Complaints about the banality of popular culture are nothing dramatically new. Working against the uniformity of early 20th century American culture, social critic and philosopher Theodor Adorno wrote the provocative essay "On Popular Music." In it, he rails against popular music's numbing and monotonous tendency - identifying with prophetic precision the lack of originality and mental vitalization it offers its listeners. Bear in mind that Adorno was writing in the early 1940s.
As a band, Sonic Youth formed in 1981. As a phenomenon, Sonic Youth has always seemed to be there; its influence lingering in the work of nearly every college, punk, grunge or art rock band since its 1988 breakthrough, Daydream Nation. In its 21-year history, the band has weathered record label scuffles, fan accusations of “selling out” and an array of departed and added band members.
Let's face it: summer is the season of film ineptitude. We all have been bombarded by hoards of overproduced, under-acted and uninspired summer blockbusters such as last year's "Pearl Harbor" and "Planet of the Apes," only to wait until late fall when the studios released their surefire Oscar contenders in compensation. While this year's ilk seems to follow in tone and tenor of past summers, a few big names and titles will maybe salvage what many already consider a sunken movie season.
Since its inception in 1994, the Taos Talking Picture Festival has grown into one of the nation's premiere film festivals, showcasing a broad and spectacular array of local, national and international talent. And this year's festival was no exception.
Equipped with long, greasy hair, beer bottles and simple, ebullient tunes shaded in the aesthetic of '60s Brit rock - among other genres - The Strokes' Tuesday night performance at the Sunshine Theater instilled the audience with the fortunate/unfortunate fact that these guys are hotshot rock stars.
At heart, "The Royal Tenenbaums" is a fairly simple family story. The family itself, however, is not so simple. Directed by Wes Anderson and co-written by Anderson and Owen Wilson, the film chronicles the creation, failures and eventual reunion of the Tenenbaums - an idiosyncratic but gifted family in New York City.
Earlier this year, The Strokes released The Modern Age, a three song EP that single-handedly captured the collective interest of the music scene. With its debut album, Is This It, a frenzy of media accolades erupted, hailing the group as quite possibly the best new band to emerge out of New York - and the United States - in years.
The comparison of the origin of love and the artistic process has proven to be a fertile topic amongst artists of varying genres. Many have portrayed the two as a discovery of the self - a true revelation of meaning within a seemingly chaotic and nonsensical world.