To what degree will you support musicians who (openly, possibly or jokingly) include racist, sexist, homophobic, or bigoted messages in their music, or who privately hold such beliefs?

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Think he's very wrong to say that the anti-Semitism is nothing to do with the music tho

How is he saying the anti-Semitism has nothing to do with the music? It seems like he's saying it has EVERYTHING to do with the music and the contrast between the hateful motivator and the surprisingly tender, moving output is one of the main things that makes the music fascinating.

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

"I thought if it can be heard on the ring of a telephone, why can't it be played in a concert hall?" he said.

look forward to his arrangement of "Hollaback Girl" for string quartet

Bleeqwot the Chef (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

look forward to his arrangement of "Hollaback Girl" for string quartet

your lips to Satan's ears

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

I was certain that this had already happened in one of those "String Quartet Tribute to..." CDs but, if so, I can't find it.

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:43 (3 years ago) Permalink

http://www.amazon.com/String-Quartet-Tribute-Gwen-Stefani/dp/B000BITTEE

IMO this cheats mightily by including No Doubt material

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

The compilation that dares to ask "what if we arranged 'Magic's in the Make Up' for strings"

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

1. Wagner died in the early 1880s. He was not a Nazi nor a proto-Nazi. He was a monstrous asshole and anti-semite, but also a pretty fierce supporter of the international revolutionary wave that sprung from the events of 1848. The latter is very evident in his operas. The former is not.

2. Die Meistersinger has some creepy stuff that sort of lays out aspects of German culture that would later make it vulnerable to the Nazi virus. Also Die Meistersinger was performed as a Nazi rally event which, cards on table, makes me p uncomfortable listening to the piece (which ain't Wagner's fault). Parsifal is also kinda creepy because it is one big solemn post-Christian ritual piece, which is a look the Nazis would later cop for their events and regalia.

But please, aero and NV, show me where the operas and their music contain racist or fascist ideology. I am not talking about aesthetic tropes later copped by the Nazis, or references to philosophers who would later become Nazi favorites. (And don't tell me about the supposed 'parody of klezmer' in the music for Mime the dwarf, I mean listen to it, it's not there.)

3. Wagner's a weird case because if you argue "the nationalism isn't in the music" then it's clear you haven't understood the music in any way at all, but people are such narcissistic listeners now that they think what music is about is how they felt while they were listening to it

This is beneath you, aero. Those of us who consciously listen to and think about and enjoy Wagner's operas are therefore narcissists? I think it more likely that Wagner touches some particular hot button for you, which I can dig, I mean the CONCEPT of him carries evil baggage and he DID publish racist books in his lifetime, full of nauseating crap.

4. I write the above as someone who is NOT a 'the music exists in a vacuum' person. E.g. i will not listen to Varg's stuff even stolen and for free, because I do not want that guy's energy in my head and I do not want to commune with him in any way.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost I think they were a little premature - I bet they're kicking themselves about "Rich Girl" now

VegemiteGrrl, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

they should have done "Bathwater", it might have ended up sounding like Bartok pastiche

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

there's a thread out there for these things already, right

http://www.amazon.com/Strung-Out-String-Quartet-Tribute/dp/B000U711JC/ref=pd_sim_sbs_m_1

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 17:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

"Wagner, the person, is absolutely appalling, despicable, and, in a way, very difficult to put together with the music he wrote, which so often has exactly the opposite kind of feelings ... noble, generous, etc."

This seems odd to me: how are these difficult to put together? Aren't most despicable nationalisms based on really noble and romantic aesthetic ideas? They're just despicably selective about whom they're willing to attribute that nobility to. They have extreme notions of the glory and nobility of one thing and the contrasting filthiness and degradation of everything else. They go together and feed one another, don't they?

oɔsıqɐu (nabisco), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:00 (3 years ago) Permalink

Well yes; I think he's highlighting the cognitive dissonance of being convinced that someone with monstrous opinions can produce art capable of moving you as that points to a commonality in viewpoint that both parties would likely rather pretend didn't exist.

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

Guys, Barenboim actually means noble and generous on a human level, not the Nationalist version of noble and generous. THESE ARE NOT GERMAN NATIONALIST OPERAS except mebbe Die Meistersinger.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

I am not talking about aesthetic tropes later copped by the Nazis, or references to philosophers who would later become Nazi favorites.

it's my position that what the Nazis saw in these tropes and what Wagner meant by them are one and the same. the character of Mime is one of the most loathesome pieces of racist dramatic craft ever imo. The Nazis didn't invent their take on Wagner's heimat und volk stuff - they saw in him their ideological predecessor. Rightly in my opinion. I mean if we called his works "celebrations of German myth & character," that'd be a benign way of pointing out that he celebrates these characteristic to the specific exclusion of people whose music he declined to conduct w/o gloves on lest he be stained by the Jewishness of the music.

Here's a piece I haven't read all of that seems interesting in which Mahler divines very clever musical motifs in mime:

http://solomonsmusic.net/WagHit.htm

Book I would read if life were longer: http://www.amazon.com/Richard-Wagner-Anti-Semitic-Imagination-Contexts/dp/0803297920

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:05 (3 years ago) Permalink

Guys, Barenboim actually means noble and generous on a human level, not the Nationalist version of noble and generous. THESE ARE NOT GERMAN NATIONALIST OPERAS except mebbe Die Meistersinger.

we are capable of reading comprehension and some of us have actually done Die Meistersinger

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

They have extreme notions of the glory and nobility of one thing and the contrasting filthiness and degradation of everything else. They go together and feed one another, don't they?

Wagner's operas do not do this. His disgusting non-fic books do.

xpost Dan that was directed more at Nabisco

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

xxp I always kind of wondered why ppl hated mimes

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

would've been funny if the Israeli conductor had deliberately given a really terrible performance of the Wagner material - Jews win by ruining the anti-semite's work lol

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:18 (3 years ago) Permalink

that would have really showed wagner

B1ll C4ll4h4n (symsymsym), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

I say do all of the music immaculately but always refer to the composer as "Dick Wanger"

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

lol

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

Dick Wrangler iirc

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:28 (3 years ago) Permalink

Fascism is one case where I feel like it's important to be able to mentally separate the aesthetic feeling from the ideology, if only so you don't get tricked by confusing the two. To me, it feels easy to "appreciate" the stirring / triumphant / glorious / romantic aesthetics of fascism -- they were demonstrably compelling and over-the-top in a way people are constantly cribbing from. (Will spare everyone like eight paragraphs here on Sontag, camp, Kiss of the Spider Woman, Mishima, and Starship Troopers.) They tap into some particular human (or just Western?) energy that's not strictly ideological. Same with mob energy, which can be pretty similar! So my answer to the thread question probably involves that feeling where this energy has been activated, and then you have to step back for a moment and double-check what it's being activated in the service of -- e.g., "is this a healthy communal anger or am I just being drawn into a mob?" -- and figure something out from there...

Jon -- I don't know from Wagner and am not making any assertions about his operas. I'm saying it seems perfectly natural for a person who holds nationalist or anti-Semitic views to create art with a genuine sense of nobility to it; it does not strike me as mysterious to reconcile.

oɔsıqɐu (nabisco), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:31 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost or announce "...composed by Robert Wagner...uh...oops, I mean Richard Wagner, damn I always get those two confused"

VegemiteGrrl, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

I agree with Mr Tyler that the Ring Cycle in particular is about forging the same vision of Germany that the Nazis would later endorse, because they come from the same tradition, not because the Nazis have somehow corrupted Wanger's work.

And I thoroughly enjoy/love his work, but I wd be astounded if the things that look anti-Semitic in the work of a guy obssessed with anti-Semitism didn't have even the slightest anti-Semitic connotations.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:34 (3 years ago) Permalink

Jon -- I don't know from Wagner and am not making any assertions about his operas. I'm saying it seems perfectly natural for a person who holds nationalist or anti-Semitic views to create art with a genuine sense of nobility to it; it does not strike me as mysterious to reconcile.

No i feel ya I was just pointing out that I think these are not the two things Barenboim is finding mysterious to reconcile. He is talking abt a humanist kind of nobility, not a damn-this-is-GLORIOUS kind of nobility. The latter is of course very easy to reconcile with the notion of fascism/nationalism/racism.

The latter kind of nobility also shows up, in the Ring for instance in the Valhalla music, but this theme belongs to the Gods who are NOT the good guys, and the pomp of the Valhalla theme is v obviously used with irony. As in, when it is blaring out nobly as the gods enter the newly-built Valhalla you actually hear river spirits singing offstage about the bad faith Valhalla was built with.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

I agree with Mr Tyler that the Ring Cycle in particular is about forging the same vision of Germany that the Nazis would later endorse, because they come from the same tradition, not because the Nazis have somehow corrupted Wanger's work.

Really? I dunno. I just don't get this from the Ring. It questions itself constantly, and seems to me to deliver no message that is not highly ambivalent. Strikes me as the most politically complex opera I've heard.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

Let me add that having now read the essay linked by aero I am nauseated afresh at the disgusting shit Wanger said on and off the record.

Though the essay is full of questionable leaps of logic, there is a RW quote I've never seen before, spoken in re: the final act of Siegfried, which makes me want to throw up.

Ugh why am I bothering to defend this guy's operas, he's not even one of my favorite composers, I just happen to think The Ring is a musicodramatic masterpiece.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 18:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

What I've read about the guy is that he was more nuts control freak like Walt Disney than garden variety hatemonger, though can't say I'm too impressed with Walt Disney either. What's a good Wagner substitute, though? With Disney there's at least Six Flags and Pixar.

Philip Nunez, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:02 (3 years ago) Permalink

Very long and probably not worth reading. http://sickmouthy.com/2011/03/22/objectionablemusic/

lol sickmouthy (Scik Mouthy), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:07 (3 years ago) Permalink

"In what other context would you tolerate savagery for lols?"

^^ A+

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

What's a good Wagner substitute, though?

Bruckner - arguably a superior composer, too (very arguably, I should say - he does not soar to the ridiculous heights of Wagner, but it can be argued that he sounds similar depths)

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

What I've read about the guy is that he was more nuts control freak like Walt Disney than garden variety hatemonger, though can't say I'm too impressed with Walt Disney either. What's a good Wagner substitute, though? With Disney there's at least Six Flags and Pixar.

― Philip Nunez, Tuesday, March 22, 2011 2:02 PM (19 minutes ago) Bookmark Suggest Ban Permalink

you should REALLY REALLY read the essay aerosmith linked to upthread

Bleeqwot the Chef (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

also Bruckner understood choruses better than Wagner

ancient, but very sexy (DJP), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:23 (3 years ago) Permalink

Yeah I was gonna say Bruckner.

When it comes to baggage, though, one does have to point out Bruckner was hitler's favorite composer of all. But Bruckner the man was pretty much totally innocuous (while his music brings the cosmic, sub-oceanic, abysmal and bucolic in equal measure).

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

Bruckner doesn't even come close.

Apart from that, one wonder's what the point is in trying to take issue with somebody who died well over a hundred years ago, we're forgetting how different everything must've been, history combined with a widespread humanist climate can do that sometimes.

historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

xpost Also the first few R Strauss outings are pretty much a humorous grand guignol answer to Wagner. Strauss is equally deft and elaborate but does NOT take himself seriously.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:44 (3 years ago) Permalink

Apart from that, one wonder's what the point is in trying to take issue with somebody who died well over a hundred years ago, we're forgetting how different everything must've been, history combined with a widespread humanist climate can do that sometimes.

Seriously? is it really your position that everybody was a noxious antisemite? it's demonstrably untrue, if so.

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:50 (3 years ago) Permalink

Yeah this isn't a 19th century novelist casually using the N-word because that was what people did back then - it's virulent bigotry.

Pop is superior to all other genres (DL), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

When it comes to baggage, though, one does have to point out Bruckner was hitler's favorite composer of all. But Bruckner the man was pretty much totally innocuous (while his music brings the cosmic, sub-oceanic, abysmal and bucolic in equal measure).

but yeah - I mean - Hitler loved painting, too - nothing wrong with painting. But what he liked about painting wasn't "its very essence opposes the Jewish infestation and uplifts the Aryan spirit," whereas it can be convincingly argued that that's exactly what he likes about Wagner. Bruckner, on the other hand, just a gentle dude thinkin about God. who Wagner was a dick to, btw, which makes me hate Wagner even more.

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

Wagner was a dick to Bruckner I mean not to God except like maybe broadly speaking

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

I just figured someone was bound to bring it up so might as well get it over with.

Yeah, Wanger was also, depending on the year, a leech and a dick to Liszt, who was one of the few true bros of the 19c.

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 19:56 (3 years ago) Permalink

Yeah, Wanger was also, depending on the year, a leech and a dick to Liszt, who was one of the few true bros of the 19c.

which we can all learn about from watching Lisztomania btw

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:03 (3 years ago) Permalink

Liszt, who was one of the few true bros of the 19c.

think there's a bunch of 19th-century cuckolded husbands who might differ with you on this score

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

Rick Wakeman as Thor^^^

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

lol you guys are getting Phoenix songs stuck in my head - plz stop

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

some pretty hilar composer caricatures in this

glumdalclitch, Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

Seriously? is it really your position that everybody was a noxious antisemite? it's demonstrably untrue, if so.

I wasn't particularly clear but I'm saying that we're so far removed, in time and (what I'm emphasising here) in mind. It's easy to pass the huge differences in modes of thought between now and then, given the widespread default non-thought surrounding what it means to be human today.

historyyy (prettylikealaindelon), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:15 (3 years ago) Permalink

>>Liszt, who was one of the few true bros of the 19c.

think there's a bunch of 19th-century cuckolded husbands who might differ with you on this score

Love is NEVER wrong, aero, come now.

One of the worst things Wagner did to Liszt was turn FL's daughter Cosima into an ideological clone of himself, one who DID live long enough to consort with Nazis...

return, descender (Jon Lewis), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

whole movie is hilar, one of Russell's best imho

xp

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Tuesday, 22 March 2011 20:18 (3 years ago) Permalink


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