Wednesday, August 12, 2015

Music For Albert Edwards. On A Cold Day. In February

And it's raining.
In F flat minor.*

Following up on "Société Générale's Albert Edwards Not His Usual Jolly Self".
From Open Culture:
With the possible exception of John Gray’s Straw Dogs, few works of philosophy confront the barrenness of human life in the modern world in bleaker terms than Theodor Adorno’s Minima Moralia. Taking its title from Aristotle’s Magna Moralia, or “The Great Ethics,” Adorno’s book subverts the classical idea of the good life as a realistic aspiration in a world dominated by totalitarian systems of control and inexorable, grinding logics of production and consumption.
“Our perspective of life has passed into an ideology which conceals the fact that there is life no longer,” writes Adorno in his Dedication. The individual has been “reduced and degraded” by capitalism and fascism, flattened to mere appearance in the “sphere of consumption.”
Adorno’s book—a philosophical memoir of his experience as an “intellectual in emigration”—reflects his pessimism not only in its title but also in its subtitle: Reflections from Damaged Life. How little he could have suspected—and how much he likely would have despised—the kinship between his own postwar angst and the neurotic anger of the American hardcore punk generation to come some thirty-five years later. Take, for example these lyrics to Black Flag’s “Damaged,” from their 1981 album of the same name:
Right now look at me now
Look at me now
Just shadows
I’m just shadows of what I was
I just want another thing
I don’t even get by for that
One might make the case that Black Flag lyrics—and those of so many similar bands—play out Adorno’s thesis over and over: to quote a much less angry pop band from a later generation: “Modern Life is Rubbish.”

Seizing on these pessimistic parallels between punk rock and critical theory, filmmaker and artist Brian J. Davis recorded an EP of readings from five chapters of Adorno’s book, set to blistering hardcore drums and guitars. (Anyone happen to know who is on vocals?) Above, hear “They, The People,” and “This Side of the Pleasure Principle” and below, we have “UNmeasure for UNmeasure,” “Johnny Head-in-the-Air,” and “Every Work is an Uncommitted Crime.”...MORE, including the music.
*There is some difference of opinion as to the most mournful key:
 "Yeah, well, it's part of a trilogy, a musical trilogy that I'm doing in D... minor, which I always find is really the saddest of all keys, really, I don't know why. It makes people weep instantly to play..."