THE UTILITY of CANON-CROSSING, NON-LOCAL, ANTI-ETHNOCENTRIC INFLUENCES

FZ

Recent generations of would-be artists and writers appear, almost without deviation, to seek reassurance and confirmation in the super-familiar (as though they’re all peering into the same tiny mirror at the same time)…  whereas perhaps an unlimited taste for the unknown, unexpected and uncanny might provide more interesting results…?

4 Comments

  1. or as the monty pythons used to say, ‘and now for something completely different’

    and as i have claimed in your comment area before, having a deep-enough variety of experiences is the secret ‘meaning of life’ interpretation of the monty python film dialogue ‘people aren’t wearing enough hats’

    https://berlin8berlin.wordpress.com/2013/06/18/excerpt-from-the-velveteen-gulag-memoir-chapter-10-the-champagne-rabbit/

    and here’s something that startled me a bit – although in retrospect in makes perfect sense – using a video streaming service i clicked on what was billed as a todd rundgren concert

    instead, it was a long interview with him, in front of a live audience

    i was startled by what was being shown, but in retrospect it makes sense – people make mistakes, including mislabeling files at video streaming services

    and also

    i didn’t expect to hear todd speak in a very admiring way of the songwriting of burt bacharach

    and the sense it makes is that bacharach has written a variety of great songs

    as legendary sports figure and folk philosopher lawrence ‘yogi’ berra could have said, you never know when something surprising might happen

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    1. MC!

      A few ’70s Todd hits were very torch-song-y… I think “Hello It’s Me” is Bacharach-lite (minus Burt’s gospel itch, or his melodramatic, European cabaret riffs)… imagine Dionne Warwick singing it and you’ll see/hear it’s not a stretch. Young Artists try to imitate their heroes and, owing to a lack of experience and craft, accidentally come up with something new! Win/win. But that was the old days… now “Artists” just do their best to stockpile “likes” and/or money… it’s a grimly reductive feedback loop between Young Artists and The Market, with Old Heroes (and Imagination) removed. The Audience is a shitty teacher… Artists used to know this!

      [editor’s note: to go into all that analytically, so I don’t sound like a fist-shaking coot: what the Internet gave us, along with access to distribution, was the awful gift of turning each artist into his/her own promoter… the old way kept the Artists nice and naive and pure, obsessed with Art, while the cigar-chomping vulgarians worried about promo. The psychologies are so different, generally, that if both mental profiles attempt to co-exist in one entity, the thick-fingered vulgarian half takes over, as such types will do… with the result that what we have now, largely, are millions of self-promoters and very few Artists. The division of labor model, when it comes to Art & Commerce, is healthiest for the Artists and for Art itself… ]

      Back to Todd, though: since his vocal range has dropped three or four octaves, he should be investigating new avenues of expression… is it too late in Life for Todd to stop worshiping Burt and start worshiping Leonard Cohen instead?

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  2. i wanted to cite a great song todd has written in the 21st century, but i must admit that none of his latter-day songs have struck me as ‘great’ – nor have i even bothered to listen to all of them, to tell the truth – there’s still a cd or two i don’t have – but this video is amusing, i think

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    1. MC!

      Meh! (laugh) Writing anti-Trump songs is too safe and too easy (and redundant; how do you satirize a parody of a picaresque burlesque?) and that sort of material irritates me when it’s coming out of someone as Cosmically Aware as the great Fagen: where was he on the depredations of Bush/Clintons? Or BHO? Steely Dan’s “Godwhacker” seemed to contain a veiled jab at Bush1/ Bush2 but Fagen and Becker went out of their ways to deny any political reading of the text.

      When Nick Baker wrote his brass-balled-hypothetical-plea-to-assassinate-W-book, Checkpoint, even the Liberaloids threw him under the bus. Baker was brave, just as Cornel West was brave to bash BHO when BHO was at the height of his popular crypto-Bushness. You only have an ethical and philosophical (and Artistic) right to bash that fucksucker Trump, IMO, if you also called out all the psychopaths in office before him and after Ike (to keep our focus narrow), although Jimmy Carter always struck me as more hapless than complicit.

      To the vid specifically: I like the Deep Fake monkey-based face-replacement tech, but the vid looks too cheap, otherwise. And what’s Todd’s part in the tune…? It sounds like an outtake from Two Against Nature. We’ll see what Todd and Donny F. do when Chelsea Clinton is in office… maybe they’ll redeem this lame-o misstep! I give it a 2, Dick! (As in Clark, for our younger viewers…)

      Meanwhile: check this out…

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