Music Player Network
Previous Thread
Next Thread
Print Thread
Page 1 of 2 1 2
Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
#2996952 07/02/19 06:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
Several months ago my kid said that the next big thing would be "weirdness."

I finally saw a Billie Eilish video. It was so weird I had to watch another one. And another one, each one more weird than the last.

It seems entirely plausible that the only way left to beat the pop culture signal-to-noise ratio is by being weird. The next pop trend might be total weirdness - think of how many people rubberneck when there's a car accident. Harnessing that impulse may be the secret of pop music success in the future.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997048 07/03/19 12:32 AM
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 21,062
Likes: 49
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Offline
4x KCFFL Champ
20k Club
Joined: Sep 2000
Posts: 21,062
Likes: 49
She's the feature story in EM this month. I was mildly curious to hear her work, but now I'm worried.

dB

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997053 07/03/19 12:41 AM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
Have you seen any of her videos?






Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997056 07/03/19 12:50 AM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
I like that she's her own thing, with (this may sound weird) a throwback to torch singers. Takes a little getting used to for sure, and some of her videos are pretty disturbing. It's hard to project what kind of trajectory her career will have. Wouldn't surprise me if in a couple years she took the bucks, and then said screw it...like how Brigitte Bardot just said "screw it" in 1973, became an animal rights activist, and funded a foundation for same by auctioning off her jewelry and possessions.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997058 07/03/19 01:16 AM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,151
Likes: 8
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,151
Likes: 8
She may last a little longer as well, her fan base is INCREDIBLY devoted - I know a few of them and she is revered. That said, the half-life of 'successful' artists grows shorter by the month so who knows...

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
David Holloway #2997081 07/03/19 06:12 AM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
Originally Posted by nursers
She may last a little longer as well, her fan base is INCREDIBLY devoted - I know a few of them and she is revered.


Why do you think that is?

My take is that for an artist to blow up this fast, it's more than the music. It's kind of a disturbing world on many levels, but I think that in general, the parents of that demographic don't admit it. So maybe her fans can identify with someone who is being pulled down, and chronicling it, while presenting it as life-as-we-know-it. She's speaking for a lot of people. I think part of me might be included smile

Quote
That said, the half-life of 'successful' artists grows shorter by the month so who knows...


Ain't that the truth. Remember Taylor Swift? Katy Perry? I don't think they're selling out stadiums any more, but I could be wrong.

I don't think it's so much the fault of the artists as a society that isn't interested in following people over the arc of a career. I consider myself extremely fortunate to have as many YouTube subscribers as I do, given that I first started playing concerts 58 years ago.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997090 07/03/19 11:03 AM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 359
Likes: 2
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 359
Likes: 2
I did the "radio station music director" thing on those videos and I never really got to the songs. I didn't like her voice and style. She'd have to be the next Bob Dylan of Neil Young in order to be more than a smash hit on Twitter.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997244 07/04/19 12:58 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,151
Likes: 8
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,151
Likes: 8
Craig - you nailed the 'why' perfectly - she speaks to a demographic that otherwise may not connect with a bunch of other artists.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997393 07/05/19 08:35 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,156
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,156
I don't think Ellish's videos are any weirder than what I have seen from Animal Collective or Fever Ray.

I've been to two Animal Collective shows and both concerts were packed with a mostly 20-something year old crowd. Particularly weird is as the band ages, the audience doesn't seem to age with them - more kids just join the ranks.

Fever Ray is best known for the Vikings TV show opening theme.

Both acts have been around for years before Billie Ellish

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
GovernorSilver #2997394 07/05/19 08:41 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
Originally Posted by GovernorSilver
I don't think Ellish's videos are any weirder than what I have seen from Animal Collective or Fever Ray.

I've been to two Animal Collective shows and both concerts were packed with a mostly 20-something year old crowd. Particularly weird is as the band ages, the audience doesn't seem to age with them - more kids just join the ranks.

Fever Ray is best known for the Vikings TV show opening theme.

Both acts have been around for years before Billie Ellish


Good point. I hadn't heard of Fever Ray (what can I say? I spend more time making music than listening to it), so thanks for turning me on to that. I guess my kid was right, weirdness is a trend.

I also wouldn't really consider Fever Ray EDM, even though it's electronic. It seems more like hip-hop influenced electronics, but is definitely unique. I even think some of it is actually quite beautiful, and I like that the material is highly varied from one cut to the next.

However, I couldn't help but laugh when the ad YouTube placed over the video was for a Fender Telecaster smile I think they may need to do better demographic research.

Last edited by Anderton; 07/05/19 08:43 PM.
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997399 07/05/19 09:25 PM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,156
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,156
My then-roommate (now bandmate) turned me on to Fever Ray, and pointed out who sang the Vikings TV theme ("If I had a heart"). She also told me about Fever Ray's eccentric, to say the least, award acceptance speech. BTW, I had no idea Carrie Brownstein was contributing to NPR. Then again, I thought she was just a comedian on "Portlandia" - no idea of her place in rock history either:

https://www.npr.org/sections/monitormix/2010/01/fever_rays_amazing_acceptance.html

Youtube's algorithms for ads and recommendations are interesting. Apparently, it was a recommendation algorithm that turned "Plastic Love", an 80's "city pop" Japanese single, into a worldwide hit last year. When I first saw it on my Youtube feed, I thought it was because one of my J-pop loving friends did something. The singer, Mariya Takeuchi had never thought of marketing her music outside of Japan.

For those who haven't already heard that tune, here it is.


Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997657 07/08/19 02:48 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,717
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,717
I had heard about Eilish, but never really "heard" her work. When first watching some of these videos, I was hit with the "weird" aspect you brought up, and wasn't really thrilled with them. But I decided to listen without watching, and it took on a different light. Sure, some of it wasn't what I dig, and would be considered "weird" and not even great performance; but some of it wasn't bad. I wanted to dislike it, but really can't.

Wasn't Bjork hailed as both weird AND a genius? I get a sense of that, with some Tori Amos elements, too. She CAN sing, but not in a strong way. When quieter, she can carry a tune quite well.

A lot of the subject matter is dark, but then again so is Porcupine Tree, whom I like. I listen to a lot of progressive rock, and well, you have to push the envelope some to be progressing, right? King Crimson is weird at times, too.

That said, will she be a long-standing hit? I hate to say "no", but in this climate, that is most likely. I'd like to see her develop and see if she has both the writing and performing strength to be more than a flash in the pan.


"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)
NEW band Old band
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Danzilla #2997713 07/08/19 08:43 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
Originally Posted by Danzilla
I'd like to see her develop and see if she has both the writing and performing strength to be more than a flash in the pan.


The culture moves too fast for that to happen, unless she can re-invent herself a) effectively, b) honestly, and c) in a way the public wants. That's not easy, although in different times, both Madonna and Bowie were able to do it.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #2997818 07/09/19 05:46 PM
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,916
I still exist
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
I still exist
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: May 2003
Posts: 6,916
It's really the one artist my teen girls listen to that I can enjoy (they are both heavy into hip hop normally). And I like her as a person, at least what I know of her through interviews and writing.

On a slightly related note, that reimagining of "Head Like a Hole" by Miley Cyrus for the Black Mirror series (which is so incredibly meta that it boggles the mind) got my kids to listen to NIN. So there was a serious positive outcome in that.


"For instance" is not proof.
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026425 01/28/20 10:39 PM
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,717
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2004
Posts: 5,717
So, now that she's won a few awards, has anyone's opinion of her changed?


"Am I enough of a freak to be worth paying to see?"- Separated Out (Marillion)
NEW band Old band
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026428 01/28/20 10:45 PM
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
OP Offline
MPN Advisory Board
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Jan 2000
Posts: 8,551
Likes: 17
Awards mean nothing, but she seems to have settled into a non-flash-in-the-pan status.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026432 01/28/20 10:59 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,151
Likes: 8
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,151
Likes: 8
Originally Posted by Anderton
Awards mean nothing, but she seems to have settled into a non-flash-in-the-pan status.


Absolutely - I saw her at the Forum in LA while NAMM was still going on (she was part of a bill with Coldplay, Blink 182 etc) and she has one hell of a following. Her performance was disciplined if not mind-blowing.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026434 01/28/20 11:18 PM
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 110
Likes: 1
N
Senior Member
Online Content
Senior Member
N
Joined: Jun 2006
Posts: 110
Likes: 1
I missed this thread first time round. But I went out and streamed a half-dozen songs (Billie Eilish I'm referring to) and thought they were pretty good. Not game changers, but I like the simple production, the focused nature of the songs - gets your attention right off and doesn't overplay anything.

So I went to the videos since they were mentioned in the thread - well, those are weirder. But I've always considered videos to be a way to sell something else - not the musical product itself. I mean this 18-yr old is not producing her own videos, right? And consider this - been to Redbox lately? Seen how many horror movies, mostly really bad horror movies, are stocked? It's not my demographic watching them - it's kids.

And besides, since Lady Gaga, you gotta do something pretty outrageous to get attention for a video, right?

She's ok by me. I really like the "bad guy" song.

nat

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026456 01/29/20 01:26 AM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,689
Likes: 3
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,689
Likes: 3
You can never go wrong by appealing to the disaffected teen market. There's a lot of that to go around at the moment in particular & she's blending it with some larger zeitgeist-y angst as well, so she could be a Rock & Roll Hall of Fame inductee within a decade. My opinion has short legs, as I now make noises when I get up. I watched part of the Grammys out of car-wreck fascination and didn't know who the F anyone was. BOOOO! Where's King Crimson doing an updated version of "Sleepless?" mad laugh


First SETI contact hailed as aliens beam out Voyager response!:
"SEND MORE CHUCK BERRY!"
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026568 01/29/20 05:35 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,117
Likes: 9
Platinum Member
Online Content
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,117
Likes: 9
She sings well and is succeeding in a difficult world, my hat is off to her.
I don't find her particularly weird. For me the weak point is melody, she can sing anything but her melodies are not very creative or interesting to me.

Of course, it doesn't matter at all what I think. Success is success, I wish her well.

Weirdness is Pop/Rock music/culture has a LONG tradition.

Screamin' Jay Hawkins
Elivira (I did say culture!)
Ronnie James Dio
Alice Cooper
Souixie and the Banshees
Concrete Blonde
The Divinyls
Marilyn Manson
Bloodrock
Death
Root Boy Slim and The Sex Change Band

It's not really too much of a stretch to toss Little Richard in there, he was pretty weird for his time - despite record company efforts to "sanitize" him.
The Rolling Stones? They have their moments.

I am probably missing some...


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026645 01/29/20 10:01 PM
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,151
Likes: 8
10k Club
Offline
10k Club
Joined: Mar 2001
Posts: 11,151
Likes: 8
There's some great examples in there Kuru - for those unaware of The Divinyls, definitely check out some of their work on YouTube. Although 'the greatest' statements are inane and pointless, I'm going to make one anyway: Chrissy Amphlett of The Divinyls is the greatest Australian front-woman of all time. She sadly died a few years back but was incredible.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
David Holloway #3026650 01/29/20 10:24 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,117
Likes: 9
Platinum Member
Online Content
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,117
Likes: 9
Originally Posted by David Holloway
There's some great examples in there Kuru - for those unaware of The Divinyls, definitely check out some of their work on YouTube. Although 'the greatest' statements are inane and pointless, I'm going to make one anyway: Chrissy Amphlett of The Divinyls is the greatest Australian front-woman of all time. She sadly died a few years back but was incredible.



Thanks David, I saw the Divinyls open for Aerosmith, back when Aerosmith was having some serious issues with sobriety.
Divinyls blew them off the planet, they were awesome. Chrissy was a GREAT front and also a fantastic singer.
She remains one of my favorite rock singers, ever.

FWIW, we used to play All The Boys In Town and Only Lonely.

Here's a good starting video. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5boYiMktOvs

And here is some early Screamin' Jay Hawkins. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7kGPhpvqtOc


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
KuruPrionz #3026665 01/29/20 11:22 PM
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,689
Likes: 3
Platinum Member
Offline
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2012
Posts: 1,689
Likes: 3
I had thought only a dozen of my dubious friends and I had ever heard of Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band. "Boogie 'Til You Puke" is a grand anthem, but the real prize is "World War III." "World was in a turmoil, where was Jesus now? He was down in Mississippi behind a mule and a plow. Lookin' for a place to plug in my TV when I finally realized it was World War Three." Wonderful trashy party band like the Ramones, but with a slightly higher IQ. laugh


First SETI contact hailed as aliens beam out Voyager response!:
"SEND MORE CHUCK BERRY!"
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
David Emm #3026681 01/30/20 12:45 AM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,117
Likes: 9
Platinum Member
Online Content
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,117
Likes: 9
Originally Posted by David Emm
I had thought only a dozen of my dubious friends and I had ever heard of Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band. "Boogie 'Til You Puke" is a grand anthem, but the real prize is "World War III." "World was in a turmoil, where was Jesus now? He was down in Mississippi behind a mule and a plow. Lookin' for a place to plug in my TV when I finally realized it was World War Three." Wonderful trashy party band like the Ramones, but with a slightly higher IQ. laugh


I was in a band in Fresno with a friend who came from Baltimore. He brought Root Boy albums with him!! We all thought he was awesome and I still do. WWIII is a favorite but there are so many.
They were a great band too, the lead guitarist was also the arranger and got a write up in Guitar Player magazine as somebody who was sort of flying under the radar but worth noting.

OK, some Root Boy Slim and The Sex Change Band.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qR_HKsJl4i0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rDZweIG_Te4
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6b6NPJq7A_0
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cGN9hxITjkw


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026712 01/30/20 05:15 AM
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 13
A
Member
Offline
Member
A
Joined: Aug 2019
Posts: 13
I'm unsure there are, or will be, any "Harbingers" again. Perhaps I'm too old now to recognize any if there are. Growing up in the 60's, I was witness to so many changes. The tech changes were boggling...But the first major change after the tumult of the 60's and early 70's to my ears was Punk,
Which was essentially a rejection of the 60's and a return to the rebellion of the 50's, sans the matching sport coats, harmonies...And the volume up as loud as they could get it. Then Rap, which was essentially street poets with beats you could dance to, lyrics that made you think again. Grunge was an uprising, and a harken back to the edgier side of the 60's and 70's.

Disco wasn't a movement. Disco has always been really. Stuff for people to dance to and not think about, or even discuss. EDM has taken it's place, Machine music to make you move. Nothing wrong with that.

Music is not the huge business it used to be. If Miss Ellish expects to have a shelf life, she's going to have to evolve. She does have a weird talent, her lyrics are interesting, her hiding her charms in ill fitting clothes is an interesting approach to de-sexualizing herself.

Bu the roadside is littered with 18 year old wunderkinds.....Bound only to be footnotes in musical history.

Last edited by AlamoJoe; 01/30/20 05:16 AM.
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
David Emm #3026728 01/30/20 12:23 PM
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 359
Likes: 2
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
Joined: Feb 2005
Posts: 359
Likes: 2
Originally Posted by David Emm
I had thought only a dozen of my dubious friends and I had ever heard of Root Boy Slim and the Sex Change Band.


A local boy made good! Great songs, great band, great performer, and his recordings didn't have to be assembled measure by measure with vocals going through a chain of eight processors to "sound right." No tricks, they just did it. More bands should be doing that - but first they have to be that good before the mics get set upl

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026844 01/31/20 12:10 AM
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,156
MP Hall of Fame Member
Offline
MP Hall of Fame Member
Joined: Mar 2006
Posts: 6,156
I was at a Snail Mail show at University of Maryland and it confirmed how out of touch I am with what people half my age or younger are into. Never heard their music before that night - buddy got me in for free - but as I looked around and saw all the 17-21 year olds singing along with the lead singer, I was struck by how I knew so little about a band so popular with these kids.

Don't get me wrong, I like Snail Mail's songs and think bandleader Lindsey Jordan is an up and coming young talent.

I doubt those 17-21 year olds listen to broadcast radio like we old fogies did when we were kids, and we only had 3-4 channels to watch on TV. So many different podcasts and Youtube channels to monitor to try to figure out who the next truly iconic pop star will be. I think it's impossible really. In order for a pop icon to be created, that artist's image and product has to be distributed to the widest possible audience. Those 17-21 year olds might not be watching ABC/CBS/NBC like we did, or listening to the handful of broadcast radio stations - probably all controlled by ClearChannel or something.

My 5-yr-old nephew recently visited me and I learned his favorite pop artist is "Marshmello". Some guy in a white costume with cutesy white "Marshmello" helmet. Never heard of him until the nephew arrived.

Last edited by GovernorSilver; 01/31/20 12:27 AM.
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3026848 01/31/20 12:35 AM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 177
S
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
S
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 177

I didn't see that anyone posted the Wikipedia article about her. As I recall from a quick read....her mom is a screenwriter in L.A. Dad's an actor. Billie and her brother were home schooled and taught about songwriting early on. And I watched a video of her breaking down a song with her brother. Looks like she will do some great creative things to me.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Billie_Eilish



Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3027398 02/03/20 06:26 PM
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,117
Likes: 9
Platinum Member
Online Content
Platinum Member
Joined: Sep 2019
Posts: 1,117
Likes: 9
[quote=Anderton

[/quote]

Listening again, I really like this song.

Big fan of simplicity, this has that in spades - one guitar, lead and harmony vocals. You have to get everything right, they did.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger?
Anderton #3027400 02/03/20 06:44 PM
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 177
S
Senior Member
Offline
Senior Member
S
Joined: Jan 2016
Posts: 177
Finneas is her brother and songwriting partner. I'm usually fussy about famous young musicians - so often they only seem to know how to repeat 4 chords over and over. But I think Finneas and Ellie have creative heft. And they know how to make interesting music. I'm an old fart now. A big fan of Duke Ellington and Billy Strayhorn, Beatles, Keith Jarrett, Stevie Wonder and some other luminaries. I'd felt like current mass commercial music was hopeless. But with Jacob Collier, Corey Henry and the Funk Apostles and now Ellie and Finneas I am encouraged.

Below is a live in Paste Studios video of Finneas singing and playing guitar and piano.
The embed video function didn't seem to be working.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4PYFl9l07IU&t=1150s

Last edited by Strays Dave; 02/03/20 06:55 PM.
Page 1 of 2 1 2

Moderated by  Anderton 

Link Copied to Clipboard
Powered by UBB.threads™ PHP Forum Software 7.7.4