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Wilco + Pop Matters = postmodernism?


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i love this kinda pretentious stuff...love it!

 

thanks for the link...i was surfing my morning websites, but hadn't gotten to PopMatters yet. suffice it to say, it is one of my favs.

 

-justin

 

I appreciate it on a certain level, but then I think, more often than not, a guitar chord is just a guitar chord, a drum fill is just a drum fill, and not a metaphor for man

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I try to like Popmatters but it seems like most of their articles are pretentious and they try to make everything out to be a ridiculous metaphor that couldn't have possibly been intended by the artist.

 

 

EDIT: Although I do like the Crying of Lot 49 comparison, but only because I enjoy that book so much.

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...metaphor that couldn't have possibly been intended by the artist.

I haven't looked at this particular PopMatters essay yet, but in general I think that once an artwork is out there in public, what a consumer takes from it often outweighs original intent. Art is not just about "cracking the code" and abiding by it; art mostly matters because we can connect with it on our own personal, subjective levels. For me, if someone says they recognize a metaphor or a symbol, then it's there--even if it was an accident, even if no one else sees it.

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YHF is pretty postmodern. So is A Ghost Is Born, you could argue. I just got done teaching and have turned that part of my brain off for the day, but I'll have to check out the article later.

 

I've thought a few times about writing a critical article of some sort about Wilco, but I'm always afraid of overintellectualizing something I love.

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I think it's always worth considering that people consume music differently than the other popular arts: film, literature, and visual art.

 

The other mediums are far more static by nature- they hit your senses in a discrete dose. Music gets more chances to work its way into your consciousness. It's portable and flexible in ways other arts are not. You can toss on Wilco in the car, at a party, at work, while reading, while housecleaning.... People don't bring Pynchon to a party and read excerpts. You don't skip ahead to track 3 of a Matisse painting, because it's the "dance number".

 

Poetry is the literary medium most associated with "movements" and varying critical interpretations of the artform. Music is basically poetry with noise added. Music lends itself well to pontificating and abstractions and freedom to decide just how we wish to interact with it and interpret it. You can intellectualize YHF as you break down the imagery and implied spiritual anxiety of "Jesus, Etc.". You can get a nice beer buzz going and sing along to "I'm The Man Who Loves You". Both sound valid to me.

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I think it's always worth considering that people consume music differently than the other popular arts: film, literature, and visual art.

 

The other mediums are far more static by nature- they hit your senses in a discrete dose. Music gets more chances to work its way into your consciousness. It's portable and flexible in ways other arts are not. You can toss on Wilco in the car, at a party, at work, while reading, while housecleaning.... People don't bring Pynchon to a party and read excerpts. You don't skip ahead to track 3 of a Matisse painting, because it's the "dance number".

 

Poetry is the literary medium most associated with "movements" and varying critical interpretations of the artform. Music is basically poetry with noise added. Music lends itself well to pontificating and abstractions and freedom to decide just how we wish to interact with it and interpret it. You can intellectualize YHF as you break down the imagery and implied spiritual anxiety of "Jesus, Etc.". You can get a nice beer buzz going and sing along to "I'm The Man Who Loves You". Both sound valid to me.

I am a fan of this post. :thumbup

 

Incidentally, I spent all day listening to YHF, as it played on repeat in my classroom. I am in a very good mood right now. (During one class, "Poor Places" arrived at its ending distortion and one student asked, "Is this your car wreck music?")

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