Susan Sarandon, tractors, etc. (rocket) Thu 5 Apr 12 11:46
OK, let's get specific. Any of you know people who went nuts for minimalists like Philip Glass and Steve Reich not as teenagers, but after they turned 26? I sure do. If "classical" is problematic, the point remains. When people get older they don't always want to hear Metallica or NWA anymore, even if they grew up with that stuff. People mellow as they age, and adjust their musical intake. Id they don't do that, we worry. "Dang, dude, you still stuck in the 80s?"
Ari Davidow (ari) Thu 5 Apr 12 13:35
I didn't get soul music until I was after 26. It's a terrible thing to admit, but true. But I definitely got deep into some specific and wonderful Stockhausen pieces way before that.
Susan Sarandon, tractors, etc. (rocket) Thu 5 Apr 12 13:56
I didn't get country until I was in my thirties, then I realized I had always liked it. But I had only heard the most mainstream stuff (including Willie, Bobby D, and Hank). Mostly I had and idea that I didn't like it, so I didn't listen to it. Same deal for opera, which I didn't think I liked until I discovered La Boheme as a vinyl box set, when I was 35. I can't help but imagine plenty of people go through these same doors. It is very hard to get into opera as an American male teenager when your hormones are going nuts -- you want Foghat or Elvis or Van Halen. Not so when you get older, and now I never listen to Foghat ... wait, I take that back, I'll still listen to "Slow Ride" if it comes on ...
Peter Meuleners (pjm) Thu 5 Apr 12 14:15
I still love early 70's pop but I have become a folkie/roots music kind of guy in my doddering years.
Scott Underwood (esau) Thu 5 Apr 12 15:58
> <but it's definitely worth respecting.> > > Not to be provocative, I am just curious....why is it worth > respecting? Because it employs 14 sounds sources? Because there was a lot of conscious effort involved to create a specific musical landscape; arguably, a new type of art form, a musical bricolage. This isn't Coolio rapping new lyrics over a Stevie Wonder rhythm track, it's something that didn't exist before, made of material curated from a vast library of available sounds. And because many people dismiss music they don't like. so I think it's valuable to separate musical tastes from the ability to admire the work of dedicated artists. Rap is especially difficult for many people in this regard -- I have a lot of trouble getting over the misogyny, profanity, and faux-gangsta posing to find the well-crafted music and lyrical mastery of the best work; mostly, I don't bother. This is my loss.
damage my pre-conceived views (chrys) Thu 5 Apr 12 16:09
David Wilson (dlwilson) Thu 5 Apr 12 16:35
But there is a time factor at play here. I'd call it "seasoning." There is plenty of music that when played for the first time the craft, lyrical mastery, and I would add, the social relevance, is not immediately apparent. Repeated listening, reducing the distractions, and gathering informed opinion later reveal the underlying artistry of true works of art.
David Wilson (dlwilson) Thu 5 Apr 12 16:37
The most famous example of this is Teodore Adorno's rejection of jazz.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Thu 5 Apr 12 16:44
And another reminder to those of you reading from "off the WELL", please e-mail any questions or comments to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will be sure to post them here.
J. Eric Townsend (jet) Thu 5 Apr 12 21:30
<dwilson> describes how I feel about Bartok's work. I tried listening to it years ago and I Just Didn't Get It. Now I'm learning to play violin so I bought some Bartok sheet music and tried to follow along. Still impossible for me to get what his point is, so I ask my instructor. She said that it's a very difficult piece and that Bartok composed some of this specifically for Menuhin to play. Menuhin was arguably the best violinist in the world and needed a challenge, so Bartok served it up. This means there are two people who understood what Bartok was trying to do, maybe three if you cound Menuhin's genius sister, and I'm not on that list. :-)
David Wilson (dlwilson) Fri 6 Apr 12 07:07
This piece popped up in the NYT today. <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/06/science/motifs-are-the-undercurrent-in-wagne rs-ring-cycle-and-in-our-dna.html>
Susan Sarandon, tractors, etc. (rocket) Fri 6 Apr 12 07:25
Because there was a lot of conscious effort involved to create a specific musical landscape; arguably, a new type of art form, a musical bricolage. Well said, and true. Paul's Boutique is a very important album. It wasn't clear at the time what they had done, but I remember the first time I listened to it and it was clearly something totally new. Gets the accolades, too: Ranked #5 on Slant Magazine's "Best Albums of the 1980's" Ranked #37 on Blender's "The 100 Greatest American Albums of All Time" Ranked #2 on Ego Trip's "Hip Hop's 25 Greatest Albums by Year (1980-1998)" Ranked #156 on "Rolling Stone's 500 Greatest Albums of All Time" Ranked #12 on Spin's "100 Greatest Albums, 1985-2005" Ranked #74 on VH1's "Top 100 Albums" Ranked #98 on Q's "Q Magazine Readers' 100 Greatest Albums Ever" Ranked #3 on Pitchfork Media's "Top 100 Albums of the 1980s" Ranked #8 on Chris Rock's list of the "Top 25 Hip-Hop Albums" Selected as one of Rolling Stone magazine's "The Essential 200 Rock Records" Selected as one of The Source's "100 Best Rap Albums" Selected as one of TIME magazine's "100 Greatest Albums of All TIME"
Susan Sarandon, tractors, etc. (rocket) Fri 6 Apr 12 07:39
I see Christgau gave it an A: "It's an absolutely unpretentious and unsententious affirmation of cultural diversity, of where they came from and where they went from there. They drop names from CÃ©zanne to Jelly Roll Morton to Sadaharu Oh, sample the Funky Four Plus One (twice), Johnny Cash, Charlie Daniels, Public Enemy, the Wailers, Eek-a-Mouse (I think), Jean Knight, and Ricky Skaggs (I think) just as tags--for music there are countless funk and metal (and other) artists I can't ID even when I recognize them."
Susan Sarandon, tractors, etc. (rocket) Fri 6 Apr 12 07:47
Pitchfork: "Twenty years later, nobody's asking that question. Paul's Boutique is a landmark in the art of sampling, a reinvention of a group that looked like it was heading for a gimmicky, early dead-end, and a harbinger of the pop- culture obsessions and referential touchstones that would come to define the ensuing decades' postmodern identity as sure as "The Simpsons" and Quentin Tarantino did. It's an album so packed with lyrical and musical asides, namedrops, and quotations that you could lose an entire day going through its Wikipedia page and looking up all the references; "The Sounds of Science" alone redirects you to the entries for Cheech Wizard, Shea Stadium, condoms, Robotron: 2084, Galileo, and Jesus Christ."
Jon Lebkowsky (jonl) Sat 7 Apr 12 04:40
Speaking of Pitchfork, a significant part of my new music discovery recently has been driven by their Spotify app, where I can find albums they rate "best" and listen to the entire album. More generally re Spotify, it's powerful to be able to sample pretty much any music there, with the paid account.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Tue 10 Apr 12 15:46
Got Paul's Boutique after all your comments...like it. Can someone explain Skrillex to me? Don't get it at all.
Scott Underwood (esau) Tue 10 Apr 12 16:28
Skrillex is the sound of our robot overlords having sex. Seriously, dubstep in general and Skrillex in particular have a surprising numbers of haters, but I don't know why, really. I think it's just tremendously over-the-top slice of electronica that grew out of some other slices -- it's a subsubgenre, and Skrillex is one of the most known musicians making it.
Scott Underwood (esau) Tue 10 Apr 12 18:44
Not to detract from that emergent thread, but here's an absolute must-see on the power of music: our old friend Oliver Sacks discussing a rather "Awakenings"-like transformation in an old, nearly comatose man as he hears his favorite songs: <http://kottke.org/12/04/music-awakens-closed-minds> This is a 6-min excerpt from a new movie called "Alive Inside" about the use of music as therapy for Alzheimer's patients. <http://www.ximotionmedia.com/>
J. Eric Townsend (jet) Tue 10 Apr 12 21:17
>Skrillex is one of the most known I'd say "most popular" might be more correct. You didn't see Glitch Mob or Deadmau5 getting a stack of nominations yet both compose really complex new tracks that they play live on instruments when they perform. Skrillex is a laptop DJ who did little to invent/push this genre but has figured out how rake in the cash and public attention. He's not bad, but compare Skrillex's DJ performance to something like this video from Glitch Mob. Black magic latino musician gangsters? Whut? <http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ls-LYas5j8U>
Ed Ward (captward) Wed 11 Apr 12 02:41
From the Sunday Times (sorry, I've been overwhelmed lately), some words on discovering music in the current ecosystem: <http://www.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/magazine/why-the-old-school-music-snob-is-th e-least-cool-kid-on-twitter.html?_r=2&pagewanted=1>
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Wed 11 Apr 12 04:55
All great links, whole new horizons for me. There's something about context as well...where we first hear something and how. I'll never forget seeing Talking Head's Stop Making Sense movie in a theater in NYC...incredible sound and visual experience, never duplicated on the audio tape or CD. My brother is an audiophile, with an insane $30,000 system in his living room than integrates all audio media - cassette, four track tape recorders, record player, 8 track, and all the new stuff...all through old tube amps that weigh a ton, pre-amps, amps...the whole nine yards. My joke is that you never want to hear a new artist in his house first because it can never be duplicated...Heard Melissa Etheridge's Brave and Crazy there, at volume 34 with no distortion....unreal. Same sort of thing in a concert, juke joint, or club setting.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Wed 11 Apr 12 05:06
One other riff...from the documentary Rising Low (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rising_Low) I don't remember who, but one of the bass players talked about "the note that should never be played." The idea was that musicians need to be sensitive to the impact of their music on the crowd (Stones talked about this after Altamont). I'm not trying to get philosophical here, but could you all talk a bit about the dynamic of playing live? Have the new tools enhanced or changed that? Or is there just a vibe you are sensitive to and try and shape as a set goes on?
Scott Underwood (esau) Wed 11 Apr 12 08:00
Ted, just paraphrasing a quote from the <music.> conference: music lovers use their equipment to listen to music; audiophiles use music to listen to their equipment.
J. Eric Townsend (jet) Wed 11 Apr 12 08:12
Glitch Mob is a great example of people who like to play. They do free/public concerts around the bay area just because they like showing up at a skate park or across the street from Amoeba and making music. Their concert here in Pittsburgh was not only sold out, the A/C died and the building was easily at 90F inside and they still played a massive session. Actually played, on instruments and drums and keyboards and such.
Ted Newcomb (tcn) Wed 11 Apr 12 12:32
via S. J. Watson (off WELL) you guys are about to wrap up... do any of you have links for free downloads (or for-pay downloads even) of your music? do any of you have creative commons licensed music people could use for video soundtracks? hate having to use stuff that youtube identifies as not free for use on my videos
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