by carl wilson

The Unreal World (aka The New York Times Arts Section)

This quote makes me feel like I'm hallucinating, in a good way: Austin Mayor Will Wynn today in the Times, commenting on Austin's selection as the smallest city ever to shelter a season of MTV's The Real World:

"Austin, I'm told, is the largest city without a major-league sports franchise. People occasionally ask when Austin will get a team. I say: 'You know what? I hope Austin doesn't get a major sports franchise.' I want music to be our major franchise, where a family every few weeks or months spends a couple hundred bucks on live music. How perfectly does MTV play into that?"

The vision the mayor's proffering, mind, is kinda hideous in its own right - Austin as Texas-music theme park. That approach doesn't seem like it's been entirely healthy for, say, New Orleans (although in New Orleans it's historical rather than current music that is the tourist magnet, so perhaps it's not a fair comparison). But all subtleties aside, the idea of a top public official saying something not so gung-ho about sport and so giddy about an art form, promoting music as a viable alternative source of civic pride to football, feels like something out of a science-fiction novel. Anywhere but the Times they'd be profiling him as Mayor Faggyboots of Fruitville.

The same article has a Real World producer dropping hints that the show is considering Montreal as its next location - no doubt due to the Times and Spin articles about Montreal as hip-music mecca earlier this year. That news gives me an even queasier thrill - how fantastic and awful I will feel as I gobble those episodes up like Chinese poutine.

Less ambiguous pleasures in today's Sunday arts section are the cover story on MTV Desi and other planned Asian-hyphenate MTV networks, which goes on a welcome tangent about transculturalism (warning, MIA content!), and most of all the profile of my-oh-my Miranda July (pictured at post-top: performance-video artist, Kill Rock Stars scene associate and now director of an extremely promising feature film). Trivia: Her birth name turns out to be Miranda Grossinger, and while it's a bit troubling to find out a 31-year-old Jewish woman from a prosperous lefty-arts background actually deracinated her name as late as the early 1990s, you have to grant some leeway on that particular monicker. At least it wasn't Grosskisser.

And Ben Ratliff's playlist opens with a descrip of Greg Tate's Burnt Sugar that makes them sound like the house band for my old cross-genre collaboration show Tin Tin Tin: "Everyone now can tell you about electronically created mashups of two different genres. But it will still be a while until most people want to listen to live bands who are mashing it up in person." I always billed Tin Tin Tin as a live-mashup or "music-scene mashup" series. The rest of Ratliff's survey is worth reading too, with some reflections on the meeting of the visual and auditory arts that wouldn't have been out of place at yesterday's panel.

The Writ | Posted by zoilus on Sunday, June 19 at 09:53 PM | Linking Posts | Comments (1)



Montreal already had a Real World-like reality show filmed here. It was called "Porn Star Academie", and likely captured the goings-on of the city better than MTV (or Spin, for that matter...) would.

Posted by MontrealBob on June 21, 2005 01:43 PM




Zoilus by Carl Wilson