Saturday, April 12, 2008

Dirty, Shiny Shellac; Metro-Grime in Fragmented Pastiche.

I'm working on collecting my thoughts.

The image in my mind is a splattering of acrylic paint, a combination of of drab, dirty colors and the bright, slick, and jarring, across a tattered piece of newsprint, torn and scattered on the shiny floor of a creatively-lit club. I'm scooping up the pieces, spreading some shellac on the wall, and reassembling the fragments into something completely different.

I have so much that I want to say in giant brush-strokes of sticky, shiny goop. This entry will be a bit messy. I know that you like it that way.

The term Metro-Grime has become the new catch-all. It began as a tongue-in-cheek mock-gimmick label for a music-genre. Then we realized that it could be applied to so much more. It's a way of seeing things. Something slightly less than a "lifestyle," but pretty close. It has to do with the combination of the dirty and the fashionable, where the juxtaposition itself is essential to any conception of either. The beauty itself is derived from the decay and disorder, and the individuals who embody the movement are acutely aware of this and thrive off of it. This is how many of us have lived for years. Metro-Grime embodies an unabashed love and embrace of the pretty dirty things. Manchester, New Hampshire, for instance, IS a Metro-Grime city, and serves as home to healthy numbers of such individuals... but is merely a single example, the most pertinent to my present analysis, of a nearly endless list of just those grimy/ gorgeous neighborhoods, cities, and districts that I know well enough to pull merely off the top of my head.

Manchester is my city, and always will be, no matter how much I may enjoy a span of time elsewhere. I love the city, its quirks, its dirt, its problem... and these things are among what makes it a beautiful and creatively pertinent place. Thus, as a cultural critic-at-large based in this dirty/ pretty city whose life-blood could use to be documented, I'm prepared to call the flaws as I see them, as part of the creation of an ongoing aesthetically important documentation of a place that deserves one.

So bear with me as I drag you through the dirt and glitter. I'll start in with some specifics tomorrow.