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Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? #2996952 07/02/19 06:41 AM
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Anderton Offline OP
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997048 07/03/19 12:32 AM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997053 07/03/19 12:41 AM
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Have you seen any of her videos?






Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #2997056 07/03/19 12:50 AM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997058 07/03/19 01:16 AM
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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? [Re: David Holloway] #2997081 07/03/19 06:12 AM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997090 07/03/19 11:03 AM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997244 07/04/19 12:58 PM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997393 07/05/19 08:35 PM
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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? [Re: GovernorSilver] #2997394 07/05/19 08:41 PM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997399 07/05/19 09:25 PM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997657 07/08/19 02:48 PM
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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.


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Danzilla] #2997713 07/08/19 08:43 PM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #2997818 07/09/19 05:46 PM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #3026425 01/28/20 10:39 PM
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So, now that she's won a few awards, has anyone's opinion of her changed?


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3026428 01/28/20 10:45 PM
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Awards mean nothing, but she seems to have settled into a non-flash-in-the-pan status.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3026432 01/28/20 10:59 PM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #3026434 01/28/20 11:18 PM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #3026456 01/29/20 01:26 AM
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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


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3026568 01/29/20 05:35 PM
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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...


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3026645 01/29/20 10:01 PM
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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? [Re: David Holloway] #3026650 01/29/20 10:24 PM
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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


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: KuruPrionz] #3026665 01/29/20 11:22 PM
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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


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: David Emm] #3026681 01/30/20 12:45 AM
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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


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3026712 01/30/20 05:15 AM
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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.

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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: David Emm] #3026728 01/30/20 12:23 PM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #3026844 01/31/20 12:10 AM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #3026848 01/31/20 12:35 AM
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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? [Re: Anderton] #3027398 02/03/20 06:26 PM
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[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.


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3027400 02/03/20 06:44 PM
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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.
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: KuruPrionz] #3027425 02/03/20 08:48 PM
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Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Big fan of simplicity, this has that in spades - one guitar, lead and harmony vocals. You have to get everything right, they did.
And with that few tracks, it's almost impossible to screw up the mix.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3027438 02/03/20 10:24 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
Originally Posted by KuruPrionz
Big fan of simplicity, this has that in spades - one guitar, lead and harmony vocals. You have to get everything right, they did.
And with that few tracks, it's almost impossible to screw up the mix.



I could do it easily!!!!! :- D


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029036 02/14/20 05:29 PM
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Looking more harbinger-ish all the time.

Note the "genre" - New School (which sounds very "Old School" to me!!! ) Great tune though, my hat's off to her and Finneas.

https://www.yahoo.com/entertainment/billie-eilish-bond-theme-no-time-to-die-listen-010658159.html


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029058 02/14/20 07:43 PM
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I hated school, so anything with that word in it scares me smile

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029060 02/14/20 07:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I hated school, so anything with that word in it scares me smile


You might have liked the hippie "free" high school I went to. Public school sucked, I agree!


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029093 02/14/20 11:01 PM
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I lasted a year in college, but then left so I could get an education smile This also meant I could start my career without any student loan debt, which was a big advantage - I could be self-employed and have a wildly varying income, because a "cash flow" job wasn't necessary to keep the student debt people from hounding me.

Interestingly, no client has ever asked me for my education prior to hiring me. They might ask out of curiosity later, but even that's rare. So that piece of paper would have had no use, other than potential toilet paper.

I certainly don't care if Billie Eilish has a college education.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029163 02/15/20 03:30 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton
I lasted a year in college, but then left so I could get an education smile This also meant I could start my career without any student loan debt, which was a big advantage - I could be self-employed and have a wildly varying income, because a "cash flow" job wasn't necessary to keep the student debt people from hounding me.

Interestingly, no client has ever asked me for my education prior to hiring me. They might ask out of curiosity later, but even that's rare. So that piece of paper would have had no use, other than potential toilet paper.

I certainly don't care if Billie Eilish has a college education.



You've done very well! I went to college in my early 30's and enjoyed it, majored in photography (poor life decision!). Now I photograph stuff I want to sell, that's about it.
I've just been very lucky in life for the most part and I am grateful.

Billie's had some luck behind her story but she's held her end up. If she is careful with what she earns while she is on fire and moves in the right direction when the merciless fickle finger of fame moves on, she should be fine. Then she can go to college if she wants, now it could be a tragic direction/distraction.

I am glad to see young people playing and enjoying real music!!!!!


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029213 02/15/20 11:34 PM
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She wrote and performed the song No Time to Die. For the latest James Bond film.

She’s too dark and brooding for my taste.


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Strays Dave] #3029236 02/16/20 03:04 AM
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I like what this artist is doing. Anything that deviates successfully from the tried and true pop formulas is a good thing.

Originally Posted by Strays Dave

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.

Dave, a number of times I have heard Billie's home schooling cited as if it was an important part of her creative development. I am sorry if I might be taking offence where no such thing was intended, but as a person who taught in a Canadian public school system for 33 years and saw many students blossom in music (some even became professional musicians, composers and teachers) and in other disciplines, I wish that people would stop referring to home schooling as some sort of clearly preferable alternative. I realize that in many places in America public schools have been gutted, teachers are paid poorly and private schools sort of rule, but that is not the case where I come from. Sometimes home schooling is best for a small number of parents and kids, but where I live public schools still provide a high quality and reasonably flexible education to the vast majority of students.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Piktor] #3029256 02/16/20 07:58 AM
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Originally Posted by Piktor
I public schools still provide a high quality and reasonably flexible education to the vast majority of students.


Abso-damn-lutely thu

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029265 02/16/20 01:01 PM
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I think the education aspect is being convoluted by a few maybe unrelated things along with personal experiences that may vary greatly based on many different circumstances.

First, let's dispel the myth that performance is based on money spent. This is one of those perfect examples where one needs to distinguish correlation from causation when looking at statistics. Just out of curiosity, I gathered data from several sources on my own state of Missouri in the US. With a little tedious work of massaging so that the data aligned in a meaningful way, I came up with a list of all of the school districts in the state along with test score ranking and spend per student. I ranked them in many ways, but found that there was no correlation between spend per student and test scores. By no means am I saying we shouldn't fund schools better than we are and in particular pay teachers their worth.

Something else that may be surprising is that, excluding the very expensive exclusive private schools, most private schools around here that people go to if they are in a bad school district or just for religious reasons tend to be Lutheran or Catholic. Plenty of non-religious people or those of different denominations till use these private schools. They are still pretty expensive, but yet, knowing many teachers including my own family (my ex wife, my sister, many classmates who are still friends, etc) I can say with all certainty that the private school teachers get paid less than the public school teachers.

I've been challenged by public school advocates as to whether or not private schools are actually a better education or if they just have a selective base of students. Well, both. Public schools have to take everybody and you have situations where the parents don't value education and don't support the school.. That affects their ability to provide quality education to those who value it. Parents willing to fork out the money for a private school obviously value education. When you have an environment when the entire class is motivated by parents who value education and want to see results for their hard earned money, you'll get results.

But that also means the teachers can push harder and advance the curriculum. I live in a horrible school district and we sent our kids to a Lutheran school. We ended up divorced and she moved someplace with a good school district. We kept them in the same private school for a few reasons - it's a great school, and with the changes occurring due to the divorce, we felt it would be further trauma to change schools and have to make new friends at the same time. But my daughter started high school this year, the divorce is well behind us, Lutheran High School is insanely expensive, and again - she lives in a good school district with a very large school with many more opportunities that the small Lutheran high school. So she went to public school. My son is still in the private middle school but will go to public when he hits high school.

Her freshman year has been embarrassingly easy. They were covering things she learned in 5th grade. A couple of her classes, after testing her, in the middle of the 1st semester moved her up to more advanced classes which is nice except in some cases she's at a new school in class with Juniors who she doesn't know. The opportunities are there, so now we know, next year we'll try to get her into the honors classes.

Now home schooling. I think it's the same theme. Parents who choose to home school are making a huge commitment and I think it's safe to assume place a huge value and personal involvement with education. Is it a superior educations? Probably not unless the parent so happens to have degrees and experience in education. I'm sure it has more to do with the emphasis and importance placed on education in the home. I know a girl (dated her for a while) Who home schooled. She was kind of nerdy (in a good way), piano teacher by trade (her daughters are incredibly talented), and very structured and disciplined. Her daughters absolutely excelled and she got them involved with social activities within the school district (home schoolers can participate in dances, sports, etc). Even as invested as she was, she eventually gave in and sent them to the public school I think mostly because she recognized all of the non-academic advantages. Life isn't all about test scores, after all.

So I wouldn't be offended by any of this. Whether public or private, musical opportunities are there, but home schooling offers the opportunity for a bit more focus if the parents choose to provide it. In the same way that joining concert band in middle school did not advance my saxophone skill the way private lessons did. One on One instruction will always enable advancement of a craft more than group instruction, especially when both parties are motivated.


Dan

Acoustic/Electric stringed instruments ranging from 4 to 230 strings, hammered, picked, fingered, slapped, and plucked. Analog and Digital Electronic instruments, reeds, and throat/mouth.
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Piktor] #3029279 02/16/20 02:23 PM
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Originally Posted by Piktor
I like what this artist is doing. Anything that deviates successfully from the tried and true pop formulas is a good thing.

Originally Posted by Strays Dave

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.

Dave, a number of times I have heard Billie's home schooling cited as if it was an important part of her creative development. I am sorry if I might be taking offence where no such thing was intended, but as a person who taught in a Canadian public school system for 33 years and saw many students blossom in music (some even became professional musicians, composers and teachers) and in other disciplines, I wish that people would stop referring to home schooling as some sort of clearly preferable alternative. I realize that in many places in America public schools have been gutted, teachers are paid poorly and private schools sort of rule, but that is not the case where I come from. Sometimes home schooling is best for a small number of parents and kids, but where I live public schools still provide a high quality and reasonably flexible education to the vast majority of students.


Piktor and J.Dead,
I will not disagree that public schools are important and should be properly funded and supported. Here in Florida, private charter schools have started receiving public tax dollars - siphoning off needed funds from public schools. And last I heard, religious schools are exempt from accountability for their education. I frequent a local freethought/humanist organization. At a recent lecture, a speaker showed an illustration of children playing, with dinosaurs in the background taken from some charter school literature - this would be, according to certain religious school educations, about 6,000 years ago.

But a point I will make is my not so astute observation: The earliest interventions in childhood development can sometimes produce "other worldly" skills in some individuals. The currently living examples, IMO would include Keith Jarrett, Jacob Collier, and also Cory Henry. I am not a teacher or psychologist. But getting a child exposed at age 2 or 3 (or earlier) has produced people like Beethoven and Bach. Of course B&B grew up in musical traditions, hearing music being rehearsed and composed while they were crawling around on the floor and messing their diapers. And I'm pretty sure as infants, Beethoven and Bach were sitting in someone's lap at a piano or clavier plunking on keys.

Should children be raised in a specific effort to become super humanly skilled ? I think probably not. They should be exposed to a variety of things and allowed to blossom. Risks in trying to steer a person into being a specialized specimen of ultra high achievement could also produce someone who is stuck without other valuable skills. I've heard/read that the Saudis fund religious schools. Students graduate knowing nothing but the holy book that they were taught for years. They have no marketable skills.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Piktor] #3029309 02/16/20 05:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Piktor
I like what this artist is doing. Anything that deviates successfully from the tried and true pop formulas is a good thing.

Originally Posted by Strays Dave

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.

Dave, a number of times I have heard Billie's home schooling cited as if it was an important part of her creative development. I am sorry if I might be taking offence where no such thing was intended, but as a person who taught in a Canadian public school system for 33 years and saw many students blossom in music (some even became professional musicians, composers and teachers) and in other disciplines, I wish that people would stop referring to home schooling as some sort of clearly preferable alternative. I realize that in many places in America public schools have been gutted, teachers are paid poorly and private schools sort of rule, but that is not the case where I come from. Sometimes home schooling is best for a small number of parents and kids, but where I live public schools still provide a high quality and reasonably flexible education to the vast majority of students.


First, I want to acknowledge and praise your dedication to teaching young people, kudos!! That takes a special commitment, patience and whole lotta love. My hat is off to you.

I don't think anybody here is casting aspersions on public schools. The reality is we have to take humans on a case by case basis because everybody's story is different.
In Billie's case, her and her brother were brought up in an extraordinary environment by extraordinary people.
The networks Billie's parents were part of cannot be considered by the same standards as networks anywhere else, Los Angeles is not New York, it is not Montreal or Vancouver, it is a unique place.
I am NOT saying better or worse, just different. Opportunities are different there. Standards are different there.

Bille and her brother Finneas certainly have talent but their parents were wise in the ways of their network and did not use their connections to promote them until there was substantial, tangible proof of that talent.
Those doors do not stay open, you gotta have something great to show or there will be no further consideration.

At 17, winning 5 Grammys? She is one of kind beyond any doubt.
If she had been born and raised Bellingham (where I live) or Wisconsin or Manitoba, her chances of getting to where she is now would have been reduced exponentially. Still could happen, much less likely.

What is important is that our youth receive the knowledge and tools to thrive in an ever more complex world. Public Schooling vs Private Schooling vs Home Schooling is far too complex an issue for any single conclusion to be made and supported. Cheers, Kuru.


There is never enough time to be in a hurry...
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029379 02/17/20 02:25 AM
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Thanks KuruPrionz.
You all made valid comments about education systems. I agree that there is no one way to learn and that Billie’s parents were able to make the best use of their fairly unique situation. I do know that the most gifted students will usually rise to the top, no matter what their educational setting is. They are often self-motivated and curious, though at times, slow to learn how to deal with anything that doesn’t come easily. The students who need the most help as learners can be among the most resourceful (Who needs to know how to come up with a plan B more than a kid who gets into hot water?) and productive members of a community when they are given support to learn how to learn, develop confidence and figure out what they can do best. To be sure, as many of us and probably Billie and her brother know well, the confidence that we get from parents, peers, teachers or our own successes, as well as curiosity and self-motivation have enabled many of us to progress beyond the lessons that we learned in any educational setting.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029384 02/17/20 03:08 AM
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I think the real issue is that there is no "one size fits all," best-possible-option for everyone. Different people have different needs, goals, learning rates, etc.

I switched to European schools after 3rd grade and back to the US in 7th grade. Quite a difference. When I returned to the US, pretty much everything had been covered. The European school had great music education, but also taught subjects like comparative religion (without an agenda) and anatomy. It was also, shall we say, strict smile

After getting back to the US, I became very ill with something for which there was no cure at the time, and missed school for an entire year, and off-and-on for another half-year. During that time I was at home and more or less non-functional, but I could still read and think somewhat. I was able to do homework outside of school so I didn't have to be left back, BUT I was able to spend the rest of my time reading about electronics, tubes, and guitar amps - which I guarantee was not going to be taught in school. I was pretty much left to my own devices because my brother had cerebral palsy and needed attention a lot more than I did - I just needed a place to spend most of the day sleeping, and deal with what felt like a never-ending fever. Sometimes I had enough energy to play guitar, which was something else I wasn't going to be taught at school. So in a way, I was not only semi-home schooled, but semi-self-taught.

After I was better and graduated high school, since music and electronics were what I wanted to do with my life, and college wasn't going to teach it to me (I wasn't even allowed to have a major in electrical and a minor in music!), I pursued my electronics education outside of college and joined the house band at a club in Philadelphia. By that time I was already a published author, so I could hit up manufacturers for sample parts and data sheets; Texas Instruments, Signetics, and National Semiconductor were my teachers.

So that's a pretty unconventional education to say the least. But in my case, it mostly worked. I'm sure the education of Google's CEO was rather different, and it seems to have worked for him LOL. And I know plenty of people for whom a public education gave them the tools they needed to go to college, where they learned the specialized subjects that served them well in life.

Everyone is different. This is a problem for medicine, too. An alternative therapy that works on one person with a particular type of cancer might not work on someone else with the same type of cancer...but radiation/chemotherapy will. Once society's goal is to figure out how to accommodate differences instead of trying to fit everyone into the same mold, I think the world will improve.

Last edited by Anderton; 02/17/20 03:27 AM.
Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029392 02/17/20 05:14 AM
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This article is from the blog Hypebot featuring her brother / producer and their $3000 bedroom studio.

https://www.hypebot.com/hypebot/2020/02/build-a-home-studio-just-like-billie-eilish-for-3000.html

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3029812 02/19/20 05:57 PM
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I like this conversation much more than others I've seen here an in other places. She's definitely "weird" in the context of Ariana Grande or Bieber or Swift. But you can go on TikTok for three minutes and see what constitutes "weird" for her peers, and in THAT context, Billie is certainly dead-center.

In the extremely divisive conversations that I've observed about her (and her brother), people don't really dwell on her music except to say that it's simplistic (like Bob Marley, perhaps?) or that her voice is not diva-level (though she's head and shoulders more technically proficient than many others). Instead, they are somehow personally offended that millions of teenagers love her AND her music. The dismissiveness of people my age is, to me, appalling and pretty damn lame.

You know what is REALLY weird? That Western culture has simply normalized sexualizing children. Again, I would recommend social media to prove that assertion. Billie could not possibly hide her body more than she does, and she doesn't talk or act in any way provocative. She is not beholden to a producer (except maybe Phineas), and the industry is barely supporting her.

And she's 18. She's a kid with Tourette's and clinical depression who has a loving family and makes music with her brother, working her ass off to succeed, and she resonates with millions of troubled and non-troubled young people. If she's a blip, we need more blips.


"For instance" is not proof.
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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: zeronyne] #3030224 02/23/20 04:49 PM
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Originally Posted by zeronyne
I like this conversation much more than others I've seen here an in other places. She's definitely "weird" in the context of Ariana Grande or Bieber or Swift. But you can go on TikTok for three minutes and see what constitutes "weird" for her peers, and in THAT context, Billie is certainly dead-center.

In the extremely divisive conversations that I've observed about her (and her brother), people don't really dwell on her music except to say that it's simplistic (like Bob Marley, perhaps?) or that her voice is not diva-level (though she's head and shoulders more technically proficient than many others). Instead, they are somehow personally offended that millions of teenagers love her AND her music. The dismissiveness of people my age is, to me, appalling and pretty damn lame.

You know what is REALLY weird? That Western culture has simply normalized sexualizing children. Again, I would recommend social media to prove that assertion. Billie could not possibly hide her body more than she does, and she doesn't talk or act in any way provocative. She is not beholden to a producer (except maybe Phineas), and the industry is barely supporting her.

And she's 18. She's a kid with Tourette's and clinical depression who has a loving family and makes music with her brother, working her ass off to succeed, and she resonates with millions of troubled and non-troubled young people. If she's a blip, we need more blips.



Absoluuuuuuuutely. I was going to slice up the post to highlight the best parts, only to realize that the whole post is the "best part".

I didn't know she had Tourette's. She just seems cool and approachable, and I do like the way she sings as well. I'll check out more of her stuff for sure, as I've only heard about 4 songs so far.

The dismissiveness of older people is predictable, the usual ever unchanging "my music was better and young people are stupid for liking it even though this is the same criticism that people said about people my age". It's the ol' "You darn kids get off my lawn!" thing. You may as well stand in the middle of a street with a bullhorn and scream, "I'm totally no fun, jaded, and completely out of touch!! Harumph!"

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: KenElevenShadows] #3030227 02/23/20 05:24 PM
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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows
The dismissiveness of older people is predictable, the usual ever unchanging "my music was better and young people are stupid for liking it even though this is the same criticism that people said about people my age".

I think it's much more than that. As I said several posts back (Italics for emphasis), "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."

So I think it's not so much "kids get off my lawn" as "nyah nyah nyah I can't hear you." But it's not just the music they don't want to hear, it's the underlying message that the world is pretty messed up...and the bills will come due on the kids, because the people who ran up the charges will be dead by then.

Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: KenElevenShadows] #3030229 02/23/20 05:43 PM
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Originally Posted by KenElevenShadows

The dismissiveness of older people is predictable, the usual ever unchanging "my music was better and young people are stupid for liking it even though this is the same criticism that people said about people my age". It's the ol' "You darn kids get off my lawn!" thing. You may as well stand in the middle of a street with a bullhorn and scream, "I'm totally no fun, jaded, and completely out of touch!! Harumph!"


Yesterday I gigged at an indoor "crafts" fair in a fairly stodgy little nearby town. An older gentleman (BTW, I am 64 and an "older gentleman" too!), came up and complemented us on our music and playing great songs.
He mentioned that he didn't care for most of today's music.

As a social experiment I mentioned Billie Eilish, partly to see if he'd ever even heard of her. He said "I like her, she's a good singer and I can understand the words."

Admittedly the smallest possible sampling but it appears Bille is reaching more than younger people. Cheers, Kuru


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Re: Billie Eilish: Blip or Harbinger? [Re: Anderton] #3030513 02/25/20 09:02 PM
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Originally Posted by Anderton

So I think it's not so much "kids get off my lawn" as "nyah nyah nyah I can't hear you." But it's not just the music they don't want to hear, it's the underlying message that the world is pretty messed up...and the bills will come due on the kids, because the people who ran up the charges will be dead by then.


This is it exactly. If you watch teens talk about Billie Eilish, you will see that it's different than normal fanboy/girl reactions. They feel like she's one of them, which is decidedly NOT how they felt about other, more mainstream artists. And you are right - it's not the music. The stuff that is super popular could be considered innocuous unless you really listen. She is relatable, not aspirational.

I just hope she doesn't burn out. And her brother is now getting some well-deserved recognition.

By the way, if you really want to see what mainstream young people are into (not the ones that consider themselves rebels), hang out on TikTok for a while. It's no longer really a lipsyncing app, It's really amazing to watch artists blow up from other people using 15 seconds of their songs in Vine-like clips. In fact, TikTok is one of the most viable conduits for very young musicians to get their songs on the top of Spotify lists and to fill their concerts. A lot of the music is eye-wateringly dirty, but you can't say any of it is not catchy in the purest pop sense. And yes, several of Billie's songs have hit big there.


"For instance" is not proof.
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