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A riposte to Hip is History

A very good summation. Your thoughts?


The death of cool perhaps, not hip.

 

This Lefsetz is so busy trying to validate his thoughts in the blogosphere that he has unwittingly (and ironically) failed to turn the mirror on himself. A common enough habit with music critics and observers. He wants to be the first to be know for shouting "Hip is Dead!"

Whatever you call these "hip" people, there will always be those truly "cool" people out there who are switched on to new and pioneering aesthetics in music fashion art and other forms of cultural expression. Yeah, so every high school kid from Barcelona to Budgeridoo can Youtube OK GO videos. But the reality is most "uncool" people really do just go along with whatever most people say is cool. (Think: "My Family" car stickers,)  

In reality, most teenagers will sneer at even the most radical Youtube clip if less than 1000 people have watched it. It requires the mass validation of 1 million + people  for them to accept it as legitimately cool. This then leads to that unpredictable viral tipping point where all your average school kids and FB soccer mums jump on something at the same time. Does it make the original clip/track any less amazing? Less cool perhaps. 

The hip still create/discover/disseminate the cool music.

 For the sake of this argument not going around in circles, we must differentiate between music and other forms of expression. The average Joe can and (probably will) go viral with his surfing goat or talking cat video - and perhaps that fits Lefstaz's argument better. Lefsetz's theory formula that "greatness guarantees success" (and the unsuccessful are just losers) is a poisonous and unrealistic nonsense. True, there are many more people making music these days and as a musician it is difficult to be heard above the online din. But just becaI can't "do a Jet" and explode into the public arena, doesn't mean my new record is shit - just under-exposed.

There are many great artists, bands and albums, both pre- and post-internet, that have been ignored critically and commercially. It's natural that outsider romance aside - no one wants that.

As just another songwriter and musician struggling to promote his album - it's the endless conga line of non-musician suck holes in the music business who hit musicians with the perfect threat: don't complain about the way things are or we'll shun you. Which infers that you're only complaining becayou're shit. It is an anti-musician approach based on vanity, pretension, dillettantism a lot of other wankery, but ultimately not about music. 

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