Tuesday, February 19, 2013
Head in the Clouds
Some interesting thing on here, notably:
1. Robb Banks's idea that "The age of TV is almost, like, done" and that TV is being usurped by the internet. This shouldn't be a difficult concept to grasp to anyone who's actually keeping up, but it's a wild concept to think of in terms of music consumption since I'd venture that much music consumption still comes from archaic forms like TV and radio. I'm unaware of any moment in history previously when the main broadcast mediums for music were in such direct competition with each other, particularly as regarding youth culture. There was definitely overlapping hierarchies of influence between, say, MTV and radio, but the former caused an enormous rupture and was so successful in asserting its taste as an authority for all. As much weight as we internet folk pretend Pitchfork has, it's pretty limited compared to the license MTV had on the imagination in its heyday.
Teens are undeniably all over Facebook and iTunes, but there's definitely a bifurcation between those rushing to those stations as method of reinforcing or resisting the external cultural influence of TV, Radio, Apple commercials, et al. How and why does this split happen? It seems in previous generations, this disconnect was enunciated in very specific cultural clashes- stoners v. jocks, goths v. preps, riot grrls v. valley girls, et al. Are teenagers today actually putting aside their musical difference to clash on purely social terms?
2. The idea of hip-hop being "old" and growing up into Cloud Rap. There's a part of me that wants to believe this, because despite what Lily Mercer claims is a scene full of youthful energy, I don't really hear that intensity that has most defined other scenes marked by "youthful energy". In fact Cloud Rap, between its gigantic puffs of weed smoke, seems to be more about de-intensifying as much as anything, the chillout room to more hardcore styles. Yet, it's not a fully mature and grown-up hip-hop either, at least not in the stuffy terms of "sophistication", humility, and concession that defined rock's descent into middle age (not to mention the fact that cloud rap's stars are all youngsters too). Instead, cloud rap seems to exist on a kind of flattened plane of time, much like the cloud or the internet itself. It's neither about youthful vitality or the impending impotence of status post those years/inching towards death. Cloud rap, like its closest rock parallaxes in shoegaze and ambient, is about being weightless, floating in an e-world untied to the engagements of either passivity or activity.
Posted by Timh Gabriele at 10:39 PM