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A call for kindness and a bit of perspective


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I was having a conversation last night with some denizens of the hotel I stay at when I'm in Little Rock. They found out I was a musician and started imparting their musical opinions upon me. Being just slightly older than me, I got the expected "lesson" on how the Beatles/Stones/Who/Zepplin Tetrumvirate still dominates in terms of creativity and originality. Then they went genre by genre, completely tearing apart various bands and songs. To their credit, they seemed to actually separate the songs from the personalities that sang/played/recorded/wrote them. But they had nothing good to say about any band. ANY band. I kept wanting to say "You're not looking at this from the right perspective" or "Yes, your points are valid, but that shouldn't completely invalidate the song, the band, or the genre!"

 

But I didn't...because I do the exact same thing almost every day. Maybe not to the degree that these drunk consultants were doing it, but a difference in degree does not make it different.

 

So I'm going to try something, and it would be cool if some of you truly polarized folks in the SSS would do the same.Take song you hate from a genre you hate, and try to find something you like about it or even something you can learn from it. If you are absolutely unable to do this, you may want to examine your own motivations and degree of open mindedness.

 

For example: I cannot stand to listen to an Usher song. I can identify them right away, and I immediately change the station. It's the lyrics and the completely "unblended" mix that set my teeth on edge. But upon a self-forced listening, I can appreciate the stellar recording, the very very present vocals, and the minimalist orchestration...even though there's a ton of space in the mix, it still feels dense and alive.

 

Another: Dirty by Christina Aguilera. If I can just manage to divorce the image of her from the song, I can hear really slammin' bass with a massive fundamental, some really neat mults in the vocals, and some great synth choices. Still can't get past the rap though.

 

Behind any wackjob diva or derivative nu country band or clicky-clacky nu metal band, there are a bunch of industry giants doing the work. So if you dig, you'll hear their contributions.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Point taken. I highly dislike rap of any variety, however, I can't deny that there is artistry involved. (of course, don't call it music, because it's not music. Call it "Rhythmic Poetry")
**Standard Disclaimer** Ya gotta watch da Ouizel, as he often posts complete and utter BS. In this case however, He just might be right. Eagles may soar, but Ouizels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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I have to admit, a former band of mine tried to do "Gettin Jiggy With It" and it kicked our butts.

 

You did hit on something, Zeronyne: sometimes just shutting up and letting an argument partner ramble on is the best way to actually win an argument. ;)

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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I've got one Zero,

 

Toxic by Brittany Spears.

 

I can't stand any of her songs. Brittany Spears makes me want to dig out my ears with a mellon baller. Last weekend I was in a clothes store and this song came on, at first I was like 'oh no' but then I caught myself actually digging the tune. Toxic has a catchy chord progression, The production is polished and poppy without being too bubblegum. The main vocals seem fairly dry then when the backup vocals kick in, they sound doubled with a freaky phased slapback that seems to detune towards the end of the tail. The 'acoustic strum' does sound like it was done with a keyboard, but still sounds cool. Then the bridge has some sort of 'sweeping' analog syth sound that ends with a her singing through a vocoder that unexpectedly leads into the ending chorus. Not too bad for a B.S. tune :P

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Originally posted by zeronyne:

I was having a conversation last night with some denizens of the hotel I stay at when I'm in Little Rock. They found out I was a musician and started imparting their musical opinions upon me. Being just slightly older than me, I got the expected "lesson" on how the Beatles/Stones/Who/Zepplin Tetrumvirate still dominates in terms of creativity and originality. Then they went genre by genre, completely tearing apart various bands and songs. To their credit, they seemed to actually separate the songs from the personalities that sang/played/recorded/wrote them. But they had nothing good to say about any band. ANY band. I kept wanting to say "You're not looking at this from the right perspective" or "Yes, your points are valid, but that shouldn't completely invalidate the song, the band, or the genre!"

 

I don't see anything unusual about this particular group of people. We all have the same thing going on, even if we claim to be open minded as I do. We all have a perspective on things based on our life's experiences and can be pretty closed minded about different things. I see it every day on this very forum. It may be about an avatar, or an attitude, or music, or anything at all. Sometimes when I'm out socializing with friends and I sit back and listen to the chatter, it seems as though every one of them are seeking to prove their point about something or trashing something outside of their own realm of likes and dislikes. If not for that, there may be no conversation at all, or any vivid debate at least. I don't understand why you did not dig in and debate those folks if you have a different perspective. Perhaps they could have learned from you.

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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Originally posted by -Bunny-:

Rap is music, Clay. That was kind of the whole point of this thread, and you blew it. Sorry, "Rhythmic Poetry" ain't gonna cut it. It's music. Some of it even has melody and harmony. Go figure. ;)

If it has melody and harmony, it's music. If it's talking over a drum beat, it isn't. In the latter case, "Rhythmic Poetry" cuts it just fine. In the former, well, it's music.
**Standard Disclaimer** Ya gotta watch da Ouizel, as he often posts complete and utter BS. In this case however, He just might be right. Eagles may soar, but Ouizels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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Originally posted by FoxTick:

Last weekend I was in a clothes store and this song came on, at first I was like 'oh no' but then I caught myself actually digging the tune. Toxic has a catchy chord progression, The production is polished and poppy without being too bubblegum. The main vocals seem fairly dry then when the backup vocals kick in, they sound doubled with a freaky phased slapback that seems to detune towards the end of the tail. The 'acoustic strum' does sound like it was done with a keyboard, but still sounds cool. Then the bridge has some sort of 'sweeping' analog syth sound that ends with a her singing through a vocoder that unexpectedly leads into the ending chorus. :P

Wow, Fox, you've got great ears to pick all that up from a department store speaker! :eek::thu:

Botch

"Eccentric language often is symptomatic of peculiar thinking" - George Will

www.puddlestone.net

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Originally posted by Botch.:

Originally posted by FoxTick:

Last weekend I was in a clothes store and this song came on, at first I was like 'oh no' but then I caught myself actually digging the tune. Toxic has a catchy chord progression, The production is polished and poppy without being too bubblegum. The main vocals seem fairly dry then when the backup vocals kick in, they sound doubled with a freaky phased slapback that seems to detune towards the end of the tail. The 'acoustic strum' does sound like it was done with a keyboard, but still sounds cool. Then the bridge has some sort of 'sweeping' analog syth sound that ends with a her singing through a vocoder that unexpectedly leads into the ending chorus. :P

Wow, Fox, you've got great ears to pick all that up from a department store speaker! :eek::thu:
Amazing what good drugs can do for your hearing. :D

bbach

 

Beauty is in the eye of the beer holder.

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That was probably the point... :D
**Standard Disclaimer** Ya gotta watch da Ouizel, as he often posts complete and utter BS. In this case however, He just might be right. Eagles may soar, but Ouizels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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During my long tenure on these boards, I have slammed exactly one ablum and one song. Today, I don't even remember what the song was.

 

I become very impatient with people who think that a song or a performer is inherently inferior because it DOESN'T APPEAL TO THEIR PERSONAL TASTE. I used to hate broccoli; now I like it. In my life I have sampled and learned to appreciate many musical "broccolis," i.e. music that I despised initially but in which I eventually discovered something interesting and remarkable. I don't like every song, but in the vast majority of cases, I can isolate part of the performance or mix or songwriting that has merit, and that's enough for me to respect the effort.

 

Musicians, in general, are even WORSE than 09's drunken associates. John Q. Public doesn't like a song because it doesn't move him. John Q. Musician can find technical reasons to dislike a performance, reasons that John Q. Public can't even comprehend. I have been aquainted with musician snobs for my entire life. Any room containing three musicians contains at least on, probably two, and maybe three snobs. How can we, who have received the divine gift of artistic expression, be so quick to judge the expressions of others? You might think that the non-musician would hate musicians out of spite for not being able to play or sing or compose, but sadly, the most biting comments come from our fellow players and singers and composers.

The Black Knight always triumphs!

 

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Originally posted by Ouizel:

Originally posted by -Bunny-:

Rap is music, Clay. That was kind of the whole point of this thread, and you blew it. Sorry, "Rhythmic Poetry" ain't gonna cut it. It's music. Some of it even has melody and harmony. Go figure. ;)

If it has melody and harmony, it's music. If it's talking over a drum beat, it isn't. In the latter case, "Rhythmic Poetry" cuts it just fine. In the former, well, it's music.
I guess we have different definitions of "music."

 

When I sit down at the drum kit and bang out a funky beat by myself, I call that music. I guess you don't call it music, and that seems strange to me. When I hear a drum circle in the distance, I'm immediately attracted to it, because I want to hear the "music."

 

Is a group of Taiko drummers not performing "music"? I say they most definitely are playing music.

 

Rap is music, Clay, regardless of whether it contains melody or harmony. :wave:

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Originally posted by Dan South:

During my long tenure on these boards, I have slammed exactly one ablum and one song. Today, I don't even remember what the song was.

 

I become very impatient with people who think that a song or a performer is inherently inferior because it DOESN'T APPEAL TO THEIR PERSONAL TASTE...

I vividly recall you ripping on, of all people, Neil Young, simply because you don't like his music. In fact, you made a point that Alanis Morissette makes much better music than Neil Young's. I, and a couple other people, thought you were joking at first. Ah, well, to each his/her own, right?

 

At any rate, I'm totally down with broccoli. :thu:

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Bunny, it's not fair pointing out that which I didn't see because I chose to ignore it.

 

You would be correct, of course. Dammit. There goes my opinionatedness.

 

I still don't care for rap, generally. Specifically, though, there are some that I like.

 

Thanks for wielding the sledgehammer gently. I appreciate it.

**Standard Disclaimer** Ya gotta watch da Ouizel, as he often posts complete and utter BS. In this case however, He just might be right. Eagles may soar, but Ouizels don't get sucked into jet engines.
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Originally posted by cwfno:

I don't understand why you did not dig in and debate those folks if you have a different perspective. Perhaps they could have learned from you.

Of course, you are right, and I definitely enjoy an informed debate, but I declined because they were quite inebriated. And in my silence, I realized that I probably sound just like them to some degree to someone more open-minded than me.

 

And, in fact, I believe their opinions were even more valid than most because not once did they say "I hate "Jenny from the Block", but man, does she have a great ass" or anything like that. They were ripping on the quality of the lyric writing, the repetitiveness of the choruses, the "sameness" of the dynamics (which got me kudos when I described it as compression...they said I should copyright the term :D ). I was just sort of stunned because they had something bad to say about so much music in such a detailed way that I thought they were radio station programmers or something.

 

Anyway, you're right, I have no excuse for not trying to engage them in a positive way. I'm trying to make up for it by writing about it here.

"For instance" is not proof.

 

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Oddly, i know a guy that is a classical pianist.

 

he can't stand rock, or most of any "modern" music because it's repetitive, and well, beneath him.

 

With one exception:

 

He's all into stuff like the Buttstreak Boys, 98 Degrees, and other manufactured pop. "This stuff has true musical merit" he says.

 

I don't understand it, but that's the facts, man...

Dr. Seuss: The Original White Rapper

.

WWND?

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You know, I think some people say they like The Beatles/Led Zeppelin/etc. because they are the de facto "groups to like" and they're widely accepted as having merit. In other words, nobody's going to laugh you out of the room if you say you like 'em.

 

I like a bunch of stuff that gets ridiculed, including tons of Pop. Yes, even some Britney Spears tunes. I like a bunch of "non-player" music - specifically, some mainstream hook-laden pop rap (Nelly, Missy Elliot) and bunches of Electronica/Dance/Trance.

 

As a rule, I have quite an aversion to Guitar solos in general, and almost all alternative rock. I actually don't own a single Beatles, Stones, Zeppelin CD, and probably never will.

 

And I abolutely thrive on early 80's New Wave.

 

I recognize that everyone has their opinions. At the same time, I try not to slam genres/artists that I don't like. To each his/her own, and music is music - if it touches someone, it did it's job. I'm fine with other people liking stuff I don't like - I just want them to be ok with me liking stuff they don't like.

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