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Pop music and art history

Living through such moments is also a constant lesson for those of us with one foot in 1979 and the other in 1329 (*is* there anyone else?). For example something similar happened in Egnlish architecture, albeit infinetly better resourced, in the late C12 and again in the earlier C14. One can compare what is to live through one, experiment by experiment, not knowing where things are going,  eyes on the competition and one’s own heart at the same time, with what it is to live though another. And one can ask stylistic questions. Will future musical historians contrast the experimental waves of 65-69 and 76-79 as we do? The time lag is very short. And what of future reinventions: to me the multiple reinventions of ‘post-punk’ in the 2000s are arid, empty, devoid of the restless mission that makes the form matter. Yet this restless mission is not a formal quality, it is a text we bring to the music from outside. Could a future historian stumbling on Wire and then Elastica tell that one was essential and the other soporophic? How then do we read and reread the multiple reinventions to be witnessed in a couple of hundred years of architecture?

One thing is certain: sometimes things just line up. For example is obvious that Abba and International Gothic – mannered, crafted, complex, careful, thrilling, empty, global (for their times) are one and the same. No one should teach or learn one without the other. Surely?

  1. Callicoonist
    June 25, 2010 at 12:19 am

    ‘International Gothic’ was my favorite Abba song!

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