Monday, October 4, 2010
The Annoyance Continues
Every time I truly hate a music review, it turns out to be one of Andrew Beckerman's. This piece on Marnie Stern's new album Marnie Stern is maddening; he ultimately concludes that the album is special because it couldn't possibly be used in a commercial, which is, of course, as he concedes, not true: commercial culture can use anything, can make money out of the entire buffalo. On the way to this addled conclusion he tentatively endorses the use of an of Montreal song in an Outback Steakhouse commercial of yore, on the grounds of band leader Barnes' rationale: more money for the elaborate stage show. I bet of Montreal feels much better with Beckerman's endorsement.
If there's one thing that's ever made me want to give up on the production of beauty it is the same thing that has made me want to give up on politics: the purity contests. For my part, I want money, and would absolutely sell out given the opportunity. I have some standards, sure, some principles, but fundamentally I like to have cash, I like to have the feeling of financial security, and I was raised too poor to bother pretending otherwise. I don't know whether money "corrupts" art or not, because the concept means so little to me. I am fairly sure though that artists should avoid purity like the plague. It will kill you. It will make you a bore.
What bothers me is wasted money. Wasted money, after all, could have gone to me.
What's always strange to me is that left-leaning artistes get off on pretending money doesn't matter when in fact the key insight of Marx was that it does matter quite a lot, and as such we should share it. Marx also thought that capitalism was essentially the next best thing to Communism, because of how it can raise the standard of living so quickly. People seem to forget that too.