5 Oct 2011

Dramatising Exclusion: Kurt Vile & James Blake

I was lucky enough to go to End of the Road festival last month, and lucky enough to see Kurt Vile and the Violators from the front of the crowd. And they were awesome. In fact I actually found it quite overwhelming, emotionally (and yes, it’s the 21st century, I’m going to make reference to emotions, deal with it).

I’m sure most music fans know the emotional chill which might seem randomly and inexplicably to wash down through your body with the first few bars of a live song. Often, it seems to have a lot to do with the realisation of a private treasure - a recording cherished in your bedroom or between earphones - in real time and space, by real people. It authenticates the provenance and value of that treasure, validating all its personal truths. The presence of an equally ecstatic fellow audience surely adds to this feeling. I'm sure this was part of it, but between me and Kurt, I think there was something else more specific in action at End of the Road, and I believe it extends right down into what I feel to be the unique qualities of his recent album.

3 Oct 2011

On Aesthetic Imagination

Enjoyed this article, which touches on the kind of thing that I've ended up writing about quite a lot here:

The writer explores the distinction between what he calls the 'aesthetic imagination' of pop on the one hand and indie on the other. In doing so, he touches on the depth to which signifying styles and tropes are expected to permeate musical and visual personas in each culture, and how far an artist's 'theatricality' can extend before appearing 'inauthentic'...