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Re: In Praise of Taking Risks with Artistry (was conundrum, re: bjork's new CD)

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "Travis Hartnett" <tiktok@sprintmail.com>

Some good points - Some baaad points...

> Nah--young artists need to see someone who is good who has chosen art 
> with a capital 'A' over commerce with a capital 'C'.  Different and 
> experimental by themselves don't have any value.  Much as I enjoy the 
> concept of Bjork, I'm positive that she'd be a footnote without her 
> striking videos.  Her recent output strikes me as tuneless exercises in 
> amazing production, and I get the distinct impression that the backing 
> tracks are welded onto the vocals via sheer willpower and overdubbery.

Haven't heard the new one yet - holding out for the SACD 5.1 mix next week.
But if "Her recent output" includes her previous release "Vespertine",
I really think that "tuneless exercises in amazing production" is waaay
of the mark. Also, check out her "Live at Royal Festival Hall" DVD
to experience it in the moment and to hear that it is *not* a case of 
"the backing tracks are welded onto the vocals via sheer willpower
and overdubbery". There's some charming rearrangements of older tracks too.

> Bjork is also one of the worst offenders when it comes to putting out 
> umpteen different versions of each single, album and video to wring 
> money out of the devout fan.  I have friends who are Bjork completists, 
> and it's hundreds of dollars a year.  She makes the Cure discography 
> look barren in comparison.  Hardly the work of someone valuing pure Art 
> over Commerce.

Agree. The various singles/3 remixes/single-video-on-a-DVD releases
do put the commerce first. Waiting until there's enough great odds and
ends for a full length compilation release is kinder to the fans. Bjork's
4 disc live compilation is a good example of the 'better way' to go.

David Bowie has been irritating me with his cash-grab tactics recently
with "remastered" versions of his CDs released only a few years ago
(with a few "bonus" tracks to entice completists) and constant revisions
of "Reality" with an extra track or a live DVD or other "bonuses".

> So, to summarize my position: always value "Good" over "Different".

Makes sense to me. Art can also certainly be "Both".

On related posts: By coincidence I was listening to Bitches Brew"
this morning with breakfast and will agree that it's "In A Silent Way"
that gives me more personal pleasure. Thought I'd plug the SACD
5.1 mix of "Silent Way" which spreads the 3 keyboards around
and helps to differentiate the various parts. Wonderfull!

Also the 5.1 DVD-A mix of "Vespertine" is a delicious experience!

Scott M2