Robert Christgau: Dean of American Rock Critics

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John Zorn

Further Notes:

Subjects for Further Research [1980s]: Postmodernism done to a turn, Zorn's highbrow-lowbrow fragmentation made him the most broadly respected avant-garde composer of the '80s--a Philip Glass for our time, such as it is. He epitomized a generation of classical musicians who claim rock and roll as part of their heritage. But actually it's only a segment of a generation--nobody ever got smart underestimating the hermeticism of classical music. And perhaps because I epitomize a generation of rock and roll fans who don't know shit about classical music and don't especially care to find out, I find him highbrow. The only Zorn I respond to viscerally is the Ornette Coleman tribute Spy Vs. Spy. Ornette is hard to frag.