Myth of the Monolithic Pop Culture


One of the many ideas that Crisis folks rely on is what we could call a Monolithic Pop Culture trope. The whole idea of Classical Music culture being rooted in the past (and therefore needing to “catch up” to contemporary culture) relies on this myth that culture has “evolved” (nevermind the problematic aspects of a type of Social Darwinism which implied in claim) to the point where Classical Music culture is no longer relevant.

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Pop Audience expectations – “No, you can’t put your fingers there!”


*Trigger Warning* the article and video in the link below have descriptions of sexual assault

I just came across this piece about why Iggy Azalea no longer crowd surfs during concerts. While we talk about bringing in newer and younger audiences into Classical Music and how the field needs to change to reflect a changing world, I doubt (or would like to think) that those pundits and advocates intend for these types of activities to be included.

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“Trash-Metal” is not the future of Orchestras | Dave Mustaine and the San Diego Symphony

Greg Sandow's blog post, "Sandwiched in"

After hearing some of the bootleg vids (as well as one which purportedly takes sound directly from the board) of Dave Mustaine’s recent concert with the San Diego Symphony. Ironically, the “trash-metal” title is from Greg Sandow’s blog post criticizing the concert for sandwiching Mustaine between works by Berlioz and Dvořák (amongst other slights Sandow finds with the whole marketing of the concert. I’m assuming a typo, but who knows–maybe it was a Freudian Slip, and it’s a fittingly apt description of Mustaine’s performance.

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R.I.P. Ray Price

Jon Silpayamanant playing in the string section for Country Music legend, Ray Price, at the Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler, Texas.  January 12, 2008
Jon Silpayamanant playing in the string section for Country Music legend, Ray Price, at the Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler, Texas.  January 12, 2008

Jon Silpayamanant playing in the string section for Country Music legend, Ray Price, at the Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler, Texas. January 12, 2008

I was in the middle of composing a summary of a facebook discussion about my American Voices post which, as often happens, was growing to near dissertation lengths (I think I have more drafts of posts save at this blog than actual posts) but have been a bit sidetracked by the new of the passing of Country Music legend, Ray Price.

Rather than rehash some of my reflections of touring and performing with Mr. Price (you can read my “How do you get to the Grand Ol’ Opry?” post and What’s it like playing with Grammy Award winners? posts for that) I thought I’d just post a few less polished youtube videos of shows I’d played with him that I’d come across over the years.

Here’s one I posted after I played my first show with the Chief.  This was at the Caldwell Auditorium in Tyler, Texas and was a special 82nd birthday celebration concert on January 12, 2008.

Here’s a video from one of the Willie Nelson Fourth of July Picnic (an annual event) shows at the Verizon Wireless Amphitheater in Selma, Texas (outside of San Antonio). This was on July 4, 2008.

And another from the same picnic series but at the Sam Houston Race Park in Houston on July 5, 2008.

And here’s one I posted previously from an actual video shoot we did at the Acuff Theatre in Nashville, Tennessee the night before we played shows at the Grand Ol’ Opry.

Rest in peace, Ray Price.




Seth Godin, Football, and the Arts

It's Broken!
It's Broken!

It’s Broken!

I got a little shout out at Ian David Moss’ recent post at Createquity for my recent blog post about diversity in the arts–Moss’ post actually is chock full of interesting links but this one, Why do we care about Football?, by Seth Godin caught my attention since I’ve been doing comparisons on the economic structure of sports and the arts.  As I’ve said in the past, the economic and cultural infrastructure which allowed popular entertainment forms like Pop music and Sports helped to prop up the industries as much as, if not more than, anything else.

It’s not that Sports and Popular music are inherently more popular or entertaining than, say, classical music.  Those industries just happened to exploit mass media and broadcast media forms in ways that classical music hasn’t.  Sure, for a while even classical music benefited from the mass media and it is telling that the last cohort which has relatively high attendance at classical music events just happened to be the last cohort that were in their teens and early twenties just when classical music was on the television with any regularity.

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