#MUSICOLOGYPARTY: Thundercat & Louis Cole & Metamodernism Oh My

I was chuffed to give a colloquium paper for CWRU’s Department of Music colloquium series on September 11, 2020. As I chose to talk about super self-indulgent things I like, the talk was called: Pet Projects and Pet Theories: Notes on the Metamodern Love and Despair of Thundercat and Louis Cole. I’ve been a fan of the idea of the metamodern since at least 2015, so it’s great to be able to share/inflict it on my friends and colleagues at my institution.

I’m putting a recording of the talk here if you missed it, and you can check out the text of the talk HERE.

Due to *waves at everything* the talk was delivered via Zoom, which means there was no wine and cheese reception. Which was a bummer. In any case, I love Thundercat and Louis Cole (give them all your money) and think the metamodern is a great way to think about why their music recommends itself and/or is emblematic to us in this post-postmodern moment.

ABSTRACT: This is a talk about a theoretical framing for a new structure of feeling in ascendancy called the metamodern. The metamodern emerges from, and reacts to, the postmodern as much as it is a cultural logic that corresponds to today’s stage of global capitalism. Characterizable as an informed naïveté or pragmatic idealism, a metamodern structure of feeling is not reducible to traits of either modern or postmodern subjectivities. Rather, it is a para-logical both/neither that, as such, oscillates between ostensive antinomies. Through a mixed methodological analysis (and some internet memes) I demonstrate how the musics of Los Angeles musicians Thundercat and Louis Cole might be understood as emblematic of this cultural logic that deploys familiar postmodern textual markers and artistic strategies to reclaim a sort of naïve sincerity.

Check out more about metamodernism HERE and Vermeulen and van den Akker’s short video What is metamodernism? – it’s pretty really helpful.

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