Stop Laughing... It's NOT a COMEDY
February 25, 2009 7:48 AM   Subscribe

For your listening pleasure... the soothing sounds of Crank Sturgeon.

Also, he makes contact mics.
posted by geos (38 comments total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
let's all celebrate noise day at metafilter... together.
posted by geos at 7:55 AM on February 25, 2009

I was looking for someone to replace D'Angelo as my go-to makeout artist. Thanks, geos!
posted by kosem at 8:09 AM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

Today on the blue is like 1992-1993 all over again. I feel like I'm reading an issue of Seymour Glass' Bananafish or an Ajax or Forced Exposure catalog. Cool beans!
posted by porn in the woods at 8:10 AM on February 25, 2009

I would highly recommend avoiding Crank Sturgeon's MySpace page. It is everything that is wrong with MySpace page design, cranked up to maximum.
posted by spoobnooble at 8:23 AM on February 25, 2009

Red Hot Chili Peppers did this first. But this guy's got the funk in ways they will never understand.
posted by ardgedee at 8:23 AM on February 25, 2009

posted by gigbutt at 8:27 AM on February 25, 2009

What...? Am I missing something?
posted by Wanderlust88 at 8:48 AM on February 25, 2009

Thanks, I feel alot more, uhm, sane, now.
posted by Benny Andajetz at 8:52 AM on February 25, 2009

I lived with Crank Sturgeon. He was in my wedding party too! He's the greatest!
posted by Scoo at 8:59 AM on February 25, 2009

He's just the alter-ego of DJ Girltalk
posted by GreyFoxVT at 9:14 AM on February 25, 2009

I saw a guy perform once in Philly, who seemed like he could have been this Crank fella. He walked around the space on top of cut-off five gallon water jugs, which had some sort of microphones inside. He made weird noises and slowly stomped around in his crazy jug shoes. Could this have been him?
posted by orme at 9:14 AM on February 25, 2009

And if you liked that:
Venetian Snares
posted by alby at 9:26 AM on February 25, 2009

you know, meth can kill you...
posted by sexyrobot at 9:29 AM on February 25, 2009

that's a reaaaaaaaaaaallly long walk to nowhere in particular.
posted by Lipstick Thespian at 9:46 AM on February 25, 2009

posted by Cookiebastard at 9:58 AM on February 25, 2009

I always wondered what it would take to make noise music interesting--I guess dressing up like a prawn is a good start.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:58 AM on February 25, 2009

hardly impressive, hardly art.

others have been there before and done better with a more clear vision:

sometimes crap is just crap.
posted by eatdonuts at 10:17 AM on February 25, 2009

I jsut love Electro / Soul / Thrash !

Ok seriously. This sucks. He's just trying to piss off grandma.
And there's a big difference between this dude and Venetian snares:

Form. and Technical Mastery
posted by 5imian at 10:22 AM on February 25, 2009

cookiebastard is right: unpleasant! and beautiful! i have a handful of 'musical' collaborators, and we've been known to get down like this on occasion. we love it, and we don't insist that anyone else does. but hating it is still valid aesthetic response, especially if accompanied by temporary threshold shift. delving into the aesthetic of the intentionally 'anti-beautiful' takes effort, and if it just doesn't prove rewarding for some, that's just art, eh? if nothing else, art/music/noise of this sort is a tremendous and gorgeous fat finger to ayn rand.
posted by barrett caulk at 10:34 AM on February 25, 2009

> sometimes crap is just crap.

Sometimes crap is entertaining nonetheless.
posted by ardgedee at 10:55 AM on February 25, 2009

I don't agree anymore barrett - that convenient form of rationalization. The lack of technique, the lack of craft, the lack of originality... it's not even shocking for shocking sake (even though that's hardly validity on its own either) . I'm not a fan of the Duchamp fanboys camp willing to reason everything away as valid - I don't even think duchamp was convinced by it, instead using it as a tool to expose the hypocracy of developing art. Just because something exists, doesn't mean it's art. What is worst, dwelling on this kind of crippled kitten qualities genuinely hurt the progression of art as it mirrors the human condition / history. If you aren't willing to put some real effort and thoughtfulness into it, get the feck off the stage.

... and while I enjoy crapping and find it entertaining, I still don't call it art.
posted by eatdonuts at 11:13 AM on February 25, 2009

Don't get mad eatdonuts, get even. If you want to make a pomo experimental electronic music fan explode with terror and envy just point at all the kids dancing behind Girltalk and go "Hey look, it's Dadapop HeeHee!" Bonus points if you have a Shepard Fairey shirt on.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:37 AM on February 25, 2009

eatdonuts, if you enjoyed crapping, decided to present yourself on a stage and make a public display of your crapping, i would call it art. that would not make it good art, but art nonetheless. technique? craft? originality? all traditional values of a theory of art that privileges certain classes. (yes, i *heart* marxist criticism.) because the crank sturgeon set doesn't appeal to you, doesn't fundamentally separate it from more traditional expressions of art: take john cage for example, if we want to stay within the realm of 'noise' v. music.
posted by barrett caulk at 11:45 AM on February 25, 2009 [2 favorites]

oh yeah! also, the 'progression' of art? have you checked out arthur c. danto's 'after the end of art?' it probably won't be your bag, but it makes a pretty solid argument for the absolute permissiveness of the 'post' era.
posted by barrett caulk at 11:53 AM on February 25, 2009

sorry, eatdonuts, i'm still pretty green on the whole mefi scene so here is a handy link to the danto text i'm referring to.
posted by barrett caulk at 12:01 PM on February 25, 2009

I'm staying away from the art-or-not discussion, but no matter what you call it, if you have to admonish the audience not to laugh, you're doing something wrong.
posted by echo target at 12:15 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

I find the comparisons to Girltalk or Venetian Snares even harder to understand than the sounds this guys is making.
posted by orme at 1:24 PM on February 25, 2009

What a load of claptrap. Once again, just because someone calls itself art, doesn't mean it is, and if you're willing to accept any half hearted effort, including my crapping, as art that's your disease. The problem with your whole assumption that technique and originality being some kind of elitist snobbery for an imagined privilege class is your own ignorance of the beauty of outsider art and your own prejudice clouding your vision. Henri Rousseau never had a day of art training and yes his work stands again and again as masterful. There are primitive and cultural artists and musicians making heartfelt craft the world over but horray for your acceptance of mediocrity.

One again let me reiterate that imho, the idea that anything and everything is art simply because someone gives it the moniker is no longer acceptable to the art scene - as alluded to by your reference and which is clearly what this guy is trying to slip under the radar of. Just because something can be, doesn't mean it should be or that we should simply accept it because it's easier than putting in actual work. We've been there, done that, made the t-shirt, redrew on it, and pissed on it as well. The continual rehashing of everyone believing they're the next visual or musical equivalent of Basquiat mixed with Ginsburg doesn’t fly with me personally… I'd rather press for something more impressive than someone putting their penis in something and simply reacting to the crowd. I agree that Red Hot Chili Peppers did it better, and am hoping that collectively we would have moved on from staring dumbfounded and drooling at whatever every last tom dishes up. And don't fool yourself, this kind of 'Everything is Art' has its own kind of elitism because it gives itself the audacity of never allowing one to question it's nature or validity.

"It's art!" says the man in the black mock turtleneck and horn-rimmed glasses, "Screw you for questioning it. Who the hell are you to make such judgment?" Snobbery indeed.

The great thing about graduating from those tattered badges of recent art bowel movements is that everyone now has a right to question, everyone has a right to judge and everyone else has the right to aspire to better and more meaningful creations.
posted by eatdonuts at 2:02 PM on February 25, 2009

Let me just also say this: Zappa did it better... if anyone wanted to 'expand noise' - they'd be hard pressed to come close to his work.
posted by eatdonuts at 2:09 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

hating it is still valid aesthetic response

What, pray tell, is not a valid aesthetic response?
posted by kosem at 2:14 PM on February 25, 2009 [1 favorite]

i'd so love to see this guy live
posted by special agent conrad uno at 2:41 PM on February 25, 2009

eatdonuts, if you enjoyed crapping, decided to present yourself on a stage and make a public display of your crapping, i would call it art.

well, that's covered here. Crank Sturgeon is a master artist capable of deep expression on many levels.
posted by geos at 2:48 PM on February 25, 2009

"Just because something can be, doesn't mean it should be or that we should simply accept it because it's easier than putting in actual work."

this is a true statement. but it still doesn't mean that it's not art. and how does work equal art, anyway? you're not too clear on that point. what if a great work of art happens to come easily?

ignorant of outsider art? hardly, my friend. own some, made some. prejudice? i will accept more on the playing field than you will. and still feel free to pass judgment on it's value; all the while not denying its status as art.

you seem knowledgeable about art history and theory. have you read the above-mentioned book by danto? you might consider it. it's quite good, even if you ultimately reject its premise.

"It's art!" says the man in the black mock turtleneck and horn-rimmed glasses, "Screw you for questioning it. Who the hell are you to make such judgment?" Snobbery indeed.

i only say screw ayn rand. i don't think you or anyone else deserve to be screwed because of your opinion on this guy's noise or any other piece of art. people who view/hear/read art necessarily must make judgments, but i think the possibilities of a broader definition of art (than yours (rather vague), for example) enhance that proposition.
posted by barrett caulk at 2:57 PM on February 25, 2009

What, pray tell, is not a valid aesthetic response?

good question. i'd have to ruminate on that for a while. maybe they are all valid. that would certainly allow for a broad spectrum of response to art, and the possibility of some sweet discourse. what doesn't further the potential of art to facilitate dialogue? statements such as: 'that's not art.'
posted by barrett caulk at 3:00 PM on February 25, 2009

Ayn Rand? Marxism? I think it’s a stretch of reasoning that you picked up because it’s easy. That’s a very comfortable stereotyping of the product being the sole reason for the creation outside consciousness, but art isn’t because someone says it simply is. Even if someone says it is, doesn’t mean I, nor anyone else has to swallow it. Good art is a direct product of the lifting of one’s external self and perceived barriers and it doesn’t exist simply because we will it to. We should strive for better. We have experienced the all accepting art movement with better products and commentary and now let’s move on.

If anything I’m refuting that everyone should no longer accept the elitist condescension of Fromm’s ‘freedom from.’ Freedom from a critical eye is ridiculous as accepting getting slapped in the head everyday because someone else wills it so.

There are far too many artists, art students, general audiences and pseudo-intellectuals still willingly accepting the ‘death of art,’ a credo long past its heyday. The result is that we’re simply getting mired in the great beast of mediocrity. It’s a deadly mantra because if accepted we’ll never move on and never progress in ideas and ideals. Whether you like it or not art does reflect the progression and regression of human history and even your beloved ‘Death of Art’ was a distinct progression from previous political and theoretical influences and existences.

I want better. I want to see talent and thoughtfulness (even if it isn’t to my liking) that stimulates me to think and if someone needs to get mad at it to make the point well clearly I’m up for the battle. No, I don’t accept that “everything visual can be visual work.” Dento was writing his arguments in the heyday of the expounding of art perimeters many decades ago and bringing him up doesn’t mean he’s an apt judge of the creative world now... or sadly because he is, too many people are just standing still. We are still suffering the talons of the death of art and why? Move on, that dead horse is beaten. Even Dento in his later writings appears to despair about the lack of progression we’ve all been subject to. There are good things out there, look at Takashi Murakami, look at Jenny Saville, or the number of impressive emerging interactive technology artists, but don’t just accept everything.

Too many times I’ve witness these so called artists get up on stage or hang their works or play their toilet tubes and thought, you have to be kidding me? This art scene is dying and should die. Does no one respect themselves enough anymore to even try? It’s a spectacle but it isn’t art. If I want spectacle I’ll go to Florenz Zegfeld.

The death of art. Hm. It’s a comfortable little box built by greater heroes before us that unfortunately many contemporary ‘artists’ exist within. It’s clear the motivation of many so called contemporary artists is nothing more than fame or perceived importance, no matter how small the fishbowl is. It neither signifies nor does it teach. It neither waxes poetic nor transcends. ‘Look at me! I’m naked except a tube shoved up my butt making noise and therefore this is important enough to notice. Everything visual can be visual work!’ It’s appropriate the audience is heckling and caught in their own conversation with an apathetic ‘seen it, done that’ sentimentality. We have seen it and rehashing the experience by those lesser skilled is lacking nostalgia.

And I absolutely disagree with your contention that the statement of ‘that is not art,’ is not progressive. That’s just your old Duchamp or even your readdressing Dento speaking. It’s elitism to the core. It’s further rhetoric for rhetoric sake. Saying that everything and anything should be nature of its creator’s mark outside of opinion is simply a load *now.* We all are thinking entities and if someone is trying to create an experience or musing or ART, then we are all allowed to stand in judgment. That is the true valid outcome of the death of art before us, that like it or not, everyone has their say. It’s democracy at its core and it’s nothing art academia has ever been fond of.

I’m not expressing a tyranny of the majority (in line with de Tocqueville) but simply that great art will indeed stand the test of time by answering the questions of craft and quality through time. The only great artists who can reasonably transcend that rightfully are chefs which by the nature of their craft are dynamic. That being said, you don’t accept a plate of crap and accept *that* as great cooking.

Let’s just say that I’m less satisfied with your Dento being address in contemporary terms and more in line with Dave Hickey who at least allowed and acknowledged himself and everyone else to have their own judgment on art. The audience is going to walk away with whatever opinion they are going to have. The great art will stand and poseurs like your Crank Sturgeon will find themselves as aptly named.
posted by eatdonuts at 6:03 PM on February 25, 2009

Just to elaborate on how progressive art is being made today despite the so called death of art, I'd further like to offer this to further illustrate how sadly lacking your crank experience is. There's so much ahead of us for the art world, why keep company with a badly drawn and dead horse?
posted by eatdonuts at 6:17 PM on February 25, 2009

Geos, you have made my day. You took a look at the rain of snark and meh that came down on the Caroliner post, and rather than piling on or staying silent, you picked up that sumbitch and ran with it. You have some enormous balls, my friend, and I salute you.
posted by louche mustachio at 7:37 PM on February 25, 2009

well, eatdonuts, where do we go from here? do i think crank is a great artist? not by a long shot. but it IS art, my friend. personally, i'll always take rothko/monk (sound and visual being equivalent in my eyes/ears). in the end i think that by acknowledging it as art, i've allowed for a greater expanse of deliberate human creative endeavor to be considered. whereas you've written off so much, so absolutely. how does that serve the idea of 'progress?' you call me an elitist, snob, etc. buy who established the criteria by which you deem an act as 'art' or 'not art?'

enh. i'll take my model, and you'll take yours, and people will still make absolutely furious nearly naked noise with dumbass hats on their heads. and the breadth of human experience will still be so much more . . . what? crappier? richer? debased? represented? (ad nauseum . . .)

cheers, for what it's worth, on a rousing debate. later.
posted by barrett caulk at 8:19 PM on February 25, 2009

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