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Old 10-27-2007   #31
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Default Re: Today's Worst Bands...

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Originally Posted by narcoticprayer View Post
AND I'm not attempting to elevate my opinion by bashing 'pop superstars' I'm giving what to me is a 'valid opinion'. I respect yours, you love Chicago. Me, not so much anymore.
Are you mrmusic?

Because my comment was in direct response to mrmusic's laundry list of Superstars who "aren't any good."

To YOUR point... I totally agree that Chicago was A LOT more creative, progressive and inspiring, when Terry Kath was still alive and rippin' out those amazing guitar licks!

PEACE

DD
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Old 10-27-2007   #32
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Default Re: Today's Worst Bands...

Okay mrmusic. I think I understand you. But, I was not talking about sales either. But, its okay. Mandrill had a cult following, but was excellent. Bands like this can`t survive in todays formula music society.
Real music, creativity, playing real instruments and reading music ( no sampling back then) was the way of life. And, should still be. But, we know what we have now. Its amazing when you think about it, without the music we grew up on, what would our kids have to listen to now? Sure, not all forms of music are sampling and using computers and artificial means to reproduce music, but a lot are.
I`m afraid there is no legacy to be left with todays music, with very few exception.
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Old 10-29-2007   #33
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Default Re: Today's Worst Bands...

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Originally Posted by deacongreg View Post
Okay mrmusic. I think I understand you. But, I was not talking about sales either. But, its okay.
Real music, creativity, playing real instruments and reading music (no sampling back then) was the way of life. And, should still be. But, we know what we have now. Its amazing when you think about it, without the music we grew up on, what would our kids have to listen to now? Sure, not all forms of music are sampling and using computers and artificial means to reproduce music, but a lot are.
I`m afraid there is no legacy to be left with todays music, with very few exception.
First, let me clear up any mistaken identities. I think you were replying to narcoticprayer's comment, which was echoing part of mine. But I am mrmusic. Have been for years. License plates, multiple net identities, references from friends and foes alike. If you get confused here in the forum, check the accompanying icon. You shouldn't be able to forget that (much as you'd like). (And that was taken on one of my good days ...)

I agree with you about real instruments, and for the most part about reading music -- I know what you mean, but there are some outstanding musicians who don't read, esp some singers, who have incredible "ears" (like my wife, Diane Michelle -- but after almost 35 yrs of singing professionally, she's now learning to read). Unfortunately, such discussions tend to come across like crusty old coots of any era complaining, "Sonny, in my day ..." What I'm really mourning is the Death of the Album, a result of all the same technology you're bemoaning.

As far as legacies -- every single time the thought enters my head that all the great ones have come and gone, some kid or band pops up who amazes me and reminds me musical magnitude will always be with us. Just ... not as often, as you said. And we will never see another Jimi, Miles, John Lee Hooker, the Beatles, the Band, the Doors, the Dead, Love.

What would our kids have to listen to? Well, my 13-yr-old, pretty musically sophisticated, likes most of the music I do including all the great '60s stuff (I just helped her put up posters in her room of Jimi, Bob Marley, Zappa and Fats Domino), but she also turns me on to a lot of what's great today, and I have to say her hip friends network is far faster and wider-reaching than mine ever was. If she didn't have "my/our/'60s" music to listen to ... she'd probably listen to more Ella and Ellington, Robert Johnson and Cab Calloway, Screamin' Jay Hawkins and Professor Longhair, Liszt and Mozart.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David DelGrosso View Post
The original comment was that they "spiraled down the drain."
So my rebuttal still stands... for I've never seen a drain large enough to swallow up 120 million records!
Everyone has their own personal taste... but bashing Pop Superstars does not elevate your opinion above their millions of fans.
Personally...
I don't dig the personalities of Mariah and Whitney, but it seems pretty lame to insist that their vocal skills are "bad."
And Celine and Garth are "as good as it gets" within their respective genres. Sure, I am more intrigued by the creativity of Dali, than Picasso... but I would never classify Picasso as a "bad" painter.
And few "artists" throughout time, have touched their fans more deeply than the Jackson 5 did.. or even Bon Jovi. But if you don't like their style of music... does that REALLY make it "bad" music??
Peace out.DD
There is a drain large enough to swallow up 120 million records, and gazillions more -- it's called popular culture. AM-FM radio. TV celebrity shows. Tabloid press. And its corporate masters feed an ignorant and lazy public a steady diet of platinum-selling, meritless eye and ear candy (under contract to them, of course) that feeds on itself, to the point where it becomes extremely difficult to even know good music exists. Sure, AVRev has 650,000 readers, and our music section offers 10 insightful, no-holds-barred reviews every issue, and our publisher Jerry Del Colliano throws in frequent music commentary that hits even harder, but where does that leave the other 6.2 billion people in the world? Listening to K-Earth or KROQ, watching ET, reading Star and People.

On one level, you're absolutely right: bashing Pop Superstars does not elevate my opinion above their millions of fans. I personally can't stand Barry Manilow. That's my opinion, or more accurately, my feeling. But if going to a Barry Manilow concert or buying the new Madonna disc makes your world a brighter place, I would never argue with that. Good for ya. Have a nice day. No, really.

(Now I'm using "you" in a general way, not about you, David.) I would never tell you your taste in music is worthless. To you, it's nirvana. But don't try to tell me it's art. Or even worthwhile on any meaningful value scale other than your personal one. If someone likes Chicago or Madonna or Zamfir or Gene Autry, if millions of people like them, that means ... millions of people like them. Not a damn thing more. It's a popularity contest, and they've won. But it has nothing -- nothing -- to do with artisitic merit. Every single person I've ever asked can name at least one performer who is or was immensely popular that they think stinks, be it Cher or Bruce, Coltrane or Dylan. Hell, Jerry doesn't like Dylan, or the Beatles that much.

So, either every single person who sings "Happy Birthday" (probably off-key -- most people do), on up to Pablo Casals, is completely equal as a musician, or, there is some way to determine relative artistic merit. I won't go into that discussion -- I've had it lots of times, and I come off sounding at first arrogant and self-important but if people stay with the discussion long enough they start to see what I'm getting at, but this post is already waaay too long (but I hope someone starts a new thread, or several!).

In areas I don't know much about, I look to the experts. I don't blindly agree with them, and I've learned to read between the lines, but if some guy has spent 30 yrs haunting galleries worldwide, after getting his masters from the Sorbonne in Fine Art Curating, and is trusted by the LA or NY Times to represent them day in and day out with opinions and reviews that are constantly nit-picked-over by every expert reader out there, I figure his opinions, based on an incredibly higher exposure to everything there is, are more valid than mine, based on my yearly visits to LACMA. If he insists something is great, inspired, and I don't see it, I'll look again.

I have no problem with you telling me that seeing Celine Dion in Las Vegas was one of the high points of your life. (OK, truth: I will shudder but try not to let a look of pity show on my face, and I'll try to hide the little bit of blood from biting my tongue so hard.) Just don't try to tell me she's a great artist. She's got a great instrument/voice, yes, as do Mariah and Whitney and even Michael Bolton. Great voices -- bad "vocal skills." Not a tenth of an ounce of soul in the four of them put together. I can and do admire a great instrument -- Kenny G can certainly play -- but when it's applied worthlessly or to worthless music, without soul, without evidence of some inspiration at work, it's a sad waste of talent. You may hear Bolton's version of "Georgia" back-to-back with Ray Charles' and really not be able to say one is better than the other. If so, it's because you haven't listened to enough of that kind of music to know what to listen for, or to have yardsticks of dozens or hundreds of other similar singers, or versions of that song, to measure by. That's understandable. Just don't try to tell me Bolton, or Whitney, or any others on that list of 100-million-selling "artists" I was "bashing" are worthy of carrying Ray Charles' dirty hanky. I say if Bolton's "Georgia" doesn't trigger immediate vertigo and nausea, you're just not paying attention.

Not liking a style of music has nothing to do with it. I, personally, am open to almost any style you could name, and a few you may not even don't know exist. That's not what makes it "bad" music; it's their performance of it that makes it bad.

Dali and Picasso were both geniuses, in my very uninformed opinion. I also used to favor Dali more (seeing "The Andalusian Dog" for the first time in film class in college was one of my standout educational moments, I remember seeing him on the Tonight Show, and a few hours I got to spend in the great museum in Tampa devoted to his work was amazing), until my wife taught me a little more about Picasso. I still don't know dick about fine art. I know what I like, I know what uplifts me, but I would never tell you it's quality stuff just because of that.

And please don't hate me more than I'm sure you now do, David, but I just can't let this one pass: "And Celine and Garth are 'as good as it gets' within their respective genres." I can't argue about Celine because I don't know what genre you would put her in, but I'm sure you would consider Garth "country," and all I can say is, I think you need to listen to a lot a lot a lot more country music. You will quickly discover Garth, though I give him credit for many skills and accomplishments, is not even within sniffing range of good, or even real country.
Quote:
Originally Posted by narcoticprayer View Post
I'm just saying that at a very specific point some of those 120 million records backed up the drain.
I kind of think that a thread entitled Today's Worst Bands is inteded for people to state their opinion in re music & the people who make it?
AND I'm not attempting to elevate my opinion by bashing 'pop superstars' I'm giving what to me is a 'valid opinion'. I respect yours, you love Chicago. Me, not so much anymore.
Each successive release from Chicago Transit Authority on wasn't as good as the one that preceded it.Terry Kath was the heart of the band. They continued to make successful music after he died but...
Everything from Hot Streets on smelled.
See, that's where the confusion came in, when narco took the "bashing pop stars" issue as his own. And Kevin -- my condolences for all that Chicago you so gallantly sat through. Much better to play Chicago I 38 times, than to sit through Chicago I through Chicago XXXVIII. Must be your wife you're talking about. No friend is worth that.
Quote:
Originally Posted by David DelGrosso View Post
Are you mrmusic?
Because my comment was in direct response to mrmusic's laundry list of Superstars who "aren't any good."DD
By the way, there are a few 100-million-selling Pop Superstars I don't bash:
Beatles, Creedence, Pavarotti, Stones, Zep, Floyd, U2, Dire Straits, Bruce, Fats Domino, Queen, Sinatra, AC/DC, Tommy James (kind of a guilty pleasure), and Elvis/Bowie/Beach Boys/Deep Purple/Who/Byrds/Stevie Wonder/Dolly/Prince/Duane Eddy/Tina/FMac/Rod Stewart because their sterling early output makes up for later missteps.

Last edited by mrmusic; 10-29-2007 at 01:13 PM..
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Old 10-29-2007   #34
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Default Re: Today's Worst Bands...

mrmusic, thank god for your daughter. But she is a rare breed indeed. And why? Just like I said, YOU introduced her to our music, she listened, and was taken in like we were. And, that is another thing, Who, I mean Who listens to music anymore? Its on the i-pod, but who is really listening?
When we came up, despite doing young people things, partying, sports, whatever, we actually went home and said, yea, I`m going to get a brew or a pint, go home and LISTEN to music or some tunes. FOR HOURS!! Door for room locked, music blasting, or headphones on. Actually KOSS 2 +2 quadraphonic headphones with a stereo/quad button and volume controls on the earpiece!!
But today, its about, I have more songs on my i-pod than you. Not, did you check out that riff on Stanley Clarke`s album? That is whats wrong with today. No one spends time listening to music. Its in the background. Everyone is on AIM and MYSPACE!!
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Old 10-29-2007   #35
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Default Re: Today's Worst Bands...

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Originally Posted by mrmusic View Post
If someone likes Chicago or Madonna or Zamfir or Gene Autry, if millions of people like them, that means ... millions of people like them. Not a damn thing more. It's a popularity contest, and they've won. But it has nothing -- nothing -- to do with artisitic merit.
Ah yes... the "artistic merit" that only an "expert" can properly assign!

Which reminds me of the time that Rolling Stone critic Jon Landau described the first Led Zeppelin US concert as "loud, violent and often insane"... adding that "Zeppelin's enormous commercial success, in spite of critical opposition, revealed the deep division into a clearly defined mass taste and a clearly defined elitist taste."

Quote:
if some guy has spent 30 yrs haunting galleries worldwide, after getting his masters from the Sorbonne in Fine Art Curating, and is trusted by the LA or NY Times to represent them day in and day out with opinions and reviews that are constantly nit-picked-over by every expert reader out there, I figure his opinions, based on an incredibly higher exposure to everything there is, are more valid than mine, based on my yearly visits to LACMA. If he insists something is great, inspired, and I don't see it, I'll look again.
And hopefully you "looked again" back in 1969, when Robert Hilburn also trashed the first Led Zeppelin album, in his scathing LA Times review.

Perhaps there is some merit to the old proverb...

Throughout the history of time, no one has ever constructed a monument for a critic.

You're not a music "critic"... are you?

DD
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Old 10-30-2007   #36
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Default Re: Today's Worst Bands...

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Originally Posted by David DelGrosso View Post
Ah yes... the "artistic merit" that only an "expert" can properly assign!
Which reminds me of the time that Rolling Stone critic Jon Landau described the first Led Zeppelin US concert as "loud, violent and often insane"... adding that "Zeppelin's enormous commercial success, in spite of critical opposition, revealed the deep division into a clearly defined mass taste and a clearly defined elitist taste."
And hopefully you "looked again" back in 1969, when Robert Hilburn also trashed the first Led Zeppelin album, in his scathing LA Times review.
Perhaps there is some merit to the old proverb...
Throughout the history of time, no one has ever constructed a monument for a critic.
You're not a music "critic"... are you?
DD
uh, well, I dunno ... I am the Music Editor of AVRev.com, as you can see from my ID (look left and click "mrmusic") -- if you hadn't noticed yet by reading our music section anytime in the last 3 yrs.

You seem to think "critic" is a Bad Word, David. Here's how those two (dead) arbiters of meaning, word "experts" Mirriam and Webster ("yeah, what gives them the right to determine the merit of one meaning of a word over another? My definitions are just as good as theirs!"), define it:

1 a: one who expresses a reasoned opinion on any matter especially involving a judgment of its value, truth, righteousness, beauty, or technique
b: one who engages often professionally in the analysis, evaluation, or appreciation of works of art or artistic performances
2: one given to harsh or captious ("marked by an often ill-natured inclination to stress faults and raise objections") judgment

You (and many others) incorrectly blend the two meanings, emphasis on #2, but when used in this context we're talking about the first definition, part b especially, and part a. Arts criticism can turn out either positive or negative, praising or damning, but nearly always is a mixture of the two, because rarely do you come across something either perfect or totally worthless.

"Ah yes... the 'artistic merit' that only an 'expert' can properly assign!," you intone. That sounds kind of sarcastic, mocking and self-righteous to me. But you know what? I agree with that statement. Artistic merit IS the purview of experts.

What's wrong with experts? Do you fix your own car? Alignment, transmission, engine? Maybe you do. That would make you an expert. Me, I go to an expert called a mechanic. When I'm feeling physically off in a way I'm concerned about, I go to an expert called a doctor. Nothing wrong with checking out an expert's opinion.

The artistic merit of art (e.g., music) IS evaluated by critics, because they are experts. Not infallible gods, but yes, experts. So what? It has nothing to do with popularity, sales, whether or not you can or should enjoy it, how often it gets heard on the radio, if at all, or how many points it would get for danceability on American Bandstand. If you read a negative critique of some music you think is great, you probably take it personally, as though the reviewer is saying your opinion is uninformed, wrong and stupid.

Don't take it so personally, people. There's a place for popular opinion, and for critical opinion; both are useful, and neither invalidate the other. You can still like what you like. I like Tommy James & the Shondells' music. I can only weakly defend it, artistically. But I don't care. If some critic slams their work, I'll either agree or not with the basis for slamming it, but I'm still going to listen, and like.

There are certainly a lot of people in print or on line who don't deserve the designation of critic, and give the good ones a bad name. Notwithstanding, it is an art form in itself. Music is the most ethereal of all the arts, gone in an instant, triggering emotions in its wake, so difficult to capture in words on a page. To be a good critic you must not only be up to tackling this incredibly elusive task, but be working from a foundation of wide knowledge and experience. An excellent writer or journalist doesn't necessarily make a good critic, nor does a music expert, if he can't express his feelings in writing.

Like they say about assholes and opinions, everyone has one. You, David, are in the biz, and a music expert, many would say. But you don't choose to let your opinions be judged by the world by taking on the challenge of being a published critic. Fine, but give credit to those who do, for the world to judge, slam and mock their work; like the musician, they are offering something creative to the world, and have to let the chips fall where they may. But don't try to denigrate and invalidate the very idea of legitimate criticism.

I have to put in a word for the critics who write for me. They were meticulously chosen from literally a world-wide search, and had to show they were up to our high standards. They've all far exceeded my expectations. I'm very proud of all the standard-setting writing and reviewing throughout AVRev.com, but especially that of my stellar music critics. What they do is unique, insightful, inspired and inspiring. Look around. You won't find better reviews anywhere. These guys know their stuff, and their opinions are brilliant, and brilliantly expressed.

Your pithy proverb about no one ever having built a monument to a critic is actually a quote from one of my very favorite composers, the great Jean Sibelius. But you know what? It's a rare, rare, really rare musician who will react with anything less than disgust to a review of his work that's anything less than a rave. (Meaning every thing they've ever done is perfect, beyond criticism, right?) And it may have been an accurate statement when he said it, but there are at least two prominent playhouses on Broadway named for critics, the Brooks Atkinson and the Walter Kerr. And if you want to expand into the 1a definition, you can start with Martin Luther and go through Martin Luther King Jr. and find plenty of critics who have had monuments built to them.

Here's something on the subject from Frank Zappa: "Most rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read." In the Guns N' Roses song "Get in the Ring," Axl Rose verbally attacked critics by name who gave the band negative reviews because of their actions on stage. Zappa's is pretty funny, I think, because it's too often true. Axl's is kind of pathetic.

Even the best critics are wrong sometimes. And believe me, few things are as egotistically uncomfortable as confronting that rave review you wrote a few years ago about a band or album you now, for good reason, loathe, or having trashed someone everyone now regards as genius.

Concerning your Led Zeppelin remarks above: "loud, violent and often insane" sounds like a great concert to me. I would say I wish I had been there, but I sort of was. After being stunned by their first album, I couldn't believe my great good fortune to see they were scheduled to play in little ol' Albuquerque on their first tour (opening for Vanilla Fudge!!), in a 3,000-seat hall. It was a life-changing experience. I wasn't aware til now that Hilburn and Landau slammed them, but the young critic in New Mexico, fresh out of the army (where his CA buds turned him on to Led Zep I), didn't have to "look again"; I had already written a rave review of LZI. Guess music critics aren't some monolithic, predictable entity, after all.

Last edited by mrmusic; 10-30-2007 at 03:41 PM..
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