Tuesday, July 13, 2010

psychedelic things i liked when i was a kid, vol. 2 (or: unattached thought stew)

Friend (& super-great booking dude) Dan C. told me, pre-Tortoise show, "Yeah they're really good for 5 minutes, but after's the same thing. You get the idea." Now, he may have been acting salty due to Ghana going up 1-0 on the U.S. in their quarterfinal Cup match. Or, he may have had match, show fatigue. As a veteran of playing 300+ shows, and attending many more, I can totally understand seeing a band several times and not continuing to be impressed. However, I wonder if this doesn't say something more about our culture in general, and even something about me. A predilection to krautrock, attending Tortoise shows, and reading a 1300-page World War I-era fictional tome doesn't exactly place me in the same time-space-continuum as the rest of the Tweet-feeding, aerosol-pancake-eating, Generation ADD.

yes---this is real. pancakes are so hard to make!

I'm not trying to claim that I have some sort of super-powered attention span (I don't; as evidence, I have 6 tabs open on this Chrome browser); and although I often want to (after working with several thousand kids this year), I'm not claiming that a shorter attention span is inherent in Generation Z. In fact, my only claim is that (and I just read this somewhere on Internet...can't remember) we wear our consumable art like identity badges. This is some sort of filter for most people. "I like this_____this______and_______, what about you?" A creative filtering. Unfortunately, when you aren't into People Magazine and Baconzillas, your filter is coming on pretty strong. What have I been listening to this month? Mostly early Stereolab and CAN records. This sentence automatically flies me to NeverNeverLand. Not that I have beef with that, but what has filtered my art digestion process to the point where I am interested in something that is uninteresting to most...or, how did I end up consuming the mostly inconsumable?

CAN...a little less hip in the late 80s. But who wasn't?

The first time I heard Tago Mago, the first time I heard Trout Mask Replica...these were bizarre experiences. I'm not sure how my brain processed these---was I being influenced by those around me who were partial to such records? Yes, but if that was always the case, I'd love Modest Mouse, or the Pixies...both of which I appreciate but get no emotional grab from. I think maybe repetition is the key...something very mathematic, very primal about krautrock. Even about this Dos Passos pile upon events in such random fashion that the written world becomes a fractal. World War I is merely a piece of pattern in the midst of a thousand others... Perhaps by following my natural Id, my inner circadian rhythm, the tide of my body, compels me to follow art that self-repeats, that tessellates in often-times unnoticeable ways, that digests-and-then-echoes.

Now, to figure out how to seek repetition in art, but not life. Feeling the need to break out of whatever fractal I've woven myself into lately. Immerse myself in other patterns. Other weather systems. Maybe a coast, or two?

1 comment:

  1. I find your take on this fascinating, because I've met too many people who wear some of your (very genuine) interests as those same identity badges.. which has the adverse affect of making me initially distrust a lot of self-proclaimed Krautrock or Beefheart or avant-garde music fans, who seem to claim it as a way to establish "outsider" credentials, I assume. I find that to be a strange identity to want to affect.

    Your unattachment to the Pixies makes perfect sense in light of your theory on your taste for Can... Pixies are too twitchy, too nervous, not at all repetitous in the way good Krautrock can be.

    Your blog is fantastic. And I would eat the hell out of some aerosol pancakes. In fact, I'm going to name a song in honor of them.