Leaf Specks Nestled ‘gainst the Wet Rake’s Tines

All this, by way of a catch-all posting.

* Another great failedpilot screed ’bout what not to do with your rock band. In particular I dig becuz I’m going through an elitist “I hate American culture as such” phase that I daren’t allow too much voice. So doing’d be Adorno-ish in a bad way.

* But I do, really, even kinda hate most american counterculture presently. ‘Indie’ everything seems a little more domesticated every five minutes, at least. Let’s take the case of this catpower interview over at craptown. She’s doing what for Chanel now?!? This is the singer whose zitty, unassuming pic i used to keep in my 10th-grade folder? She’s bragging about Louis Vuitton sprees now? Don’t be confused, I’m not gonna stop loving What Would the Community Think. Neither am I calling for some sort of return to ‘Fuck Reagan’ monochromatics. I’m just saying, is this what happens when indie rock grows up? It reminds me of what I don’t like about Vice, which is their (sporadic) affectation of a “fuck you, I do wanna flip-phone, and a yacht” posture. Call me a Bolshevik, but being bourgeois will never be a ‘do.’ Glad to see my stepbrother’s still coming with the Jesus jokes, though… I guess.

* Better tidings from the wfmu blog: “Cookie Monster Disco” starts well and ends weller.

* I wish I spent time obsessing about things I didn’t love so much, cuz that way these crises would be so much less acute. Visual art is a cool example of something I love that remains unspoiled due to my relative dilettante status. Thus I can be reminded that there was once something called the “Young British Artists,” find a book about it published by verso (cuz that’s all i need to know), and joyfully plunge into that shite without all the self-declamation that accompanies my rock and social theory ventures.

The book’s by Julian Stallabrass, by the way: “High Art Lite.” I’m doubly excited because it seems the work is very critical of the old YBA scene. That’s cool for me because in my limited readings, I find art books (like rock zines) to be filled more with laudatory blah-blah than wiseassed denunciations.

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5 Responses to “Leaf Specks Nestled ‘gainst the Wet Rake’s Tines”

  1. Ben Says:

    I read High Art Lite last year. It was a welcome relief from the leaden theory I was reading at the time in prep for my thesis. The YBAs are a fascinating cultural phenom in England, partly because they’re as well-known there as any of the most popular rockers or actors. I think about half of them are wankers and the other half are interesting for one reason or another. Damien Hirst: not crap (until about ’97). Tracey Emin: also not crap, up until a point. My favorite of the bunch: the Chapman Bros. But, I also really, really, dislike some of their pieces, including the sculptures of children with genitalia on their faces.

    Matthew Collings on the YBAs:
    Nobody can quite sum up what they stand for. The advance publicity of Brilliant! presents them as cheeky cockneys and punk rockers oppressed by the Thatcher junta, dodging IRA bombs, living in squats, and making rough and ready art that screams with rage and isn’t intended for pristine white gallery space, but for rough and ready warehouse spaces in London’s cockney East End. In reality of course they are highly sophisticated formalists who desperately, and quite rightly, want to show in pristine white spaces like the Tate Gallery and the Walker Art Centre.

  2. Wil-bro Says:

    Ah, Julian Stallabrass…Glad to hear you guys are reading his shite – If you like “High Art Lite,” you should check out his book on digital art – it’s quite good, and was a much-used source for my new digital art as videogame paper. It comes highly recommended. Bender, didn’t we talk about Collings before? I’m still not sure what I think of him,sometimes he has too many one-liners thrown in there to have me take him too seriously, but I’ll never forget his estimation of high, low and middle-brow art magazines. That was pretty funny.

  3. Minxo Says:

    I’m not a Collings fan either. Just an apropos quote, I thought. The YBAs are now all middle-aged members of the art establishment. They’re definitely lite contemporary art, for the most part. But I like them anyway.

  4. Catpower, Diamond Merchant « The PrisonShip Says:

    […] I’m way less inclined to moralize than I was during this lengthy post of a coupla weeks ago, but I suppose Chan Marshall’s crooning over holiday ads deserves attention as a footnote. […]


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