pop is fashion

Conversation about the rumored demise of casual fandom:

Piers Hollot: PBS programming is not intended for live performance, but they do go live for the purpose of fund-raising, and it is at this point that they flush out the “super-fans” with premiums.

Crosbie Fitch: [musical] populism is simply in a lull. As per Arnie, it’ll be back.

Victor: pining for the shared experience of U2 at the gym is just nostalgic old-people-talk.

gurdonark: how many bands and performers I like on a very casual basis [is] not going to change.


I wonder if the tight connection between music and fashion/identity construction isn’t at least some guarantee of populism. I was just looking back over a post I wrote back in 2005 on reading Steven Johnson’s Everything Bad Is Good For You where I was trying to explain with the trend of increasing complexity he describes in narrative popular media hasn’t been paralleled in music: http://www.urbanhonking.com/ideasfordozens/2005/08/everything_bad_is_good_for_you.html

More than any of the other consumable pop media, we use music to distinguish ourselves from other social groups and to construct our own identities. I think this will mean that musical populism will be around for a long time, even without any music that’s actually very popular.

My listening habits are a constant exploration. I find this and it leads me to that. Robert Johnson induces me to explore other bottleneck blues, bottleneck leads me to explore the influence of Hawaiian slide playing, Hawaiian music leads me to Sol Hoopi. What I find through friends and television is an influence, but I don’t have time to check in with anybody while I’m wandering the endless connections.