who tf is paul mccartney???!??! this is why i love kanye for shining light on unknown artists
— (@CurvedDaily) January 2, 2015
I thought this was as humorous as the first round two years ago (sorry–no Dothraki love song info in today’s post). This blurb from the Boston Globe probably says it best–especially about how nostalgia culture has become a culture of its own:
The quick-and-dirty “look at these people on Twitter not knowing about this important figure” post has become something of a stock in trade for media outlets looking for ways to position themselves above particular generational frays; indeed, McCartney himself was the subject of similar roundups back in 2012. But this time, the news broke even more widely, with even network affiliates getting in on the action. Thanks to the figures involved — the lightning-rod West, the boomer-beloved McCartney — this combination of one-off Twitter jokes being misinterpreted by people looking for quick-hit boomer outrage being stoked is still social media gold five days into the new year. But the way this news popped up, and then stuck around, speaks volumes about how nostalgia culture has in many ways become culture itself.
Kanye has a great ear for talent. This Paul McCartney guy gonna be huge.
— Desus Nice (@desusnice) January 1, 2015
As I said in the previous post:
Point is, what some of us may feel is “popular,” and therefore “relevant,” is usually informed by an idiosyncratic notion formed by what might have been “big” during some of our formative years as well as in a relatively restrictive context. For example, how many people have heard of Lata Mangeshkar? Go to India and probably some billions of people have listened to and loved some of her thousands of Bollywood playback songs over her 50 + year career.
The interesting thing about aging pop stars is the “close to classical” status they are starting to have. Some of that was discussed in my Aging of the Orchestra Audience is “A Function of Demographic Evolution” post. As Orchestras beef up their Pops Seasons with such fare as the Music of the Beatles concerts, we’re inexorably moving towards turning old pop music into classics much as has been done with classical music of the past when that used to be popular.
And it’s not just happening in orchestras. One of the popular festivals down here is our Abbey Road on the River and a recent commenter on Greg Sandow’s most recent post talks about a Beatles Festival at Baldwin Wallace University.
What started as a small, student-driven performance for campus friends has quickly grown into a BW tradition. With a wink and a nod to the Conservatory’s long-running Bach Festival, the new “Beatles Festival” pays tribute to the music of the Fab Four, and students are running the show.
When Universities start canonizing music, you start to wonder how much relevance that music has anymore and the “Who is Paul McCartney?” twitter storm just accentuates the fact.