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: the case for rock-as-ritual

Base: Music Discussion
Re: Museum? (Issa Clubb)
Date: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 08:46:47 GMT
From: [email protected] (Steven Johnson -- FEED)
HTTP/1.1 200 OK Date: Thu, 04 Nov 1999 16:00:48 GMT Server: Apache/1.3.9 (Unix) PHP/3.0.12 Last-Modified: Wed, 10 Jan 1996 08:45:47 GMT ETag: "2f35d-76e-30f37cbb" Accept-Ranges: bytes Content-Length: 1902 Connection: close Content-Type: text/html X-Pad: avoid browser bug Issa writes:

"I don't know anyone my age (mid-twenties) who believes the rock-as-ritual argument, with this museum as its new temple."

OK, fair enough about the museum -- though I think for most twenty-somethings the main dispute with the Hall of Fame is probably more generational than anything else. I mean, think about the list of bands that played at the dedication ceremonies -- it was scandalously low in GenX credibility, hardly any Lollapaloser material in sight... (Actually, Alex Star may have some things to add on the question of twenty-something and pop culture, given that he wrote that great New Republic cover story on Generation X a few years ago...)

But I don't buy your line on the rock-as-ritual argument, at least in terms of Palmer's Dionysian angle... Alex pretty much writes it off at the end of the piece, but I have to say I'm much more sympathetic to Palmer on this one. Sure, twenty-somethings are incredibly wary of any subculture billing itself as "subversive" -- the "year punk broke" pretty much wiped out that grand illusion for good. But I think a number of GenX musicians and music lovers remain committed to the idea that the energy and the inventiveness of rock's more experimental, punk-influenced wing is Important Stuff -- maybe not important enough to warrant a comparison to the Dionysian rituals in The Birth of Tragedy, but that's Palmer's riff... I think of someone like Greil Marcus here, who obviously sees a strong historical tradition leading from a few madmen and eccentrics in the 19th century, to the Surrealists of the early twentieth, all the way to Sid Vicious and (presumably) beyond... *That* sort of rock-as-ritual argument -- rock as a kind of group experiment in messing with the limits and expectations of orthodox culture -- I think still makes a lot of sense, even to the most jaded GenXer...

Steven Johnson


Responses [Embed Depth: 1 2 3 All] [Outline Depth: 1 2 3 9 All]

1. the case for rock as economy (Issa Clubb)
1. Paglia-baiting (Steven Johnson -- FEED)
1. Re: Paglia-baiting (Issa Clubb)
2. None: About "Indie-Rock to Billboard Chart Topper": witness the beauty of the Cocteau Twins perverted into the Cranberries. (Ed West)
2. Warning: MUSIC TO SELL PRODUCT (stephen immerwahr)
1. Agree: $$$$ (s.b.)
a Response to: "the case for rock-as-ritual"

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