Friday, October 08, 2010

The drug experience Gaspar Noe's Enter The Void comes closest to is the moment when you've been high for quite some time and are now looking at your watch to see how much longer it will be before you can do something else more productive. There comes a point when you know that the rest of the movie will continue on much the same way it has already progressed, and there will be no scenes or performances to distract from the monotony. There continue to be shots that fly over space dividers in a blur, the same moments will continue to be revisited.

The second season of the show Delocated has been pretty incredible. I seem to recall the first season's shorter episodes as these unstructured strings, flitting about from things that were imaginative and surreal to things that felt too mean to be funny. The second season has each episode expanded to a full half-hour, each with its own individual sense of humor. One episode will get its humor largely from building up to an extended sight gag ("Mixer," the climax of which created some of the hardest laughter a TV show has brought about), while another will do an extended Face/Off riff that plays off watching an actor recreate another's mannerisms perfectly. I am missing out on the current season of East Bound and Down and the new Kids In The Hall series, and so can't make any definitive claims, but this is a very funny show. It seems to accomplish this really hard task, of communicating a sense of humor that seems too wild and free in its satire to ever be structured to narrative. It's funny the way some of my friends are funny- not in the Judd Apatow way of cracking a ton of jokes, "the funniest thing is just you and your buddies palling around" but in not taking anything seriously at all. If you are familiar with Jon Glaser and Jon Benjamin doing extended anti-comedy riffs on stage, you can maybe imagine the issue of how untranslatable that seems to a more palatable format. This isn't to say all the jokes land, but everything seems inherently funny and sometimes that then takes the plunge into actual laugh-out-loud gags.

More and more, it becomes clear that the idea of "indie" music in 2010 is a complete misnomer, and what it refers to is a culture of "the creative class." The mechanisms for the record industry when "indie" became a concept were completely different than they are now. Now I think the music press functions as part and parcel of an agenda of appropriation, taking what it wants and claiming it as a product. This is always how things always worked, music is a product in that records are available for sale- but now things move so fast that every new thing is just something to be consumed. This is an unclear way of putting it. What I'm saying is that the new webzines are written for a "creative class" of marketing people. That's who buys these records- Or who buys the most stock in them, by putting them into advertisements and Hollywood films. The purchase is done as part of their job. And the selling is done as part of the job of the music writer. Endless consumption, a snake eating its own tail. Everything is a job of selling the new- Listeners aren't necessarily being served, because old music is just as satisfying to discover. Sometimes, when a revival starts, canons are revised accordingly- Think of the bands being discussed when the eighties revival started. (Did The Pop Group have much cultural clout circa 1997?) Currently, music isn't even being sold on the basis of SOUNDING new, or futuristic, the way that people would talk about IDM ten years ago. It's just this weird world where The Arcade Fire are sold as being similar to Neutral Milk Hotel (when, actually, no, not at all), or Best Coast are compared to The Beach Boys (Again: Untrue) - An invocation of already popular reference points that does not actually explain what music sounds like, but positions it as an issue of "taste," but taste defined in the depressing way that Celine Dion 33 1/3 book did it- as a thing that people choose to fit their lifestyle expectations; a definition that completely neglects the fact that there are people who respond to weird music because it sounds new and alien and interesting and they're alienated from the rest of the dull culture. I have had a lot of conversations with people my age and slightly older about hearing Beck's "Loser" in 1992 and having our minds completely blown- despite the fact that people of the time would've considered Beck as related to Nirvana in some way, the sonics didn't bear that out to impressionable minds.

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