Does the fall of music ever depress you? It does me.
May 8, 2010 at 6:34 AM Post #151 of 198

Deep Funk

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Depends, even 'bad' TV shows have good moments. Regarding Lady Gaga, wait for her second album. If that album marks an improvement she is possibly a future star. Some artists really shine after they started. 
 
Has anyone checked out 'The Office UK'? Sometimes it is brilliant. 'Monty Python's Flying Circus' still strikes me as one of the best TV shows. 'Blackadder,' delicious sarcasm, 'Little Britain' is very good too. Sorry, I dig British humour. In fact anything that is witty, sarcastic and original. 'Always Look On The Bright Side Of Life' by Monty Python in the last scene of 'The Life Of Brian' is classic. In art class in my high school they did not even treat Monty Python in contemporary art post-1960 regarding humour and cinema and TV, idiots...
 
Good music today:
Duffy's début is a must buy, for me still. The same goes for Ladyhawke, White Stripes and some Jazz, Funk, Soul, Metal, Progressive Rock. Should I consider Florence & The Machine by the way? I almost forgot, Gabriella Cilmi's début. 
 
What makes Joanna Newsom's 'Have One On Me' so special if I may ask? I might buy it...
 
There is some Jazz coming in soon.
 
May 8, 2010 at 6:39 AM Post #152 of 198

Redcarmoose

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There has always been great and not so great music being made. The truth is some music is easy to understand and some takes getting used to. Music has many purposes and functions for each person. It has a lot to do with a persons personal exposure in life and how they are hardwired. What we are looking for is a connection. An almost greater than life sense of magic. That seems to be held on many levels for different type of people. The really sad part is when people close their minds to a level of music, being narrow minded,that could bring them a level of joy. This has been seen in anthropology as well. We, it turns out are only fooled by our own lack of imagination.
 
May 8, 2010 at 1:38 PM Post #153 of 198

bigshot

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I find that people generally don't close their mind to the wide range of music that was more prevalent in the past. They're just ignorant of it. They think knowing about the music of the past decade or two is all there is to know. I was like that myself in college. I listened to Peter Gabriel, Pink Floyd and Talking Heads and thought I had great taste in music. Then I heard Cab Calloway's Some of These Days, and I realized that everything I looked for in music- rhythm, energy, excitement, musicianship- was in music of the past much more than the kid music I had been listening to. I started investigating classic jazz, and that led to modern jazz, and swing, and country and western, and folk and Latin and classical and opera and pop vocals. When I ask most people what kind of music they like, they usually say, "all kinds". Then I ask, "what's your favorite opera?" and "who is your favorite country music fiddler?" and I find out that "all kinds" means a bunch of the same thing. They really should teach pop culture literacy in schools. Kids are just as ignorant about movies and other forms of entertainment as they are of music.
 
May 8, 2010 at 2:00 PM Post #154 of 198

Deep Funk

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It is not easy for the educators to incorporate everything. I had music classes which I found almost absolutely useless. The teacher was mad too to make matters worse, still nice though. If they had given me a guitar to play with, I at least would have learned something. We just had to swallow a lot of theory. Regarding taste in music and the history of music in the say last 50 years, we were left to our own initiative. I now discover music in my own way, I am O.K. with it. 
 
May 8, 2010 at 3:58 PM Post #155 of 198

bigshot

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The last 50 years is easy. That's what is readily available. But the last 50 years is the downfall of one of the greatest creative explosions in history. The world of music changed more between 1900 and 1950 than it ever had before. Since then, everything that had been built up has drifted into the distant corners of public consciousness. Popular music is no longer representing the creativity of the culture.
 
May 8, 2010 at 5:31 PM Post #156 of 198

asmox

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Personally, I've long since stopped concerning myself with where a given artist lies in terms of cultural prominence.
 
I primarily listen to metal and electronic music (I like and appreciate other things, but none really get as much playtime with me). Both are extremely nebulous blanket genres that may incorporate a wide range of styles and may draw from a wide variety of influences. Neither genre is exactly in danger of taking over the mainstream, and the majority of my personal favorites  originate in regions outside the United States. I can say without any hesitation that the 90's and the 00's have produced some of the best output from both camps that I have ever heard, and with the massively distributed nature of modern music, I often find myself discovering so many new, talented, and promising artists every day that I have trouble keeping up.
 
The point, I guess, is that while the status of mainstream music might be sad - I just don't have time to care because there's a massive amount of music that's actually worth caring about waiting for my attention in other areas.
 
Dwell on the status of the mainstream if you'd like. Me? I've been over it for a long time and have long since found different avenues to the music that I want to hear.
 
May 8, 2010 at 7:14 PM Post #157 of 198

bigshot

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Limiting yourself to just one or two types of music exposes you to the "90% of everything is crap" rule. Better to have a much wider range of tastes and influences and just listen to pure unadulterated genius. There have been a few unquestionable geniuses in the past couple of decades of popular music, but most people listen to the chaffe, not the wheat.
 
May 8, 2010 at 7:47 PM Post #158 of 198

asmox

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I wouldn't say that I limit myself exclusively to those types. Yeah, there's a lot of crap in both the metal and the electronic realm, but they appeal to and resonate with me more so than other genres because they are not (or at least, no longer are) constrained by stylistic boundaries, and generally push themselves to extremes. I enjoy extremes in music, and I enjoy creative freedom in music (i.e. I'm not a fan of musical traditionalism, or "hey, you're a jazz group! you're not allowed to do that!").
 
My tastes extend beyond what I mentioned (although I admittedly don't have any opera or country music fiddling in my collection), but I'm naturally drawn to those styles that offer me the things which I look for most - and I tend to find those things on a fairly consistent basis. Obviously there's a ton of music and many styles out there that I haven't heard and some that I might never hear, but I do what I can with the time that I have.
 
May 8, 2010 at 8:16 PM Post #159 of 198

racer_x124

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What about the quality of music? How can kids be expected to listen to older music when the recording is just horrible. I understand that that's what the equipment was capable of making, and some artists/listeners prefer it to be more 'genuine'. To me its like watching a movie (say Casablanca) on a 12" CRT television with a .5 watt mono speaker vs. watching it on 1080p 65" LCD transferred from the original film with A 1000 watt 7.1 digital setup. The first set up may be a more 'authentic' situation, but I doubt that I would sit through more than 5 minutes of it like that.
 
What I'm getting at is that now mostly anything on the radio has a certain quality of recording (not song writing or instrumentation mind you) but generally everything sounds "better' not that the artist are better.
 
That's just how I feel when i listen to music made before my time (pre-1990). As much as I love Frank Sinatra I can't listen to more than say 2 songs in a row because I am always left wanting more.
 
Edit: It's alot like over compressed music, it just sounds wrong.
 
May 8, 2010 at 11:29 PM Post #160 of 198

bigshot

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You're just listening to the wrong format. I felt the same way... older material on CDs sounded thin, flat and opaque. But from growing up with LPs, I knew that wasn't the way the records of the LP era sounded. I did some experimenting and found that almost without exception, all recordings sound better when you find a copy from the original release and play it on contemporary equipment. I have Caruso 78s from the early part of the century that raise the hairs on the back of your neck, they're so lifelike. But not on CD. It only sounds that way with an original pressing played back on a WWI era acoustic Victrola.
 
I've done a lot of research into this, and I've figured out that it is possible for modern digital recording technology to accurately reflect what a recording originally sounded like, but there needs to be a benchmark for playing back with a standardized flat frequency response (which few modern systems are capable of doing), and the digital transfer from analogue needs to be done with a reference to what the record was originally intended to sound like. Just playing back master tapes or transferring from the metal parts and playing them on stereo systems designed to play electronica or modern pop music and expecting it to sound right doesn't work.
 
The problem is in balances... Back in the era of acoustic instruments, everyone knew what a violin or piano was supposed to sound like. They'd heard them many times. Proper balance was self evident. But today, with digital instruments and impossible mixes, there is no benchmark. You can boost the bass ten or twenty dB and who knows if that's correct or not. Boost a piano that much and you will instantly know something is wrong. So if you take a recording designed to sound natural and play it back on a system designed for unnatural music, it's bound to sound like crap.
 
Frank Sinatra is the perfect example. On CD, the sound of the Capitol Sinatra records has gotten progressively worse and worse with each release. The more they try to "restore" them, the muddier they get. Played on modern satellite speaker systems it sounds like mush. But if you get your hands on an original LP pressing from around the time of release and play it on a well calibrated record player with pre-digital speakers, the sound is astonishingly full and present with a perfectly judged dynamic range.
 
Why do you think people spend lots of money buying LP copies of music that is available on $9 CDs? They know something that the average person doesn't know about this music. Format counts.
 
May 9, 2010 at 1:03 AM Post #161 of 198

racer_x124

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AWWW man just a month ago I saw a copy of this in a pawn shop
 
Frank-Sinatra-Frank-Sinatra-408857.jpg

 
and I thought ~20$ was too much to pay! Looking back now, after reading that post, I wish I had gotten it. I already have a fairly good set up from my Dad's early days at the local radio station.
 
Excellent writing bigshot, I'm pretty excited to scrounge the local yard sales next weekend! 
 
May 9, 2010 at 9:13 AM Post #162 of 198

Skylab

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Quote:
Personally, I've long since stopped concerning myself with where a given artist lies in terms of cultural prominence.
 


This is one of the great freedoms that comes with getting older.  As a teenager, I actually didn't "fess up" to my affection for some kinds of music that I knew my friends hated.  As an adult, I could care less what other people think about what music I like.  Sometimes it's actually good to be an old fart
L3000.gif

 
May 9, 2010 at 2:21 PM Post #163 of 198

bigshot

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I'm pretty excited to scrounge the local yard sales next weekend! 



If you shop at the right places, boot sales, swap meets, junk shops, you can get great records for a dollar or two. It's easier to experiment for a buck than it is 15 bucks for a new cd. There is an ocean of music on vinyl... And another ocean on 78s.
 
May 9, 2010 at 6:44 PM Post #164 of 198

sgrossklass

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Quote:
The last 50 years is easy. That's what is readily available. But the last 50 years is the downfall of one of the greatest creative explosions in history. The world of music changed more between 1900 and 1950 than it ever had before.

That's an interesting theory right there. The evolution of music in the 20th century is definitely closely linked to the emerging and ever improving sound recording, reproduction and generation technology of the time. Music as we usually know it requires at least some vacuum tubes, and commonly tape as well (plus the obvious sonic tranducers like microphones and speakers). Edison's phonograph, while kicking it all off in the very early 1900s, wasn't that practical yet.
 
I'd say it all peaked with the introduction of samplers and other digital technology in the early 1980s. Since then things have only become more practical, more affordable, more flexible and better-performing, but I can't think of anything truly radically new (plenty of work still went into these areas, of course - I wouldn't want to be without a PC-based music setup). Since about the early/mid '90s (or some time in the last decade for electronic genres), it's all pretty much up to human creativity again. Thus I'm not surprised things have kinda slowed down. Sure there's the internet these days, which makes collaborations and networking among musicians much easier, but so far I'd be hard-pressed to name any new groundbreaking music that could be considered a direct result.
 
May 10, 2010 at 5:16 AM Post #165 of 198

Deep Funk

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One album, Miles Davis' 'Bitches Brew.' 
 
Progressive (Rock) music could be the clear exception to the downfall of creative music. King Crimson's 'Red' anyone? Try 'The Piper At The Gates Of Dawn' by Pink Floyd, I love its madness.
 
Worthwhile music is worth the search...
 

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