Saturday, March 19, 2016

Music writing the way it used to be

Ian Penman writes at a reasonable length about John Fahey.

You know you would want to read that.

Penman asks an important question, one that it is easy to get tied up in knots trying to answer, or at least to answer in a way that your average music obsessive can feel entirely comfortable with: 

"Is it better to endure bad art for the spotless ideology it promotes, or to continue to swoon before sublime art made by awful people?" 

A part of me suspects that if such people were less awful, the art they made would be less sublime. Is it worth it? I suppose I wouldn't be doing this if I didn't think it was, but heck, I also know it's not okay just to ignore the human damage that can be left in its wake. (Why couldn't I just have liked, I don't know, Perry Como? (Although for all we know, he may have had some skeletons of his own.))

Fahey might or might not have been one of the bad guys, and he would appear to have suffered a(n un)fair amount of damage of his own, but "sublime" is as good a word as I could have found to describe the sounds he was able to tease out of a guitar. Here is an example:

Or, if you want to go long, there is also this (a lot of life would appear to have been lived between 1969 and 1978):