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Positive Innovations/Trends in Modern Music?


Ricardo.

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This is created with the idea of separating the argument about modern music from ellwood's other thread.

 

I don't listen to enough current music to tell others that the music of my generation is worth listening to, but I will NOT believe that there are no good musicians out there. I do believe that at the present, the musical fields are pretty barren. Plant another Jimmy Page and I guarantee that another Guitar God will not emerge.

 

I had to majorly trim this post as it has the potential to get long, fast. Now, at the present music has no clear leader in terms of genre. I will relate this to something another poster said about how the Blues were pretty primitive back in the 30's and 40's. Back then it was harshly criticized too (source: Wikipedia). Note the similarities?

 

So, from what well will spring the coming innovations? I will point out some websites that help in testing the musical waters of the present

Wikipedia has timelines of "important" musical developments including the present: Timelines in Music

 

Also, Google any music hosting website (if you don't know any) and tell me it's hard to find musicians on those!

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Modern current contemporary trends seem - to me anyways - to be moving toward more freedom in song structure and the blurring of generic and stylistic lines. I hear more variety in a single pop song these days, like bits and pieces of heavy rock, intimate softly sung or spoken acoustic moments, then some interesting solo work, and deep honest and heartfelt lyrics.

 

I think it's a positive development.

 

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Every generation and their respective music has been criticized by their parent genertion since the beginning of music. Music is a powerful medium for expressing emotion. The youth of every generation use music as a way to establish their own identity and express their own feelings and emotions, always tinted with more than a little rebellion. The parent generation always has some level of difficulty in relating to the music. It is a direct reflection of the actual relationship between the generations. The younger generation trying to take control of their own lives and society and to rebel, the parent generation trying to retain control and guide by their own experience.

 

Parents are always critical of children. It's the nature of the beast. It is a part of the process of trying to mold the children. Children are always rebellious, that's also the nature of the beast and a critical part of growing up and maturing. All of this always comes out in music. It always has.

 

The composers of the baroque period faced the same criticism during their time from their parent generation. It was even made illegal to compose a piece in a minor key at one point.

 

We "geezers" (as some would like to refer to us) had our share of problems in the early days of rock and roll. More than one of our songs were banned from the radio airways. Hell, the FBI was investigating and analyzing lyrics to see if there were communist messages imbedded in them. Church groups were up in arms saying that the content was too sexual or that there were satanistic messages in the lyrics. Even Elvis Presley was controversial.

 

So the news is that there is no news. It's been around since there was music and it will be around as long as music continues to exist.

 

It does not stop the music from making it's mark and having it's influence. We still have the baroque classics and they are recognized for what they are. We still have the rock and roll classics from the '50s, '60s and '70s and they are still recognized for what they are. The current generation will have their classics too and their music will have it's influence on the music of the next generation.

"And so I definitely, when I have a daughter, I have a lot of good advice for her."

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BWAAAHAAAHAAHAAA!!!

 

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Well, something I think is postive is that, as has been stated, the boundaries between styles are getting rather blurry.

 

I still it find it hard to believe that, back in the 1970s the country music scene didn't embrace someone as talented as Gram Parsons. That probably wouldn't happen these days. And if you want to play the dulcimer on a metal track, nobody's going to condemn you either.

 

That's really cool.

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But from the other side of the coin...

 

The blurred boundaries are also giving us tons of musical "milk".

Homogenized and pasteurized, a lot of it begins to drone, with few identifiable features or individual personality.

 

It's great when genres embrace some innovation that adds some new spark to an already definitive style.

But when it all starts to sound like nothing more than aural "feed"...like so much cornmeal in a communal troth...like there was some global conference on how the worlds music should sound...

...mixed in with that droning, I begin to hear that familiar voice in the distance,

"What floor would you like, sir?"

 

Imagine eating some sort of generic soup or stew for the rest of your life...?

That's what a lot of modern music sounds like.

Oh, there are great musicians out there...but few of them have any identifiable style these days...IMO...

and that's not very innovative or interesting.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

But from the other side of the coin...

 

The blurred boundaries are also giving us tons of musical "milk".

Homogenized and pasteurized, a lot of it begins to drone, with little identifiable features or individual personality.

The blurred boundaries also gave us jazz and rock and roll, so maybe it's not all bad. :thu::)
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Originally posted by Sasquatch51:

Music is a powerful medium for expressing emotion.

Exactly!

 

And that's how/why all the different, identifiable styles hit home!

 

When I put on a traditional R&R tune...it makes me feel one way.

If I spin some classical...that's an altogether different vibe.

And for a change...maybe a good-ol country tune!

 

Etc...etc...etc...

 

 

When it's all run through some musical food processor...it may have all the ingredients, but it doesn't really taste much like anything specific...and then it just another trip to the 18th floor!

 

I hear a lot of music today...and it sounds like it came from a LARGE "batch"...with all the required ingredients to make it palatable to...EVERYONE.

 

But...Steak, chops, chicken...

...taste different, and better...

...than having stew every day, not matter HOW good that stew is!

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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True... A large amount of new artists (especially the ones in Guitar Player) claim to be drawing links between totally opposite musics like Jazz and Rap or 80's Metal and Latin. And then there's the guys that "run the gamut" between every musical style and never really settling on one. I think that sometimes it's good to doggedly play ONE type of music very well...
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Originally posted by Starcaster:

True... A large amount of new artists (especially the ones in Guitar Player) claim to be drawing links between totally opposite musics like Jazz and Rap or 80's Metal and Latin. And then there's the guys that "run the gamut" between every musical style and never really settling on one. I think that sometimes it's good to doggedly play ONE type of music very well...

Yeah, I've never understood that about American players. That reverence for specific styles, all the way down to considering a certain guitar somehow "unsuitable" for one style or another.

 

In Australia/New Zealand we're usually a lot more eclectic possibly because, musically speaking, we grow up in a world where both American and Brit music is on an equal footing.

 

I don't think I've ever been in a band where you could actually define what we did as a recognizeable style. Thank goodness for catch all terms like "left of field", whatever that actually means. :)

 

At the moment, I'm trying to organize my .MP3s onto a new player (Creative) and I'm filling in all the .MP3 tags. The "genre" tag is always a nuisance. What style does Tom Waits play? And what about the Birthday Party?

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

The "genre" tag is always a nuisance.

Try "eclectic"

 

You can also write your own in iTunes ;)

-------------------------------------------------

As for the cross-pollination resulting in a homogenized blend as described by Miroslav, well...

 

I'm not sure that's true. I think homogenized, boring music is a result of the artist subverting their personality to fit into some pre-ordained context, not by blending diverse influences.

 

The most homogenized music I can think of is the so-called "supergroups" where individuals from successful bands get together into a new one. It seems to result in everyone standing around being so respectful of each other, nobody ever says "I don't like that, can we try something like this?"

 

Look at the rash of shit the first Audioslave album deservedly earned. Do you like the first Audioslave album better than the first Rage Against the Machine album?

 

Go back a little farther, remember Asia? The second coming of Yes (90125) was a lot more enjoyable because Trevor Rabin ran amok and re-made the band's sound, while the Asia sound was more bland.

 

IN COMPARISON,

 

Look at the diverse artistry of players like Pat Metheny, Bill Frisell, Ry Cooder, John Scofield.

 

Frisell plays everything from loop based music, to straight jazz, to (for want of a better term) "Americana" music, and still sounds distinctively like himself in any context. IMO, Frisell is one of the best stylist of our generation, because you can identify his playing in just a few notes - regardless of the style of music he's playing. That's personality shining through.

 

Metheny came along when most everyone was playing electric jazz like early Al DiMeola and Mahavishnu Orchestra. He instead he pursued his own interests, and became an icon with both commercial success and artistic credibility, and the right to make any kind of record release he wants, from solo acoustic guitar to working with Ornette Coleman.

 

So, in my opinion, the ability of artists to explore different styles at different times in their recording career is a positive for the true artists with diverse ability. OTOH, we occasionally get Rod Stewart singing the American songbook, and Pat Boone heavy metal albums for comic relief.

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

What style does Tom Waits play?

Tavern blues...aka...a drunkard's rhapsody. :)

 

Even though Im here in the USA...I've always held US/UK bands and music with equal regard...and further still, I also have a very wide "world music" palate.

 

But still...having ALL bands end up sounding like they drew water from the same well...like they all got their ideas from one large "batch"...IMO...is not the best thing that can happen to modern music.

 

Having a global, homogenized sound...IMO...is not going to come off as positive innovation in modern music trends.

It will just sounds like there was a serious lack of imagination and individual thought.

 

Let's face it...

Art of all types...feeds on the individually inspired idea...on new, never-before-seen-or-heard creations.

 

If it all ends up being a mish-mash...of everything combined, stirred, and poured for mass consumption...

...it would be the equivalent of a huge California smoothie for everyone to drink...and nothing else available.

 

How interesting/exciting is that...?

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

But still...having ALL bands end up sounding like they drew water from the same well...like they all got their ideas from one large "batch"...IMO...is not the best thing that can happen to modern music.
Well, you're right.

 

But speaking for myself, I don't like Jazz and even though it's freely available "on tap" (radio, online, concerts, etc) I don't think I'll ever go near the stuff in any of my own music. We pick and choose our influences. You yourself weren't influenced by The White Stripes, in fact you hadn't even heard of them, much as the radio and MTV plugged them.

 

I think it'd be difficult for anybody to write songs that reflected every available influence out there (death metal, cw, classical, reggae, ska, techno, trance,etc).

 

It won't ever happen. :)

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Originally posted by Billster:

So, in my opinion, the ability of artists to explore different styles at different times in their recording career is a positive for the true artists with diverse ability.

Different situation there

 

Nothing wrong with exploring different styles.

But there you have it...you ARE talking about different styles...! :thu:

 

The situation that I am referring to, is this notion that doing away with different styles/genres would somehow improve music...???

 

 

You can always incorporate some "spice", drawn from other styles, into things you do.

I love tossing in some occasional/unusual ear candyor putting an interesting rhythmic/melodic twist on a basic R&R or Pop tune.

But when it gets taken to a point where all lines of distinction are removed...then you back yourself into a corner, and you have a catch-22.

When you do away with individual styles/genres...you no longer have them to draw that "spice" from...

...and eventually it will all become a homogenized drone.

And after it doeswhere do you draw that spice from???

 

It would be like making stewby using another batch of stew as your ingredients!!! :D

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Billster:

Try "eclectic"

 

You can also write your own in iTunes ;)

Oh, I can write anything I want on the MP3s, it's just that if I want the albums to break down into a few (say 10-15) styles, then I have to do a lot of grouping. I suppose having styles like "barroom ballads" and so on would make things easier. That'd cover a lot of ground (Waits, Cave, Shane McGowan, etc)
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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

I think it'd be difficult for anybody to write songs that reflected every available influence out there (death metal, cw, classical, reggae, ska, techno, trance,etc).

 

It won't ever happen. :)

If you can stomach it...check out some of the production numbers on American Idol! ;)

 

Even though a lot of the music they pick *use to* have an identity...

...it's done with this "arena-rock-meets-R&B-but-I'm-a-little-bit-country-silly-love-song" kind of "style"..."genre"... :rolleyes:

 

 

Heywhy do you say Australiabut in your profile you show Milan, Italy?

 

What is you nationalityAussie?...and youre now a DP in Milan? ;)

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

Heywhy do you say Australiabut in your profile you show Milan, Italy?

 

What is you nationalityAussie?...and youre now a DP in Milan? ;)

It's a bit of a mix, actually.

 

I was born in Argentina but moved with my parents to Sydney when I was eight and Australia's definitely the biggest influence on me. Accent, tastes, etc.

 

I've been working in Italy for the past 13 years, but my wife and I are planning on moving to NZ, where she's from.

 

Going back to your post though... that's uhmm... American Idol. Which I've never seen but will presumably bite the dust in much the same way that Donnie and Marie did. I suppose the winners will eventually star in stuff like "Annie Get Your Gun" and will get out of our collective hair.

 

As far as the mish mash goes, one of my closet favourites is "old time" music and if I get too lost, I can always pull out my Carter Family or the Blue Sky Boys records and use them as a map. You know, to remember that real "old time" music doesn't have turntables and scratching in it. ;)

 

Same with everything else, jazz, rockabilly. It's all there. Thanks to records we can always go back and hear what things were like.

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Music evolves. Musicians develop their styles from diverse influences. You can't hold on to the notion of certain styles or genres having to conform to a precise definition based on what the originators or most-popular performers of that style did.

 

So many artist are genre-defying, such as Neil Young, Bill Frisell. How many artist fit nicely into genre categories? Lynryrd Skynrd, the kings of "Southern Rock" for example? In a recent thread we couldn't even decide what Southern Rock was!

 

Genres are for marketers. I prefer listening to, and appreciating music for what it is, not what niche it's supposed to fit in.

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I was a DP for awhile...been around the globe...well, half of it, kind of. :)

 

Born in Yugoslavia (when it was still one nation)...did a year or two in Italy as a kid (6-7)...then moved to the USA when I was about 8, though we almost ended up going to Australia, as a second choice (my family split kinda sudden-like from Yugoslavia because of that whole socialist regime, post WW2).

 

Went back to Europe for about 2 years (19-20)...

...and now I've been in the USA ever since...and this is home for me...the USA!

Even though I'm not a true native, I consider myself an American who just happened to be born in another country! :D

 

I also did a short trip to the "Ivory Coast" of Africa back in the early 80's.

 

So I've gotten a lot of ethnic/music influences over the years.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

I was a DP for awhile...been around the globe...well, half of it, kind of. :)

The interesting half. ;)

 

Originally posted by miroslav:

Born in Yugoslavia (when it was still one nation)

Yeah, the nick sounds a bit Central European.

 

Speaking of world music, I really like that gipsy brass band music from the Balkans. The really fast stuff. There's a lot of it in a 1990s film called "Underground". A guy called Goran Bregovic did the soundtrack. Amazing stuff. Must be wild live.

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Originally posted by Guitar55:

Genres are for marketers. I prefer listening to, and appreciating music for what it is, not what niche it's supposed to fit in.

Well that's fine...you can ignore the tags that you see in your local Media Play isles.

There are marketing categoriesand then there are defined musical styles.

 

When you play guitar...when you write music...

...are you "all over the place"...

...or do you have some style...?

Can you identify the general genre that your playing/music falls into (at that moment, not for all eternity)?

 

Right now...I'm working on an album's worth of R&R/Pop music...and while I don't try to micro-compartmentalize each song...

...I can say that they all do fall into the general R&R/Pop flavor.

They are certainly not Techno, Hip-Hop, Jazz...etc.

 

I don't have a problem with that kind of identification.

 

After this R&R/Pop project is finished...I'm already planning on shifting gears, and doing some Trance/Head music (old-style, ala Floyd)...which will certainly be noticeably different from the R&R/Pop I am doing now.

 

Yeah...it's OK to say, "I'm just going make music, without giving ANY though to what style/genre of music it is!

But, there's nothing wrong or confining/limiting in having more specific and clear-cut goals....and IMO, it's a better way to work.

 

That is nothing new.

Today, we say "classical" music...but the reality is that there were MANY flavors/styles of classical...and each composer wrote to fit a specific style...unless they managed to introduce a brand new style of music, through experimentation and mutation of existing styles.

But...they too ended up with a defined style.

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by Kramer Ferrington III.:

Speaking of world music, I really like that gipsy brass band music from the Balkans. The really fast stuff. There's a lot of it in a 1990s film called "Underground". A guy called Goran Bregovic did the soundtrack. Amazing stuff. Must be wild live.

You should try dancing to it!!! :D

 

Hey...there was a time, in one of my early bands, where we had a split personality at some gigs.

Because we use to use a practice space that was owned by the local USA/Yugoslavian church/social organization...we agreed to play at all the dances/social events...BUT...we had to also do some Yugoslavian folk music!

 

It wasn't too bad...we would play a few R&R/Pop tunes...and then we would do a few "kolos"music for group dancing where everyone holds hands and does the same step (I guess it's not much different than cowboy line-dancing ;) ).

 

We had this guy who played accordion...and he would come up on stage and plug in...and off we went!

 

It was pretty simple stuff...he would just tell us the key, and we jummped in on it. Most of it was one...maybe two chord changes! :P

 

Hey...we made good money playing there! :thu:

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Originally posted by miroslav:

If you can stomach it...check out some of the production numbers on American Idol! ;)

 

Even though a lot of the music they pick *use to* have an identity...

...it's done with this "arena-rock-meets-R&B-but-I'm-a-little-bit-country-silly-love-song" kind of "style"..."genre"... :rolleyes:

I don't think that's a good example of contemporary music. That program is looking for performers, not writers. They want to put the singers through their paces to see what they can handle.

 

I think most of the new music that I hear has a stylistic focus, if it's boring and homogenized, it's because it's so predictable.

 

And isn't this supposed to be the positive trends thread? Welcome to the "New" Guitar Forum :rolleyes:

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Positive trends? I think there are people finding new, creative ways to use technology - not that you can't do creative things on acoustic instruments!

 

The ever-increasing quality of home recording equipment is a positive, and the ability of anyone to promote and sell their product online.

 

Even today people are collaborating on musical projects online in real time - the sky's the limit on that one!

 

You could even have several different mixes available - I think of that Cher tune whose name escapes me. I'm not a big fan of hers, but thought it was amazing to compare the different versions!

 

There is such a vast variety of music available today that surely there are new permutations available that would actually WORK... yes of course this requires selectivity and experimentation, but it always DID, didn't it?

 

This may seem paradoxical, but it's also good that there are plenty of purists out there, too - so the best of the past is preserved.. as a living music, not in formaldehyde.

 

It's also a good thing that there is so much instructional material available these days, so we don't have to spend so much time reinventing the wheel!

 

That's enough for now....

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Originally posted by Billster:

I don't think that's a good example of contemporary music. That program is looking for performers, not writers. They want to put the singers through their paces to see what they can handle.

 

I think most of the new music that I hear has a stylistic focus, if it's boring and homogenized, it's because it's so predictable.

 

And isn't this supposed to be the positive trends thread? Welcome to the "New" Guitar Forum :rolleyes:

I'm not sure what you mean by your ending question...???

 

Are you suggesting that my mention of American Idol productions is making this a negative thread...???

The title of the thread asks a question (?)...so the way I see it, the answers that follow can support either side of that question.

How else can we discuss/debateit can't all be one-sided views...right?

 

Besides...don't be so quick to dismiss the influence of American Idol.

That shit is poisoning the musical minds/goals of M-I-L-L-I-O-N-S!!!

And I've heard some the follow-up product that has been put out by some of the "successful" contestants.

Talk about homogenized shit!!!

 

Right now...that kind of stuff is capturing the attention of a lot of people...and it does have a large impact on...overall music "taste".

 

If you just look at things from withinwhere there are mostly musicians/audio folks that have been around awhile, or who have a deeper understanding of music and the processes that go into creating music...

....that's very myopic.

 

The "general population"...these days, has very undiscerning taste buds...IMO.

That's why shit like you hear on AI, actually clicks for so many... :rolleyes:

miroslav - miroslavmusic.com

 

"Just because it happened to you, it doesn't mean it's important."

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Following up on the point of everyone "sounding like they're drawing from the same well" due to too much influence from "world music" [i hate that term!], here is another scenario:

 

I have heard rock bands from all over the world who sing in their native language but there is absolutely NOTHING in their sound that would indicate that they weren't American Garage! I clearly remember an Indonesian church who had services occasionally at the church I attended, where the service was in Indonesian, the food was Indonesian, the books for sale also... but you couldn't tell it by the band! Actually, those kids spoke perfect English, so it's likely they grew up here...

 

Not that they HAVE to incorporate home-grown influences, of course. But the current state of affairs is pretty generic!

 

The positive side of it is that nothing is stopping people from adding things from their own culture [or others] if they want to!

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Plant another Jimmy Page and I guarantee that another Guitar God will not emerge.

 

I don't agree,---just when you LEAST expect it, he or she will emerge--.

 

The mind is infinite and so is its ability to create. It like before the airplane was developed people would probably not even consider going to the moon. But we did all of that in the last 100 years.

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Originally posted by miroslav:

Originally posted by Billster:

And isn't this supposed to be the positive trends thread? Welcome to the "New" Guitar Forum :rolleyes:

I'm not sure what you mean by your ending question...???

 

Are you suggesting that my mention of American Idol productions is making this a negative thread...???

The title of the thread asks a question (?)...so

The question was positive trends, and your first response was:

 

But from the other side of the coin...

and that's not very innovative or interesting.

I'm not saying there's no room for analysis or disagreement, but the question was:

 

So, from what well will spring the coming innovations?
The question was not "what stinks about current trends"

 

I'm not going to push this issue further here, because there are some other replies that are topical and useful.

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