TABLE OF CONTENTS

UNDERTONE

Platonic Rock

The damming of the stream of real life, the moment when its flow comes to a standstill, makes itself felt as reflux: this reflux is astonishment.

Walter Benjamin

PUNK CLAIMED, OR THREATENED, that anyone could be extraordinary, and that even the crudest musical performance might be extraordinary for those who witnessed it. As punk itself becomes history and burden (and genre, for those who enjoy dressing up in the costumes of the time), these claims seem to have been reduced to the premises that you don’t have to be exceptional to participate in rock and that a musical experience doesn’t have to be exceptional to be worth witnessing. Today’s college-radio rock underground includes many bands whose justification would seem to follow this argument, bands careful to avoid appearing one centimeter larger than life, bands demanding nothing of their audience but the acceptance of the ordinary.

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