clap clap blog: we have moved
Tuesday, August 05, 2003
My Xiu Xiu letter merits a reply. It's, um, interesting. (Might be useful to go back and reread the original first.)
Hi, Mike. I'm going to try to keep this brief... basically, I think that Xiu Xiu is shocking because it's not a joke. The lyrics in and of themselves aren't shocking -- what's shocking is that they're delivered in a sincere and, for me, moving fashion. If you don't hear it that way, that's fine. Obviously, I don't think Xiu Xiu is "popular music" by any means. In fact, I think Xiu Xiu succeeds precisely because it forces you to respond in a way that pop music rarely, if ever, does. I'm glad you know a lot about ballet and politics, but I'm not trying to place this in any broader cultural sphere (you can argue that EVERYTHING falls within a broader cultural sphere), I'm just trying to write about music that I find to be very powerful. If you take that as rhetoric, I'm sorry -- I would just ask you to keep your mind open as well!
I'm not going to reply, lest it not get published. But I would point out that to say that it's interesting to say "I'm glad you know a lot about ballet...I'm just trying to write about music" when the referred ballet, The Rite of Spring involves a lot of, um, music. As do most ballets.
All the usual points are there: ignores my whole lengthy discussion on how saying something is "shocking" is stupid when it doesn't actually shock anyone, check; saying "I'm just writing about music, man, why are you bringing all this other stuff into it" check; responding to cogent points with "it's just a matter of taste," check. Ho hum. Although it would seem to me that a band that puts a naked Vietnamese male prostitute on the cover of one of its albums and names an EP "Fag Patrol" would demand to be engaged with in a "larger cultural context," whuddo I know, eh?