RE: [rumori] radio boy liner notes

From: Don Joyce (
Date: Mon Jan 14 2002 - 20:58:08 PST

Don is on vacation touring the musical graveyards of the world. Crosley is
out of his on-line office at his cabin, but I'll pass this along to him
when he gets back with the melody traps, I'm sure he'll be flattered you
Dr. Oslow Norway

>Please identify a message as coming from Crosley at the beginning, please.
>It's just not the same reading Crosley without hearing Crosley in your mind.
>-----Original Message-----
>From: Don Joyce []
>Sent: Sunday, January 13, 2002 9:41 PM
>Subject: Re: [rumori] radio boy liner notes
>Good Hello, Jon,
>Yes of course the rise of sampling is about 20 years old years now, and if
>your scale of time perception is that 20 years is a long time (Hah, you
>young whippersnappers have such short attention spans!) then sampling is
>now "old" even though a 20 year old person is not considered old or even
>close to it. But then what has music got to do with people??? It took about
>100 years to flesh out the final fringe remains of "original" sounds
>possible in ALL music before I had the nerve to say every truly new form
>worth doing has been done and that is now an "old" and (experimentally
>speaking only) an actually worn out idea about how to make more music. That
>is all that's left to us, more music, but isn't that enough? And as far as
>far as sampling goes, (and that depends on how much memory you have) it
>added really nothing new to the idea of composition (how music progresses
>along all it's completely well worn paths), I guess just the ability to
>repeat EXACTLY the same sampled sound over and over again, and I'll leave
>it to you to decide what that's worth. But TRYING to repeat exactly the
>same sound over and over was already familiar enough in the world of
>"original" instrumentation anyway. Aside from content, digital sound
>chopping was the only new form sampling introduced to music, and in form
>that was just a more intricate variation on analog tape editing done
>decades before like Dockstader did.
>I don't think the sound of sample work is worn out to the same degree that
>"original" music's sound is yet (there was plenty of rote "junk" being made
>in ANY new musical form or technique as soon as it was discovered, yet
>interesting spin-offs in those forms by the more inventive also continued
>to appear throughout the 20th Century, right up to about 1970, where avant
>guard "newness" finally petered out in a rather complete lack of listenable
>ideas that were "new." - (that's a finite range of possibilities in music
>and it includes annoying noise, but even with that it had ALL been done by
>1970). The whole concept of avant guard music is not beyond retrieval now,
>but it's definition has chaged and wont really include completely new
>inventions in music making anymore, including sampling or anything else.
>So, if you're looking to invent something new in musical form, as the
>loudspeaker spoke up and said, "GIVE UP!"
>Of course sampling is no longer a new kind of music, though it's still a
>relatively new way to make music, NONE of which will ever be considered
>"new" again in the ways that all kinds of experiments were considered new
>to music during the 20th Century. I have never said sampling is or remains
>the only "new" thing happening in music - it's just about the LAST new
>thing, that's all, and now it begins to age just like everything else did.
>Did you think YOUR generation was not going to get old, you big hippy?
>So, let's review. ALL MUSIC has now become various forms of folk music,
>right? Including the avant guard. You can reiterate music in "new"
>interpretations in any of these forms forever, but you will always be
>directly building on some kind of formal invention that has already been
>discovered by your musical forefathers no matter what you make of it now,
>which is just as interesting as following the evolution of folk music is.
>Formally speaking, only reinterpretations are now possible, but with
>nothing original at it's structural foundation, as remained possible in
>music for so long. And I'm not a stickler for 1970 because it's just an
>approximate guess where that Century's true musical form redifinitions
>actually cut-off for all practical purposes, but it's certainly clear they
>HAVE cut-off by now.
>I say GO FOR IT. You now have a vast myriad of tried if not true
>construction and destruction "musical" forms in which to insert CONTENT. In
>our remaining folk music history, content will be KING, and I don't
>necessarily mean Larry, though that's how I got my start... "Omaha,
>Nebraska, What's your question..."
>Content, (your own or other people's indescriminantly), not form is what
>will count as what is "new" in new music. Just like folk music.
>Going to clubs is a perfectly fine form of entertainment. I approve. When I
>was young and could stand the stand-up discomfort and deafening ear assault
>of clubs with enthusiasm, I would go, (sometimes hoping to actually hear
>something new!). (And that Otani show was nothing "new," I first saw
>performances indistinguishable in form to that in the mid 60s, just the
>sonic content was different.) So I'm not so interested in that up to date
>newness that people seek in clubs and I began to wonder if I was really
>even being entertained, so I now have more or less stopped going. So much
>disappointment... However, If you turned off your computer you would find
>something else to do, not necessarily of lesser worth to you either, but I
>CAN'T! By the way, I also no longer go to new movies but much prefer to see
>them several years later on cassette, if at all. Is this Potter thing a
>drug movie? Lord Of The Rings? Read the book back when music really rocked,
>isn't that enough?
>I'm just a folk critic now, rarely surprised by anyone's idea of "new," now
>living way out in the country with a limited exposure to new artists and
>their confounding attempts to make new music. I'm gonna just review my own
>work in my old age, try to decide if it should even be called that, and
>hope I can get garbage pickup out here...
>Crosley Bendix
>(retired from music reviewing, 1970)
>On Line Retro-Stylistic Premonitions Consultant.
>(Now a wholly owned subsidy of Nabisco Brands Inc.)
>>hey don, thanks for your response. what a great summary of Duchamp.
>>>As I may have mentioned before, when you reach this inevitable point in
>>>history of "original" music experimentation where all the best moves have
>>>ALREADY been made, recycling becomes "revolutionizing" itself.
>>Indeed you have mentioned this before, Don, about twelve million times.
>>What I like about Herbert's extreme liner notes is that he's trying to come
>>up with an intelligent response to the fact that recycling _isn't_ terribly
>>revolutionary in and of itself anymore, in theory or practice. You can
>>still come up with revolutionary work with the form, as you mentioned, but
>>yes 1970's a looong time ago by now even by historical standards.
>>Basically we're completely swamped with sampling for it's own sake by now,
>>a trend which entrenched itself in the mass media about ten years ago.
>>It's long been common practice, all the outlaw artists have all been
>>canonized (Oswald's Plunderbox: voted one of the 10 best releases of the
>>year by SPIN magazine, buy it now, kids, etc). A lot of stupefyingly
>>mediocre music is being made. Herbert's writings are an attempt to address
>>the failures of sampling as practice, and maybe he goes way overboard in
>>the opposite direction, but that's something to be happy about given the
>>absence of dialog on the subject. When he says "No Samples of Other
>>Musicians Allowed" in his PCCOM manifesto, well, that's too extreme for me
>>to take to heart myself, but I hear where he's coming from and I hope the
>>ideas behind that message get out there.
>>>As a consequence, modern artists should back off their traditional God
>>>complexes, expecting to be prayed for (and payed for) their individual
>>>creative efforts wherever they appear in subsequent new contexts by
>>This is a very important point to make. The myth of the Individual Creator
>>is one of the cornerstones of our western culture here, and it's only
>>getting more entrenched... people really enjoy believing in individual
>>genius and paying their reverent tributes, so a lot of focus always goes to
>>the frontman. One of the new things about our media culture is that this
>>is the first time it's actually been possible to keep TRACK of all the
>>hundreds of people who've made their individual contributions to an art
>>form, all the work is documented, so instead of everyone just remembering
>>Bach as the 'inventor' of fugue, these days we're confronted with all the
>>people other than fucking Stockhausen who gradually innovated in the field
>>of electronic music, for example. All of them, anyone who managed to
>>complete a final work in recorded form, left a document. And these
>>documents are increasingly widely available. This decentralized access is
>>being experienced as a crisis because there's no one godlike figure to lead
>>the way, no one direction to follow; we've yet to make the paradigm shift
>>away from the enshrined individual genius.
>>One of the things I like about sampling in music is that it kind of makes
>>this old 'myth of the indivdual genius' transparent; anyone knowledgable
>>enough can perceive the original recordings within most 'sampled' music,
>>yet obviously a new piece of music has resulted, a contribution been made
>>and acknowledged, and the myth of the individual genius is eroded somewhat
>>(I like to think).
>>I hope Herbert isn't suggesting that legislation be implented that pays the
>>performer, engineer, and composer equally for their work in any sample used
>>by anyone (although I've read law review articles suggesting precisely
>>this: see Christopher D. Abramson's well meaning but hopelessly mired
>>article 'Digital Sampling and the Recording Musician: A Proposal for
>>Legislative Protection", New York University Law Review, December 1999).
>>But it does underline the truth that when somebody samples a drum snare
>>from a James Brown record, the engineer is more responsible for what's
>>being taken than the composers credit that's awarded the $20,000 sample
>>license. Captialism's 'filthy brown finger' is just too inadequate to
>>address what's going on; this is Market Failure.
>>>"There is no solution because there is no problem" - Duchamp.
>>Good quote but in this case the problem is merely the same old confusion
>>resulting from watching a revolution gone stale, watching the new
>>discoveries slowly taken for granted and practiced by rote that once seemed
>>inherently valid. There is kind of a problem here... the dialog helps.
>>By the way, Don, do you have any idea just how _establishment_ you sound
>>when you continue to hold up appropriation as the only last frontier left
>>in music because 'everything's been done before (sonny)'? I simply
>>disagree with your contention that there are no new sounds. And before you
>>object, name the last local concert you went to. The Bay Area has seen
>>some of the most amazing concerts available to anyone anywhere over the
>>last ten years, and you don't go out to shows, ever. (Okay you went to see
>>Otomo's I.S.O. four years ago, 'cause you expected him to be doing some
>>sampling). My number of nights-out-on-the-town will probably be reduced a
>>few decades from now as well, don't get me wrong, but I'll try to remember
>>not to write off all the musical developments I'm oblivious to with a
>>simple 'it's all been done before'.
>>respectfully yours as always
>>>>hi today,
>>>>just wanted to say that mp3's of the first two chopping channel live
>>>>are now up and working at
>>>>only the first show is clearly linked on the site, but if you click on
>>>>words 'chopping channel' towards the bottom of the first page, it'll take
>>>>you through to the page for the second show, which has a superior version
>>>>of 'sales techniques' and a few other high points but certainly start
>>>>the first show.
>>>>I just found these typically provocative liner notes in matthew herbert's
>>>>new album as Radio Boy, a not-for-sale given-away-for-free-at-gigs
>>>>and they were interesting, so I'm attaching them below. Some nice angry
>>>>responses now that sampling is an ingrained mainstream practice. PCCOM,
>>>>his personal sampling manifesto is quite interesting. I'm not totally in
>>>>agreement but I'm a sucker for a fully realized manifesto.
>>>>The first two paragraphs are the best, but I shouldn't edit the guy, the
>>>>lividity of the rest is understandable given it was written a week after
>>>>liner notes to Radio Boy's 'the mechanics of destruction'
>>>>This collection of organized noise began life as a late but sharp
>>>>realization that music is always political.
>>>>The democratisation of composition that followed the electronic music
>>>>revolution inevitably has led to the consumerisation of methods of
>>>>production. sampling, instead of revolutionizing the very accepted idea
>>>>music, has become a short cut to authenticity. instead of musicians
>>>>constructing imaginary worlds out of real sounds, they have instead
>>>>selected and stolen their way round their usually brilliant record
>>>>collections, borrowing the best parts of the best recorded, best played
>>>>songs. the composer has somehow become simply a qualified selector.
>>>>the rearrangement of previous ideas into different and contemporary
>>>>contexts has always been a part of traditional western technique, but
>>>>before has the performance also been lifted. not only does the composer
>>>>rarely get paid (except where ironically backed by a label of signifigant
>>>>size intent only on collecting its own disproportionately high share of
>>>>royalties), but the performer, engineer and producer rarely get
>>>>let alone renumerated. capitalism has once again inserted its filthy
>>>>finger into a creative and thus political process. at a time of
>>>>consumerism and electoral apathy, it is hardly surprising then that music
>>>>has become a bloated and arrogant beast, still buying in to, and selling
>>>>at a premium these myths of modern consumerism. the pinnacle of which is
>>>>the series "popstars" that blatantly manufactures groups before the very
>>>>eyes of a cynical and distant audience before then turning round and
>>>>inviting it to buy into the mirage it has created. a trick so neatly
>>>>summarized by "the pardoners tale" by chaucer.
>>>>anyone with a sense of injustice and a mind prepared to read beyond the
>>>>facile celebrity driven literature put forward by a media intent on
>>>>promoting its own social and business agenda will have noticed the
>>>>extremely dangerous and deeply disturbing shift from state-power to
>>>>it is this then that this album is largely about. from the takeover and
>>>>systematic destruction of local diet by mcdonalds to the failure of
>>>>societies to intervene in rwanda and thus become implicit in another
>>>>genocide. that I have largely destroyed everything that has come to make
>>>>the noises for this record is symptomatic of my anger at being ignored by
>>>>government so far removed from my basic human concerns it doesn't think
>>>>twice before risking the lives of every one of us by entering a war with
>>>>people we have spent a large part of the last century arming.
>>>>there's so much to say on the subject of destruction in a society that
>>>>creates so much packaging to lure us into buying things the earth can't
>>>>bear to dispose of, but instead of words, I have chosen music.
>>>>matthew herbert, 18th september 2001.
>>>>this album is profit-free.
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