Obviously it sounds awesome, obviously you should download it, and definitely post a review.
Best song ever.
I’ve ranted against this before, but 4’33″ is one of the stupidest pieces of modern pseudo-art I’ve ever heard (or not heard). It’s like the artist who decided to dump a big pile of dirt in the middle of the floor at my local art gallery and call it an exhibit. Art that exists only to serve the purpose of asking “what is art?” is not interesting. I can get that from a textbook, and have it be more interesting than this. Art should be emotional and insightful; this is an intellectual exercise. It’s essentially semantics – how far into utter inanity can art be pushed before the word becomes meaningless? Save this shit for a first year philosophy class.
I’ve ranted against this before, but Alex’s comment is one of the stupidest pieces of modern pseudo-commentary I’ve ever read (or not read). It’s like the poster who decided to dump a big pile of dirt in the middle of the comment section of my local blog and call it an comment. Comments that exists only to serve the purpose of asking “what is art?” are not interesting. I can get that from a textbook, and have it be more interesting than this. Comments should be emotional and insightful; this is an intellectual exercise. It’s essentially semantics – how far into utter inanity can commentary be pushed before the word becomes meaningless? Save this shit for notepad.exe.
Candidate for “Reply of the Year”
Full ACK :-)
But then… he probably got only a lossy version of it – a lossless SBD or (even better) a vintage vinyl of 4’33″ may convert him ;-)
Haha, this reminds me of the time I ranted against “The Waste Land” in an English seminar.
I fundamentally disagree with every single thing you said.
This concept of art being ‘emotional and insightful’ is a very modern idea created by the types of artists who are aesthetically exact counter-parts to modern composers like Cage.
Why is 4’33′ important? Because it wasn’t done before. Why was Duchamp’s Bicycle Wheel important? Because it wasn’t done before.
While you may not like these things, they ARE ART. And the fact that you so vehemently rail against them is exactly why they are art.
“art. what is art? are we not all art on this caaaaraaazy canvas they call “life”? I hear and see art everywhere because i painted this caaraaazy canvas and if you don’t like it you can go fuck yourself.”
uhh…take it easy there, Rauschenberg. The truth is, Cage did indeed write that to fek with people and he didn’t take it that seriously. You can’t draw a broad stroke by saying things are art simply because they haven’t been done yet…I mean, recording the sound of a coconut custard pie being smashed into the face of a spider monkey while he’s tie to the top of a mini cooper with a flat tire probably hasn’t been done before but it’s safe to say it would be considered useless rubbish before it’s deemed “art”.
Now if you’ll excuse me, I have to go make a star out of a primate.
You’re right, textbooks have all of the answers to all of the questions, and everything should be simultaneously incredibly insightful and immediately comprehensible. And the most any contemporary artist wants you to consider about their work is if it is art. Thinking! You are John Cage’s boyfriend.
Regardless of what you think of your readership, isn’t it kind of smug and condescending to assume their ignorance of the most infamous classical “piece” of the last hundred years?
Great April Fools joke by Apple, though. Imagine if they made people paid for it. Heads would roll…
Why is it smug and condescending for Stereogum to report the joke without giving away the punchline, but clever on Apple’s part to do it in the first place?
John Cage wasn’t joking. And he knew a lot about mushrooms too.
Something is important if it hasn’t been done before? Something is art if it is important? Something is art if it enraged people? You beg all these questions, but answer none, Alex. Please explain yourself.
p.s. if you are posting on the internet saying “Only things which adhere to these unquantifiable and utterly subjective standards I have just made up in my head right now can be considered art” you are very probably wrong
also, who’s to say that 4’33″ can’t evoke emotional or provoke insight? it certainly does for me.
That sir, is a lie.
I wonder how many dumbasses downloaded the song?
does anyone know when the new harry potter movie comes out
April fool or not, it’s still a more enjoyable listen than Merriweather Post Pavillion.
Please express your opinion using a “greater than” symbol, such as John Cage’s 4’33″ > Merriweather Post Pavilion, or else people like myself cannot properly rage against it.
John Cage > Fleet Foxes
…but John Cale > John Cage.
If they hyped John Cage’s 4’33” for the next two months it would still not be as overhyped as Animal Collective’s mediocre album.
Now let’s get back to picking on U2.
Not art, not music. Instead, 4’33” is a social experiment, and nothing more.
Isn’t that obvious?given all the sentiment it still generates after all these years?
John Cage and Andy Kaufman were kindred spirits.
It IS art, though.
No. It’s music. The point is to listen to the random sounds created by your own environment while 4’33 is “playing” and to accept those sounds as a form of music. Cage was obsessed by chance and the idea of silence and wanted people to see that music was just what we listened to when we didn’t listen to our own surroundings. In that way 4’33 is a sort of “found” musical piece, in the way that Duchamp’s Fountain is a “found” work of art: it is an excerpt taken from the everyday environment, isolated, and reexamined.
(Most Self-Serious Comment of the Year award goes to me.)
Just because it is “found” and music doesn’t mean it’s not art. Cause it is.
Um, the intention of my post was obviously not to say it wasn’t art. I was just replying to CD’s assertion that it was neither art nor music. I wasn’t replying to Evan.
If half the comments on Stereogum were as direct, coherent, and sincere as this one I’d be less uncomfortable reading it. So much cleverness, so little humanity.
Hmmm…. won’t really work with the noise-cancelling earbuds I use with my iPod, then, will it?
Hahaha, best reply yet.
The Killers are going to cover this and it’s gonna suck.
LOL. Totally, dude.
I downloaded this and then deleted it after one listen because it sounded like it was ripped at 128 AT BEST. That’s ridiculous. 256k should be the default encode at least, if not 320. I wish that iTunes only sold FLACs, but oh well.
I guess when I want to listen to this, I’ll have to rely on my vinyl copy. It sounds WAY better anyway — so much warmer!
Whats this “art” of which you speak?
I’m gonna put it as my ringtone.
I think there is even merit to having this on your iPod.
Aside from helping you realise that lack of an actual silence in the world, making yourself listen to this song forces you to have a least a moment of silence in an otherwise audibly crowded day.
If this wasn’t John Cage would anyone defend it as much? I could be wrong, but I have a feeling that if 4’33″ was a track on….let’s say….a Bouncing Souls record….no one would think it was interesting at all. In other words, how much significance is this song given due to the fact that it’s “supposed to be” significant?
Context is right, but this is a composition, not just a track on an album. There are many silent tracks on many albums, but those are just lack of sounds, blank spaces (even though they too serve purposes). Cage’s “silence” is a constructed silence…it’s written “for all instruments” and involved actual recording and presence of musicians. Whereas artists with blank tracks inserted in their album for whatever reason would never “play” it live, 4’33 was/is often performed, and it is different each time. Kind of like how Warhol’s repetitive paintings look like the same image over and over, but the normality of the repeated image lets you notice the little ways in which they are all different, like when there are small slips of the silkscreen or more paint was applied on one than another. (Actually, Cage and Warhol were proteges and influences each other a lot.)
I got an A in “Freshman Painting.”
Apple does make you pay. Only the first track is the free Discovery download. It’s $1.98 for the 3-track performance. Quite a good value since it’s ripped at 256kps. Personally, I’m waiting for the music video.
Yes, but is this on the new Death Cab For Cutie EP or not?
Ok, since you asked (and surprisingly I agree with you saying that opinions stated in “>” form aren’t particularly substantial ones, although only an opinion, your’s is one I consider to be correct.)
I personally consider the experimental piece that is John Cage’s 4′ 33″ complete with its suggestion that a musician sits in front of their instrument without playing to be preferable to the “experience” of subjecting my ears to the “sounds” produced by Animal Collective. I would rather sit for 4 and a half minutes in silence contemplating the nature of music, sound and silence, music’s relationship with the musician and its audience and the world around me at that moment than put up with 50odd minutes of meandering nonsense that doesn’t go anywhere. For four minutes and thirty three seconds I can wait for something to happen safe in the knowledge that eventually sound will return (not that it was ever gone) in the form of applause, conversation, debate or just plain human movement rather than spending 50odd minutes waiting for something to happen (that will justify the hype the Animal Collective recording received) only to be disappointed when the disc leaves me feeling irritated, bored and rather bewildered at my music fan peers (and I have repeated that experience a few times with little to no difference in the results). Of course, I have nothing against anybody else doing this if they enjoy it (or even if they don’t). How you spend your time is none of my business.
So there you go. Rage away….
ok that was supposed to be a reply to Ron Jenkin above but instead the system dumped me at the bottom leaving me more confused than old people at an Animal Collective gig. “I though you said we were going to the zoo?”
i should’ve done this piece on my senior voice recital.
“I can rock the mic to silence by John Cage”
Thanks for the intellectual discussion, you guys.
Wow I didn’t know my Freshman Painting class was meeting in the comments section of Stereogum today. When do we start talking about how “communism has never been practiced in its truest form?”
I think the April fool’s joke is reading the comments and seeing people seriously debate “what is art” on stereogum
Keep it up!
Man John Cage totally jacked this from me, I was gonna do this. damn
wasnt this done ages ago?? I remember reading about it in some street press last year.
anyways art is music and music is art.
ppl are always going to have differing opinions over the definition and what is/isnt included,
i have a feeling though, that the naysayers are the ones that “cannot” find a way into it, for whatever reason (self imposed or otherwise)
you do realize that john cage wrote it as a joke and the fact that you all take it like its supposed to be taken with absolute seriousness is pitiful.
“I didn’t wish it to appear, even to me, as something easy to do or as a joke. I wanted to mean it utterly and be able to live with it.”- John Cage
I haven’t seen so much time wasted on complete bullshit since I went to college. That said, I’ll add to it: I like Cage, but I’m not a fan of self-indulgent noodling (or lack there-of). Which puts me in an awkward spot, for certain, but a spot that is neither right nor wrong.
Maybe bitches ARE shit…
bro don’t talk like that. bitches ain’t shit
I always thought someone should do a remix of this.
I don’t understand why Alex Hudson was raped to death up there, I mean, even granting that this is “interesting” in that it provokes discussion or whatever, it’s not fucking art and there’s not really any reason to listen to it more than once. Yes, it brings up “serious questions”, oooh, thank you John Cage for enlightening me to the fact that ANY SOUND CAN BE MUSICAL! What a revelation! Anyway I tried to be diplomatic but fuck this shit it’s stupid!!!11LOL
I have a vinyl rip of the 12″ extended dance mix if anyone wants it.
The first time I heard of this was during a music class in college. The dude directly behind me stood up and recited the pledge of allegience. At least the professor congratulated the solo attempt. I always thought it was a song to show how uncomfortable people are with silence…
I don’t think this is music. I’m sorry, I believe it is a work of art because art is totally subjective, but music should be distinguished from art. Western Music began with monks who created music to get closer to god. After a vow of silence, after observing the sounds of nature and mankind and all things on this earth they expressed musicality by chanting. By imitating and reflecting on what god created they birthed music. 4’33” is just a presentation of natural occurrence with absolutely no organization of the sounds it creates. It is the sound of nature, nature that inspires music, but is not music itself.
Now if you’ll excuse me I’m going to go smell my own farts.
Alex Hudson understands, but does not comprehend.
I just had my first bowel movement today – I did it right in the middle of my local art museum – yo should come check it out.
It’s actually this weeks feature download at itunes. just type in “Walters first bowel movement 101″
Art is not art, I am art.
I don’t want to listen to music I can play myself!
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