(Not So) Postmodern Authenticity: The Case of Pearl Jam

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(Not So) Postmodern Authenticity: The Case of Pearl Jam

  1. 1. (Not So) Postmodern Authenticity The Case of Pearl Jam
  2. 2. Authenticity <ul><li>producers of a cultural object undertook the work themselves </li></ul><ul><li>element of originality and creativity </li></ul><ul><li>connotations of seriousness, sincerity and uniqueness </li></ul>
  3. 3. Authenticity as ideology <ul><li>a set of standards by which it is assigned to cultural objects </li></ul><ul><li>standards may vary over time and genre. </li></ul><ul><li>ascribed to and not inscribed in music </li></ul>
  4. 4. Postmodern Authenticity <ul><li>“unity in diversity” </li></ul><ul><li>“death of authenticity” </li></ul><ul><li>dialectic system of authenticity is replaced by plurality </li></ul>
  5. 5. Romanticism <ul><li>ideology developed by artists as a response to the changing relations of cultural production. </li></ul><ul><li>modern critique of modernity based upon a nostalgic desire for past values </li></ul><ul><li>reflecting the new uncertainties of musicians </li></ul>
  6. 6. Aims <ul><li>Postmodernism has not yet arrived in Rockmusic </li></ul><ul><li>Authenticity is still constructed using late romantic value dichotomies </li></ul><ul><li>Romanticism </li></ul>
  7. 8. Live-Performance <ul><li>Bootlegs </li></ul><ul><li>almost every concert since 2000 </li></ul><ul><li>authentication through Live-Perfomance </li></ul><ul><li>Music Videos </li></ul><ul><li>representing a live situation </li></ul><ul><li>“ real” Live-Perfomances </li></ul>
  8. 9. Non-Commercial <ul><li>legal proceedings against Ticketmaster </li></ul>
  9. 10. Suspicion towards Technology <ul><li>Artwork </li></ul><ul><li>extensive use of typewriter </li></ul><ul><li>handwritten text </li></ul>
  10. 11. Suspicion towards Technology <ul><li>Stage Setting </li></ul><ul><li>simple </li></ul><ul><li>no LCD-Screens or Pyrotechnics </li></ul><ul><li>minimizing the mediation </li></ul>
  11. 12. Suspicion towards Technology <ul><li>Vinyl-Records </li></ul><ul><li>annually released fan club singles </li></ul><ul><li>Song dedicated to Records </li></ul><ul><li>Release of Vitalogy (1994) </li></ul>
  12. 13. Relation to a certain community <ul><li>“Seattle-Sound” </li></ul><ul><li>“Drop in the park” </li></ul>
  13. 14. Relation to the “roots” <ul><li>Self-Presentation as Fans </li></ul><ul><li>mimicking the stage appearance </li></ul>
  14. 15. Relation to the “roots” (2) <ul><li>Collaborations </li></ul><ul><li>no “forward looking” collaborations </li></ul><ul><li>they point towards the past </li></ul>
  15. 16. Valorising anti-rationality <ul><li>Problem: no symbolic representation </li></ul>&quot;There are certain songs that come from emotion […] It's got nothing to do with melody or timing or even words; it has to do with the emotion behind the song. You can't put out 50 percent. You have to sing them from a feeling…”
  16. 17. Valorising anti-rationality (2) <ul><li>&quot;Some songs, just aren't meant to be played </li></ul><ul><li>between Hit No. 2 and Hit No. 3. You start </li></ul><ul><li>doing those things, you'll crush it. That's not </li></ul><ul><li>why we wrote songs. We didn't write to </li></ul><ul><li>make hits. But those fragile songs get </li></ul><ul><li>crushed by the business. I don't want to be a </li></ul><ul><li>part of it. I don't think the band wants to be </li></ul><ul><li>part of it.&quot; </li></ul>
  17. 18. Being true to oneself <ul><li>Mainstream vs. Underground </li></ul><ul><li>Consistency of presentation </li></ul>
  18. 19. Summary <ul><li>authenticity is of vital importance to values discourses in pop music </li></ul><ul><li>certain share the late-romantic or Adornian definition of musical art </li></ul><ul><li>paradox of using a concept of authenticity devaluating pop music </li></ul>
  19. 20. Further research <ul><li>generalizations on Grunge </li></ul><ul><li>socio-political </li></ul><ul><li>economic changes of the 1990s </li></ul>
  20. 21. www.wordpress.com/cutcopyandpaste <ul><li>thank you. </li></ul>

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