micah holmquist's irregular thoughts and links
Welcome to the musings and notes of a Cadillac, Michigan based writer named Micah Holmquist, who is bothered by his own sarcasm.
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Sunday, January 12, 2003
The current issue of The Village Voice features Greg Tate's highly critical review of Audioslave's self-titled debut cd. Not having heard anything by Audioslave save for "Cochise" -a song that hardly impressed me-, I'm not going to argue with Tate's overall argument but there is a problem with his assertion that:
Unlike funk, rock is not its own reward. Unlike hiphop, it lacks a built-in sociocultural-tribal context to lend even mediocre acts meaning. Rock matters when it matters because folk are driven to create their own context, and their own engaging forms of exorcism, catharsis, confession, and martyrdom.Actually it seems that every time I hear a mediocre rock –which I am defining in a broad sense so as to include those who, for example, imitate Bad Brains as much as those who want to be Tom Petty- band live, which admittedly isn’t a weekly event, I am struck by how the music works as part of a social experience that has only little to do with the actual music. (If the music is less than mediocre, the whole effect is lost so the content does play a role.) Appreciating such performance does require the creation of a context but no more than appreciating mediocre hip-hop requires a context that Tate may see as a given but which is every bit as much the product of creation since all contexts are effectively the product of the intellectual exercise of connecting events, movements and static products.
And of course there are many people who think seeing a group of gals and/or guys “rock out” is “its own reward.”