clap clap blog: we have moved
Friday, April 25, 2003
Good review by W. Bowers today of the Uncle Tupelo rereleases which he leads off with quotes from Jeff Tweedy's blip in Bookforum. How charmingly dorky! Here's the full Tweedy quote:
JEFF TWEEDY (MUSICIAN, Wilco)
I recently read a collection of essays: BUBBLEGUM MUSIC IS THE NAKED TRUTH: THE DARK HISTORY OF PREPUBESCENT POP, FROM THE BANANA SPLITS TO BRITNEY SPEARS, edited by Kim Cooper and David Smay. If an anthropologist from the distant future came back to our time, *NSYNC would tell him more about our culture than any Will Oldham record—definitely more than a Wilco record. People have this misperception that if something's easy to listen to or easy to read or easy to understand, then it was easy to do. I think the opposite is true. The circuit between Justin Timberlake and a fourteen–year–old girl is what's really important about music, and I definitely would argue that that connection is more profound than the one between an Interpol record and a fifty–year–old rock critic. Me? I'm just trying to connect with myself.
This is interesting given the following three facts: a) I hate Jeff Tweedy, b) I disagree with what he's saying, and c) it's pretty much exactly what I was saying yesterday. Crap. Of course, Tweedy is somewhat skirting the issue--anthropologists (or, more accurately, social historians) will focus on pop bands, and good for them, but it does seem likely that music historians will be more interested in stuff like Autreche, Beck, and Kool Keith--and, I guess, Wilco, although probably not Palace, if there's any justice in the world. (I will let the "connect with myself" bit slide except for this: Jeff, maybe that's your problem, huh guy? Shoot for the thirteen-year-old girl, it'd be hilarious if nothing else.) I think it would be more accurate to say that the connection between a thirteen-year-old and girl and Justin is just as important as that between default.hipster and Interpol, or my hippie neighbor and the Slip, or Robert Christgau and his scrotal sac, or Greil Marcus and his portable Derrida reader. Tweedy is engaging in the almost-as-annoying indie-rock reverse snobbery cliche, wherein instead of 7"'s with a run of 50 hand-etched copies being the only thing that matters, top 40 radio is the only thing that matters. Well, no, they both matter, and there's good and bad in each. There are some shitty Backstreet Boys songs and there are some good ones. (Most prefer "I Want It That Way," but I can't help but love "Backstreet's Back." I guess I'm a sucker for any song with the group's name in the title.) It's just--it's all valid, Jeff, and some of it's good, and all of it is something you can steal from, and learn from, and comment on, and with, and to. Eek.
The Walzer entry will have to wait a few minutes now--didn't mean to make this so long. I shall return.