The Can Banger All-Stars are playing Zankel Hall on Tuesday, December 5, beginning at 7:30 pm, in a program called American UnPop

What is American UnPop? This is how Evan Ziporyn, clarinetist for the Bang on a Can All-Stars, describes it:

“Vox populi, vox pop, the voice of the people, or rather the voices of many different peoples, filtered through radio, record companies, market testing and the iTunes…pop culture is today synonymous with corporate culture, but it doesn’t have to be that way.  The music industry may be a nightmare, but the sound of pop music, in the broader sense, is the sound of our dreams, the trigger of memories, the actual texture of our unconscious.  A good melting pot still retains the flavors of its ingredients, even when it reveals the personality of the chef.   

 

Conlon Nancarrow taking boogie woogie bass lines and the covert rhythmic subversion embedded in blues and jazz; Martin Bresnick finding the common thread between holy minimalism, Franz Kafka, and the harmonies of Steely Dan; and Fred Frith finding the peril in an old children’s game, searching for the Court of the Crimson King while riding on the O’Jays Love Train.

 

There are ghosts in this machine, eminences to be evoked: Don Byron using the ancestral memories of the All-stars to distill Bernstein and soul jazz; Thurston Moore and Julia Wolfe stirring the pot, raising a cloud of guitar dissonance, through which we may or may not hear Appalachian dulcimers, Moondog’s bass drum, and Cecil Taylor.  

 

If this sounds like an average day on your iPod, well, join the club.  But the iPod shuffle only changes tracks after every song: you travel light, but the border guards are still on duty.  At American unPop, we’ve torn down the walls.”

Does anybody besides me need a cold shower after that?

9 Responses to “Concert Promotion Porn”
  1. Did Jeff Harington (a true internet legend) term the phrase NonPop. So then what is the difference between NonPop and UnPop? Kyle, please provide a history lesson if there is one. Is NonPop uptown and UnPop downtown?

  2. David Rakowski says:

    Evan is a really nice person, a very good composer, and a fantastic clarinetist.

    Meanwhile, the BOAC All-Stars, wonderful players that they are, have crow’s feet, wrinkles, and all the usual symptoms of middle age. Why they would sign onto a statement that could have been written by an undergraduate auditioning for the late night DJ spot on college radio is beyond me.

  3. Graham Rieper says:

    Showers of monkey piss or a composer’s bile, choose your irritant.

  4. Tom Myron says:

    Saints be praised. These are the people who make fun of musicians for wearing tuxedos?!?! Surely it’s not every day that such a dazzling shower of undiluted monkey piss rains down from the urban canopy.

    “A good melting pot still retains the flavors of its ingredients, even when it reveals the personality of the chef.” Come again?

  5. Cold shower? I need a disinfection and bath? To say nothing of a fly zapper.

  6. Evan Johnson says:

    Cold shower? I think I actually need some Pepto-Bismol…

  7. Scott Unrein says:

    Yeah, it seems ridiculous to split hairs by using ‘unpop’ instead of ‘nonpop’. It’s not as if ‘nonpop’ is trademarked. They had to have known it was around. Perhaps they didn’t want to be confused with the other *very* popular nonpop projects out there. I’m going with that. (shamelessly points to website link)

  8. Steve Layton says:

    Ooo, clever… Though Dennis Bathory-Kitsz’s “Nonpop” beat them to the concept years and years ago. Props, Dennis…

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