AESTHETICS FOR BIRDS

Aesthetics and Philosophy of Art for Everyone


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ARTWORLD ROUNDTABLE: CAN TODAY’S ARTISTS STILL SELL OUT?

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Sadly they’re sold out. Must be good advertising.

This edition of Artworld Roundtable appears in collaboration with Chris Richards, the pop music critic for the Washington Post. Over the next several weeks, we’ll present a series of roundtable discussions based on Richards’ “five hardest questions in pop music”: “cultural appropriation, problematic lyricism, selling out, the ethics of posthumous listening, and … separating the art from the artist.” AFB has rounded up several thinkers working in these areas to see what they have to say about each question. Richards has provided AFB with key examples to draw out the problems and complexities of each debate. First was cultural appropriation. Second was how to respect the wishes of dead artists. Today we ask whether it’s still possible for musicians to sell out.

What does it mean to sell out? In today’s commercialized, social media, sponsorship-driven world, can musicians still sell out in any meaningful way? Or, in an era where people are unwilling to pay for music, is selling out just getting paid?

Whether today’s artists can still sell out is the third of “the five hardest questions in pop music”, as described recently in the Washington Post by pop music critic Chris Richards. Below is the guiding question accompanied by a few examples that Richards finds particularly salient, followed by our contributors’ responses. Continue reading


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ARTIST INTERVIEW: IVAN ANDERSON OF SWEET FIX

Musician Ivan Anderson interviewed by Christy Mag Uidhir for AFB

Ivan Anderson is a guitarist and copyeditor living in New York City. He graduated from Brown University. Ivan plays lead guitar in SWEET FIX, a neon, futuristic, cyber rock band in NYC. Their first full-length album, Golden Age, was produced by Geoff Stanfield (Sun Kil Moon, Firehorse, Black Lab). Members of SWEET FIX are endorsed by Godlyke Distributing, Jo Lyon Underfashion, and ZU Shoes.
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PHILOSOPHER-ARTIST INTERVIEW: THE COUNTERFACTUALS

Philosophers and Musicians “The Counterfactuals” interviewed by Christy Mag Uidhir for AFB

The Counterfactuals play an addictive brand of indie jangle-pop, with a signature blend of golden hooks, Americana, and a dose of grit. Their debut album, Minimally Decent People, was released in January 2014, and has been met with acclaim from audiences and critics alike. After hearing one demo, 89.3 FM The Current dubbed the band “must-hear music” and later featured their single “If you go then you go it alone” as their Song of the Day. The Counterfactuals are heading into the studio to record their second album this summer. You can read some of what people have said about the band at The Daily Album, The Current Local Blog, and Tropics of Meta.

Andy Flory (bass) teaches course in American music at Carleton College. He has written extensively about American rhythm and blues and is an expert on the music of Motown. His book, I Hear a Symphony: Listening to the Music of Motown, is forthcoming from The University of Michigan Press. Working directly with Universal Records, Andrew has served as consultant for several recent Motown reissues. He is also co-author of the history of rock textbook What’s that Sound (W.W. Norton).

Jason Decker (guitar, sound engineer) is Assistant Professor of philosophy at Carleton College and interested in epistemology, logic, metaphysics, philosophy of language, philosophy of science, and just about any philosophical problem worth its salt. He has published papers in journals such as Synthese, Erkentniss, Analysis, Analytic Philosophy, and Philosophy.

Michael Fuerstein (drums, sax) is Assistant Professor of philosophy at St. Olaf College where he works on issues concerning the social distribution and advancement of knowledge, particularly in political and moral contexts. He has also more recently become interested in the moral aspects of contemporary capitalism, and has been involved with a newly formed “Society for Progress” devoted to bringing together business leaders, business scholars, and philosophers. His work has appeared in venues such as Episteme, The Journal of Political Philosophy, and The Cambridge Dictionary of Philosophy.

Daniel Groll (vocals, guitar) is an Assistant Professor in the philosophy department at Carleton College and an Affiliate Faculty Member at the Center for Bioethics at the University of Minnesota. He works on issues at the intersection of normative ethics, epistemology, and medical ethics and has papers published or forthcoming in Oxford Studies in Metaethics, Analytic Philosophy, Ethics, The Hastings Center Report, Pediatrics, and Philosophy Compass. Continue reading