DealsFor.me - The best sales, coupons, and discounts for you


Pages: (5) [1] 2 3 ... Last » ( Go to first unread post ) New Topic

 Writing About the Fall, criticism etc.
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 03:15 PM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



Sorry, I'm not sure what already existing thread there is that this should be in, but I assume there is one (I did Google "Fall Online Forum Writing About the Fall"). If anyone wants to merge this with something that would be fine, although I don't mean this thread to be about regular album reviews so much as serious criticism and writing about the band.

I thought this was insightful or at least interesting (and quite short, which is sometimes good):

http://www.waggish.org/2007/the-fall-and-romanticism/

At the same time I was annoyed by the writing style; while there does seem to be an element of reflexive anti-intellectualism in some people's reaction to things like this which I do not share, I think this piece is rather vague in parts and unnecessarily obscure, which becomes most annoying at the point where the author uses "subsume" as an intransitive verb (although the point becomes much more clear as the paragraph goes on).

Anyway, in particular I think this is very apt:

QUOTE
Smith’s referents are slippery, but with the exception of things like “Levitate,” where he slips into outright language poetry, he remains attached to Blake’s idea of language as invocation, and not as reality in itself.


I'm not sure that I, unfortunately, have a clear enough idea of what Modernism is supposed to be to really evaluate the claims about genre, and it seems a weakness of the post that this is presented as the main point, whereas I am more interested in what s/he says about the music more specifically on the way to that point...


--------------------
Top
academichamilton
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 08:38 PM


members
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2,283
Member No.: 12,035
Joined: 26-November 12



It's interesting though don't really get it all and when at the end we get distinctions between Anti-romanticism and anti-Romanticism it lost me (and made me think it was bollocks).

I have quite a problem with applying terms like modernism to popular culture generally. I mean what is modernist pop? Stuff has been written about this but mainly to show the terms don't really translate across from 'high' culture.


--------------------
user posted image user posted image
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 08:53 PM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 01:38 AM)
It's interesting though don't really get it all and when at the end we get distinctions between Anti-romanticism and anti-Romanticism it lost me (and made me think it was bollocks).

I have quite a problem with applying terms like modernism to popular culture generally. I mean what is modernist pop? Stuff has been written about this but mainly to show the terms don't really translate across from 'high' culture.

Well, I take it that everyone would probably agree that MES is anti-small-'r'-romantic, the "look back bores" stuff, deploring nostalgia, "I destroy romantics" etc. But as far as not being anti-Romantic, the point seems to be that the lyrics are concerned with a greater-then-human reality, and continually (at least in the older stuff) invoke something like the Sublime, overwhelming forces that threaten to overpower the narrator, etc. The piece claims that MES doesn't occupy the position of a master of language spinning complex webs of narrative, but rather that he has a basically Romantic attachment to a reality that precedes and exceeds narrative. So I do not think that claim is bollocks in the sense of nonsense, although one could always contest it.


--------------------
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 08:58 PM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



Also it seems problematic to draw a line between high and low culture in this way. Modernism and Romanticism aren't just stylistic choices, they can be a function of MES's influences, unconscious historical assumptions, etc.--in other words, not just a matter of taxonomy in some sort of artistic lineage. So I probably shouldn't have used the word "genre" there. But my complaint can be made more exact now--I wasn't pleased with the extent to which terms like "Modernist" and "Romantic" were made to stand in for specific details in the post, which is what I think is the weakest thing about it.


--------------------
Top
academichamilton
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 09:10 PM


members
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2,283
Member No.: 12,035
Joined: 26-November 12



QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 09:53 AM)
QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 01:38 AM)
It's interesting though don't really get it all and when at the end we get distinctions between Anti-romanticism and anti-Romanticism it lost me (and made me think it was bollocks).

I have quite a problem with applying terms like modernism to popular culture generally. I mean what is modernist pop? Stuff has been written about this but mainly to show the terms don't really translate across from 'high' culture.

Well, I take it that everyone would probably agree that MES is anti-small-'r'-romantic, the "look back bores" stuff, deploring nostalgia, "I destroy romantics" etc. But as far as not being anti-Romantic, the point seems to be that the lyrics are concerned with a greater-then-human reality, and continually (at least in the older stuff) invoke something like the Sublime, overwhelming forces that threaten to overpower the narrator, etc. The piece claims that MES doesn't occupy the position of a master of language spinning complex webs of narrative, but rather that he has a basically Romantic attachment to a reality that precedes and exceeds narrative. So I do not think that claim is bollocks in the sense of nonsense, although one could always contest it.

OK, that makes more sense. But I'm not sure that nostalgia etc is anything to do the romanticism big or small 'r' so I find the use of language here clever but meaningless. But I take the overall sense.

And Modernism and Romanticism are terms that were essentially invented to convey traits of high culture (mainly architectural terms?). I mean I can tell you what a Modernist and Romantic piece of classical music is and explain why quite easily (and generally they are associated with historical eras). Can you do that with rock and roll? Now I know you can turn those capitals into lower cases and you can begin to make comments about modernist and romantic traits but no more.


--------------------
user posted image user posted image
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 09:12 PM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE
When Lovecraft goes on and on about how inexpressible his horrors are, and when Smith invokes Nazis and spectres, the world does not emerge, but instead it subsumes. The disorganization and cut-ups are not manifestations of authorial process as with Dada, but mimetic representations of a reality that corrupts language. (K-punk’s reference to Smith as “channeling” is apt, but again, I think the flow goes the other way: it pulls the listener rather than pushes.)


This I think is exactly right--most good Fall songs push toward a place of transcendence--rather than inviting us into a world generated by the lyrics, they try to bring us to stand in a similar place to that in which the author was standing when he penned the song. I tried to express this in my notes to "New Puritan," but I still haven't perfected my writing on that song--I think I am also unclear in places and there may be a time or two I also commit the sin this guy commits, of pointing to pregiven ideas rather than clearly and simply allowing what happens in the song to speak: to the greatest extent this would be possible, that is my goal.

QUOTE
I do not see Joyce in these words. If I was going to trace a lineage, it would be from Blake to Baudelaire to Hofmannsthal to Rilke to Pynchon and others who have taken up the pre-modern mantle. Anti-romantic, certainly, but hardly anti-Romantic. The world triumphant over the word, represented immanently in the broken, strained language of visionaries.


I dislike the litany of names here, but accept that maybe he's written other posts and doesn't need to rehearse all his ideas every time he writes. But to me "immanently" seems wrong, and doesn't jibe with the rest of it. If the world is triumphant over the word, how could it stand in a relation of immanence to the word? Only if the world comes to so fully dominate the word that it can somehow place itself into the latter without remainder. But this is not what MES does at all, and I doubt it's even possible.

QUOTE
Blake, Coleridge, Byron.

Like so:

Hail the new puritan
Out of hovel, cum-coven, cum-oven

And all hard-core fiends
Will die by me
And all decadent sins
Will reap discipline

(New Puritan)


I do not see what "like so" means here. I should, because to the extent that I agree with the author, and assuming "Blake, Coleridge, Byron" stands for what I accept in what I said about Romanticism and transcendence above vis a vis MES (in which case Blake is a bad fit!), it is in my interpretation of "New Puritan" above all where I've tried to express something like this (my front page even says that if anyone is interested in my interpretation of the Fall, they should begin with "New Puritan"). But I can't see the connection here between Romanticism and the quoted lyrics--indeed, "reap discipline" seems to flatly contradict that point. It ultimately does not, as I've attempted at length to demonstrate in the "New Puritan" notes, but that doesn't make it an any less inapt quote to place at the end of his post. The way it's quoted, it should bolster his point, and without some interpretive lifting, it actually seems to do the opposite. That would be a more specific objection I have to his post...


--------------------
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 09:22 PM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE
OK, that makes more sense. But I'm not sure that nostalgia etc is anything to do the romanticism big or small 'r' so I find the use of language here clever but meaningless. But I take the overall sense.


Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.

QUOTE
And Modernism and Romanticism are terms that were essentially invented to convey traits of high culture (mainly architectural terms?). I mean I can tell you what a Modernist and Romantic piece of classical music is and explain why quite easily (and generally they are associated with historical eras). Can you do that with rock and roll? Now I know you can turn those capitals into lower cases and you can begin to make comments about modernist and romantic traits but no more.


I think you're correct about most of that, but I don't see how the terms cannot be extended beyond genre or historical schools or the era in which the music was composed. I can look at a painting and instantly know whether it is Baroque or Renaissance. But I could also look at a painting from 2014 (in principle, I mean, I'm not close to an expert on art) and identify Baroque elements or a way in which the painter is claimed by Renaissance ideas about the human relation to nature, or some such thing. I take what these gents are doing to be more like the latter (leaving aside whether we want to accept "pulp modernism" as a category or whatever). And the question is not whether MES's music is Romantic, but whether it's anti- Romantic. Certainly almost anything could be anti-Romantic, couldn't it? A graffito that reads "Romanticism sucks" could be anti-Romantic, to reduce it to a crude and ridiculous example.


--------------------
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 09:23 PM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



I imagine it will be any second now that someone will call me a "wanker" or complain that I've single-handedly ruined the forum for them on this thread...


--------------------
Top
engine
Posted: Apr 15 2014, 10:37 PM


members
*

Group: Members
Posts: 1,483
Member No.: 12,490
Joined: 13-February 14



No...but I'm always wary of putting more importance into things....than the creator did !.......
Like he said in the eighties German interview in as many words
..." they don't have to understand The Falls music...as long as they enjoy it !!"

With a month to the Cathedral gig.., I can appreciate your viewpoints ...
.but I can't dance to em ! beer.gif
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 16 2014, 12:25 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE (engine @ Apr 15 2014, 03:37 AM)
No...but I'm always wary of putting more importance into things....than the creator did !.......
Like he said in the eighties German interview in as many words
..." they don't have to understand The Falls music...as long as they enjoy it !!"

With a month to the Cathedral gig.., I can appreciate your viewpoints ...
.but I can't dance to em ! beer.gif

If you were any kind of a dancer you could, by god...

...anyway I wouldn't have suspected you to be the one to complain, so I'll forgive you for your poor dancing skills.


--------------------
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 16 2014, 12:48 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 02:12 AM)
QUOTE
When Lovecraft goes on and on about how inexpressible his horrors are, and when Smith invokes Nazis and spectres, the world does not emerge, but instead it subsumes. The disorganization and cut-ups are not manifestations of authorial process as with Dada, but mimetic representations of a reality that corrupts language. (K-punk’s reference to Smith as “channeling” is apt, but again, I think the flow goes the other way: it pulls the listener rather than pushes.)


This I think is exactly right--most good Fall songs push toward a place of transcendence--rather than inviting us into a world generated by the lyrics, they try to bring us to stand in a similar place to that in which the author was standing when he penned the song. I tried to express this in my notes to "New Puritan," but I still haven't perfected my writing on that song--I think I am also unclear in places and there may be a time or two I also commit the sin this guy commits, of pointing to pregiven ideas rather than clearly and simply allowing what happens in the song to speak: to the greatest extent this would be possible, that is my goal.

QUOTE
I do not see Joyce in these words. If I was going to trace a lineage, it would be from Blake to Baudelaire to Hofmannsthal to Rilke to Pynchon and others who have taken up the pre-modern mantle. Anti-romantic, certainly, but hardly anti-Romantic. The world triumphant over the word, represented immanently in the broken, strained language of visionaries.


I dislike the litany of names here, but accept that maybe he's written other posts and doesn't need to rehearse all his ideas every time he writes. But to me "immanently" seems wrong, and doesn't jibe with the rest of it. If the world is triumphant over the word, how could it stand in a relation of immanence to the word? Only if the world comes to so fully dominate the word that it can somehow place itself into the latter without remainder. But this is not what MES does at all, and I doubt it's even possible.

QUOTE
Blake, Coleridge, Byron.

Like so:

Hail the new puritan
Out of hovel, cum-coven, cum-oven

And all hard-core fiends
Will die by me
And all decadent sins
Will reap discipline

(New Puritan)


I do not see what "like so" means here. I should, because to the extent that I agree with the author, and assuming "Blake, Coleridge, Byron" stands for what I accept in what I said about Romanticism and transcendence above vis a vis MES (in which case Blake is a bad fit!), it is in my interpretation of "New Puritan" above all where I've tried to express something like this (my front page even says that if anyone is interested in my interpretation of the Fall, they should begin with "New Puritan"). But I can't see the connection here between Romanticism and the quoted lyrics--indeed, "reap discipline" seems to flatly contradict that point. It ultimately does not, as I've attempted at length to demonstrate in the "New Puritan" notes, but that doesn't make it an any less inapt quote to place at the end of his post. The way it's quoted, it should bolster his point, and without some interpretive lifting, it actually seems to do the opposite. That would be a more specific objection I have to his post...

Huh, I was rereading and revising my notes to "New Puritan" tonight--I think they're getting better but maybe still a bit too convoluted or something (any comments or criticism is very welcome):

http://annotatedfall.doomby.com/pages/the-...ew-puritan.html

Anyway, I knew more about the song when I originally wrote those notes than I did tonight, so I defer to my previous self, who notices that the question of immanence or transcendence is more complex than I gave credence to above, and ultimately it is in a way not possible to decide between them.


I also realized tonight that some Aristotle may make a part of these notes simpler to those who know some Aristotle, but unfortunately more abstruse to those who do not, so I will not put any of that in. My aim is to rely as little as possible on outside references in my notes, but to make my points as clearly and simply as possible without presuming erudition in the reader (or presuming the lack thereof, of course). This is harder than it might sound. There is a (brief) reference to Heidegger in the notes I was going to remove, but I think it's pretty harmless since it isn't doing any work aside from pointing out something to those for whom that would be helpful and then getting out of the way.


--------------------
Top
academichamilton
Posted: Apr 16 2014, 03:53 AM


members
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2,283
Member No.: 12,035
Joined: 26-November 12



QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 10:22 AM)
Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.


Yes maybe though nostalgia is really just a longing for the past, but I suppose can be a romantic notion. Certainly modernism was very much against nostalgia seeing it as kind of disease just as MES does.

Overall I do see MES as anti-Romantic and anti-romantic then but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really get the points about Blake etc. But again we are focussing solely on the lyrics - we are not actually talking about poetry or literature but rock lyrics sung with music so it is a mistake to isolate them in this way. The Fall's music can certainly be seen as nostalgic to some degree as it quite clearly draws on the past in rock and roll terms though warping and twisting it - real modernism would not generally do that.


--------------------
user posted image user posted image
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 16 2014, 04:24 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 08:53 AM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 10:22 AM)
Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.


Yes maybe though nostalgia is really just a longing for the past, but I suppose can be a romantic notion. Certainly modernism was very much against nostalgia seeing it as kind of disease just as MES does.

Overall I do see MES as anti-Romantic and anti-romantic then but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really get the points about Blake etc. But again we are focussing solely on the lyrics - we are not actually talking about poetry or literature but rock lyrics sung with music so it is a mistake to isolate them in this way. The Fall's music can certainly be seen as nostalgic to some degree as it quite clearly draws on the past in rock and roll terms though warping and twisting it - real modernism would not generally do that.

Hmm, I don't agree with that, I think Modernism certainly draws on the past quite a bit, think of TS Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" if that's what it's called...it's something close to that, anyhow.


--------------------
Top
academichamilton
Posted: Apr 16 2014, 06:57 AM


members
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2,283
Member No.: 12,035
Joined: 26-November 12



QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 05:24 PM)
QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 08:53 AM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 10:22 AM)
Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.


Yes maybe though nostalgia is really just a longing for the past, but I suppose can be a romantic notion. Certainly modernism was very much against nostalgia seeing it as kind of disease just as MES does.

Overall I do see MES as anti-Romantic and anti-romantic then but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really get the points about Blake etc. But again we are focussing solely on the lyrics - we are not actually talking about poetry or literature but rock lyrics sung with music so it is a mistake to isolate them in this way. The Fall's music can certainly be seen as nostalgic to some degree as it quite clearly draws on the past in rock and roll terms though warping and twisting it - real modernism would not generally do that.

Hmm, I don't agree with that, I think Modernism certainly draws on the past quite a bit, think of TS Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" if that's what it's called...it's something close to that, anyhow.

I'm thinking of post-war musical modernism which set out quite deliberately to eradicate the past even to the extent of trying to get rid of possible subconscious influence by using pseudo-mathematical methods to compose. The motivation was a combination of pre-war modernist musical foundations with a genuine horror of Nazi atrocities, often perpetrated by apparent bastions of romantic high culture (so bound up with the German musical legacy). So that culture, apparently a pinnacle of Western mankind's 'progress' was seen as forever ruined. True, it didn't last but its legacy is still there.


--------------------
user posted image user posted image
Top
bzfgt
Posted: Apr 16 2014, 08:32 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 11:57 AM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 05:24 PM)
QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 08:53 AM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 10:22 AM)
Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.


Yes maybe though nostalgia is really just a longing for the past, but I suppose can be a romantic notion. Certainly modernism was very much against nostalgia seeing it as kind of disease just as MES does.

Overall I do see MES as anti-Romantic and anti-romantic then but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really get the points about Blake etc. But again we are focussing solely on the lyrics - we are not actually talking about poetry or literature but rock lyrics sung with music so it is a mistake to isolate them in this way. The Fall's music can certainly be seen as nostalgic to some degree as it quite clearly draws on the past in rock and roll terms though warping and twisting it - real modernism would not generally do that.

Hmm, I don't agree with that, I think Modernism certainly draws on the past quite a bit, think of TS Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" if that's what it's called...it's something close to that, anyhow.

I'm thinking of post-war musical modernism which set out quite deliberately to eradicate the past even to the extent of trying to get rid of possible subconscious influence by using pseudo-mathematical methods to compose. The motivation was a combination of pre-war modernist musical foundations with a genuine horror of Nazi atrocities, often perpetrated by apparent bastions of romantic high culture (so bound up with the German musical legacy). So that culture, apparently a pinnacle of Western mankind's 'progress' was seen as forever ruined. True, it didn't last but its legacy is still there.

Oh, I see. I don't really know about that stuff. It does remind me a little of our other conversation about punk rock...not that I disagree with you here as there, just that you suggest something similar...


--------------------
Top
academichamilton
Posted: Apr 16 2014, 08:51 AM


members
*

Group: Members
Posts: 2,283
Member No.: 12,035
Joined: 26-November 12



QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 09:32 PM)
QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 11:57 AM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 05:24 PM)
QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 08:53 AM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 10:22 AM)
Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.


Yes maybe though nostalgia is really just a longing for the past, but I suppose can be a romantic notion. Certainly modernism was very much against nostalgia seeing it as kind of disease just as MES does.

Overall I do see MES as anti-Romantic and anti-romantic then but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really get the points about Blake etc. But again we are focussing solely on the lyrics - we are not actually talking about poetry or literature but rock lyrics sung with music so it is a mistake to isolate them in this way. The Fall's music can certainly be seen as nostalgic to some degree as it quite clearly draws on the past in rock and roll terms though warping and twisting it - real modernism would not generally do that.

Hmm, I don't agree with that, I think Modernism certainly draws on the past quite a bit, think of TS Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" if that's what it's called...it's something close to that, anyhow.

I'm thinking of post-war musical modernism which set out quite deliberately to eradicate the past even to the extent of trying to get rid of possible subconscious influence by using pseudo-mathematical methods to compose. The motivation was a combination of pre-war modernist musical foundations with a genuine horror of Nazi atrocities, often perpetrated by apparent bastions of romantic high culture (so bound up with the German musical legacy). So that culture, apparently a pinnacle of Western mankind's 'progress' was seen as forever ruined. True, it didn't last but its legacy is still there.

Oh, I see. I don't really know about that stuff. It does remind me a little of our other conversation about punk rock...not that I disagree with you here as there, just that you suggest something similar...

Yes indeed but as was discussed there it kind of falls apart far more readily with punk. But it highlights this whole problem of what is musical modernism in rock and also the fact that literary modernism is not the same (as you pointed out). And so we come back to the problem of isolating the lyrics from the music - it is useful but leads to inconstancies - can we really view rock lyrics as forms of literature / poetry and thus try and apply the same analysis to them as those things? Can they be usefully isolated from the music?

I see no problem with doing any of this btw - it's just worth pointing out that it is mired in problems. I would say that the rock 'hero' is a kind of follow on from the 19th century romantic hero of poetry etc (and this has been written about) and the music and the lyrics (and lifestyle) in those artists combine together to make this pertinent. I would see the Fall (and punk / post punk) as generally running contrary to that and in a sense do have modernist traits. I wouldn't go much further without much more thought on it.


--------------------
user posted image user posted image
Top
bzfgt
Posted: May 13 2014, 08:02 PM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 01:51 PM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 09:32 PM)
QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 11:57 AM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 05:24 PM)
QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 08:53 AM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 10:22 AM)
Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.


Yes maybe though nostalgia is really just a longing for the past, but I suppose can be a romantic notion. Certainly modernism was very much against nostalgia seeing it as kind of disease just as MES does.

Overall I do see MES as anti-Romantic and anti-romantic then but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really get the points about Blake etc. But again we are focussing solely on the lyrics - we are not actually talking about poetry or literature but rock lyrics sung with music so it is a mistake to isolate them in this way. The Fall's music can certainly be seen as nostalgic to some degree as it quite clearly draws on the past in rock and roll terms though warping and twisting it - real modernism would not generally do that.

Hmm, I don't agree with that, I think Modernism certainly draws on the past quite a bit, think of TS Eliot's "Tradition and the Individual Talent" if that's what it's called...it's something close to that, anyhow.

I'm thinking of post-war musical modernism which set out quite deliberately to eradicate the past even to the extent of trying to get rid of possible subconscious influence by using pseudo-mathematical methods to compose. The motivation was a combination of pre-war modernist musical foundations with a genuine horror of Nazi atrocities, often perpetrated by apparent bastions of romantic high culture (so bound up with the German musical legacy). So that culture, apparently a pinnacle of Western mankind's 'progress' was seen as forever ruined. True, it didn't last but its legacy is still there.

Oh, I see. I don't really know about that stuff. It does remind me a little of our other conversation about punk rock...not that I disagree with you here as there, just that you suggest something similar...

Yes indeed but as was discussed there it kind of falls apart far more readily with punk. But it highlights this whole problem of what is musical modernism in rock and also the fact that literary modernism is not the same (as you pointed out). And so we come back to the problem of isolating the lyrics from the music - it is useful but leads to inconstancies - can we really view rock lyrics as forms of literature / poetry and thus try and apply the same analysis to them as those things? Can they be usefully isolated from the music?

I see no problem with doing any of this btw - it's just worth pointing out that it is mired in problems. I would say that the rock 'hero' is a kind of follow on from the 19th century romantic hero of poetry etc (and this has been written about) and the music and the lyrics (and lifestyle) in those artists combine together to make this pertinent. I would see the Fall (and punk / post punk) as generally running contrary to that and in a sense do have modernist traits. I wouldn't go much further without much more thought on it.

Hey, AH--somehow I missed your last post here. I have certain threads set to email me when someone posts, but sometimes it fails to do so and I miss something.

I don't have much to add, but it's good to bump this in case someone does. I agree with your point about isolating lyrics--obviously in some cases this is more legit than in others, but the Fall do seem almost unique to the extent to which it should be remembered that this is a dubious procedure. It seems to work both ways, too--some of the best lyrics wouldn't work so well as poetry, and almost no lyrics seem to me to be entirely successful as the latter since the criteria for success (if that's the word) are so different.


--------------------
Top
dannyno
Posted: May 20 2014, 11:00 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,116
Member No.: 750
Joined: 12-May 04



QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 04:53 PM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 10:22 AM)
Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.


Yes maybe though nostalgia is really just a longing for the past, but I suppose can be a romantic notion. Certainly modernism was very much against nostalgia seeing it as kind of disease just as MES does.

Overall I do see MES as anti-Romantic and anti-romantic then but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really get the points about Blake etc. But again we are focussing solely on the lyrics - we are not actually talking about poetry or literature but rock lyrics sung with music so it is a mistake to isolate them in this way. The Fall's music can certainly be seen as nostalgic to some degree as it quite clearly draws on the past in rock and roll terms though warping and twisting it - real modernism would not generally do that.


Modernism is very slippery, but I was interested to see you describe MES as an anti-Romantic. Now, I would agree you'd be hard-pressed to co-opt him into Romanticism wholesale, and he has clearly modernist influences (Wyndham Lewis just as another example), but I would also argue that nobody who can write Spectre vs Rector or even No Respects Rev can be completely expelled from the Romantic club either.

In a way, MES Romanticises modernism. He often talks of the late-industrial/post-industrial city in mystical terms.

Dan


--------------------
Top
dannyno
Posted: May 20 2014, 11:11 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,116
Member No.: 750
Joined: 12-May 04




As for whether the tools of literary or artistic criticism should be applied to Rock music lyrics in isolation from the music: no, they "shouldn't". Which is exactly why they should. Just to see what happens if they are.

Of course, nor should you analyse the music in isolation (where lyrics exist) from the lyrics. But everyone does it.

What's interesting is what happens when you try and analyse The Fall using the standard tools of Rock criticism. i.e. you have a lot of the same problems as you get trying to use tools of criticism from other disciplines.

Dan


--------------------
Top
bzfgt
Posted: May 20 2014, 11:13 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,315
Member No.: 12,058
Joined: 7-December 12



QUOTE (dannyno @ May 19 2014, 04:00 PM)
QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 04:53 PM)
QUOTE (bzfgt @ Apr 15 2014, 10:22 AM)
Well, that would be a point against me rather than her/him, since I was the one who brought up nostalgia. But wouldn't we say someone who is nostalgic is "romanticizing" the past? I take it it's small-'r'- "romantic" to cover reality in a wistful golden glow.


Yes maybe though nostalgia is really just a longing for the past, but I suppose can be a romantic notion. Certainly modernism was very much against nostalgia seeing it as kind of disease just as MES does.

Overall I do see MES as anti-Romantic and anti-romantic then but I'm not knowledgeable enough to really get the points about Blake etc. But again we are focussing solely on the lyrics - we are not actually talking about poetry or literature but rock lyrics sung with music so it is a mistake to isolate them in this way. The Fall's music can certainly be seen as nostalgic to some degree as it quite clearly draws on the past in rock and roll terms though warping and twisting it - real modernism would not generally do that.


Modernism is very slippery, but I was interested to see you describe MES as an anti-Romantic. Now, I would agree you'd be hard-pressed to co-opt him into Romanticism wholesale, and he has clearly modernist influences (Wyndham Lewis just as another example), but I would also argue that nobody who can write Spectre vs Rector or even No Respects Rev can be completely expelled from the Romantic club either.

In a way, MES Romanticises modernism. He often talks of the late-industrial/post-industrial city in mystical terms.

Dan

It's an interesting point he made about the "rock hero," though, in that respect perhaps MES is anti-Romantic (although you could also argue his persona is just a variation on the theme).


--------------------
Top
dannyno
Posted: May 20 2014, 11:37 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,116
Member No.: 750
Joined: 12-May 04



QUOTE (academichamilton @ Apr 15 2014, 09:51 PM)
And so we come back to the problem of isolating the lyrics from the music - it is useful but leads to inconstancies - can we really view rock lyrics as forms of literature / poetry and thus try and apply the same analysis to them as those things? Can they be usefully isolated from the music?


Just to amplify on this.

I do agree that there are problems associated with treating rock lyrics as a text, isolated from the music. This is true even if you take the actual pre-existing poems that MES has adapted to The Fall's purposes - Jerusalem, for example. Jerusalem is interesting because although it does exist separately as a text, it's hard now to divorce it from its famous anthemic setting.

So I'm thinking that if you can legitimately do that (analyse a text in a new musical context), you can also legitimately do the opposite.

It's unavoidable anyway, as I think you agree.

But another point I would make is that the mere act of creating a text out of rock lyrics is not itself the problem. On the page, out of original musical context, they may resemble poems or narrative texts, but resemblance is not identity. When read out of context, the critic can still supply the required context without physically having to play the song (we know where the guitar comes in). So isolating lyrics isn't necessarily to divorce them completely from context, but even if they did, that still wouldn't mean you were necessarily treating them like poems/literature, just by doing that.

Now, there are rock lyricists who actually are more or less just setting poems or short stories to music. MES does arguably seem to do this sometimes, but more often his lyrics wouldn't work, technically, as poems or short stories.

But on other occasions, his lyrics don't work like normal rock lyrics either. They often float across the music, clashing against it, dipping in and out. His song structures are very unusual in that respect, because he gives himself the freedom to be unmusical. Most rock lyricists are trying to be musical. If you see what I mean.

Dan


--------------------
Top
dannyno
Posted: May 20 2014, 11:46 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,116
Member No.: 750
Joined: 12-May 04



QUOTE (bzfgt @ May 20 2014, 12:13 AM)

It's an interesting point he made about the "rock hero," though, in that respect perhaps MES is anti-Romantic (although you could also argue his persona is just a variation on the theme).


Well, it feels like lots of rock singers/lyricists have stolen their poses from the Romantic poets, especially Byron and Shelley in their foppish rebelliousness, emphasis on passion and feelings, and tendency to die young.

I think MES explicitly distances himself from that. Whether he manages to escape it completely successfully is rather more complex. If you watch MES wearing eyeliner on The Tube, perhaps it wouldn't be completely wrong to see a bit of the Romantic poet in that. I don't mind, we all have our moments.

Dan


--------------------
Top
dannyno
Posted: May 20 2014, 11:59 AM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,116
Member No.: 750
Joined: 12-May 04



It occurs to me that plays are studied as texts. Ideal to see the play in a theatre, of course, but a particular theatre production is not "the play", though it brings the play alive.

Reminds me of discussions here about the relative status of a) lyrics as printed in blue or orange lyrics books, b. songs as recorded for an album, c. songs performed live.

The question to ask is, what features of the work are you wanting to look at, and in order to do that, what context do you require?

So I think this tendency to think of rock lyrics as inescapably inseperable from their rock setting is misguided to the extent that it seeks to delegitimise textual analysis. I think it's fine to problematise that analysis, indeed that's part of the analysis, but I don't see why it's wrong to just read the lyrics and deal with them on their own terms.

Dan


--------------------
Top
dannyno
Posted: May 20 2014, 12:02 PM


Moderator
*

Group: Moderators
Posts: 4,116
Member No.: 750
Joined: 12-May 04




Christ I'm a tedious ass.

I'd better go to bed.

Dan


--------------------
Top
marvell78
Posted: May 21 2014, 02:55 AM


members
*

Group: Members
Posts: 6,144
Member No.: 138
Joined: 4-July 03



One of the problems that arises when dealing with MES lyrics is that they are often indistinct. In which case, the delivery is integral to the lyrics themselves (which exist solely in that delivery and according to circumstance: which would involve recording processes, live performance, the venue, acoustics, the listeners and all the rest)

In this respect, a bit like The Pogues. The speed of the delivery, the slurring of words are essential to the songs' effects. The Pogues also operate in that area where a lyric is delivered yet, in the same moment, thanks to indistinction/blurring, its previous 'meanings' are all but effaced. Any time I have seen The Fall, I hear the 'old' song and the 'new' song simultaneously. Each wiping the other out. One of the main reasons I like them
Top
« Next Oldest | Fall related Discussion | Next Newest »
zIFBoards - Free Forum Hosting
Free Forums. Reliable service with over 8 years of experience.
Learn More · Sign-up for Free

Topic OptionsPages: (5) [1] 2 3 ... Last » New Topic



Hosted for free by zIFBoards* (Terms of Use: Updated 2/10/2010) | Powered by Invision Power Board v1.3 Final © 2003 IPS, Inc.
Page creation time: 0.1299 seconds | Archive