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Showing posts from September, 2011

SEPTEMBER FLOW BE HEAVY (Music Reviews, Pt. 1)

People have been saying "Rock Is Dead" since the late 70's. It's not really dead yet, but without some creative innovations it will be in the next decade. It will never be popular like it was; those days are gone.

However, there were three notable debuts on the main Billboard album chart recently: Dream Theater's "A Dramatic Turn Of Events" came in at #8, Anthrax's "Worship Music" at #12 (they're on Megaforce now), and Primus's "Green Naugahyde" popped in at #15 (on an even more obscure "label"). (The Devil Wears Prada also debuted at #10, but fuck them in the neck.) *

Point is, these three albums have something in common: They're all by bands more than 20 years old, and each release has an air of mystery surrounding it. This is Primus's first album in 11 years; their first release at all in 8. What's it going to sound like? Anthrax. Shit, they've been through four singer changes in the 8 years …

What Is Art?

I don't think of Art as this lofty thing that is only attainable with Marianas metaphor and pithy verbiage. Art is what we do to express ourselves; pure and simple. It's what we contribute to the world. A guy who likes to fix tractors in his spare time? That's his art. MC Chris wants to rap about weed and D&D? That's how he expresses himself; it's how he connects to the world. James Joyce? Hey, I might not like the motherfucker, but the guy was an artist just the same.

Therein lies the disconnect. Determining the definition of Art has nothing to do with the spectrum everyone sees in their head with "Art" on one end and "Crap" on the other. You haven't defined anything by using that scale; you've merely espoused an opinion.

The problem is that Art, as most people think of it, is subjective. Something like that can't be pinned down in a universally digestible package. Which is why I offer a different definition. Art is what we do …


Okay, so a bit of back-story: A couple friends and I recently sat down and watched the MTV Video Music Awards, despite all being close to 30 and the network being dead to us since The Osbournes premiered. But I figured this was too good of an anthropological experiment to pass up, so we sat down that fateful Sunday night to see how the other half lives.

One could easily write off the VMAs as self-aggrandizing masturbatory bullshit, because it is. It stopped being about the videos ten years ago and started being more about crash TV. (The moment that, while not patient zero, was the most indicative of this change was the Britney Spears debacle of 2007.) But let's not write them off so easily. The VMA's are still quite a show, and an entertaining one at that. Of course, this isn't because of talented performers, but because of the freak show only something so paradoxical as MTV can conjure.

Take for instance the barely visible videos themselves. Being the VIDEO MUSIC AWARDS,…