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Topic: The Music Thread

Posts 1,001 to 1,020 of 1,301

Jimmer-jammer

@nessisonett I suppose that’s a cycle that will probably never end, and whether or not I’m perpetuating it, I do feel there was something unique and special about popular music during that era, for a variety of reasons.

True genuineness actually puts people off. The only way to combat this is with time. Stay true, and one time enemies may become long time friends.

Kidfried

@Th3solution I wasn't offended or anything, but I am passionate about the subjects because there are so many artists pushing the envelope right now. And among them artists whose work I totally adore.

And maybe I went in a bit too hard, for which I will apologize. It was late at night, at which point my foreign language skills definitely aren't at their best. I didn't want to call anyone lazy, I merely wanted to combat the argument that something was wrong with modern day music or even society, because of what you're seeing on top of the Billboard charts.

First things first. The Billboards charts aren't what they used to anymore. And the reason is that it used to track music that was bought (or: music that people felt the need to invest in) versus today in which it only tracks numbers of plays. This results in a few things, but I'm not going to go into the sociology of it, but will merely state that it's comparing apples versus pears.

Also, I want to say something about The Beatles (I'm actually wearing a Beatles hoodie right now). The Beatles were a very rare case with regards to their immense popularity and immense quality. They were only possible at that point in time, due to the pioneering work that was still left to be done with regards to what pop music could be. But they were also just uniquely brilliant. I would leave them out of any equation if you want to say something about pop music at a certain time, because statistically they were an anomaly in every respect.
(That's not to say that I think they are the only and greatest musical act ever for me.)

As the discussion crystallized, it became clearer to my mind that my initial [admittedly harsh] observations were really mostly speaking to popular music. In other words the music that one doesn’t have to go out of his/her way to find. So the comparison was: pop music now vs pop music in past decades

But what is pop music or popular music? Maybe we have a different definition. Fiona Apple or FKA Twigs, some of my favourite current day artists, have millions of monthly listeners. I'd consider them to be pop, even when they have never had a Billboard top 10 hit. And I certainly haven't been going out of my way to find them, because every big music site covers their music and new releases.

It's kind of the same for games. Take for instance Persona 5. Everyone on this site knows of that game's existence. We read about it here all the time, but your average gamer won't have heard of it. Still, it sold millions and I'd definitely consider it a popular game.

that which is promoted, commercialized, and monetized.

And like I said, there are many artists that make millions, sell big, and still don't get into the Billboard 100. I feel like you're just looking at the wrong place for music. Like taking the UK video game physical charts to find new games. You'd only be playing GTA5, Crash Bandicoot and Mario Kart 8 Deluxe. Instead, you're reading Push Square, and maybe even other sites or YouTube channels to keep up with the best new games.

I replied just as fierce in response to you as I would to anyone who argued modern mainstream games suck, basing themselves on a few free to play games and the most popular mobile games. I'd say something along the lines of, "how can you argue that when we saw releases of games like God of War, Horizon, etc. in the last few years". And you could use the same defense, that "just by looking up what's hot on the Apple store, you don't percieve gaming in 2021 to be very memorable."

The world, through globalization and democratization, has just become too big to be able to asses the concept of "popular music". I hate most of the songs in the Billboard 100 right now too (I just checked), but I don't think those paint a full picture of popular music in 2021.

And the last thing I want to add is the word taste. I actually dislike most Eagles songs, I think the latter day Fleetwod Mac is uninspired and I often have difficulties listening to Queen, because the cliches just make me cringe. I think The National's [url=https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q9Zm07aaXsE]
Fake Empire[/url] is way more inspired and impressive from a musical standpoint than the (in my opinion) overblown grandiose of Queen. And I'd listen to The Weeknd over anything by Fleetwood Mac.

Kidfried

Kidfried

Th3solution wrote:

(And I’d actually love to hear your opinions on that. Not what should they think about today’s music, rather what will they say and feel about our music? Think about it. They will only know about what leaves a lasting legacy, whether that’s right or wrong, that’s reality)

I think they will remember these years as revolutionary. The amount of music content that was put out, but also how genres liked hip hop matured. I honestly believe it will be seen as a golden age of sorts.

They will remember Kanye West, Kendrick Lamar, Tyler The Creator for their immaculate albums that helped the genre of hip hop to mature in the same way artists like the Beatles did for rock music. To Pimp a Butterfly will be held in as high regard as Thriller by MJ.

They will remember Nicki Minaj, as onoe of the first female rappers to break through to an enormous mainstream, and some of her brilliantly performed verses. Back then, when rappers still had talent, the cynics will say.

They might remember the music by singers like Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple and Sufjan Stevens. They might have never topped a chart, but because of topping year-end lists by major publications, and their metacritic ratings, they were definitely remembered by anyone who listened to them.

Even though it wasn't the decade of bands, there are still quite a few who garnered mainstream succes, and headlined the festivals. Acts like Tame Impala, Arcade Fire, Radiohead, Muse, Vampire Weekend.

(And big acts like Billie Eilish, Beyonce, and Taylor Swift, they'll probably be remembered too.)

Something like that? It's not what I want for myself to be remembered, but it's kind of what I expect. I think there'll be a big group of people that will swear by the music made in these years, and will look down on whatever musci the future holds. Circle of life.

Edited on by Kidfried

Kidfried

TheBrandedSwordsman

@Jimmer-jammer Thanks for the wise words in The Chit Chat Thread. Really helped me to make up my mind. What have you been listening to recently?

"Ten thousand toadstools, with right purchase, could lift a man, I suppose. But what good would it do?"

PSN: Draco_V_Ecliptic

Th3solution

@Kidfried Thank you so much for your reply. And hey, it’s all good. We all have our passions and bristle a bit if anyone become flippant toward that which we hold dear. And to be clear, I’m not looking down on modern music in a condemnatory way, I simply just haven’t found much I liked. I took a while to respond to your post because I wanted to give some of the artists you mentioned a good listen so I could perhaps be the least hypocritical as possible. I would consider myself more open-minded than average.

Although I’m not personally partial to any of the music I sampled over several hours today, I now see more completely the position you’re coming from. And I think we’re more or less on common ground in the analysis of modern music but we’re sort of talking about two different things. One being popularity and universal appeal, and the another being artistic merit and influence. I’m not especially qualified to talk about the latter, and I merely am an observer of the former.

I actually thought a lot about the applicable comparison to gaming also, but you said it even better than I could. It really is a difference between the perspective of enthusiasts vs. that of casual consumers. Like Sammy has always said, we here at Push Square exist in a bubble. We often question why FIFA and COD outsell the excellent smaller titles by a hundred fold. The world at large doesn’t see things the way we, the enthusiasts do. So as far as music, I’m probably what you’d call a ‘filthy casual’ who is so dense that he enjoys the same stupid Call of Duty type rehashes over and over.

And as it relates to this comparison and also that idea of taste — I came to the realization that part of consuming art based media goes so much deeper than the surface level of the experience. As human beings experiencing a work of art there exists an enormous psychological factor that is very difficult to quantify. I thought actually about our recent discussion of the “best” (already a poor word choice there) PS4 1st party games and you effectively broke down your feelings about MediEvil and Infamous SS. I believe you even admitted that MediEvil had technical shortcomings and a dated presentation that didn’t impact your overall enjoyment because of a difficult-to-define factor for which the old mascot games resonate with you. Infamous looked nice graphically and ran smooth, but lacked the ‘je ne sais quoi” and it felt rote, empty, and repetitive to you. (Sounds eerily similar to some of my descriptions of modern pop music which I’ve been know to criticize by saying “this all sounds the same” and “it just doesn’t excite me”) Newer and more innovative production may not necessarily mean ‘better’ when factoring in the personal experience factor. Sometimes our feelings toward something is tainted by some personal circumstance in which we first experienced it. This is no truer in any field of art than it is in music. Many things sound good to us because they conjure up memories and feelings.

As an example — I was listening to some Frank Sinatra the other day (not something I do very often but I was in a mood). Not sure if he’s as well known abroad, but in the U.S. he is basically like a musical god of jazzy pop/lounge music in the 1940’s and 50’s. Despite having ‘only’ 10 million monthly listeners on Spotify (which is incidentally roughly the same as Tyler the Creator) he’s one of the best selling artists of all time and considered widely as one of the most popular and influential musical artists of the 20th Century. Interestingly he never learned to read music, apparently. Anyway, back to my story — I was enjoying a song of his that I heard played on the Umbrella Academy soundtrack and was sure that I heard him sing off-key during a section in the middle. I’m not a musician but he definitely hit a couple sour notes and sounded flat to even my untrained ears. But yet, I thoroughly enjoyed the song and have listened to it several times since. It has a wonderful nostalgic quality and makes me think of my grandparents and great-grandparents and the song has a deep personal message to me. Is Ed Sheeran a better vocalist? Probably. Is his music pushing the genre forward more in the modern age? Of course. Do I personally enjoy Sheeran more than Sinatra? I don’t think so. Just like you enjoy MediEvil better than Infamous.

It’s funny as I’m an enormous hypocrite because here I am trying to defend the musical oldies, yet I always wonder what in the world all of you people see in these old retro sprite-based and platforming Nintendo and Sega video games. I just don’t seem to understand the allure and feel it a waste of time revisiting most of those retro games. I don’t have a nostalgic hook and I just would rather experience the latest groundbreaking and forward-pushing experiences and I feel the talent and capabilities of modern gaming studios and their armies of artists and programmers are able to produce such better content, generally speaking. But I know that is an unpopular opinion in a lot of circles. [...bolts the doors and boards up the windows as I see the pitchforks cresting the horizon...]

So I fully admit to an intangible and sometimes indefensible adoration of Elton John over Shawn Mendes, Journey over Maroon 5, Stevie Nicks over Lady Gaga, Madonna over Billie Eilish, Michael Jackson over Drake... I’m sure on a granular level the modern artists have really improved on techniques and sounds from their progenitors, but to me their music lacks the personality and panache of the pioneers in their respective spheres. A lot of it sounds gimmicky (I’m mostly referring to the Billboard hits) But again, mine is a subjective assessment. Most people would probably agree with you and find listening to old Eagles and Fleetwood Mac to be boring and uninspiring, but I love it! (And apparently 40 million listeners on Spotify agree with me)

As far as how to define “pop” or “popular” music, I think it is hard to define, as you stated, given the world order now. And what would constitute “legendary” as far as musical influence. I was asking the thought-question of what music would influence culture and permeate society the most, and I think you were speaking to which music would influence the future of music and inspire new musical direction. That’s the only explanation I can come up with in my head where there is any comparison of “To Pimp a Butterfly” with “Thriller” because otherwise, the two are just not even in the same stratosphere as far as effect on all facets of culture and widespread popularity (and certainly commercial success).

But we can agree to disagree on that. It doesn’t really matter. Even if Vampire Weekend gets lost in the forgotten recesses of music during this era, it makes them no less talented and you and their followers can enjoy them no less fervently now. And likewise, no matter how cringe-inducing Queen is, I will still enjoy their songs, and they’ll keep surfacing in movies, TV shows, and pop culture. It’s okay to disagree on those opinions. That’s what makes the world go ‘round!

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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Kidfried

@Th3solution So much to dissect here. Interesting post at least. I don't know if I'm going to be able to reply to all of your points at all.

I don't like Shawn Mendes and I love Michael Jackson's music too, so at least we agree on some stuff.

I also fully agree "technically better" isn't always better. I listen to a lot of garage rock and post punk, so vocals being out of tune or some rhythmic errors are hardly ever problematic for me. And I love listening to the imperfect perfection that is Bob Dylan.

I really believe that Kendrick Lamar permeated culture globally in the same way Michael Jackson did. The fact that it didn't feel that way to you or people around you hardly changes that. A lot of people didn't listen Michael Jackson either, especially old people. And that's kind of the argument here.

Whenever there's an article on Travis Scott on here, the comments sections are filled with people saying "who's that talentless hack". Well, guess what, we are old people. We're the age of the parents of all those 80s kids that started listening Michael Jackson. We are the persons listening to classical music, while the youngsters are changing our culture. And I really believe that is true, having a brother that is over ten years younger, they are all listening hip hop, dissecting the lyrics and going to concerts.

Culture can pass you by. It happened to me too. For instance, when I read the TV thread here. "What is Umbrella Academy, I thought that was a comic." I don't watch tv series and most of my friends don't, but apparently... it is a thing?

I hate most modern TV that is trending now. There are probably great shows out there, but... I'm experiencing what you do with music in that regard.

I actually do know a bit about Umbrella Academy, because it made some great songs I was listening to suddenly immensely popular: Mary by Big Thief and some song by Smith Westerns.

Anyway, I gets that's kind of today's world. You feel you are engaging with pop culture all the time, but you're still missing out. This world has become too big.

Kidfried

Kidfried

On a different topic...

One of my favorite albums of the year so far is For the first time by Black Country, New Road. It's experimental, it's post punk and it's jazzy. But it's also none of these things.

I had two tickets to go see them in 2020, and both events were postponed to this year, but also cancelled this year. This is one of the bands that I really really want to experience live.

Kidfried

nessisonett

@Kidfried Oh no, I listened to that last week and really didn’t like it! I wasn’t a fan at all of Black Midi’s Schlagenheim either though so I just don’t think this new brand of post punk is to my tastes at all.

Socks before or after trousers, but never socks before pants, that's the rule. Makes a man look scary, like a chicken.

Black Lives Matter. Enough is enough.

Th3solution

@Kidfried Well said and I really agree with mostly everything there. And so I guess we’re at the same basic stance in a lot of ways. You’re expressing my thoughts and observations from your own perspective.

Specifically, it’s well put that culture does move extremely fast now and hardly has time to get foothold before it evolves again. Progress in a lot of our facets of life moves at breakneck speeds so any one movement hardly has time to breathe before it’s replaced by the next iteration. And I guess that’s what this time frame will be known for, and you termed it “revolutionary” I believe, which mirrors the technological flurry of progress at the same time. And honestly cultural evolution will only get faster. I can’t believe how quickly just social media consumption changes almost monthly and a lot of working adults just don’t have the mental energy to keep up with it all. The music industry is directly affected by that change. (Although it’s interesting that a lot of older songs also have found a second wind through Tik-Tok as well). I don’t think we’ll see an album be #1 on the charts for 2 straight years again.

Interesting listen with that new Black Country, New Road album. I only listened to the first 3 songs so far. That first one sounds like it would be right at home on the Persona 6 soundtrack!

And Umbrella Academy is pretty decent, kind of a dysfunctional X-men type of show, but I like the characters, production quality, and musical soundtrack. It has modern music and older stuff like Sinatra, The Doors, and Queen too. I think it’s somewhat inspired by the Guardians of the Galaxy and Marvel approach to digging up the older musical hits to reign in an older crowd to mix with the younger.

The early bird gets the worm, but the second mouse gets the cheese.

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TheBrandedSwordsman

@Jimmer-jammer What are your thoughts on Frank Zappa? I'm currently listening to Zappa In New York on Spotify.

"Ten thousand toadstools, with right purchase, could lift a man, I suppose. But what good would it do?"

PSN: Draco_V_Ecliptic

Jimmer-jammer

@TheBrandedSwordsman glad I could help in some way! I’ve been playing it typical and have had August Burns Red’s ‘Guardians’ album on repeat for the last two days. Not my favourite album of theirs but it’s got some real high points and I’ve been enjoying really digging into it.

I like Frank Zappa quite a bit. He’s also the author of one of my favourite quotes. “There's a big difference between kneeling down and bending over.“

True genuineness actually puts people off. The only way to combat this is with time. Stay true, and one time enemies may become long time friends.

Jimmer-jammer

@TheBrandedSwordsman I don’t really have a favourite album but my favourite song is probably, ‘who are the brain police?’ Zappa has an understanding of satire that I can only dream of achieving.

Have you listened to much Harry Chapin?

True genuineness actually puts people off. The only way to combat this is with time. Stay true, and one time enemies may become long time friends.

TheBrandedSwordsman

@Jimmer-jammer I love Zappa's sense of satire. Nope. What's his stuff like? Also, I think I recommended Nerija on here, have you listened to them at all? Let me know what you think of them if you do get a chance to hear them.

Edited on by TheBrandedSwordsman

"Ten thousand toadstools, with right purchase, could lift a man, I suppose. But what good would it do?"

PSN: Draco_V_Ecliptic

Jimmer-jammer

@TheBrandedSwordsman haven’t listened to them yet but will let you know when I do!

I would describe Harry Chapin as an American folk artist. His emphasis is more on storytelling and is one of the most brilliant songwriters out there from that perspective. ‘The Rock’, Taxi’ and ‘Cat’s in the Cradle’ are absolute highs.

True genuineness actually puts people off. The only way to combat this is with time. Stay true, and one time enemies may become long time friends.

TheBrandedSwordsman

@Jimmer-jammer I think I'm familiar with Cat's In The Cradle, it's very well-known and they play it on the radio from time to time, so yeah, that one's a classic for sure. I might buy a best of or something one day.;

"Ten thousand toadstools, with right purchase, could lift a man, I suppose. But what good would it do?"

PSN: Draco_V_Ecliptic

Jimmer-jammer

@TheBrandedSwordsman Nerija is fantastic. I’m really enjoying them. Thanks for the recommendation!

True genuineness actually puts people off. The only way to combat this is with time. Stay true, and one time enemies may become long time friends.

TheBrandedSwordsman

@Jimmer-jammer That's great, you're welcome, I've seen them live once and they were fantastic, as a guitarist I especially love the guitar work of Shirley Tetteh. Do you know she was initially choosing between metal and jazz for a path to go down, but found the shred-work of metal a bit too challenging for her fingers ,felt more comfortable with jazz, so went down that route instead? Interesting eh?

Edited on by TheBrandedSwordsman

"Ten thousand toadstools, with right purchase, could lift a man, I suppose. But what good would it do?"

PSN: Draco_V_Ecliptic

TheBrandedSwordsman

i just got another limited edition vinyl, Naturaliste - Temporary Presence. Recorded live in a music shop during a 24-hour rental of the property. 1 of 100.

"Ten thousand toadstools, with right purchase, could lift a man, I suppose. But what good would it do?"

PSN: Draco_V_Ecliptic

Jimmer-jammer

@TheBrandedSwordsman that’s very interesting! I find their brand of jazz very accessible, groovy and fun. Sounds like you nabbed a pretty sweet vinyl. Congrats! Been on a bit of a Daft Punk tear myself as of late.

True genuineness actually puts people off. The only way to combat this is with time. Stay true, and one time enemies may become long time friends.

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