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Decades, when they start and finish
  • Godstone
    Posts: 139
    Culturally and creatively, the '50s didn't start in 1950, neither did the '60s start in 1960 (except that Hoppy arrived in London on January 1st 1960, but hey) and so froth. I am of the opinion that the 2010s decade is about to blossom into whatever it'll eventually be best remembered for.
    If the '50s are best remembered for Rock & Roll, then it started with Elvis in August 1953. If the '60s began with The Beatles then it started in October 1962. The equivalent times for the 2010s are still in the future.

    Discuss?
  • KNICKERS
    Posts: 1,231
    Interesting when you think of it in terms of decades often having 2 or so things. I'm thinking of the 90s there - something like Nirvana feels more like a 90s thing which ends up closing the 80s; meanwhile, Britpop and early Labour UK feels like a late-90s thing. In terms of the 70s, you have (say) the stuff which ended the 60s - maybe Led Zep, Hendrix - at one side, then the punk explosion on the other. So maybe the earlier one kills the previous decade, and the later one affirms the decade's identity. In those terms, I'm still not clear on the 00s, but it's definitely fair to say that something like Occupy will very much orient the rest of the decade hereon in.
  • There are definite 'imagined' periods that become decades in retrospect -
    53 - 62 Rock n Roll
    63-74 Beatles through Hippies and into Prog
    76 - 83 Punk and Post-Punk.
    87 - 94 the birth and death of grunge
    95 - 04 Britpop and the vindication/self destruction of indie
    So we're either in the middle/end of the next period, which I doubt to name yet, or at the beginning & formation of the next. I personally see it as the latter.

    There's a lot of affirmation towards a DIY High Art aspect, there's a big dissatisfaction with banks and money and government, and maybe this is all influenced by just coming back from supernormal but there is a big aspect of making something good.

    Like one of my favourite pieces of art were the bread people, making bread all weekend, burning it as people, and then feeding it to the audience. It's a good thing, it's DIY, it's helpful, but it's also (in some sense) sophisticated and "high art" [whatever the fuck that means, but lets work with some generalised notion]

  • I dunno - 4/5 years ago it felt like there was a group of loosely interconnected things that peaked and subsequently died down a bit. Collapse starting up, Mute getting momentum, dubstep splintering a bit and showing promise at the fringes (that it largely failed to live up to). Noise was splintering in a bunch of different directions that it possibly lived up to better.
    Ghost Box, Hauntology etc. Psychogeography wasn't a weekly column in the Guardian yet, Iain Sinclair wasstill close enough in his career to Downriver and London Orbital, Tom McCarthy was still pre-booker and cool and doing things like the necronautical association.
    You had that ring of blogs including Owen Hatherley, Kpunk, Dominic Fox, Infinite Thought etc. that had (whatever else) a bit of a buzz of confidence and swagger about them. Zizek got a lot of coverage and this was before that major coverage left everybody a bit fatigued. Internet art was back and felt buzzy with things like VVork.

    Dunno what you'd call that period. It was a bit gothy/deathy/ghosty, a bit internetty, a bit DIY and theory-heavy in a permissive but posturey kind of way.

    Maybe that's the "decade" we're still in. Maybe we're closing it. It felt like a lot of that stuff troughed, lost momentum, or solidified/became a bt more defined/static over the last couple of years though, so maybe something new is due.

    That could all be nonsense. Might well just be a bunch of stuff I was either caught up in or aware of. Lots of stuff that felt new to me coming at once.
  • KNICKERS
    Posts: 1,231
    I suppose I should say that I kind of think that it's always important to remember that popular decades aren't the same as what a lot of people did. My Mum can't stand the Beatles and was still listening to Irish dance bands in the 60s. Not everyone who was 16 in '77 became a punk. My experience of the last few years has been pretty different to Herr Krasna's above. Not better, just different.
  • expexp
    Posts: 2,619
    Seems pertinent to mention it here... I have a real block about thinking about the future. Where I'm going, long term plans, what life will be like five years down the line. I'm guessing that's true for possibly a lot of people in artistic circles, in terms of retirement plans, pensions, career prospects. We often seem very much more present/past oriented, as my Old Man or NLP practitioners would put it, than we do present/future. Is that something worth mulling over here? Creative types often seem quite cagey about that 'putting a stamp on it' kind of futurology - creative work about the future often seems to exist along the safe paths of utopia/dystopia, kitsch/knowing or deliberate disengagement.

    I watched John Carter last night. Very interesting adaptation, in that it didn't even try to smooth out the temporal dissonance of Edgar Rice Burroughs' novels for an audience that are used to seeing us actually sending robots to Mars. And I'm sure that dissonance, along with disinterest in the source material, helped make sure that it never found an audience. But it shed a harsh light on the mediocrity of futurology in a lot of mainstream TV/film sci-fi. A century on and our space adventures aren't a lot more accurate or adventurous.
  • KNICKERS said:

    I suppose I should say that I kind of think that it's always important to remember that popular decades aren't the same as what a lot of people did.



    Agree - that's why I wrote the last paragraph really. I think it's more likely than not that that was just the stuff that collected near my particular mouse pointer. Equally even if it does end up being seen as defining in any way, it's a very narrow quarter of the world. (much as, say, post-punk was).

    Should say also that when I say that bunch of stuff that I identified feels like it has troughed a bit, I'm not commenting on a lack of things happening elsewhere in the last couple of years - I just think those things which in retrospect feel to me like they defined an era (for good and bad - plenty of bullshit there, some gems) have died down a bit.

    Obviously more recently, sometimes semi related to some of that stuff, sometimes very separate, we have occupy, DIY, the overgrounding of the chans and Anonymous, music taking similar anarcho-aesthetic. Post Wandelweiser stuff and generally people feeling the permission to be composers outside of the academy, the interface of that with DIY and punky things. Not all things that chime with me especially (some do), but obviously all happening, related, buzzy and era-defining.
    I'd guess some of that bunch of stuff finds itself closer to your mouse cursor than the last bunch of stuff I mentioned.

    This might be wrong and it might offend some people - I don't mean to: I don't personally feel like post-A bandish currents - much as they might be having a bit of a resurgance - are particularly part of any of that - or if they are then they're fellow travellers with crossover rather than the kind of "cultural symptom" or era-specific/defining thing we think of when we think of decades. A Band-ish things - people improvising in skronky anarchic formed/unformed ways, largely off the map goes back to Smegma and hasn't really changed much to my eyes in the last few years - it just got more visible again. I don't think that's bad or a criticism.
    I may well be completely wrong too.
  • Godstone
    Posts: 139
    The People Band were playing skronky improvising before Smegma, and probably others were doing it before them, and still others even earlier. But I think skronkimprove might become an overground popular form in the next several years, (no really - I mean *actual* popularity, with chart hits and suchlike). A Banding has spread far and wide, and there are many many A Banders who have never met & never will (such as Andy A & Roger) or who have recently met despite being in the band for yonks (such as Zali & Karl). I think there'll be at least one future A Bander born in every decade for the rest of this century and beyond. But there's more to this decade than skronkimprove
  • SandorKrasna said: I don't personally feel like post-A bandish currents - much as they might be having a bit of a resurgance - are particularly part of any of that - or if they are then they're fellow travellers with crossover rather than the kind of "cultural symptom" or era-specific/defining thing we think of when we think of decades.


    I would agree that it's a case of 'fellow travellers' rather than the symptom, but I think that's always the case - Syd Barrett era of The Pink Floyd is something that is very distinctly late 60s psychedelic, but I think it was just what they were doing, it just happened to fall in line. Now I'm hardly placing A Band, Bolide, and all the other free-shit on the same plinth, but I think this line of stuff is definitely something that is going to pinpoint a time and place for me, and if it does for me that's 1 person closer to defining something.

    Especially when wrapped up/inside the anonymous, banking crisis, shutting down venues, DIY with aesthic values thing, running gigs in strange places, whole shenangians.

  • Godstone
    Posts: 139
    All it takes is one fella
    to write a bestsella
    encompassing a bunch of stuff under one umbrella
  • Didn't that almost already happen with Sunburned Hand of the Man, Wolf Eyes, Black Dice, AIDS Wolf etc. in the early noughties? Load/Skingraft etc?

    But to be fair, this stuff just isn't my bag these days, so I'm the last person to judge yay or nay. It'd be fun to see it happen certainly.
  • Godstone
    Posts: 139
    If it did, that was two decades ago. Two decades is the difference between Elvis & The Sex Pistols, or between Pete Waterman and Simon Cowell, or between Carl Andre's bricks and Damien Hirst's shark.
  • Also, crossover stuff that's happening at the mo' seems to be going on more at the dancier end of electroacoustic and noise. That has nowt to do with Occupy etc. though obviously.

    So maybe The A Banders need their own PAN :)
    #SomethingAboutConlonNancarrow
  • More like 8 years than 2 decades though - Wolf Eyes on Sub Pop was 2004

    But, maybe you're right, no reason it couldn't cycle round again. It does feel like it fits the ethos of the other stuff going on.
  • Godstone
    Posts: 139
    Sorry, I misread noughties as nineties....mea culpepper
  • Godstone
    Posts: 139
    Update time - Since the above discussion over two years ago, has anything changed regarding this imminent blossoming of whatever-it-is?

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