April 16th, 2007
|freakytigger||03:12 pm - Still Too Soon To Know|
Three questions, which I will try and phrase right - all related though.
They're about importance. For once I'm not talking about importance to one's personal listening history, emotional development etc. I'm interested in how we as individuals perceive "music history" and "historical significance" while it's happening.
1. What moment, or trend or era in music have you felt was most important while it was happening?
2. Have there been any moments you felt at the time were important, which don't seem as important with hindsight.
3. When you first became aware of pop music as something which had a history, what seemed to you the most important things in the previous ten years?
1. Post-grunge mainstreaming of the alternative (insert quote marks as desired). I didn't think it was a good thing, but I did think it Changed Everything Forever.
2. Not really. My favourite era ever was britpop, but it was less a glorious thousand year reich than this is fvcking brilliant music to be young (~20) to. Seeds of it's downfall enthusiastically hailed etc - why should our younger siblings have it when it was ours?
3. All of it! Dance Music/hip hop/noo romanticism/SAW - I might not have officially approved of all of it, but the sense of everything heading outwards at once was very powerful.
it counts as a sense of history if you think that history is being made now, right? I knew all these things were new and exciting even if I couldn't quite figure out what they had replaced. If the question is "what's the first thing you missed out on", then punkpunkpunkpunk.
1) Well, I moved to NYC in 2001 and started playing in bands, so certainly all the stuff that was going on there at the time (electro(clash), garage rock, dance-punk) seemed fairly important, both because of what other people were saying and because of what people around me were doing.
2) I needed something to read in the bathroom the other day and so I took the NME with me, and I was somewhat surprised to see them say of the Klaxons that they were the most exciting, world-changing thing to come along since the Strokes. I like the Strokes, but in retrospect, the important part of the turn-of-the-century NY music scene was definitely not their kind of music.
Other than that, I'm sure there are lots of things that ignorance led me to overstate. As an American teenager I though "electronica" was important, but in retrospect, again, I think the wrong aspects of it were seen as important.
3) Not quite sure how to date this question--my first album was The Beatles and I did a project on Billy Joel in elementary school, so that would indicate a certain awareness of pop's history. Then again, I didn't really start digging through older music until 1998 or so, and I didn't really become more fully aware of pop's scope until a few years after that. If you take 1998 as the date, I would say Britpop, since I had been more or less ignorant of non-American music until then (Beatles excepted, but come on). If you take the later date, I guess the 90s R&B explosion and Scandanavian teenpop.
1. I'm tempted to say dance music and club culture, even though my notions of its importance only fully cohered when they were already being written up by eg Matthew Collins. For one thing I had quite a strong "DO NOT WANT" reaction to the first house music I heard, so I accepted it as 'significantly different'. And for another when I started reading the NME the people who cared about dance obviously seemed to be having a better and more committed time than the 'main' writers.
"Dance music" in that sense now seems a lot less important than it did then, though.
2. I predicted an eighties revival that never came for years and years and I thought it might 'matter' when it did arrive. It hasn't really though I like a load of the music.
Also in 2002/3 ish I thought the post-Garage diaspora, with loads of DIY experience and hungry from their fleeting taste of commercial massiveness, would make urban British music a massive force domestically and internationally. This didn't really happen either.
3. I first got interested in 'pop history' in about 1987 or so - so punk obviously. Hip-hop felt like something happening NOW even though it had its roots in "then". I would probably have partisan-ly said The Smiths, in fact I think I probably did, repeatedly, to anyone who would listen.
something always stops me seeing the Smiths as 'important' even though i (eventually) loved them to bits and could see plainly how much they were distorting the space-pop continuum.
1- acid house, even though i did not get into it when it was happening, it was obv 'important'
2- late 80s indie dance x-over/baggy/stone roses, immersed in it. nobody cared outside of the Late Show
3- in the early 80s, Punk and Gary Numan
qualifying 1: i LIKED what i heard in the charts, and really loved quite a few tracks once i had accepted it (I was dismissive of Voodoo Ray when I first heard it!!). but i didn't jump in. my first actual rave was ~95.
|Date:||April 16th, 2007 02:43 pm (UTC)|| |
1. Acid house, even though I was a passing intrigued observer, mostly.
2. Probably trip hop – so dense with possibility for a few months, and then such a cul de sac.
3. I don't remember not being aware of pop's history - we had oldies singles like Yummy Yummy Yummy and Lily The Pink in the mid-70s, and I was Beatles mad at nine (in '79)...
1. No idea. It's not bloody nu-rave, that's for sure. Though it seems to be a much bigger thing than the I-love-retro-but-only-when-Erol-Alkan-or-Soulwax-play-it schtick that was floating around in 2003. I am loathe to say Britpop though it is probably the true answer (ie it was important but not really to me, only the Elastica side of things was!).
2. Electroclash, hahahaha. I fell for it hook line and sinkah.
3. Grunge. As a checked-shirt wearing 14-yr-old I was distraught at having paid little attention to Nirvana/Pixies at the time, instead preferring the happy bosh love of Rave and Eurodancepop. And Roxette.
The "last ten years" bit has skewed my answers somewhat. When I *really* started to get obsessive about music then punk seemed like the most interesting bit. Then it was post punk. Then it was Motown. Then 60s/70s UK rock bands I felt I should know more about (eg The Who, T-Rex). Then dub reggae. Then cheesy 80s ting. Then back to techno! Each one has had made its own little impression on me, and now none of them really seem important at all apart from the stuff I always liked in the first place (Rave and Eurodancepop. And Roxette.)
plz to stop this thread at exactly 49 comments by wed morn and i will print it out and read it AS MY PAPER AT EMP
Argh! So annoyed I'm going to have to miss yours, as I will be doing my own at that time. I'd love to read it when it's done!
1. I am not actually sure I've been conscious of any particular trends due to my general total lack of awareness re: what the hell is going on (bad quality for International Relations student really) however, I think nu-metal was probably rather more important than it was good, by suddenly forcing a need for "credibility" into a lot of things?
2. Err, I don't know.
3. I got into pop a week before Busted's demise. I am not quite sure when this was exactly but it was then.
-the FVCKING Spice Girls :( x a billion
-pop idol etc.
OH NOES, I have answered the last question totally wrong. I really mean by that when I first stopped thinking it was MORALLY WRONG to like Girls Aloud.
To be honest I just spent ages trying to think of the answers to that when answered properly and could think of nothing. I think I did actually only become aware of music as a whole having a history then, having previously preoccupied myself with genre histories, if at all.
I have generally been very interested in history and I think the time I got really really interested in pop (late 80s) also seemed quite world-historically "charged" - well 89-90 did. The perhaps sad truth is that at 16 I was CONSIDERABLY more concerned about what "pop culture" in the 90s might be like - I DEVOURED all the end-of-the-decade supplements on the 80s, which I had lived through but been muchly oblivious to much of - than about the Berlin Wall coming down or the Ozone layer.
I'm not sure what conclusions I came to about the 90s but it exercised me hugely.
> I DEVOURED all the end-of-the-decade supplements on the 80s
I just watched the Clive James end of year countdown.
Not read the thread yet, but my instinctive answers are:
1. Early 80s indie! I even wrote my final year dissertation at Uni about it. The term "post punk" hadn't been invented at the time (1985-6) but I'm referring to the the way that punk and indie labels (like Factory, Rough Trade and 4AD) opened up pop (or rather, rock) in myriad ways - sonically, lyrically. At the time I really thought it was the most progressive pop movement since ... well, ever.
2. Late 80s indie (as in: white noise blissout bands like MBV, AR Kane)! I'm not sure I really regarded this stuff as "important" in the sense that post punk clearly was/is - mostly just liberating after a brief stagnant period for pop (1984-86). But I'm much more ambivalent about this stuff now than I was at the time. By contrast, I think I undervalued (ignored too much of) the rap and house music that was being made at the same time, although obviously I loved the stuff that crossed over / got covered in MM.
3. Don't understand question.
Clearer way of phrasing 3:
"When you first got into music, what recent stuff that you might not have directly experienced struck you as important?"
Question I probably wanted to ask:
"What stuff were other people claiming as recently important when you joined in the* conversation?"
** I said Macr-O.
1. Concurrent movements of grunge and rave, I think. I was too young to really get involved but it seemed new and exotic and a bit scary but both looked and sounded a lot of fun.
2. Grunge again probably, bar Nirvana, and the 1992-era indie that was knocking about at the same time. It just disappeared totally (plays of Carter at Poptimism notwithstanding).
3. Michael Jackson!
unfortunately another interesting topic i don't have time to chat on
MOMENT IMPORTANT AT THE TIME - Sorry to keep bringing up the same moment, but I have to mention grunge, ie., "when punk broke." Because I was living outside Anglo-American culture at the time, it all happened without me really knowing about it. But when I came to the US in 1994, everything was different. (I wonder a lot about MTV, whether there was a moment, but again, I missed it personally so I can't say.)
NOT AS IMPORTANT IN HINDSIGHT - Not really, to tell the truth, but I actually think there is a pretty clear "continuum" out there if you investigate enough. And a continuum to some degree runs counter to the idea of particular moments where things change.
MOST IMPORTANT IN TEN YEARS - I think it must have been the original punk wave (Sex Pistols, Clash, etc.)
Re: unfortunately another interesting topic i don't have time to chat on
It also occurs to me that the arrival of rap/hip-hop NEEDS to be accounted for - your comment above about "what other stuff were people claiming etc." Also clearly hugely important from "Walk This Way," maybe.
1. During my lifetime and at the time it was happening? I had no real idea of rap's struggle for mainstream acceptance and then domination because it was already hitting the charts well by the time i started listening. I'm going to have to say Acid House because it felt CLOSE (literally) so i could see the impact it was having for myself to an extent, and because of how it sounded (new, different rules etc.), media controversy etc.
2. I never though of Britpop as 'important' as such so can't say that. It's still too early to tell for a lot of 00s stuff. I can't really think of anything.
3. V tough because I was listening to mainstream radio very fixed on the present. I suppose Punk in the UK tho - felt like something that had already happened and ended but there was still an aftermath to experience in what was seen and heard.
actually Matt's answer is good re 3 (Jacko rool)
|Date:||April 16th, 2007 04:50 pm (UTC)|| |
salad of all my salad days
i had a very clear idea of rock-as-history when i second came to it, which was late -- 14 or 15. I grew up quite isolated in the v.rural country (hi robin!) and somehow apart from my mum and dad's love of the beatles and simon and garfunkel and haha andrew lloyd webber neither pop nor rock really impinged, apart from a liminal fascination with glam (bolan/slade) as sexy allure/threat
when i decided i wanted to be interested i had loads of catching up to do so
i. i bought the "nme book of rock" and studied it v.closely
ii. in it i discovered that one TONY PALMER
had educated himself in rock by asking his friends what where the best alBUMS and listening to the top ten and then (cheekily if i am korrekt abt this!) becoming a ROCK CRITIC in a sunday paper and WRITING A TV SERIES about it
iii. so then i too conducted 1xmassive LJ POLL of all my school chums and tabulated the results (which i may still have somewhere) and borrowed tapes to listen to the winners and the outliers and MARKED EVERYTHING OUT OF FIVE
|Date:||April 16th, 2007 04:54 pm (UTC)|| |
Re: salad of all my salad days
"listening to the top ten" -- i mean the top ten of the alBUMS his friends suggested, not the charts (and his website suggests it was the SPECTATOR he was rock critic for)
that was 3. i guess
to answer 1. PUNK ROCK -- i recall while still in the "catching up" phase (which took some time) reading about the BILL GRUNDY EXPLOSION in the shropshire star (which printed it verbatim) and being most perturbed by the apparent disfavour shown towards BEETHOVEN!!! and imagining in my head discussing this w. j.rotten and PUTTING HIM RIGHT!
anyway a few months later i heard the larf at the start of anarchy and fell totally head over heels in love w.lydon, and the unfolding of that story (pistols; punk; aftermath) was more important to me than my own life till i wd say abt 1983, when i started writing myself and began the glide into a. disenchantment and b. working out my own voice (these both took AGES) (in fact CONCRETE SO AS TO SELF DESTRUCT is probably when i negotiated full freedom from that story
2. no! (i am very full of myself)