18.1.07

Electric Now

Stirling Newberry has written a telling introduction to George Crumb's Black Angels and posted it on the Crooks and Liars blog. Crooks and Liars is a center-left political blog that chronicles the top down media's treatment of politics. I've posted about my mixed feelings concerning political posting on cultural blogs, but I think posting on political blogs about cultural matters and artifacts is a spectacular idea, especially when the two realms meet as they do in Black Angels.

I also want to add my conratulations to Alex Ross for completing his book on 20th century music. It appears, though, that the critics are already being catty.

4 comments:

  1. It appears, though, that the critics are already being catty.

    Well, Alex Ross may find occasion to agree with Oscar Wilde, that the only thing worse than being talked about, is not being talked about.

    Cheers,
    ~Karl

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  2. Arggh! Can we all please officially retire the cliché American maverick?!!

    Stirling Newberry's piece is of much interest, to be sure. But what do you think, Steve? — is the Crumb genuinely "one of the most durable works of the late 20th century"? The jury must still be out, of course, and I could not argue against the assertion of itself. It just strikes me as a statement of faith, dressed up as a statement of fact.

    Cheers,
    ~Karl

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  3. I don't have an opinion about the phrase "American maverick", though I do like it when people use it becuase it indicates a lot about the thinking of the person using it. What I mean by that is when you label someone a "maverick" you are saying by elimination what you think the establishment is.

    Black Angels: I think what Crumb did with sound and ritual is an important part of what is essential in 20th century music. And since this piece gets played quite a bit, it stand for me as an essential piece of the music of the century.

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  4. Anonymous5:10 PM

    "American Maverick" - at this point one can say that there is a current in American music, running from the late 19th century through Ives, Cowell and forward that sets its music deliberately against the perceptions of what is "established". It isn't a cliche, it is a movement in American music, and an important one. Crumb is certainly part of it.

    - is the Crumb genuinely "one of the most durable works of the late 20th century"?

    It is still being played 36 years later, which is a generation, and long enough to say that yes, it is durable. It is also performed by several different groups, another standard of durable.

    I think you are reacting to a subtext that doesn't exist in the original post.

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