, Distinction: A Social Critique of the Judgement of Taste
Guy Debord, The Society of Spectacle
Bryan Reynolds, Transversal Subjects: From Montaigne to Deleuze After Derrida (I hear pages 51–82 aren't half bad.)

Soundtrack for Further Rumination

Steve Reich, "Drumming" Pt. IV
Skeleton Crew, "Rader, Fish and Kermode"
Unwound, "Sonata for Loudspeakers"
Anthony Braxton, "Third Meeting"
King Missile, "It's Saturday"

No comments: