but these “something(s) completely different” is ultimately for me… why any particular music is so meaningful. apart from that i don’t think music has any content – nothing that is self-standing, at any rate.
Now, one can speak of this “completely different” as “social/historical/cultural context” – that points in the right direction, but has the wrong sense as it assumes these contexts pre-exist the music. Rather, the music participates in creating these contexts as well, especially if it is music of any significance.
the ultimate power of music and art, for me at least, lies in their roles in opening up whole new worlds of meaning. these worlds have implications far beyond just music.
It’s just that worlds close down as much as open up, and this leads to the dilemma of how to communicate. when they truly close down, when not even their absence is felt, these worlds enter the domain not of the has-been but of the never-was. How then do we recall something that “never was” — something for which the very disappearance of its language is the precondition for not being able to talk about it?
this is why I concede that true cross-
generational(*) communication on the topic of the significance of Radiohead may not be possible… although it’s surely interesting to communicate about the inability to communicate.
(*) and I generally dislike focus on “generations” as it evokes this subject-of-history that doesn’t really apply to anyone, and worse is always a subject of a certain privilege, but it’s difficult to find another term in this case.