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21 September 2012

Billy Corgan on the Community Function

May I grab a moment of your increasingly internet-fractured attention span and focus you on this interview between T. Cole Rachel and the Smashing Pumpkins’ Billy Corgan on, ahem, the “state of the Alternative Community” — communities being something I care about a great deal.

Here it is thanks to Stereogum. (Thanks Stereogum!)

Here is an excerpt I particularly like, and bold-face on the parts I really really like:

“Once I entered the world of honesty, circa 1992, there was sort of no going back. It’s a nice fantasy to think if someone got me some media training, I would have avoided a lot of these controversies that are really meaningless and continue to be meaningless. Secondarily, I think there’s something to be said for being principled. Like I think of Lou Reed as being principled. I think of Neil Young as being principled. There are those actors in the world for whom the principles they live their life by, in the long run, mean something. And I think that the principles that I live my life by do mean something and will look better in hindsight. Because when I was at South By Southwest … first of all, in alternative rock music, generally speaking, there have been very few bands in the past 10 years that have made OK Computer-level records. I guess you could say Arcade Fire made one, but there’s been a real scarcity in great, A-level work that crosses over into the mainstream. That’s very interesting, because I don’t think it’s a lack of talent. And if anything, you could say that technology should afford the ability to make ideal records even more easily than we used to be able to make when we had to do it all on tape. Secondarily, the main alternative voice for at least seven years now, and you could argue possibly longer, has been Pitchfork. And they have not produced the level of movement commensurate to their power. So what does that say to me? That system doesn’t work. Now it might work for the kids down in Wicker Park or Echo Park. It might work for the guy with the handlebar mustache. But it doesn’t work overall in the way that the Stooges work, the way that the Velvet Underground worked, or the Cure worked, or Depeche Mode, or pick your fucking any band that made it across the divide from being underground to being iconic. Read more »

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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7 November 2011

Brassland’s Song-A-Day Giveaway

Above a video whose inspiration lay, in part, in Marxist economic theory. Which is not to say the thing which it advertises is either Marxist or economical.

Starting last week on November 1st, my label Brassland has been giving away a song-a-day as part of a month long celebration of our 10th anniversary. You can participate by either liking the label on Facebook or Tweeting about it from our site. To those of you who do not partake of social media, our apologies and sympathies — and I assure you we’re putting our thinking caps on to figure out how to get you some of this music.

Anyway, a lot of people have been talking about this effort including Pitchfork and Spin and last but note least Sequenza 21.

Yay internet!

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19 February 2010

Die Antwoord transcend & transgress (NSFW): A (particulary) short attention span essay on one strand of South African culture

Read this interview with Die Antwoord. Or this one. Or, better yet, catch up with them by reading this informative, catch-all post. Or just listen to their music here.

Where does it seem like their music belongs? South Africa where they’re all from? Or is it strangely Japanese in some way? Or proudly internationalist despite their talk of being provincial?

What is their cultural niche? Hipster parody? A one-note effort to garner crossover attention? Or something meant for mooks and simple rednecks?

Yes, Pitchfork has been on this for over two weeks. (I’m so behind!) But what’s the RIYL: Vanilla Ice? Kool Keith? “Weird Al” Yankovic? Zomby? Aphex Twin?

Laughing at them? Definitely not.
Giggling nervously about what it all means? Perhaps.

Like it? Hate it? Love it? Grossed out by it? Or do you find it poignant? Well, yes, the sidekick (?!?) has progeria. His name is Leon Botha. He is a painter, and one of the oldest living people afflicted with that disease.

Verdict: Completely dystopian yet hopeful, random yet specific, confusing yet compelling. WTF factor x∞!?!
Read more »

Posted by Alec Hanley Bemis  

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