Conceit Comes in Many Flavors

Serving up a musical cocktail: eighth blackbird’s tasty music fusion

The words "crossover" and "fusion" are perhaps the most frightening in the music descriptive lexicon.

A few thoughts. 1) I would like to purchase, and subsequently destroy, all copies of this lexicon of which you speak. 2) It is true, there is a lot of bad “crossover” and “fusion” music. However, there is a lot of bad music, period. “Bad” is not genre-specific. Except New Age. That is bad. 3) Of all of the words in the music descriptive lexicon, I would nominate “bad” as the most frightening. “Out-of-tune?”

They indicate a self-conscious crossing of a barrier -- from "classical" to "pop," say -- or a marriage of things that just don't taste great together.

Sometimes. Sometimes they indicate this. You write as if genre-bending is a new idea. I submit that it’s as old as recorded music history.

Yet there are successful ways to bring different influences together.

What? Yes. That’s not what you…

See, for example, the marvelous Chicago-based new music sextet eighth blackbird (the "birds," as their fans call them, don't capitalize their name).

You don’t say. Non-capitalization is a personal pet peeve. Every music department has that one guy who refuses to capitalize basically anything he writes (including his name) which marks him as the second coming of John Cage. We get it. You’re avant-garde, at least in your mind.

e. e. cummings is great. The "birds" also, in their name, reference Wallace Stevens. He used capital letters, when appropriate.

Saturday night at the Harris Theater, they presented one of the most organically realized evenings of music that took the best of several disciplines, discarded classifications and arrived at enchantment.

“Arrived at enchantment”? Wow. That sounds like parody. But, sadly, no.

However. The ensemble mentioned is really rather good, as is the rest of the article. The concert sounds like it was good, too. But “arrived at enchantment” sounds like something from The Simpsons.

Homer and Marge walk into a day spa. Over the loudspeaker, a voice says:

“Welcome! You’ve arrived…at enchantment!”


Empiricus said...

Fast Eddie: But it's a zinger. See? It don't need t'make sense. Zingers'll keep ya readin. Ya kept readin, dindn't cha? But I woulda done it up like this:

"arrived at deliciously rapturous enchantment."

Now THAT'S zip!

Murderface said...

Eighth Blackbird is quite good. I used to live downstairs from, and have at least a mild crush on, their former flautist. < /namedrop>

I didn't realize that their non-capitalization was a full-time thing. Their name isn't capitalized on their CD I have, but I thought that was more of a logo/graphic design thing. Huh. Oh well.

Anonymous said...

their non-capitalization is resistance to capitalism

get it clever no?

breshnev say to not use punctuation either just in case

except question marks for then you not know when brezhnev asking you question

as ever

strategy important to win

Sator Arepo said...

No offence was meant to Comrade Brezhnev, obviously.