By John Encarnacao
Joanna Newsom, Will Oldham (a.k.a 'Bonnie Prince Billy'), and Devendra Banhart are might be the simplest recognized of a iteration of self reliant artists who use parts of people song in contexts which are faraway from conventional. those (and different) so known as "new people" artists problem our notions of 'finished product' via their recordings, intrinsically guided by means of practices and rhetoric inherited from punk. This publication strains a fractured trajectory that comes with Harry Smith's Anthology of yankee folks track, Bob Dylan, psych-folk of the sixties (from Vashti Bunyan to The remarkable String Band), and lo-fi and outsider recordings (from Captain Beefheart and The citizens to Jandek and Daniel Johnston) to contextualise the 1st big attention of latest folks. within the technique, Encarnacao experiences the literature on people and punk to argue that tropes of authenticity, although structures, hold significant strength within the construction and reception of recorded works. New ways to song require new analytical instruments, and during the research of a few 50 albums, Encarnacao introduces the kinds of labyrinth, immersive and montage kinds. This ebook makes a compelling argument for a reconsideration of well known tune historical past that highlights the everlasting compulsion for spontaneous, imperfect and performative recorded artefacts.
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Extra resources for Punk Aesthetics and New Folk: Way Down the Old Plank Road
Phonographic Art and the Recording as Text The idea of the recording as a work of art in its own right is relatively new. Indeed, writing in 1934, at a time when the first movement of Beethoven’s Eroica symphony could not ‘unfold without interruption’ because of the limitations of the 78 rpm disc,15 Adorno (1934/2002: 278) asserted that ‘there has been no development of phonographic composers’. While one might pinpoint the advent of the recording as art work to the musique concrète experiments of Pierre Schaeffer and Pierre Henry in the late 1940s and early 1950s, as developed in the early electronic works of Stockhausen, Varèse and others in the second half of the 1950s (Hall 1996: 100-113), these works are more properly seen as the use of magnetic tape and electronics as creative media.
As this book proposes a selection of works from the huge number related to the domain of popular music, the idea of canon formation is at the forefront of a consideration of this history. The crux of my argument here is that new folk texts that exhibit punk aesthetics, and many of the recordings that have historically created a context in which this work is made, are inherently anticanonical. There is an inevitable contradiction here, in that even as I would hope that the consideration of a range of obscure recordings might counter traditional notions of canonicity in rock music, the importance of Bob Dylan to the discussion (see Chapters 3 and 7), and the positioning of Will Oldham and others as the start of a new formation, are each easily read as commonplace canonical gestures on my part.
Rather than promoting ‘greatest works’, he encourages us to look at the meaningful connections made between artists, and between artists and the larger ‘cultural organisms’ (John-Steiner 2000: 191, paraphrasing Feldman) that support them. Ultimately, questions of canon and the recording industry come to bear on the kind of history we construct when we trace the lineages of any music culture phenomenon. 1 Of course, some relationships between independent labels and multi-nationals exist. As Harvey (2010: web) explains, big American indies such as Matador, Sub Pop and Secretly Canadian have a relationship with ADA, the Alternative Distribution Alliance, which was set up as a joint venture between Sub Pop and the Warner Music Group.