Dissensus

Go Back Dissensus > Music
User Name
Password
Register FAQ Members List Calendar Mark Forums Read


Reply
Thread Tools Display Modes
#1
Old 06-20-2005, 09:56 AM
WOEBOT's Avatar
WOEBOT WOEBOT is offline
Beast of Burden
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London
Posts: 1,443
Thumbs down R Stevie Moore

There's a resurgence on interest in this bloke's works, largely in these parts owing to Ariel Pink's championing of him (though now it appears they're no longer pals!?!) just last week i went here:

http://www.rsteviemoore.com/

which is slightly gruesome in the way that most outsider art is. what is it about outsider art that is so distinctly repellant? i suppose its difficult to qualify precisely what characterises an outsider artist, recognition of them seems to be more based on an instinctual reaction one (OK 'i') have upon being confronted by them. someone like harry partch for instance. you could argue he's an outsider, but somehow his vaulting ambition, enthusiasm for culture and historical adroitness (he's an archetypal modernist) compensate.

even someone like sun ra, who cons you into believing he's an outsider (and all the discourse around him suggest he is) plays ball with the zeitgest time and again. being a member of the AACM, signed to esp, even doing versions of funk (UFO) and Rap (Nuclear War) to keep his hand in. nah, Ra's not an outsider. ariel pink's the same too. he's no outsider, theres some kind of tension between the fame and obscurity in his case (maybe thats where his and rsm's rift founders) but THANK GOD, he's engaged with the here and now.

all the arguments in favour of outsider artists appear strong and valid, even more valid than those "locked within discourse with their time and place". you know, the indefatigable auteur shaking his fist at the corrupt body of capitalist-dominated toadying fake art. all thats bullshit i reckon. even more strongly i've begun to come of the opinion that the true artist is the person who self-conciously emulates rather him than strives for individuality. probably ancient chinese wisdom of some flavour but STILL anathema to the standard western romantic traditions of appreciation and enculturation.

maybe the refusal to engage with the broader culture instead of producing bracing originality engernders a kind of solipsistic hermetecism. the word wank immediately springs to mind.

when i hear r stevie moore's music, and actually no i'm not bothered that everyone from the rather charitable mr robert christagau downwards thinks he's some lost genius, i hear mildew and carpet-stains. of the 34 songs i've heard which are available to download off his site i've not heard a single one which doesnt make me wince. and c'mon who but a total idjut is going to make his bad songs available as a taster for the public?

sure there's sonic similarities to lots of things in there (i'm not valorising "connections" im just using it here as some kind of barometer for engagement) you can hear second-hand traces of paul mccartney's solo albums (being a bit snide here in case you need me to underline it )

two thoughts sprung to mind. one that r stevie moore might, even more than kylie minogue be the apposite "pop" artist in that he's only playing lipservice to the cultural groundswell of the day. actually, weirdly, listening to these quasi-demos gives me (shudders) the same feeling as listening to past-its-sell-by-date pop music like for instance brian and michael's "matchstick men and matchstick cats and dogs" that unmistakable odour of public toilets (i'm no cottager honest guv!)

my other thought is that i'd rather (a thousand times over) listen to an honest failure. some poor band who falied in their absurd attempt to reach recognition, like i dunno The Associates or maybe even St Etienne (?) than some under-ambitious disapproving self-obsessed self-sufficent crackpot. you got to fucking put it out there, try to engage, even if you know everyone's going to think its crap.

r stevie moore=bad vibes
Reply With Quote
#2
Old 06-20-2005, 11:59 AM
Rachel Verinder Rachel Verinder is offline
Monkey Man
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 186
Default

sun ra was never a member of the aacm.

signing to esp was for everyone who did it a last resort of desperation because no one else would record them. everyone knew stillman ripped the artists off, paid them nothing, but it was that or nowt so they had no choice. ayler went on to impulse after repeated lobbying by 'trane, but then i wouldn't swap five seconds of spiritual unity for some of the unutterable major-label bilge he did (new grass anyone? great idea until you hear it. i got it out of john menzies in hamilton in 1978 for 99p. even then i felt cheated).

interesting examples of honest failures in associates and etienne. in the former case, well mackenzie was in many ways his worst enemy and maybe even falls into the same pseudo-outsider category. he played the game with rankine and got on totp and into the charts. then he thought he could piss about without anyone's help and who in their right and honest mind would listen to anything he did after 1982 in preference to anything he did before 1982?

but with etienne, their failure is i think a failure of the public and of the times. they've never really chimed precisely with What Is Wanted at Any Given Moment and so they've gone on ploughing their rather lonely furrow. i was all ready to be cynical about their new album. then i listened to it properly over the weekend (see relevant post on ilm) and it's brilliant, phenomenal, moving (though you really need to hear it in tandem with the bonus children's record sampler). and still it went into the album chart yesterday at 72. it should have been up there in the top ten, alongside the magic numbers (with whom the record fits oddly but perfectly), but they don't do jools holland or cd2 so there you have it. nevertheless there is a warmth and approachability about what they do which i agree is entirely absent from the likes of mr moore. not that i want to end up agreeing with/turning into n*ck h*rnby, but sometimes when you're 41, widowed and depressed you don't need to be told that life is gory and shit. i know that already. show me the way out.

(mind you, what's going on and astral weeks were never hit albums, whereas the black and white minstrels had three number one albums)
Reply With Quote
#3
Old 06-20-2005, 03:42 PM
polystyle desu polystyle desu is offline
Memories of green
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: NYC
Posts: 250
Default Rsm

hey Matt
Don't even give Moore another thought ,
here he was seen as a funny thing (in his time) , never been considered 'outsider'
no buzz there ! ( we hope)
__________________
http://DeMeDo.blogspot.com
Reply With Quote
#4
Old 06-20-2005, 03:49 PM
blissblogger blissblogger is offline
Street Fighting Man
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 371
Default

i'm feelin' what matt's sayin'

if only cos it'll make life easier, another one to cross off the list!

no it makes sense it makes sense

(cf simon silver's comments on jandek)

always feel if anything's any good, really, it'll get dragged into wider known-ness in spite of itself

especially with older music, don't believe in the great lost visionary artist thing, when you think of the sheer amount and strangeness of music that got released during the great albums boom of late sixties to early seventies (pre-the oil scarcity thing made vinyl expensive), seems like almost anything of any merit whatsoever could get released on a major label, they would sign anything that moved or was 'heavy' or 'trippy' cos there was a huge market

so private pressing stuff -- welsh late psych bands printing 200 copies of their own album in 1971-- 's gotta be seriously defective

or wilful self-cultification bizniz

(mind you all that said jon dale rates some r. stevie)
Reply With Quote
#5
Old 06-20-2005, 08:28 PM
MiltonParker MiltonParker is offline
Mother's Little Helper
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 52
Default

I know the previous post is just lifelong rock critic shoptalk joking, but self-appointed gatekeepers joking about this shit, well it does make me sick of course. Ha ha ha, 'another one to cross off the list'. Sometimes I think I'm hanging out on these boards to innoculate myself against the reality that you people even think like that.

I'm sympathetic to Matthew's post though. I'm getting exhausted of the concept of the lone individual being the expressive force single-handedly pushing Music forward, we've reached ten million cul-de-sacs. Though not all of them were pointless.

I find the early Moore inspiring; he really did think he was going to make it big, on his own terms. The records are catchy, packed with production detail and weird, great hooks, a wonderful mutant reflection / distillation of 70's commercial pop -- made in the lo-fi basement. Which probably was mildewy and carpet-stained, because he obviously was putting 5000% of his time into knocking out one to two songs a day.

And he did try to get it out there, to engage with a wider public, and he did relatively well at it. There are many reviews from that period, and he ended up on the Recommended Sampler (which is how I heard of him). He found his audience, but it wasn't the mass one, and there's palpable frustration on the later records, which I don't like as much: spiteful "If you don't like this one, I quit" liner notes. He didn't quit, but the later records are less ambitious, casually produced, less welcoming; a work habit on autopilot that's given up on the big audience.

Still, I stick with seeing him as the patron saint of home studio recording, one of the first weirdos who set himself up at home and started making alternate-universe lo-fi pop. The one record he poured everything into is 'Phonography', which is an album-album and needs to be played through, though the mp3's on the site are good: http://www.geocities.com/moormuse/4fp.html

You guys may not like 'Phonography' yourselves, but you're incapable of crossing that record off 'the list', you fuckers, it's a beautiful, lunatic five star accomplishment.

http://ilx.p3r.net/thread.php?msgid=4561736
Reply With Quote
#6
Old 06-21-2005, 12:50 AM
owen's Avatar
owen owen is offline
Honky Tonk Woman
Join Date: Nov 2004
Location: deptford
Posts: 403
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by WOEBOT
my other thought is that i'd rather (a thousand times over) listen to an honest failure. some poor band who falied in their absurd attempt to reach recognition, like i dunno The Associates or maybe even St Etienne (?) than some under-ambitious disapproving self-obsessed self-sufficent crackpot. you got to fucking put it out there, try to engage, even if you know everyone's going to think its crap


amen to that...another thing that really irks me about 'outsider' stuff is the almost victorian fetishisation of innocence-- and the way that being 'outside' of the media (as if such a thing were even possible) is usually championed by metropolitan, educated media types themselves- eg the unseemly furore over say, daniel johnston for his 'purity', his 'child's eye view' (this will all come up when everett true is indicted in the revolutionary tribunal for aesthetics
)

but there IS some incredible stuff bracketed in the outsider bin- sun ra as you say, or the guy who did the palais ideal for instance (in the john berger doc on him he's quite clear about it being GREAT ART, not some folksy eccentricity) or in a different and much more problematic way, henry darger
Reply With Quote
#7
Old 06-21-2005, 09:18 AM
Rachel Verinder Rachel Verinder is offline
Monkey Man
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 186
Default

is it just me or is the one album daniel johnston did for a major (Fun - WEA, 1994) by some considerable distance his best?
Reply With Quote
#8
Old 06-21-2005, 09:56 AM
WOEBOT's Avatar
WOEBOT WOEBOT is offline
Beast of Burden
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: London
Posts: 1,443
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiltonParker
Still, I stick with seeing him as the patron saint of home studio recording, one of the first weirdos who set himself up at home and started making alternate-universe lo-fi pop. The one record he poured everything into is 'Phonography', which is an album-album and needs to be played through, though the mp3's on the site are good: http://www.geocities.com/moormuse/4fp.html

You guys may not like 'Phonography' yourselves, but you're incapable of crossing that record off 'the list', you fuckers, it's a beautiful, lunatic five star accomplishment.

http://ilx.p3r.net/thread.php?msgid=4561736


Good for you Milton. And I owe you at least to check out Phonography. But seriously I sense a little home-grown frustration of your own Milton, and I'm sorry blud, I'm sure its not easy. For the record I've always liked that Wobbly CD, and your production on this:



was brilliant.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Rachel Verinder
StEtienne and Associates


Yeah you're right, neither very good examples! Difficult to think of anyone who didnt want a slice of the pie.

But Sun Ra! Definitely not an Outsider in my book at least. Vis a vis ESP, what was to stop him from just carrying on putting out records on his own label Saturn? He didnt have have to sign to ESP, or Impulse (albeit breifly and unproductively, didnt those Impulse discs only come out as Promos?)
Reply With Quote
#9
Old 06-21-2005, 10:14 AM
Rachel Verinder Rachel Verinder is offline
Monkey Man
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 186
Default

the impulse ra records i obtained as cutouts - richard williams did a thing about them in MM. we went out to the old Listen Records shop in union street (glasgow) in the summer of '79, and lo and behold, there they all were in the oven-like bargain basement (it was a saturday and the weather was as hot as it currently is in london) going for 49p a throw in their gorgeous gatefold sleeves (much better than the dull sleeves of the cd reissues). quality is uneven, but magic city and atlantis are, as they say, the biz. i've hung onto them since on a "this is my pension plan" basis as i'd probably get quite a bit more than 49p a throw for them now.
Reply With Quote
#10
Old 06-21-2005, 10:16 AM
Rachel Verinder Rachel Verinder is offline
Monkey Man
Join Date: Dec 2004
Posts: 186
Default

also esp and impulse had better distribution. saturn issues came out in editions of 300 or something and rarely made it beyond the local chicago specialist shops.
Reply With Quote
#11
Old 06-21-2005, 04:17 PM
blissblogger blissblogger is offline
Street Fighting Man
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 371
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by MiltonParker
I know the previous post is just lifelong rock critic shoptalk joking, but self-appointed gatekeepers joking about this shit, well it does make me sick of course. ]


my god aren't we pompous this morning? it's nothing to do with gatekeeping, it's just pure music-fan vertiginous nausea at the thought of someone who's made over 300 albums that are said to merit attention... it's an existensial question really: can i make room in my life for this? (and you should SEE the size of my "list")

the diy/home studio thing has always been a double-edged sword ... self-empowerment/decentralisation/uncommercial-eccentrics-operating-outside-the-corporate-domain = GOOD, unmanageable excess of access/inundation of semi-deserving creativity = BAD
Reply With Quote
#12
Old 06-21-2005, 09:20 PM
MiltonParker MiltonParker is offline
Mother's Little Helper
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 52
Default

I did feel bad after posting that. It was a monday morning. Everyone's got a version of 'the list', I know I've got one, and I cross things off it all the time with no small amount of relief -- 'ok, good, I just don't like this'. I was just feeling defensive about the summary dismissal of someone I take as having made a real contribution.

It's definitely possible that as another home studio musician, I'm going to have more of an emotional response to music made by obsessive, cranky, self-isolated characters than most listeners. But the early, optimistic, hyper-bizarre Moore records were some of the first to display some of the things that can only happen when you're recording at home, he nailed the beautiful things about it. Plus, catchy tunes.

I hear your charges of 'bad vibes' with the later records, yes it is a trap when one's resentment starts showing up in the work itself. Willful obscurity isn't necessarily a dishonest response though -- it may not be the healthiest one, but it's only natural. Keeping up the commitment to getting your stuff out there is tough when it's passionately loved by 1% of any given room and indifferently to violently rejected by the other 99%... okay fine, it's not like you ever had a choice, but strange things can start to happen to your mind after the first or second decade.

thanks for nice words, Matthew. Me I'm really into Kristin's new album. I think the awkward post-BFB transformations are over for both of them; I always liked the live shows a little better than the recordings, up until their last two respective solo records, which I think are both great.
Reply With Quote
#13
Old 06-22-2005, 07:15 PM
SMorlighem SMorlighem is offline
Little Red Rooster
Join Date: Oct 2004
Posts: 87
Default

I recently bought this LP : http://www.rsteviemoore.com/cd/gladmusic.html
and I must say it's gorgeous, beatlesy as hell (but not in a deferent mode), recorded in a real studio with real musicians, RSM's outstanding his cult/homemade artist status. If you wanna avoid digging through 300 ++ releases, check this one!
Reply With Quote
#14
Old 06-23-2005, 11:05 AM
labrat's Avatar
labrat labrat is offline
Brown Sugar
Join Date: Oct 2004
Location: Manchester
Posts: 272
Default

much hatred
but....all i've heard of this gent are the songs on the recommended records sampler,there grrrrreeatt!!(as indeed is most of the rest-a truly classic compilation.....hmm idea 4 a thread?)
Attached Images
File Type: jpeg rersampler89.02.jpeg (95.4 KB, 53 views)
Reply With Quote
#15
Old 07-26-2005, 02:31 PM
michael's Avatar
michael michael is offline
Point Blank w/Hank Marvin
Join Date: Feb 2005
Location: Tokyo
Posts: 327
Default

I haven't listened to anything by this guy, but came across the following MP3 compilation while doing my semi-regular net label trawl, and remembered seeing his name on here.

http://www.lostfrog.net/releases/lf060mp3.html

Maybe of interest if anyone wants to dip into what he's done "for free".
Reply With Quote
Reply


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

vB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is On
Forum Jump



All times are GMT. The time now is 07:08 PM.


Powered by: vBulletin Version 3.0.12
Copyright 2000 - 2006, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.


Another later RSM thread ->