In the context of contemporary music, why are guilty pleasures and intellectual challenges mutually exclusive? Why, for example, is it so hard for my generation to conceive of Funk in a way that isn’t ripe with the eye-watering stink of Anthony Keidis? Most can barely remember dub and ska in a world unstaind by Sublime. No need to get indignant about it — it’s only music history, right?
Conversely, why do the contemporary musical intelligentsia reserve the category of “experimental” only for those too obscure even to be available to mainstream listeners, let alone dismissed by them. Only the vanguardists of decades past or today’s hermits of deconstructionism seem to qualify. Is it purely the blue-balled erudition of the critic that’s to blame? Or does it have more to do with how profoundly worthless mainstream pop music has become? (see “Meta 4:4”)More Terms…