Thursday, June 11, 2009

I can't even tell any more

Mathias Svalina has a pretty interesting post about black metal, particularly Striborg. Mathias says that Striborg "attempts the grimmest, rawest black metal, bringing his music close to the anti-music skronk of no wave & the avant noise of someone like merzbow." The thing is, I listened to/watched some of the clips Mathias posted, and I thought they were kind of great. I mean, I know that the music--strictly speaking--is quite bad. Definitely cheesey. But, god, it was so cool. It felt like some creepy video/performance art piece. And that somebody is actually, sincerely living the life of "a freaky loner...in a shack in the rural wilds of Tasmania" just blows my mind.

It's the kind of thing that completely blurs the line between "good" and "bad" art, sincerity and irony. I mean, we can't take this music seriously, but Striborg and his "true" metal fans do! At the same time, though, there was a part of me that totally took Striborg seriously, at least the music I heard.

I'm this way about a lot of stuff...appreciate in both and ironic/aestheticized and sincere way all at once. Guns-n-Roses, for me, is a prime example. I LOVE them. Really. But I also don't. I mean, I know how cheesey they are/were. But still...

Maybe it's just my 13 year old self lingering in me somewhere, but I just can't help it. I love metal. Mastodon, to me, is great. They totally embrace an 80s metal aesthetic with their album art and lyrics for sure, and with the music too. I think to myself, they can't be choosing that art sincerely. They HAVE to be making a very self-aware, calculated nod to that aesthetic. And to some degree, I think they are. But I also think they do truly love it, so hey, why not run with it.

I don't know. Is there a name for this thing I feel, this meld of sincerity with self awareness and irony? My guess is that it's the concept that I'm most attracted to. But I must reiterate: I LOVE METAL.

I feel like I suffer this same confusion with poetry, but that's a different story...

3 Comments:

Blogger Brian Foley said...

I loved that post. Where were you when we were talking metal last Saturday? I appreciate their efforts (music and aesthetic commitment) because I recognize the sincerity to be nothing but true. It is almost in opposition to irony. It only becomes ironic when it informed by something outside of that world (which has become inevitable). BTW, ABSU is playing NY on Sunday. You and Mathias should go - http://www.myspace.com/absu

June 19, 2009 at 12:07 PM  
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