Prometheus von Cornsilk (kingnixon) wrote,
Prometheus von Cornsilk
kingnixon

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indie rock pete

i encountered some fascinating music today. first at the piano recital, there was a series of songs he played, by john cage [1] called the perilous night. these songs were played on a "prepared piano" meaning it had been fucked with, basically. you go in and stick nails and rubberbands and pieces of felt and various other crazy things on the piano strings so that when you're playing, it randomly clunks or pings or thuds. there were very specific instructions on how to prepare the piano. and the music itself - the timing was insane, random stops and speed changes and so forth. so it was very cool, but the majority of it was just random noises. as jess said, it sounded like someone trying to do stomp in their kitchen, and hitting random things with a fork.
then the show later -- the opening band was named "client|server" (actually client was over server and the line was horizontal, but yeah) and for 45 minutes the girl made random crazy feedback and static and beeps and weird noises which slowly and steadily throbbed, while the guy played the same chord over and over in varying rhythmic patterns and varying effects. a very interesting concept, but not something you really want to sit thru for 45 minutes. there were couches thruout the room, as it wasnt dancing music, and i fell asleep a few times during their set, only to be woken up every so often by the random samples of people mumbling unintelligably. every so often they would stop making noise for a few seconds and people would applaud. then they would do what sounded to me like the exact same thing for another 15 minutes or so. i knew the set was over when, as soon as the noise stopped, the guy said very quietly into the mic (1st time eitehr of them had said anything) "thank you. surface of eceon, whoo." and walked offstage.
anyway, then the main band came on.. surface of eceon [the posters defined them as "intense as all get out" and "space rock" and somethign else i forget now. apparently i get 10 indie cred points for attending the show, i wonder how those are redeemed]. they were an actual band as i understand such things. sortof.. there were guitars and bass and drums and keyboard and such... sometimes theyd play music. then it would drift off into sounding a lot like the first band for awhile.. then theyd play more music. i honestly don't know if i liked them or not. the "singer" (he yelled into the mic a few times, and again that was the only time any vocals were used) flailed around a lot while he guitared, and at one point knocked over the mic stand. rather than pick it up, he lay down on the floor so he could continue using it. he spent the rest of the set either lying down or sitting. the best i can think to describe them (this won't be helpful to a lot of you) is drexel covering early pink floyd really badly. their amps were turned up really loud so the sound came out all bzzzy and distorted. if they were a normal band, i'd think they just had their stuff turned up too high, but i was sitting there listening and wondering if they had it set that way intentionally.
anyway, my question is - what defines something as music? or art in general. the 1st band, i could have made largely the same sound by hooking a keyboard up to a really loud amp and then beating it to death with a bat, but i certainly wouldn't call that music. but i'm sure somewhere, there is someone who does that and does consider it music, and how can i argue with him? that thing with the piano - there is absolutely no way to tell whether he spent countless hours searching for just the right object in just the right position to make the sound he wanted, then sat down and painstakingly wrote the song he was hearing in his head, or he stuck random crap in a piano and poked at the keys haphazardly. and would one method be any more valid than the other? why?
or for another example - jackson pollock, the splatterpaint guy. it would be the simplest thing in the world for me to get a can of paint and drip globs of it all over a canvas and call the fnished product art. would it be art? i don't think so, it would be blobs on a canvas. and essentially, that's a lot of pollock's paintings. but i can look at the stuff he's done and be moved. i find emotion in his paintings, but i don't knwo where it comes from. if it was just reading yourself into something blank, any tie-dye spinart crap would be a masterpiece, but it doesn't work that way. i didn't get anything more than amusement from perilous night, but i don't doubt that some people hear that and are moved to tears. there are probably people who consider client|server their favorite band. i'm hardpressed to even define them as music.

please leave your thoughts.

it should be noted that despite pete's presence at the show, the subjectline is not referring to him, rather to the deiselsweeties character
tho i will also note that the reallife pete loved surface of eceon. i didn't think to ask him what he liked about them, but he did qualify that they're "not something i'd want to crank up while i was driving". and also, he found client|server boring

[1] "johnny cage -- fight!" ha, i'm a dork
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