Ah yes, MUSIC The aphrodisiac of the GODS. For Millennia music has enticed, enchanted and enriched peoples lives. From beating a drum to playing a lute people like music. Certain people express thier savant(ish) capabilities through music. Beethoven, Bach, Mozart --> all the way to Led Zeppelin, the Stones and the Beatles. They draw the crouds, the followers, the sheep. Our young get possessed, so do the mature adults for that matter, all with music.
The US MTV Music Awards were on last night. They had “new” bands, (if you can call them that) that are making quite a din among todays society. But one thing bothered me. The groups like N-Sync, Brittney Spears, the Back St. Boys, all seems to be feeding from a different trough. They all seem to be societal marionettes. I can’t stand that. I will try to keep MHO to myself, this should be gearing up for a debate not a spitting contest.
The reason I am writng this is because at the same time the MTV music awards were on there was a discovery channel documentary on Rock. The bit on** Eric Clapton** really hit home with me. He was singing HIS words. He has soul. He didn’t utilize writers like most of todays bands. Whats going on? Is there a fundemental difference between todays faster, and faster society and yesterdays layed back culture (pertaining to music)? If so why. Are the goliath bands that created some of the best music of all time, you know the ones, the ones who took their hint from blues, jazz and classical, are they dying? (OH PLEASE NO) on that note, are the hip-hop, N-Sync types going to take over and dominate when my children are grown? he turns and gags at this thought any ideas?? Are we glimpsing the evolution of music? I hope not.
mods if this should be somewhere else please let me know. I just thought it could go here beacause of all the people on the planet who music effects as much as religion, probably have quite a lot of imput.
Before I address your question (which is certainly a good one, and a frequent one, for debate), I’d like to perform a minor little nitpick: While I have a great deal of respect for Clapton as a musician, he has in fact utilized writers for a lot of his material. If you alook at his first greatest hits collection, Time Pieces, 7 of the 11 tracks were written by someone other than Clapton, and of the remaining four, two were co-written with someone else. In fact, Clapton’s strength lies as much in his abilities as an interpreter as in his abilities as a writer.
You’re also missing out on the fact that few pop performers wrote their own material until the Beatles came along. Before then, it was much more common for singers to perform other people’s songs. Arguably, today’s no-talents are merely continuing a long tradition of singer-songwriter separatism.
Yes! Both of you are quite correct. I appologise I was trying to make a bit of a curvey point. But yes Clapton and many others did perform other peoples work quite beautifully. And yes many utilized writers back then… This clarified lets continue with the rest
I agree with you, Phlosphr, although not so eloquently. I hope my dismay at the crap comming out these days is not a reflection of the fact the music of the 70’s caught me as a teen in my impressionable years and my sense of what’s good music is thus forever confined to that particular style. I don’t think that’s the case, as I recently enjoyed the likes of the grunge movement and contemporaries to the hilt with such bands as Nirvana, Pearl Jam, STP and my new hero, Beck.
Maybe it’s the bubble gum nature of today’s pop. Conditions in the world have changed and no longer at the forefront are popular causes such as Viet Nam, Civil Rights, Free love and the initial exploration into the illicit drug culture, all of which helped define the 60’s & 70’s.
Whatever the reason, it comes as no surprise to me to see the popularity of Classic Rock stations. I leave the one from my Dish Network provider on all the time. Jeez, they put out some righteous stuff back then!
Well, I was a child in the late 1960s and early 70s (I’m the same age as Cindy Brady), and I well remember the songs I heard on the radio at the time.
“Green Tambourine” by the Lemon Pipers
“Cherokee People”(I’m not sure of the actual title, but you know the song) by Paul Revere and the Raiders
“Raindrops Are Falling On My Head” by B.J. Thomas
“Little Red Riding Hood” by Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs
“Downtown” by Petula Clark
“Mrs. Brown, You’ve Got a Lovely Daughter” by Herman’s Hermits
People who didn’t experience the 60s imagine that the radios back then played nonstop Stones, Beatles, Dead, Floyd, and Zeppelin. Nope, radio played sappy MOR hits, just as it does today.
There’s plenty of vibrant, original music out there, but it just doesn’t get played on the radio because station owners only want to play safe, predictable, easy-to-listen-to tunes. There’s Tool, the Disco Biscuits, the String Cheese Incident, and others who will be remembered long after Britney has retired.
I am a child of the 80’s and I was brought up on MTV, but now I am older and smarter. Now I listen to bands that have real talent, older bands from the 70’s and 60’s. I feel that a lot of talent died with the birth of MTV. Because a lot of the older bands simply did not have the right look. Britany Spears, Nsync, and the Backsteet Boys might be better to look at, but in a few years they will be gone. You have to have real talent to last. Just my opinion
I have to agree with gobear; there has always been teenybopper bubblegum music, and there always will be. To reel off a painful list of blasts from the past: The Ohio Express, the 1910 Fruitgum Company, The Archies, Shaun Cassidy, New Kids on the Block, et-freaking-cetera. Radio usually puts an emphasis on cheap, easy to sell acts that pull in the young teen demographic.
Judging the music scene by the MTV awards is an exercise in futility. There are astonishing bands out there currently; they just don’t get the kind of marketing emphasis that Britney does. For the most part, they don’t need it; good music sells anyway. Britney and her ilk always need the promotional juggernaut to keep them in America’s face, otherwise they will be forgotten, like the generations of vapid teenybopper bands before them.
yo, MrVisible! TESTIFY! you pretty much hit it for me. shit music will alway be around. you have to wade thru it to find the good stuff.
try this: i listen to the music channels on the satelite system. it gives you the artist, title and record the song can be found on. when you hear something you like, take a chance and get the album (disk, tape-- you all know what i mean!) if you dont like gambling with big money for new stuff, try ebay or used record stores. i have been buying a butt-load of new music based on single tracks and have found that when an artist can grab my attention with one track, usually the rest of the work is pretty good, too. hell, if i dont like it, i pawn the sucker off on ebay. i have only gotten stuck with one lemon i really couldn’t stand (after the reviewers in Rolling Stone all came on thier shoes over this one). don’t trust MTV or the radio-- controlled by BIG BUSINESS!
too bad soundgarden broke up…
go out and buy Susan Tedeschi (think i may have spelled her name wrong! so sorry! she rocks!)
Remember, it is called the music BUSINESS. Record companies are not non-profit organizations. They care about one thing and one thing only, how many units the artist sells. There are many fine acts today that write their own material such as Dave Mathews, Jamiriqui, Tori Amos, etc. and then there are those (as mentioned above) that use songwriters. I don’t necessarily think that is a bad thing. Hell, most of the Motown hits were written by the same group of writers. Does that make it bad music?
The root of all this crap on the market IMHO is that music is dumbed down to reach the lowest common denominator. With the severe lack of music appreciation in our school systems, it only stands to reason that music will continue to get simpler and simpler. I remember a music appreciation class I had in Junior High School in which we listened to and analyzed Stravinski, The Beatles and Frank Zappa. As a result, most of the people I knew in High School listened to music that was more complex and offered more depth. One could argue that this is not the curriculum that we need to focus on in our educational system yet it is pretty well established that kids that understand music tend to do better in math, for example. Therefore, there does seem to be some value in teaching it, yet it is one the first areas to lose funding. I think the responsibility therefore lies with the educated lover of music. If those that are more enlightened to higher levels of music would take a little time to pass that appreciation down to the younger generations, perhaps music would have to have a little more depth to it to become popular to the masses and we wouldn’t see “bands” such as N’sync enjoy the popularity that they currently do.
There are always acts that play bubblegum, always cover bands, always terrific musicians and songwriters, all in the same music scene. The thing that changes is what just so happens to be mainstream at the time. I dislike that such music is mainstream right now, but its no big deal to me. It sucks that so many people don’t listen to the same music I do, and they just laugh at whatever the in crowd labels “unhip.” But I also kinda feel underground. Also, a little superior. Its a false feeling, and its not really true, but it is an upside to my favorite music being unpopular. Of course, when the music that is unpopular now becomes popular again, there will be a whole bunch of people that will claim they are the “true” fans, and chew out those that just started listening when it came in style. Oh well, I guess it just matters what you like, but I really understand where you are coming from.
I think B Spears might have staying power simply because of marketing demographics. Someone has to sing pop tunes to that female age demographic as they get older. Madonna and Janet Jackson started out singing to the teeny boppers and look at them today. IMHO, Janet Jackson has improved with age, so there might be hope for Mrs Spears.
Just the other day I heard a 60s cover of Bob Dylan’s “Chimes of Freedom” (I think it was by The Byrds). God, did that take me back. I went and found Dylan’s original “Chimes of Freedom.” That led to “Mr. Tambourine Man,” “Tomorrow Never Knows,” the “Concert For Bangla Desh.” It is simply incredible now to think back and realize there actually was a time when rock-‘n’-roll artists made such vital, probing, magical music. That was a time when youth believed in getting involved in serious issues like antiwar and civil rights, not to speak of exploring inner worlds in your head. There is nothing going on today that can match that. I got a flashback/contact high from just remembering what music used to be like. The hopes that youth culture will ever recapture that magical high energy intensity before I grow old and gray are dimmer with each passing year.
That being said, at least Rage Against the Machine is making a stab in the right direction. And Dylan is still at it (not that he will ever again acheive the level he was at in the 60s).
Let me add my voice to all the sensible folks who have already stated that there is plenty of good music out there, it just isn’t getting played on the radio. If you want good country, it’s out there. If you want good rock, it’s out there. If you want real punk rock, there’s a ton of it. Prog rock is still around, and intelligent, Beatles-esque pop is everywhere. And please please please do not mention N’Synch and Hip-hop in the same breath as though they are two sides of the same coin. Hip-hop is an unbelievably diverse genre with thousands of original, intelligent artists to balance out the thousands of dorkwads churning out crap to make a buck, just like rock music.
To the OP, I think your problem is you’re basing your opinion on what you see on MTV. MTV is pure corporate evil and has very little worth in today’s music world as far as actual artisitc progress is concerned. I wish it would die a thousand horrible deaths.
One request to music lovers everywhere: the next time you meet up with one of those morons who describes their musical tastes as: “Very eclectic. I like a little bit of everything! Except Country and Rap,” punch them once in the mouth. Hard.