PDA

View Full Version : Turn radio on. Turn brain off?


Falselogic
07-05-2013, 12:40 PM
From an article about Men being awful. I found this quote shocking accurate when it comes to my listening habits:

In truth, I like these songs. They make me want to dance. I want to sing along. They are delightful pop confections. But. I enjoy the songs the way I have to enjoy most music—I have to forget I am a sentient being. I have to lighten up.

I find out usually enjoy music more the less I think about it. Is this because I listen to crappy music with a bad message? Or that there are no good messages in music?

Am I the only one?

EDIT: oh, here is the article if you care. (http://www.salon.com/2013/07/05/what_men_want_america_delivers/)

Wolfgang
07-05-2013, 01:07 PM
One of the big (huge, enormous) differences between me and Wolfgal is that she only listens to terrible top 40 pop nonsense that comes from Z100, whether it's on the radio or her iPod. Actually the iPod is worse because it's terrible pop from across the eras, such as Blink 182 and nu-metal garbage. Whereas I listen to a lot of electronic and industrial that has maybe six dozen confirmed fans worldwide but dammit it's not mainstream!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

madhair60
07-05-2013, 01:14 PM
rJNUN4FrKmQ

Büge
07-05-2013, 02:50 PM
I can't listen to any song without analyzing it: lyrically, rhythmically, thematically, musically. My brain won't let me.

JDS
07-05-2013, 05:55 PM
there's a thin line between genuinely cool and catchy and fun music and dumb cultural affirmation posing as such. example: given that modern radio country is essentially republican soft rock with no lineage to the opry other than the occasional steel guitar i don't think it's wrong to come out and say that it's appeal is primarily in all the subtle socio-political nutflexing that every song is weighed down with. that's an entirely different scenario than people who don't like pop-country not being able to let their hair down or whatever.

Psyael
07-05-2013, 07:45 PM
A friend of mine has to analyze and think about the meaning of the lyrics behind his favorite music. My first favorite album as a child was probably Abbey Road. John Lennon was a man who was tired of people trying to find meaning behind his lyrics by this point in his career. If you think about Come Together too hard, your head will explode.

After that my life was a bunch of 80s-90s radio hits that often were shmaltzy love songs or boy band nonsense. And Michael Jackson's Bad album. A lot of stuff that I just accepted on the hook and chorus. It never occurred to me that one of Phil Collins's cheeriest songs has an F-Bomb in the midst of it until I was seventeen.

I really have no interest in lyrical meaning behind stuff unless I'm depressed and throwing on Nine Inch Nails.

cool onion
07-05-2013, 08:19 PM
I don't understand why someone would think they're lowering themselves or whatever by wanting to sing and dance to music. Like the thing that defines you as a thinking human is your indignation at the crassness of rappers or something.

NickJW
07-05-2013, 08:42 PM
It doesn't necessarily even have to be analysis. I think people would appreciate and enjoy music much more if they would just sit down and listen to it without distractions. If you go to an art gallery, you're there to look at and appreciate art. You don't try to split your attention between the paintings/sculptures and a movie playing on your phone, because the effect of both would be diminished. But when people go to a concert, they talk about the actual music like it's ancillary to the experience. They talk about the light show and pyrotechnics and crowd and whatever else because they aren't listening to the music. I've probably drug this out way too long without saying anything, but try to make time to listen to an album, straight through, without anything else dividing your attention. You'd be surprised the things you notice.

Edit: I can't read, and I apologize for that. The original article is about misogynistic lyrical content. I think you can listen to something like Robert Johnson and appreciate it in context; it was written and recorded nearly a century ago. The social climate has changed dramatically. It's much harder to do that with modern music. The money you pay for an album goes to the artist and label who are showing overt contempt towards women. And truthfully, the music they're putting out just isn't worth it. Everything coming out on the radio now is going to be replaced in six months anyway. It isn't timeless music, so why why bother supporting it. They are plenty of other options.

Psyael
07-06-2013, 02:06 AM
The money you pay for an album goes to the artist and label who are showing overt contempt towards women.

Okay, so I'm not one to normally defend Kanye West (just to throw an example out of my nether-regions), but unless he actually abuses women I'm not going to blame him if a fan of his does.

I've liked some video games with some sick and depraved shit, and as a young man some of my favorite television shows influenced children to assault each other and more. I guess I've come to grips with realizing that culture doesn't make monsters, at the very worst it prompts them to action, but that's not a problem in your hands if you are not a monster yourself.

NickJW
07-06-2013, 08:22 AM
I'm not trying to say they are directly responsible for actual physical abuse. I'm saying the music isn't providing anything to justify listening to the lyrical content.
To go back to the old blues players, there are reasons other than lyrical content to listen to them. It's a history lesson. You can listen to Leadbelly and Robert Johnson and trace the lineage to Bessie Smith, Louis Armstrong, Charlie Parker, etc. You can hear the purity of what they're playing; it's all one shot, no overdubs, which allows much more of the artist's natural emotion and inflection and phrasing to shine through.
Top 40 has songs about fuckin', and that's about as deep as it goes.

Little Sampson
07-06-2013, 08:36 AM
I'm saying the music isn't providing anything to justify listening to the lyrical content.

Top 40 has songs about fuckin', and that's about as deep as it goes.

I know that this conversation doesn't work unless we start naming artist names, but this broad idea strikes me as overly reductionist. It also strikes me as almost exactly the attitude I had before I actually started listening to "populist" or "mainstream" music or whatever. So, I ask out of genuine curiosity, how much of this top 40 music you think is worthless and time-limited do you listen to of your own accord?

NickJW
07-06-2013, 09:00 AM
I know that this conversation doesn't work unless we start naming artist names, but this broad idea strikes me as overly reductionist. It also strikes me as almost exactly the attitude I had before I actually started listening to "populist" or "mainstream" music or whatever. So, I ask out of genuine curiosity, how much of this top 40 music you think is worthless and time-limited do you listen to of your own accord?

Fair point.
Complete albums? Admittedly none, but I don't feel like spending the time investment. Singles? I've had friends at my old job play plenty of rap, modern r&b, and country, none of which held my interest. If you have recommendations though, I'm open.

Healy
07-06-2013, 09:05 AM
NickJW do you like the Beatles? Serious question.

NickJW
07-06-2013, 09:10 AM
NickJW do you like the Beatles? Serious question.

Oh, absolutely. Also Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and lots of other music from the 60's and 70's.

Little Sampson
07-06-2013, 09:22 AM
Fair point.
Complete albums? Admittedly none, but I don't feel like spending the time investment. Singles? I've had friends at my old job play plenty of rap, modern r&b, and country, none of which held my interest. If you have recommendations though, I'm open.

I don't have any suggestions, 'cause I don't know you. I just have issues with people saying things like "the songs on the top 40 have no value." I can deal with people saying they don't like certain artists or styles but just saying you don't like "popular music" without listening to it bugs the hell out of me. But it sounds more like your issues are with certain styles/genres that you have listened to. So I have no real problem with that if that's more what you're getting at, even if I still disagree.

NickJW
07-06-2013, 09:36 AM
I don't have any suggestions, 'cause I don't know you. I just have issues with people saying things like "the songs on the top 40 have no value." I can deal with people saying they don't like certain artists or styles but just saying you don't like "popular music" without listening to it bugs the hell out of me. But it sounds more like your issues are with certain styles/genres that you have listened to. So I have no real problem with that if that's more what you're getting at, even if I still disagree.

I was probably oversimplifying.
In large part, I hate polish. I'll use modern country as an example. It is specifically written and produced to cater to a demographic. So even though Nashville has some of the most phenomenal players in the country, and they really do, most of the individuality and expression gets stripped out. When I listen to music, I want to hear people interacting. I haven't heard anything on the radio that allows for that.

Adam
07-06-2013, 09:39 AM
I feel bad about myself after every time I listen to Ain't No Fun.

christoffing
07-06-2013, 04:45 PM
uh-oh we have a rockist in the building

Healy
07-06-2013, 05:44 PM
Oh, absolutely. Also Led Zeppelin, Bob Dylan, and lots of other music from the 60's and 70's.

Well Nick, it seems you have activated my trap card, for the Beatles released a highly polished, over-dubbed song about murdering your girlfriend (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Gv_Y1kbZbJA). (Somehow this does not strike me as offensive as their earlier, less polished song about merely beating up your girlfriend instead (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vUIcEGH1ICE).)

I don't really get your problem with modern Top 40 radio, because all this tosh about polish and nasty sociopolitical subtext has been said about popular music at least throughout the past 50 years or so. Don't get me wrong, I only tend to go for this kind of thing after it's gained the patina of age myself, but at least I try to be honest with myself about it.

christoffing
07-06-2013, 05:58 PM
I fail to understand how the radio-friendly adolescent groin-in-face sexuality of Led Zeppelin is any better than the radio-friendly adolescent groin-in-face sexuality of modern RnB.

JDS
07-06-2013, 10:26 PM
more direct relationship to The Blues if that is a thing you like

taosterman
07-07-2013, 12:06 AM
I feel bad about myself after every time I listen to Ain't No Fun.

I've never understood Nate Dogg's verse at the beginning. He lost all respect for the girl because she gave it up— but that's exactly what he and every single other MC in the song wants ... ? Or are respect and the homies haaa-aaaaa-aaving some mutually exclusive? Am I just thinking too hard about any given song on Doggystyle?

NickJW
07-07-2013, 08:15 AM
I fail to understand how the radio-friendly adolescent groin-in-face sexuality of Led Zeppelin is any better than the radio-friendly adolescent groin-in-face sexuality of modern RnB.

What JDS said, basically. I even brought up Robert Johnson earlier, who's entire catalog is pretty reprehensible (lyrically, at least).

I'm going to go ahead and step back and say that not all Top 40 is awful. It was a blanket statement. St. Elsewhere was a good, creative, inventive album. I think it's an exception, but whatever.

Healy:
The Beatles changed the way rock was played. McCartney was a fantastic bassist. Their albums evolved throughout their entire career. There's a lot to like there. It's not like there's a binary switch where I say, "overdubs, nope.let's try something else." And as far as polish, it's still not as clean as modern Top-40. Listen to the slide on "Run for your Life."

christoffing
07-07-2013, 09:26 AM
Okay, let me be completely frank here:

You can prefer the golden oldies to modern pop music if you want but "authenticity" in music is bullshit. There's no reason to believe that Robert Johnson, if he had the option, would not record in a better studio.

The music of Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, and, especially, the Beatles was recorded in state of the art studios in sessions that could last for months, with extensive overdubs, clean-ups, string arrangements and session musicians. It was made with a clear commercial intent by professionals. Any "mistakes" you hear on a Dylan or Beatles record were left there deliberately for aesthetic reasons. That these professionals in many ways were more imaginative and better at their job than many people working in pop music today is, partly, a result of the massive growth of the pop music industry, and the democratization that came along with it. You no longer have to be a George Martin or Brian Wilson to produce pop music, and thank god for that.

It's also not in the least surprising that the genres you say you don't like (RnB, hip-hop, country) are genres made by, and catering to, minorities, women and lower socio-economic classes. The rampant misogyny, cultural appropriation and polished lifelessness of Led Zeppelin albums is okay because it has "long historic roots" and is "musically interesting", but somehow modern RnB, the descendant of decades of black music including blues, jazz, soul, funk and hiphop, is ahistorical and uninteresting? Sly Stone, or Diana Ross, did more to shape modern pop music than Paul McCartney ever did.

And how is modern country, for all its tastelessness, not the actual folk music, in the sense of "music that the working people listen to"; much more so than your Dylans?

JDS
07-07-2013, 10:26 AM
You can prefer the golden oldies to modern pop music if you want but "authenticity" in music is bullshit. There's no reason to believe that Robert Johnson, if he had the option, would not record in a better studio.

Is anyone arguing this? (honest question i just kind of scan threads lol but i feel like you're projecting here)

The music of Bob Dylan, the Beach Boys, Led Zeppelin, and, especially, the Beatles was recorded in state of the art studios in sessions that could last for months, with extensive overdubs, clean-ups, string arrangements and session musicians.
This is just remarkably untrue in the case of Dylan and Zepp's working method , and true of the Beach Boys less than you think. (The product that Brian Wilson spent the most time producing, overdubbing and laboring over wasn't even released for fifty years. Meanwhile, he released Smiley Smile at the height of his commercial influence, an album recorded in his basement.)

That these professionals in many ways were more imaginative and better at their job than many people working in pop music today is, partly, a result of the massive growth of the pop music industry, and the democratization that came along with it. You no longer have to be a George Martin or Brian Wilson to produce pop music, and thank god for that.
Democratization can kind of suck my dick in this case, but again you're overstating. Joe Meek was an unbalanced closet case with debt problems who produced several hit singles in his upstairs apartment. And blacks and women weren't exactly having trouble getting seats at the table.

It's also not in the least surprising that the genres you say you don't like (RnB, hip-hop, country) are genres made by, and catering to, minorities, women and lower socio-economic classes. The rampant misogyny, cultural appropriation and polished lifelessness of Led Zeppelin albums is okay because it has "long historic roots" and is "musically interesting", but somehow modern RnB, the descendant of decades of black music including blues, jazz, soul, funk and hiphop, is ahistorical and uninteresting? Sly Stone, or Diana Ross, did more to shape modern pop music than Paul McCartney ever did.

"Polished lifelessness" is not a term most people would associate with Zepp. They never even bothered to fix John Bonham's squeaky bass drum pedal throughout their entire recording career. Also, the blanket implication that the real issues people have with certain genres is that they dislike blacks, women, poors, etc. is problematic to say the least.

And how is modern country, for all its tastelessness, not the actual folk music, in the sense of "music that the working people listen to"; much more so than your Dylans?
"Music working people listen to" is actually a very useless definition of "folk music," especially in the modern context and I get the feeling you haven't listened to much modern country lately as it's only second to alt-rock in being a completely commodified art form. This is speaking as someone who really digs Alan Jackson, Hank Jr. and Brooks & Dunn, but the genre as mass cultural phenomena hit a point of no return around the time of Rascal Flatts where it cut all ties and just became and engine of Bush-era reification, anthemic soft rock and resentment. If we must call that folk music (and again I see no reason why we should do this) we would have to acknowledge that it comes out of a cultural context completely worthy of contempt.

christoffing
07-07-2013, 10:45 AM
It's not my intention to imply that anyone "dislikes" black, women and poor people by disliking certain genres.

Rather, I'm arguing that judging RnB, hiphop and country, for example, by rock standards based on dubious claims of "authenticity" and "lack of polish" and using very general terms like "creativity" and "invention" in a highly specific, rock-centric way is upholding a certain kind of white, male cultural hegemony.

EDIT: That Dylan chose to record like he did, to give his records a loose, ramshackle blues type of sound, was because he himself wanted his records to sound "authentic"; like the idea of the blues filtered through his college educated, intellectual middle-class mind. It's certainly an appealing aesthetic but its probably more labored and "fake" than basically anything on the radio these days.

Healy
07-07-2013, 12:18 PM
Healy:
The Beatles changed the way rock was played. McCartney was a fantastic bassist. Their albums evolved throughout their entire career. There's a lot to like there. It's not like there's a binary switch where I say, "overdubs, nope.let's try something else." And as far as polish, it's still not as clean as modern Top-40. Listen to the slide on "Run for your Life."

Dude I know about the Beatles; in fact I think they've probably had the biggest influence on rock music this side of Elvis Presley. But they're just as "polished" for their time as [insert musical boogeyman here] is for ours. I don't know, though; I love prog rock (as do a lot of folks who post here) so it's possible that we both want very different things from pop music.