April 28, 2016

The Truth About Popular Music

Posted by gerardvanderleun at April 28, 2016 10:29 AM
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"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

Been at least 20 years since the music industry made a red cent off'n my ass.

The good music makers are too effen old and the young one's are too effen stupid.

On a spur, last night I listened to 11 Glenn Miller songs in a row non-stop, starting with "A String of Pearls" and ending with "Wistful".

Then I chased that with a live video of Steve Vai doing his amazing "For the Love of God". You can't help but be completely awed when at 4:33 he does that unbelievable 1000 note ascending trill. For most players, that is just unsustainable.

NOBODY today is even in the same playing field let alone league.....and I'm not surprised, or disappointed. It just is, like everything else these days. Humanity's disappointment.

~ walking the fine line between pagan and christian ~

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 28, 2016 1:00 PM

Joe Satriani Rubina's Blue Sky Happiness and Summer Song

Posted by: Ken at April 28, 2016 4:11 PM

Same old, same old. It's the old saw about comparing the best of the old stuff with the average (or below) of the new stuff. I am absolutely certain that in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s (I remember at least some of the last of those) there was at least as much utterly undistinguished dreck as there is now. But it's all forgotten.

Remember Sturgeon's Law.

Posted by: Fletcher Christian at April 28, 2016 4:26 PM

Yes but according to Sturgeon's Law that would apply to the 10% of Sturgeon's Law as well as everything else.

Posted by: vanderleun at April 28, 2016 8:34 PM

Not to be overly glib because I do take Fletcher's point. At the same time I am at some pains to post things here I think are interesting even though I may not agree with them.

That said I do have to say, again, that there does seem to be a lot more shit pumped out lately than every before. I read somewhere that most of the mainstream pop "hits" we see are produced by only three folks. Don't know if that's true but the samey sameness does make it feel that way.

And don't get me started on rap which is a major cop out by African Americans who one has the most vibrant and creative musical traditions and innovations in America.

Don't know how long the current crap's being pumped out of that septic tank but there seems to be nobottom to it.

Posted by: vanderleun at April 28, 2016 8:38 PM

Similarly, I am at some pains to read things here I think are interesting even though I may not agree with them.

I looked up some of the most popular "rap" lyrics awhile back and wasn't surprised, though I was disappointed. I had the same feeling when I see a ghetto in a big city. Seems that everything *them* people are involved with, the results are always the same. Not all of them, just the sturgeon 80%. They are the nigga's, as my ol' gray haired pappy used to say. The 20% are the colored folks, again, as my ol' gray haired pap referred to them.

Is that all they are capable of?
bitches, ho's, drugs, killing, stealing, beating, etc., all of the things one normally associates with a ghetto run down part of the city and the vermin that choose to reside there.

Why in the world would anybody sanction such things?
And why would any sane person spend money for trash like that?

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 29, 2016 6:30 AM

Why in the world would anybody sanction such things?
And why would any sane person spend money for trash like that?

Because, to misquote Mencken, "You'll never go broke underestimating the taste of the American people." That's why.

Sometime around the entrance of Tom Parker it was discovered that you could make as much money selling crap as you could selling art. More, even. Since then it's been a race for the bottom.

Posted by: Rob De Witt at April 29, 2016 10:16 AM

While I’m willing to concede that ‘today pop music sucks’ but staying away from the subjective and useless rhetorical “how/why/when” debate I’d just like to add…OK, listen to something else.

Who, besides teens and young people, really actually listens to pop? I mean we’re talking about the same people who brought us bath salts, are permanently attached to their smart phones like pacifiers, need “safe spaces”, think Bernie Sanders is cool, wear their jeans below their asses and brought us for the biggest fraud in American political history – Obama. And somehow we’re surprised their music sucks? Why exactly…?

Personally I’ve listened to “Alternative” or “Indie” rock for last 25 years. And now with the internet, Pandora Radio and satellite radio there’s absolutely no reason to be stuck listening to the crap that passes as “popular music”. When I need my “old school fix” I still have my CD player to kick out the jams.

There’s good…nay, great music still being made today. You just have to willing to go find it.

Posted by: tim at April 29, 2016 11:52 AM

@Tim, you misunderstand us, at least, me. I said right up front I was surprised, just (further) disappointed.

No one hear said they are listening to that stuff, but we hear it, we have no choice - even back here in the sticks.

When I choose to listen to music I mostly listen to classic rock, you know, RUSH, Skynard, REO, etc., and occasionally some old stuff like Glenn Miller and other stuff from the 30's and 40's.

For me it is just a sense of sadness because I tie the music in with everything else going on which surely everybody is aware of to some degree.

The good stuff is still out there but it is deeply hidden by the mundane and obscene and for me I lack the gumption to waste much time searching for it, as the filth ensconces everything.

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 29, 2016 3:38 PM

Ain't there a proofreader around here?
That should have said "...I wasn't surprised...".

Posted by: ghostsniper at April 29, 2016 5:32 PM

"good music" is highly subjective, of course. Rap is largely trash, yes, but you axed the question as to why anybody could relate to the bad rhymes of pimps, whores, drugs, etc. Different world than yours or mine. Who would you or I be if we had been born into such? In that lifestyle maybe somebody looks at you wrong and you need to get even because you were disrespected. Call me a "cracker" and I don't care. Disrespect me all day long and it makes no difference in my life. Threaten my family and then you will see a man get mean. I sleep with a Glock 17 on my night stand, not as a matter of fear but of duty toward my wife and children.

Back as a teen in the late 70's, for Father's Day I bought my father a record of big band music. I ended up listening to it more than he did.I liked sophomoric 80's hair bands and didn't notice or care much for lyrics. Alice In Chains appealed to me when I finally did start listening to what was being sung . Multiple trips on long airline flights to Asia at the turn of the century got me into Stan Getz, old jazz, and how it relates to big band music. I have several Stan Getz CDs and have requested that Early Autumn is played some day at my wake.

I also like some old country, but largely hate most anything I hear on the radio. I'm getting older and opinionated, I guess kind of like you... although there is no fine line between pagan and Christian for me. At the end of the day I am just borrowing everything from Him. My house, my old truck, the Cadillac, and all of my guns will eventually go to someone else. I would really like to retain my memories of days in the field hunting. My best guess is that our merciful God would grant such.

I thoroughly enjoy reading your posted opinions.

Posted by: Snakepit Kansas at April 29, 2016 5:53 PM

Those kids need to GET OFF MY LAWN!!

Posted by: OldFert at April 30, 2016 10:57 AM

"Then I chased that with a live video of Steve Vai doing his amazing "For the Love of God". You can't help but be completely awed when at 4:33 he does that unbelievable 1000 note ascending trill. For most players, that is just unsustainable."

Yawn. A textbook example of empty virtuosity. Remember. It's not how many, it's which ones.


Posted by: Arthurstone at May 1, 2016 11:27 AM