Something Random

time

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I'm sort of with Merc on this one (i.e. Rolling Stones most talentless group to ever achieve superstardom).

More specifically, I like many things they did when Brian Jones was alive, and precious little when he was dead.

I have a soft spot for Keefe, though. For example, I have a John Lee Hooker album that features a cameo from the One with the Fried Brain; it's actually rather cool - believe it or not.

Oh yeah, plus he called Jagger's knighthood a "<expletive> disgrace", and said he doubted he would ever be offered a similar honor:

"Because they know what I would've said ... they knew I'd tell them where they could put it," he said.
 

Fushigi

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Rather than 'talentless' or 'negative talent', I'll be a little more gentle and merely say 'overrated'. Especially everything they've released since, oh, around 1977 or so.

Along with Elton John, Rod Stewart, and several others, the Stones cause my hand to instantly reach out to change the radio station.
 

Mercutio

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Does anyone really want to know if a bunch of harelipped geriatric transvestites can or can not get "satisfaction". Frankly the thought of the shambling corpses that make up the Rolling Stones doing anything remotely related to sexual gratification is as stomach-churning as plain old necrophilia, and no less a crime against nature.
 

Fushigi

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When Best Buy started with their exclusive on the RS box set recently, the Stones' photos were all over the ad in the Sunday paper. Yuck. They should be advertising Dawn of the Dead or something.
 

e_dawg

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Mercutio said:
Does anyone really want to know if a bunch of harelipped geriatric transvestites can or can not get "satisfaction". Frankly the thought of the shambling corpses that make up the Rolling Stones doing anything remotely related to sexual gratification is as stomach-churning as plain old necrophilia, and no less a crime against nature.

Come on, Merc, tell us how you really feel :)
 

e_dawg

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More specifically, I like many things they did when Brian Jones was alive, and precious little when he was dead.

Ah, yes. Brian Jones. The Stoners' (sic) original sex, drugs, and rock and roll man. Indeed, they owe a lot of their musicianship, songwriting, and opiated debauchery to Brian's early leadership.

time said:
I'm sort of with Merc on this one (i.e. Rolling Stones most talentless group to ever achieve superstardom).

I believe you're forgetting people like Madonna, Spice Girls, and various other boy bands and girl bands full of "cute" dancers but not muscians. (although I wouldn't call their flash in the pan success, except for Madonna of course, superstardom). At least the Stones were musicians and could actually play instruments and write music (granted, they were not the most talented bunch, but they did create some magic every now and then), and they were better musicians than the bulk of today's pop stars. (hey, it's all relative)

I think you guys will like this article on the current state of pop music (although it is from a UK perspective, so the references are not quite as valid to the N.Americans among us).

http://www.tuppenceworth.ie/Music/tyranny.htm
 

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e_dawg said:
I think you guys will like this article on the current state of pop music (although it is from a UK perspective, so the references are not quite as valid to the N.Americans among us).

http://www.tuppenceworth.ie/Music/tyranny.htm

Nice reading. To some extent I must agree with him. However, I am not as familiar with pop music these days as I was 10 or 20 years ago. But talentless? No doubt in my mind.
 

Mercutio

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I could write a great big long rant about popular music, but the thing that KILLS me is that I had 12 years of classical voice and piano, and I'm passable on maybe a half-dozen other instruments, and I don't think of myself as a musician.

Now, some dumbass with a copy of Pro Tools can make a fortune looping 4 measures of pop drivel that was mindless to begin with. It's entirely likely that he can't even read music, let alone understand mode or chord progression. This person is illiterate. What's his basis for creating music? Is there any sense of art at all? Or is it all profit motive? Or maybe just getting laid?

This illiterate rectal pessary gets actual acclaim in serious and popular media (e.g. "Wired" magazine, which falls all over itself monthly, claiming techno DJs are the future of music, or NPR, with fawning interviews of "musicians" like Moby) for playing short-attention-span-theater with a mixing board (or, more likely, Pro Tools) and someone else's work.

It's completely offensive.

Hm. Maybe I will rant. I don't think I'm done yet.
 

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Merc, what about people like Buddy Rich who couldn't read music? I know it's not the same as your "Pro Tools" example...just curious.
 

ddrueding

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Handruin said:
Merc, what about people like Buddy Rich who couldn't read music? I know it's not the same as your "Pro Tools" example...just curious.

And what about borderline musicians? Green Day only knew 4 chords for their first 3 albums....
 

Dïscfärm

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ddrueding said:
Also very nice, has she been spotted in Texas, yet?

And what on earth would she be doing in Houston, anyway. Austin would be more her style...

Austin -- just a suburb of Houston.

 

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Dïscfärm said:
Austin -- just a suburb of Houston.

Hardly. IMHO Houston blows (no direct offence intended). Austin not only has better weather (and much lower humidity) but has a much better social climate. It's a college town and well known for it's live music.
 

Mercutio

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Handruin said:
Merc, what about people like Buddy Rich who couldn't read music? I know it's not the same as your "Pro Tools" example...just curious.

Pro Tools is a very common Mac-based mixing/looping/sampling program. For a DJ or amateur performaner, it's a gift from the gods. It's REALLY easy to use and you can work miracles with it.

But, because it's really easy to use, there's no effort involved. It's very much a case of "throw shit on a wall and see what sticks". If there was a real musical instrument involved, there would at least be a barrier to entry - someone needs at least some minimal level of skill before real music is possible. Such is no longer the case.

In jazz and blues circles, formal training is often considered a hinderance; the emphasis is on improvisation after mastery of the instrument has been attained. This, again, is something that has to cultivated; jazz improvisation does NOT come naturally, but through practice and careful listening, musicians develop an ear for the rules that are formalized in classical music. They end up in the same place.

I'm not going to knock the guy who spent 20 years playing blues licks or the 10 year old whose Suzuki training lets him rip through a violin showpiece with technical perfection, but I have no problem at all condemning the moron who says "I think I'll drag this 10-second sample I stole from"Don't Fear the Reaper" here."

What's the difference between the rest of us and that guy? We don't have a copy of Pro Tools.

Pop music is all about lowest common denominator. In a way it always has been, but its even more true today than it was 20 years ago. Now, record companies seek to maximize profits in ways they didn't know or understand in 1980, media companies get to decide what's popular, and potentially interesting or at least different music is lost to everyone.

Not only that, but with the sound processing technology that's available in a modern studio, it DOES NOT MATTER if you can perform. In a studio, ANYONE can be made to sound good. You guys already know that. Literally, if there's a warm body in front of a mic, someone in the booth can make a servicable recording. So why not put the prettiest people in there? Think someone like, um, Justin Timberlake or Shania Twain will ever record an all-acoustic album?

I know there are real musicians in the pop world. Guys who really work and perfect their craft. But for every one of those guys, there's probably 20 guys you'd NEVER want to hear singing or playing without the adornment of amplification, who are creations of their producers in the studios, and the record labels they signed with.

A band like "Green Day" is a special case, as I understand things (ie not well, probably). IIRC Grunge music was a reaction to an earlier period of bubblegum, over-produced pop, where "original" grunge acts purposefully played mistuned, overamplified music and sang about subject matter as far as possible from whatever mainstream pop was doing at the time.
Which, from my perspective, is pretty much exactly what punk rock was 15 years earlier. The style was eventually co-opted into the mainstream and the musicians really lost any validity as artists or innovators as the 90s wore on. From the point of view of the early artists in that school, it might be said that knowing how to play instruments too well might've been detrimental to the message of their music.

And as far as things, go, I'd rather hear lousy music from someone attempting to be a musician than something assembled by committee in a studio.
 

e_dawg

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Handruin said:
Merc, what about people like Buddy Rich who couldn't read music? I know it's not the same as your "Pro Tools" example...just curious.

He couldn't read music? Really? I thought he was never formally trained was all. But then again, i don't know much at all about the guy except that he was a legendary jazz dummer (Charlie Watts from the Rolling Stones was also a jazz drummer dragged into the band by Mick and Keith, LOL).

At first, I thought you were talking about Charlie Rich:

Hey, did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world?
And if you did, was she cryin'?

Hey, if you happen to see the most beautiful girl that walked out on me.

Tell her I'm sorry.
Tell her I need my baby.

Oh, won't you tell her that I love her.

I woke up this morining, realized what I had done.
I stood alone in the cold, grey dawn, and knew that I lost my mornin' sun.

I lost my head, and I said some things.
Now comes the heartaches that the morning brings.

I know I'm wrong, but I couldn't see.
I let my world slip away from me.

So, hey. Did you happen to see the most beautiful girl in the world? ... etc.

Such poetry :)
 

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Mercutio said:
What's the difference between the rest of us and that guy? We don't have a copy of Pro Tools.

I've used ProTools, Vegas, Nuendo, and others. When it comes to pro audio (i.e. -- "recording") I'm unabashedly old school. I don't like the quality or the hassle of computer-based multi-track recording. I've shunned all that stuff for dedicated component gear. Using, maintaining, and upgrading modern "old school" gear is a lot easier to deal with. If one wants to pursue computer-based multi-track recording and mixing, you need to invest in a control surface. Many people don't, and screw around with mouses and shuttles to operate their ProTools, Vegas, or Nuendo rigs. Yikes. Mastering on a computer is a different story.



...But for every one of those guys, there's probably 20 guys you'd NEVER want to hear singing or playing without the adornment of amplification...

That ratio is more like 1:20000
 

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Merc, have you considered replacing Simon Cowell on American Idol? His insults would be nothing in the face of your bile... that visceral disgust that the merely condescending Cowell could not even touch. :)
 

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ddrueding said:
Hardly. IMHO Houston blows (no direct offence intended). Austin not only has better weather (and much lower humidity) but has a much better social climate. It's a college town and well known for it's live music.

Well, I've lived in both places, and in fact I just got back from Austin yesterday afternoon (Austin is generally a 2.5 hour drive). When I lived there, a while back, I used to often meet up with people that I knew in Houston. Weather is similar, except it's usually hotter in the summer and colder in the winter in Austin. Humidity varies greatly around here in the summer -- it depends on if the wind is blowing off the Gulf Of Mexico or out of the Sonora Desert (west Texas). In either case, Austin's always a tad hotter.


It's a college town and well known for it's live music.

Yes, like I was saying I know Austin. I lived there for a while. It's easy, VERY EASY, to find the music scene there (it's called Sixth Street). In Houston, it's not so easy to find said music scene, because it's scattered around and somewhat hidden in this vastly larger town. Guess where a lot of Austin's music scene has migrated in from over the decades? It's not Dallas, Waco, Corpus Christi, El Paso, Lubbock, or some other place -- it's Houston. If you want to talk about pathetic, think Dallas. Dallas is bible belt country and a bastion of fascism. Dallas has a little make-believe "Sixth Street area" called Deep Elum, which is a bad joke in unto itself.
 

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Mercutio said:
IIRC Grunge music was a reaction to an earlier period of bubblegum, over-produced pop, where "original" grunge acts purposefully played mistuned, overamplified music and sang about subject matter as far as possible from whatever mainstream pop was doing at the time.

Anyone here listen to the White Stripes?
 

Mercutio

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I thought "Simon Cowell" was some kind of Canadian celebrity. I did a google and apparently American Idol is some kind of big-deal TV show. I'd never heard of it.
 

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Mercutio said:
I thought "Simon Cowell" was some kind of Canadian celebrity. I did a google and apparently American Idol is some kind of big-deal TV show. I'd never heard of it.

Yes! My estimation of you just went way up. I just heard about this thing on newstalk radio the other day...
 

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Mercutio said:
I thought "Simon Cowell" was some kind of Canadian celebrity. I did a google and apparently American Idol is some kind of big-deal TV show. I'd never heard of it.

:) I wasn't expecting you to be a big fan of a popular TV show such as American Idol, but I was half-expecting you to know about Simon, who is known for being highly critical of the talentless pop-star wannabes on the show -- something, me thinks, you could definitely identify with. In any event, here is an article that should give you an idea of what Simon and the show is about:

http://www.post-gazette.com/tv/20020626idol3.asp
 

e_dawg

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ddrueding said:
Yes! My estimation of you just went way up. I just heard about this thing on newstalk radio the other day...

I don't know if that's grounds for worship, as American Idol is probably one of the recent cultural phenomena everyone should at least know about conceptually (it's not like you have to watch it, but you should know what it's about). It is the recent pioneer of talent competition type reality shows, and is part of the whole "if that talentless bum can be a pop star, so can I" "race to the bottom" movement that is partly responsible for the decline in quality of pop music.

And how can you possibly not have known about Idol? Merc, I can understand, because he has openly stated that he holds disdain for the usual small talk with coworkers where one might discuss something like American Idol. But it is such a cultural phenomenon that someone like yourself should have come across it in conversation with at least one of your friends/coworkers...
 

ddrueding

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e_dawg said:
And how can you possibly not have known about Idol? Merc, I can understand, because he has openly stated that he holds disdain for the usual small talk with coworkers where one might discuss something like American Idol. But it is such a cultural phenomenon that someone like yourself should have come across it in conversation with at least one of your friends/coworkers...

Well, although I am more of a social animal than merc, that's not saying much.

1. I'm self-employed, without employees. No co-workers, I try to avoid clients being around while I work (usual reasons)
2. I don't watch television. I have a few episodes of a few shows on my PC, but the comercials are already gone.
3. Cultural phenomenon? Reality TV? What? I consider the recent proliferation of BLOGs more important.
4. I can count my physical friends* on one hand.

*"physical friends" meaning anyone I talk to regularly over a medium that isn't the internet.
 

Mercutio

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No friends. No conversations unless they're about computers (usually someone asking for help). Barely see coworkers - private office with my own bathroom and kitchen, and I'm almost always teaching News comes from National Public Radio. Don't ever watch commercials, even though I watch some television.

Somehow it never made an appearance in my life before. I imagine marketing person somewhere would be slamming his head against a wall to know that.
 

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Man, I cracked a tooth a while back and it started killing me last night. Couldn't sleep, can barely see straight right now. Time to go find a dentist that discounts for cash and is heavy-handed with the morphine...
 
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