Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Defending Sonic Youth

Well, they're still pretty damned sonic, but youth? Not so much (then again, I'm not so young either). Still, I like what this blogger says:
In the context of commercial music under capitalism, with its institutional disdain for the things people care about, for families and communities, with co-optation ongoing and inevitable--given this context, isn't much of what Sonic Youth does exactly the kind of thing we need? For one thing, of course, they actually play music. They are not just spectators, as so many of us are (myself especially). And they are a cohesive unit and a family. They pay due respect to a certain tradition, one that matters to them, and are generous with younger musicians and artists. Isn't the Left supposed to value such common efforts and communal activity? Isn't expecting "culture" to somehow transcend itself and deliver the future a bit much to ask of it, on its own?
H/t BLCKDGRD. You know those cats have been around when I'm digging up my old Sonic Youth cds so my son can put them on his iPod, that and I'm thinking the boy is actually digging on their late-career work quite a bit. They're not "big stars" but they do okay, and they periodically do cool things like introduce their audience to folks like David S. Ware and Arthur Doyle (the former a relatively accessible free jazzer, the latter simply is too wild to categorize). All that aside, the bits about family and community are ones that should be repeated - clearly there's a model in how these cats work and live that could give some clues as to how a left in the US could function. Hint, a "left" that stares longingly at its posters of its "American Idol" in the White House ain't exactly all that functional or useful.

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