Is This So Retro It is Entirely Avant-Garde?

Reading an interesting article on retro-culture (with a great embedded video) led me to contemplate a unique fellow that frequents my neighborhood. The young man in question is I'd guess about 25. He shows up at the local, traditional music joint wearing a bolo, white dress shirt, and jacket.

And he is black.

And an Orthodox Jew who also always wears a yarmulke.

And a fantastic bluegrass, folk, and blues fiddle player, who will teaches pieces to other musicians with intros like "This is a Mississipi folk piece from the late nineteenth century."

Well, there a several retro elements at work here. But the whole package seems to contain such disparate retro elements that it is actually startlingly new.

Any opinions?


  1. Watching Star Trek, it struck me as odd that despite being set hundreds of years after the unification of the planet, you had characters who were Russian nationalists or who, like Dr. McCoy, seem to have walked out of a tv western. Now I realize that this was just the 23rd century's version of current retro fads.

  2. Here's an interesting example for you Gene: Igor Stravinsky! His neo-classical style from about 1915. Explicitly based on baroque and classical models, and an explicit move away from post-Wagner.