luka

Well-known member
most good things end up "middlebrow"

liking Velvet Underground is middlebrow, Can and Neu! are close to middlebrow now

it's not an intrinsic property of a piece of music, or a novel or film - it's a stage in the dissemination of it to a large audience - basically as soon as it ceases to the preserve of the early adopter / hip etc, and finds a wider audience, it becomes designated middlebrow.

it's a reflex in snobbery and the self-definition of oneself as part of the vanguard of taste

Jane Austen is middlebrow, Van Gogh is middlebrow - doesn't mean that they a/ aren't excellent and b/ once innovative in their moment

i'm getting a horrible sense of deja vu suddenly, i think i've written these very same thoughts in a Dissensus thread in the mid-2000s

i wouldn't be surprised if the phrasing was almost word for word


Matthew Ingram wrote something defending middlebrow as part of his defence of Paul McCartney. It was probably in response to that.
 

Leo

Well-known member
is lowbrow something that can't be liked ironically? or is it lowbrow because it's liked ironically?
 

Leo

Well-known member
but liking it ironically isn't the sole reason why something is defined as lowbrow, is it?
 

pattycakes_

Well-known member
No. Its just the hipster thing to glom onto it. But lowbrow is basically cheap/easy entertainment which there's always been a place for, right?
 

Leo

Well-known member
ironically liking the lowbrow is now cultural low-hanging fruit, reserved for those who think they are forward leaning but really aren't. true hipsters are beyond that.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
No. Its just the hipster thing to glom onto it. But lowbrow is basically cheap/easy entertainment which there's always been a place for, right?

hmmm. this is why i was asking. I'm quite unclear if lowbrow is like an honest salt of the earth worker/geezer fetishism or what. because that would mean most dance music then. It's no Cecil Taylor or Albert Ayler is it?
 

thirdform

Well-known member
Low brow to me is cheap shots, easy laughs, b movies, kitsch

Hardcore is funny in that regard. the techno purists do have a point that it was sampling some of the most shamelessly kitch italo house. obviously this isn't so important to the oh no what happened gentrifying commentators who talk about a pure corrupted hardcore spirit, but in a way these kids were actually doing something not too dissimilar to this wave of conceptronica, recontextualising this bargain bin piano/exagerrated vocal crap in a new context. that's why i love it. pure psychosis music. I think the distinctions between highbrow and lowbrow become more and more blurred the deeper you start to draw dots in certain ways.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
I'm trying to understand Luke's aversion to kitch. it's necessary really. even Ezra Pound (one of his favourite poets) was a kitch fascist. real non-kitsch fascists were people like oswold spengler and Ernst Jüngler military aristocratic conservative revolutionaries. they all thought Hitler too vulgar and un-german. obviously, I loathe all forms of conservatism fascism included and want to destroy them not at the point of the embryo but nuclei, so I'm quite partial to Cornelius Cardou's kitsch Maoism.
 
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version

Well-known member
I'm trying to understand Luke's aversion to kitch. it's necessary really. even Ezra Pound (one of his favourite poets) was a kitch fascist. real non-kitsch fascists were people like oswold spengler and Ernst Jüngler military aristocratic conservative revolutionaries. they all thought Hitler too vulgar and un-german. obviously, I loathe all forms of conservatism fascism included and want to destroy them not at the point of the embryo but nuclei, so I'm quite partial to Cornelius Cardou's kitsch Maoism.

What did they think was un-German about him?
 

Corpsey

bandz ahoy
Middlebrow seems to be one which draws the most scorn. If three people mention films they like and one mentions American Pie, another mentions The Dark Knight and another mentions Tokyo Story then it's likely The Dark Knight which will draw the most derision. That might just be because it's the most well known and people are sick of hearing about it, but I think there's a particular venom when it comes to middlebrow stuff.

That's true. It's because middlebrow stuff has pretensions of being highbrow. Lowbrow stuff knows what it is.

I felt Joker was a middlebrow film, e.g. although I didn't judge it in those terms exactly.
 

thirdform

Well-known member
his overt antisemitism rather than concealed. his focus on the jews and not the disintegration of the teutonic war spirit.
 
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