[rumori] commodification of our 'alternative'? (was re: genre)

Polenberg, Todd [rumori] commodification of our 'alternative'? (was re: genre)
Thu, 3 Dec 1998 16:49:27 -0500 (00912721767, 43DCB452A407D211B07F00805FA7C77B59E8C6atNYCEXMB07.pfizer.com)

scattered observations (perhaps a la erick's 'i don't think modern culture
leads to coherent thought') about genre and commodification...

about buying recontextualized art: the relationship between the consumer and
producer becomes blurred when the act of consumption becomes tied into the
act of production through cultural recycling--this seems to be (for most of
us) a way to deal with the media saturation we all find ourselves in, a
saturation bent on turning citizens into model consumers. i don't know many
people (yet) who are listening to this music who aren't involved in creating
it in some way. on the other hand, i don't know that many people who are
listening to this music in general. it's going to take either a massive
propaganda campaign on the part of the retailers to commodify the genre, or
a massive caving in of principle by the artists themselves.

on the other hand, the way Adbusters magazine treats 'culture jamming' seems
like the magazine 'helping' in the worst way possible--by turning rebellion
against consumption into another consumer device.

i feel kind of heavyhandedly that the music should be thought of as
political. probably because i don't want to see it on the shelves of Tower,
and keeping an unironic anticonsumerist message will probably keep it there.
this becomes even more with the rise of commodified dissent as a marketing
strategy. what happened to 'indie rock' again comes to mind. our 'genre'
is still growing, but is young enough to still decide its own destiny, and
not have it chosen by commercial forces. and at the same time that the
ideas are important, equally important is keeping control of the means of
production, and keeping the channels of replication and dissemination open.

(even if we have to write these messages from our day jobs because we give
our CDs away...)

mind you, it also doesn't mean that we aren't allowed to have fun...

anyway, hope this is digestible, or even pleasant-tasting