Phil Ford of Dial M on (non-)ironic distance in music:
There’s a common point of view within popular music scholarship that understands such moments as instances of critical trangression — that is, moments in which mass-culture dreck is redeemed through an artist’s creative redefinition of it. … This “ironic distance” style of interpretation clearly doesn’t explain Mixmaster Mike’s cut-up of “Ramblin’ on my Mind.” Mixmaster Mike isn’t keeping his distance from the song he’s cutting up; neither does his scratching represent some kind of triumph over or diminishment of it.
Matthew Guerrieri of Soho the Dog has more:
I always assumed that it was pretty much the same thing we all do when we find a really wicked piece of music and immediately begin pestering everyone we know to listen to it. You have to hear this. And the more I thought about it, the more I decided that the whole concept of “ironic distance” was dissing hip-hop musicianship.
The moral: assume an artist is working with “ironic distance” at your peril.
Another excellent post from Matthew – estimating what it would actually cost to fill a sympony season with new music. Not as much as you’d think is the answer.
The 13th post in tokafi’s series ‘The Crisis of Classical Music’ tackles the distributors.