music: other music: art

28 06 2007

I wanted to listen to music while getting dressed but I wasn’t really sure what I was in the mood for, so scrolling through I stopped on Belle & Sebastian. Turned out to be a good decision… sometimes certain music just seems so right, if that makes sense. Like listening to Broken Social Scene the other night… not a good band to mix with others on shuffle, but to listen to an entire album of theirs is so amazing. Actually, I listened to two albums. Mike got me the sandisk sansa express, which I’d been wanting for awhile now. I loaded a bunch of Broken Social Scene on there and listened for a few hours before finally falling asleep…

Speaking of musicians starting with “b,” although I don’t listen to her much, I have a better appreciation for Björk after seeing a Nan Goldin slideshow last summer at the Pompidou and hearing her voice to accompany it. I read a review of that particular body of work, “Heart beat,” that didn’t seem to have many good things to say about it but the reviewer was also comparing it to her previous work. Not having seen all of the earlier work, just selected photographs and certainly lacking the slide show effect, I thought it was quite impressive. Reviews are lame. People need to form their own opinions. Isn’t that one of the more remarkable things about art- that someone can’t decide for everyone else whether or not the work is good? There are no objective views because it always has the potential to jog memories and create different meanings for each individual viewer?

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2 responses

28 06 2007
Michael T

I apologize for my ruining the genre of reviews with the childish ones I wrote during the first few years of college.

While I agree that reviews may be lame, they can be extremely interesting and useful. For instance, learning of bands when the avenues of word of mouth are completely unavailable. I would know about a lot of the music I like today if not for pitchfork during a period when I had different taste than those I associated with. In fact, pitchfork has consistently provided me with things to check out over the years even when I had access to other means of finding things. Also, reviews can be an interesting way to frame a greater discussion. If you consider reviews of the same thing in concert with each other, one sees a larger dialog going on about works that can illuminate things not necessarily noticed by any one person.

Reviews may be lame when they are written by pretentious kids in their late teens, but when done well, they can be extremely informative and illuminating.

28 06 2007
Christine

True. I was generalizing and going off on a rant when I wrote that reviews are lame. They can be helpful and illuminating but it also depends on what is being reviewed… you didn’t mention your thoughts on reviewing art. I guess I don’t have a problem with it being reviewed just like anything else. It just seems that the thought that it is just one opinion has to be factored in, perhaps especially with visual art.

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