Oct 16, 2013 08:30 AM WV Sound
Keeping a beat in the Mountain State
Please Don’t Ask Me What Kind of Music I Play, or, Why Explaining Your Art is Freighted With Fundamental Difficulties
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The band I’m in, Koko Sing, is playing October 24, 2013, at 123 Pleasant Street with a few bands I really love. When I tell people this, I’m often asked what kind of music I play. I never (ever) have anything interesting to say.
There are, according to YouTube, a few clever ways to answer this question. One music producer relates that years spent working in the music industry led him to the following strategy: Answer with imagery that will be so absurd and uniquely adorable that they won’t forget it if they tried. So instead of something forgettable like, “You know, Led Zepplin-ish,” try something like, “My band sounds like rhinos fighting in the middle of deep space with mini-bottles of pancake syrup that you might find as complementary in a hotel’s continental breakfast.”
I don’t like this approach. Not because it’s misleading and corny (though it is all of these things), but mostly because humor isn’t something I highly value in my own music. Typically, I often answer, “It’s post-rock?” with an upper inflection that implicitly says that it’s just fine if you don’t know what that is, it’s all right, and please do feel free to ask questions.
But I don’t want to field any more questions. Simultaneously, I don’t want to be that guy either, the guy too good to define something that you should obviously already know. With an acknowledgement that genres of music are often discussed with a fundamental and unfortunate rigidity and with an acute awareness that even the term “post-rock” is freighted with a stuffy, elite air, I’ll do my best to briefly unpack for you just what post-rock means.
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