Monday, October 22, 2007

Bushman on Baba

Quoth Bushman, who's been listening to the Who a lot lately: "If anyone tells you that they felt the influence of classical minimalism because of the synthesizer part in Baba O'Riley, you have my full and utter permission to KICK THEM IN THE HEAD. A repetitive ostinato over COMPLETELY FUNCTIONAL POP HARMONIES does not minimalism make. :) Yes, I know the title is supposedly in reference to Terry Riley, and as such the band claims such influence. I'm just saying, the concept lost something- oh wait, EVERYTHING in the translation. Great, they used a bloody synthesizer and looped it- but its usage has no position of importance in the development of the song, and even gets transposed around to go with the riffs. Awesome tune? Certainly. Great texture? Truly. Minimal? For fucks sake, it's THE WHO. Everyone is tearing it up, and you end with a time change and a fade to a needless (but fun) violin solo."

I love having friends who know more about stuff than I do.


bbushman said...

Ahhh. Who needs twitter when my emails can be posted publicly in minutes, with professional editorial help?! Thanks!

Though if you could add an "and" or something to properly join and prepare the last clause, I'd be grateful. ;) Don't know the jargon, but I know I'm an idiot in email (though not exclusively.)

Oh, and outburst partially due to reading too much academic AND ermmm... popular? secular? non-academic? fuck if I know - writing on minimalism as of late. Some great, most not. Thank you, JSTOR!

allison said...

Done, and done. :)

Brendan M said...

I never knew why the song was called Baba O'Riley. Speaking of minimalism scholarship, I'm in the middle of writing my law review article on judicial minimalism.

I might as well throw my opinion in that I don't think In C is especially minimalist. Or, it is in a certain sense, that it removes harmony as a musical unit, and has repetition, etc.

To me In C is more about collective performance, about loosening the reins and yet staying together. It reminds me of Xenakis's musical philosophy about the school of fishes, where each individual moves in random ways, but the school maintains its shape and moves in a united cloud.

To me, In C is closer to John Cage than to Phillip Glass. It's about giving up control and yet still getting a good result. Anyway, that's my month-late little addition.