I wish I had some Camper van Chadbourne. Oh, and apparently I shouldn't set water on to boil for tea in this state if I plan to leave the kitchen.
Post script: I just put on Bach (did you know that Dr. Chad had adapted Bach for the five string banjo? I wish I'd picked up that CD when it showed up at Zulu used...). I guess the growing interest in noise-as-music can be productively tied to the breakdown of authority, tradition, culture, etc. we've witnessed in the 20th century. Even perceiving Bach requires a kind of submission to authority, and taking pleasure in it needs a respect for and appreciation of expertise, tradition, learning, for a unified hierarchical culture which you locate yourself inside. All of this -- I've been reading Hal Niedzviecki, and its about to start to show -- is fundamentally at odds with the desire for us to experience our own states, lives, individuality as important, special, etc., RIGHT NOW, to appreciate our own "specialness," to live in a me-ordered world (where even listening to music is all about you, your perceptions, your tastes -- not the academy, not "culture," not the values of elites); the conditions that produced Bach simply no longer apply today, hence the feeling that it is difficult to "identify" with this music (and God knows identity is everything these days). Consumer capitalism (aided by modern communications technology and a general increase in the western standard of living) has liberated us (with the help of a general rebelliousness and hostility towards old forms, which it's becoming increasingly tied to -- witness punk rock and its increasing commodity value) into a sort of mass individualism that is fundamentally anti-hierarchical... There is social breakdown, decay, chaos, a document of the anarchy into which we are plunged, inside music like that of the Sun City Girls and Eugene Chadbourne (or a thousand noisier, weirder bands); it's simply not the sort of music that could flourish in a strongly hierachical environment (hell, in many such countries, particularly those with unifying religious principles interwoven with the state, ie., Islam, it would be illegal... hm, is that what Dr. Chad is getting at with that title? Really, it's about as non-Islamic as country music could be... Country music in the world of Islam would probably sound a lot more like Garth Brooks, only in Arabic). What's interesting, though, is that, however non-hierarchical it is on some levels, there is also genuine cultural expression -- almost something like an emerging folk culture -- found through the act of embracing, composing, performing, recording, listening to, and even blogging about, this sort of music; there's a tribal element here (witnessed also, I guess, by the Sun City Girls fascination with the music of indigenous peoples, particularly where it interfaces with modern communications technology). The community that is embracing it IS a sort of tribe in its own right, and doubtlessly has its own hierarchies... but how different, how new, how fragmented a tribe it is. But fragmented in a unified way -- the "conformist individualism" of which Niedzviecki speaks. Uhh... it's how culture is adapting itself -- the growth of a different sort of culture, in the wake o' the collapse of that Western one they speak of, as a kind of tribal superglue. It isn't all bad... uh... except that it divorces us radically from tradition, is in many of its baser forms consumption-driven and market-mediated, and is probably not very sustainable in the long term for our species. But it IS culture! Some people hunt heads and worship trees, some folks dig Bach, and I get stoned and listen to noise.
Viewed objectively, culture is only a mirror (or maybe an index) of the conditions of the society that it manifests itself in... Uhh...
I think I need to listen to some Luigi Nono now. From the liner notes to his VOICES OF PROTEST, quote from the "Second Declaration of the Avana," whatever that is:
because now in the fields and mountains of America, along the slopes of
its sierras, in its plains and its woods, in solitude or in the traffic of
cities, on the shores of great oceans and river banks, this world begins with
every reason to stir and show its hot fists.