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PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2007 10:17 pm
by garth cartwright
Grand replies from everyone! amazing what interesting thoughts come from topical debates - can't imagine Gary Moore often sets off such thoughts. I used "Renaissance" in the metaphoric sense - what happened in European art in the 14/15th Centuries was felt for centuries after. Is, i imagine, still felt today - I'm not enough of an art historian or theorist to be able to argue on how much or little the Renaissance matters to visual artists today.

Thus what happened across Mississippi/Texas/Louisiana (and a few other Southern outposts) around a hundred years ago gave form to this huge popular music industry we still live amongst. Obviously, the likes of Elvis and the Stones and Dylan and Aretha were literally connected to that blues thang while today i can't imagine Razorlight or Justin Timberlake really ever go near there. Obviously, The White Stripes do and i'm sure Timbaland and Dre, being inveterate crate diggers, know where their sounds come from. So, again, maybe we are drifting away from both European and American Renaissances into a cyber culture of sorts. I'm sure there are philosophical essays on this!

Anyway, was reading Kurt Vonnegut's A Man Without A Country last night. Very entertaining beyond a few tired jokes (and an odd reference to the Soviet Union when he means contemporary Russia). Then there's this passage:

"Back to music. It makes practically everybody fonder of life than he or she would be without it. Even military bands, although i am a pacifist, always cheer me up. And I really like Strauss and Mozart and all that, but the priceless gift that African Americans gave the whole world when they were still in slavery was a gift so great that it is now almost the only reason many foreigners still like us at least a little bit. That specific remedy for the worldwide epidemic of depression is a gift we call the blues. All pop music today - jazz, swing, be-bop, Elvis Presley, The Beatles, the Stones, rock-and-roll, hip-hop, and on and on - is derived from the blues."

Kurt goes on and makes other good points but you can read it for yourselves. What a guy!