It Is The Best Ones (freakytigger) wrote,
It Is The Best Ones

Rockism Data Dump

Who knows, maybe an article will come out of all this one day? It will hopefully not include the r-word tho.

From an ILM thread:

the reason I find it an interesting debate is that most debates about authenticity in art take place within the context of forms whose status as 'art' has long since ceased to be in play. Pop music isn't like that (and nor are comics or videogames where I find critical discourses equally fascinating/frustrating), there's more at stake, the initial impulse of 'rockism' I think was to find a way to turn pop into art and the central qn of 'anti-rockism' is "was this actually a good move?"

From another ILM thread:

I shouldn't have used the word "rockism" upthread cos all I meant was "the language around issues of authenticity".
What 'rockists' and 'anti-rockists' seem not to discuss - and I know cos I surely haven't for most of my time on this board - is what this language and these ideas (of authenticity and manufacture in this specific case) are for. Who benefits? As you see in a lot of the posts upthread the idea of the 'manufactured' is incredibly problematic but also a lot of people believe in it and this belief has definite uses at pretty much every level of the industry.

For an individual listener it provides a readymade way to separate themselves as a real fan/hardcore/true head/whatever from other consumers. For the industry it's a godsend as it creates a language and framework to talk about product, and it's a very strong framework which acts as a real and useful guide for a lot of consumers. This is marketing gold: marketing isn't about persuading people to buy stuff they won't enjoy, because so much of value comes from repeat custom. It's mostly about getting people to notice stuff they would.

To do this you need a language to speak to people in and the discourse of authenticity, creativity and artistry provides that in pop (which isn't to say that the claims of self-expression that underlie these things are false, any more than washing powder doesn't actually clean yr clothes - you have to have a convincing product before you sell it). This discourse has powered a marketing miracle, taking something you flog to teenagers and sustaining a huge adult market for it. Authenticity has kept the "fat cats" DL talks about going for years and years.

I don't for a moment doubt that people who invoke the abstract of authenticity genuinely love music. And also I don't doubt that they loathe a lot of the music which the business invokes authenticity to legitimise. But I do think that we need other ways to talk about and value music (if only for variety's sake!)

From alexmacpherson comments box (about the Yin Yang Twins this time):

But on the other hand the song exists as a public event too - all songs do. "On the streets, all over". And this is sort of what I was hoping to get to with my consensus thread on ILM yesterday - what's the link between the private listener and the public event? Does the one have some responsibility for the other. It just seems too easy to say "none" and "no".

(I think this has been a huge flaw in 'popism' or 'anti-rockism' or whatever - its skirting of the issue of songs' social and economic being when those are exactly the kind of things it can address and value.)


but when the datapoints of experience are 200 or 20,000 not 2, and there's no existing framework of communication, then saying "it's a patchwork of individual experiences" becomes less useful if not less true. And of course pop can *provide* that framework for communication, in small or large groups (again this is part of what I mean by 'consensus'!) - but what sort of frameworks is "Wait" providing or creating?
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