Thursday, June 2, 2011

Cultural Decay: TONY Edition #6

While still reeling from the unmitigated disaster that is Terrence Malick’s The Tree of Life, your correspondent was in desperate need of a tonic.  And what could be more bracing than a look at the weekly wallow of cultural decay that is Time Out New York (TONY)?  So, let’s see what America’s most witless publication has on hand this week…

Starting with the end of it, page 98 (in the ever-reliable The Off-Off List section) we find notice of the Summerworks Festival.  There “Clubbed Thumb continues its new-works festival, one of the best ways to see which local playwrights have had their digits whacked with the talent hammer.”  Hint – look for tears in their eyes.

Page 76 (in the Music section) includes a notice for Marduk + Aura Noir + Black Anvil + Panzerfaust + HOD + Natur.  At this event “Ultra-blasphemous Swedish black-metal outfit Marduk, which favors breakneck tempos, vomited vocals and darkly atmospheric textures, plays behind a new EP, Iron Dawn.”  What I find fascinating here is how often TONY uses the word “vomit” as a descriptor of available cultural wares.  Scarcely an issue goes by without something being likened to vomit.  Is this, perhaps, a tacit admission of our cultural state?  Or, perhaps, an optimistic view that things are always coming, in not looking, up?  Hum…..

The same page includes a brief chat with Aloe Blacc, who appears to be a musician of some sort.  When asked about the current “soul revival,” the worthy Mr. Blacc said, “I often think that it’s because the oldie demographic – maybe 25-plus – when they’re not in a nightclub, they want to hear music that speaks to their mature sensibility.”  Hold the phone.  The “oldie demographic” is … 25-plus?  And we wonder why our music, or film, and the language of our ongoing cultural discussion seem so adolescent! 

More next week!

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