I'll be finishing up my new solo percussion/electronics album this weekend (yep, I'm that certain of it), and I've decided that this is probably the last "album" I'll do. Not that I won't release more recordings; of course I will. I just think the "album" format has totally run its course, and there are far too many records that sound padded-out, just to meet some arbitrarily determined guideline of how long an album is "supposed" to be. In the latest edition of The Penguin Guide to Jazz on CD (about which more later), some records are criticized for being too short. Buh? I mean, what would you rather listen to, a record that's too short, or a record that's too long? It's like saying, "Boy, this'd be a lot better if it were longer; but since it's not, it sucks."
Lessee, what else...oh yeah, I finally heard that new Brian Wilson Smile record. My friend Teri summed it up perfectly when she said it sounded like children's community theater. A lot of musicians and bands in this town (Northampton, MA) idolize Brian Wilson, and I keep thinking, wow, wait'll they hear Smokey Robinson. And he wasn't even batshit insane!
I'm reading Dave Marsh's Fortunate Son, which I thought I'd read years ago, but apparently haven't (getting confused about what I have and haven't read honestly isn't something that happens often). Anyway, some things from it that resonated for me:
Semiotics, the New Criticism and other formalist approaches have never had much appeal to me, not because I don't recognize their validity in describing certain creative structures but because they emphasize those structural questions without much consideration of content. And that simply doesn't jibe with my experience of culture, especially popular culture.
...My problem, as an insider in the rock world who chose to stay outside the punk enclave, was that punk was so deeply insulated from the society it presumed to alter. ...even it its origins, punk bespoke a contempt for everyday people living everyday lives that I have never been able to share. Ultimately, punk in America was a student-led music with all the collegiate population's biases against growing up and participating in the mainstream of society. And while I loathe many things about the society in question, I've never wanted to stand absolutely outside it (partly because there were times when I feared being forced to do so).