Sunday, October 07, 2007

My third ATP in December...

...this time curated by Portishead, and Silver Apples have just been added to the bill! Along with four doom metal bands, Jah Shaka Soundsystem, Glenn Branca (playing twice!), the Aphex Twin, Julian Cope, and countless others, some of whom I've heard of (Oneida) and some I haven't (Crippled Black Phoenix? The Heads? Jo Volk?). Why aren't Movietone on the bill? Anyway, it confirms my theory that Portishead have always had more in common aesthetically with left-field guitar music than most electronica (and especially aberrations of the 'trip-hop' genre such as Zero 7 and Groove Armada - music for media people living in 'pads' in Notting Hill). They also take a nice swipe at another aberration of music, Mark Ronson, here. Exactly who is choosing to pay to go to Shepherd's Bush Empire and see this man do karaoke versions of the Kaiser Chiefs, among other acts, is mystifying; clearly someone is, as his gig there is sold out. Ronson is the prime example of music as background music; it can be played anywhere and, because it's not even his own compositions but rather pointless covers, it's easy to digest anywhere. You can play it on your iPod anywhere and not have to really think about the music. He's a prime example of music's superficiality in the digital age, when the sheer abundance of music negates it's importance: it's everywhere, from the clothes shop to the hairdresser. "Oh, but they're inventively done covers that add a twist to the original". So what, though? I guess I don't hang at the right parties at the Notting Hill Arts Club, so I wouldn't understand. This is Ronson's demographic. His music is seen as "cool" and "fresh" takes on old songs, which Kate Nash/Lilly Allen/Amy Winehouse types put on at parties.

At this point, I should just point I have an iPod myself and actually like it. But I also take the music on it seriously rather than treating it as background music. Which is one reason for the importance of All Tomorrow's Parties. Roll on December.

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