Browsing All Posts filed under »Monday Musings«

Monday Musing: If Property Is Theft, Who Stole Our Music?

May 13, 2013

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Meaningful utterances can be represented in physical form: a spoken sentence may be represented symbolically by writing, or mimetically, by an audio recording. Such representations may be reproduced indefinitely, whether by a symbolic process (someone reads the words and writes them down again) or a mimetic one (someone makes a photocopy of the writing). Each time this happens, a physical object becomes the conduit for an idea, for some units of meaning. You may be able to guess where I'm going with this: I'm going to be talking about music, as is my wont, and the reproduction thereof. This has been something of a hot topic since information technology made it so easy, and it raises a number of questions that anyone with much

Monday Musing: The Ideology Of The Album

April 15, 2013

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I've been wondering about the way that I choose what music to write about, what the reasons for those choices are, and what the consequences of them might be. I feel I've been fairly rigorous in examining the way I think and write about specific pieces of music in detail, and I've gone to the effort of engaging with (relatively) current schools of thought in critical theory in order to inform my thinking. But this basic question, related both to my personal tastes and to the utility of my blogging, has remained something of a black box. I decided to have a poke around and see what I could break…

Monday Musing: Hacking, Creativity And Cool

April 2, 2012

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There’s a cinema ad I see sometimes… I think it’s for a phone or something. So, a singular failure as an ad, but as an inspiring piece of film-making it hits the nail on the head. It basically shows people (mainly young and pretty people, but you can’t expect social realism in a phone ad) going about their daily lives, finding ways to be creative about what they do, finding modes of jouissance in the banalities of their existence, be it dancing while ironing, putting detailed artwork in the suds of a partially washed car, parking a bicycle by jumping off it moments before it lands in the rack, breakdancing with an ad-board strapped to their back …

Monday Musing: Is Art Political Again?

March 19, 2012

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The more I write about different things, musical aesthetics, the music business, music industry politics, culture and all the rest of it, the less I feel like I’m writing about different things. It’s only when I take a step back that I can see how abstruse and theoretical some of the things I say about aesthetics, for example, must appear, because for me there is nothing less political about a topic like that than there is about any overtly social subject. Everything is political, everything is aesthetic, everything is emotional, everything is spiritual and everything is subject to fruitful theoretical examination …

Monday Musing: The Aesthetics Of Nature, And The Nature Of Music

March 5, 2012

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Every human being is a unique individual, and inherently valuable; what’s precious about them, moreover, is somehow connected to their uniqueness, their particularity. Trees, on the other hand… well, one’s much the same as another. Agree or disagree with these statements, there are certainly a lot of people who subscribe to both, but today I’m rambling aimlessly on in my inimitable style about aesthetics, and I get the impression that commonplace aesthetic responses reverse those positions.

Monday Musing: Eclectic Taste and Artistic Truth

February 20, 2012

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I’m decidedly omnivorous in my musical tastes; if you read my blog regularly, you know this. If not, a quick glance at the genres of the music I’ve reviewed in the past few months should confirm it pretty rapidly. Taste, however, is a matter of discrimination, of distinguishing one thing from another, and if I deny myself the use of genre as a basis for taste, I’m refusing what is probably the most widespread single criterion for forming musical value judgements.

Monday Musing: Special Pleading And The Ethics Of Culture

February 6, 2012

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Every so often the liberal press likes to get up a nice bit of moral panic about ragga/ rap/ whatever singers’ appalling attitudes towards women, or exhorting their listeners to shoot gays; usually the right wing press likes to join in as well, as it’s a good excuse for them to trot out their ongoing concerns about black people, with their primitive passions and oversized penises (well, they don’t say that out loud any more, but the subtext is still there). So there’s that, but we need a few more examples. There’s a well known song in Britain which expresses a desire for Marshall Wade to ‘…like a torrent rush/ rebellious Scots to crush’