I wonder why I’m currently digging Mogwai’s EP+2 so much more than I dug their Come On Die Young when I first heard that one. I think it’s because it’s short: I can only take about half an hour of this kind of slow, dreamy, moody stuff before I start yearning for more action. EP+2 lasts, well, about a half hour. And it’s fucking great.
I’ve only read the introduction to Robert Walser’s Running With the Devil: Power, Gender, and Madness in Heavy Metal Music, but already I’ve come across a bunch of interesting tidbits. For example, with reference to his musicological discussions of heavy metal music:
Arguing for the worth of popular music in the terms of valuation used for more prestigious music is not without risk: jazz has gained a certain amount of academic respectibility through such toil by its defenders, but at the cost of erasing much of the music’s historical significance, its politics, its basis in non-European modes of musical thinking and doing. (Indeed, this is precisely what has happened to the many different kinds of historical music making that have been collapsed into “classical music” by our century.
I find the comment about jazz curious. I don’t know enough about jazz to know how correct Walser is (after all, that jazz class I took last semester was worthless), but I wonder how discussion of jazz in a context based on Western art-music notation has “erased much of the music’s historical significance”.