Pop culture treasure, high culture trash.

Saturday, March 01, 2008

Ripped up and blissed out

Jon and Pants and I went to see Simon Reynolds speak at the Spark Festival yesterday. It was kind of stunning--he laid out the progression from jungle to drum and bass to speed garage to grime to dubstep, with musical examples of each and lots of London social history in between, over the course of about two hours. I started fantasizing about what it might be like if he did a lecture for different popular music scenes and genres from the late nineteenth century to the present. It would be like Kenneth Clark's Civilisation, only without quite as much faith in linear narrative and humanism, and much less Eurocentrism. Instead of the Renaissance and the Enlightenment he would do ragtime, blues, rockabilly, house, baile funk, J-Pop, bhangra, hyphy--you name it. If anybody's up to the task, it's him. His brain is like an organic music encylopedia.

2 comments:

Eric Cook said...

Sounds great! I've actually been meaning to ask you if you had read "Rip it up and start again"..

Lizzie said...

I have, though I eventually sold my copy of the US version after I got my hands on the UK one. It has a lot more stuff. There are also extra footnotes and interviews and goodies that are almost better than the book itself here:

http://ripitupandstartagainbysimonreynolds.blogspot.com/