05 April, 2008

The (anti) King of the (anti) Avant-Garde?

Thanks to Alex for the kind words about my Still Life with Tank and iPod from Soldier Songs in a (by now semi-) recent interview in The Onion's A.V. Club. One of the on-line readers seemed to have a problem with the fact that my music was not avant enough, and decided to comment to that effect. Then, just now, I noticed that, on the wonderful On An Overgrown Path, the title caption for the blog reads "Avant-garde is French for bullshit. " The quotation is from John Lennon. To be honest, I sort of agree.

I'm not really a fan, I have to say. Most "avant-garde" music (whatever that even means anymore!) sort of makes me tired and/or gives me a headache. Not that I have a problem with other people liking it. I just don't like it, and frankly, I think that's fine. I find the avant-garde especially hard to take when one considers the problematic, often-elitist, and, according to Neil Nehring fear-based aesthetic judgments that walk hand-in-hand with that particular demarcation, especially when it is an avant-garde that stems from modernism. But we'll get to that another time. (Seriously, we will.)

But it was nice to get a little hate. (I mean, I usually get so much love all the time! ) A good friend (and apparently also my biographer!) suggested to me that it's just the tip of that iceberg, and I don't doubt it.

And speaking of John Lennon, did you all catch Matt Marks' super fantastic arrangement of The Beatles' Revolution No. 9 for Alarm Will Sound? I hope you did! It's really quite great. (Sorry, I know this is old news, but I've been pretty busy lately.) AWS is going to be playing it again at the Bang on a Can Marathon--which I will unfortunately have to miss--and hopefully many times more. You should be sure to catch it.

Matt is a really great musician who is responsible, in whole or in part, for many of my favorite things of late, often sharing awesomeness duty with another favorite among my collaborators.

Check him out.

Do it.

1 comment:

Mafoo said...

I'm telling you man, you take this one. I'll take this one. We'll rock the karaoke bar.