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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 9:19 pm 
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Ever since Bruce came around, I've become less interested in discussing music purely in terms of race. Rashed's right, it's more about communities (although admittedly, communities are often (un?)voluntarily segregated)

The-Dream is album oriented, por ejemplo


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 10:50 pm 
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Well it's not really about race. It IS about communities and it's also about economics.

But if we're talking about American music and how it's influenced by the community it comes from and the economic status of the people in that community, then you're probably going to end up using the words "black" and "white," and then people get uncomfortable and whatever.

The point is, a lot of innovations are about cost reduction. That's the big, straight forward, not at all racist point to take away. An orchestra becomes a smaller combo; the whole percussion section reduced to a drum kit. Then the combo gets slowly stripped down until it's just a guitar, bass and drums. Then the band gets replaced by turntables.

With each step along the way, once the new, revolutionary music becomes popular, it gets an influx of money, and then spends an extended time slowly developing, which inevitably means it gets more expensive to produce, and then poor people can't competitively make it anymore. And so then the next revolution comes from poor people stripping down costs and making something that the musical establishment can't wrap their heads around, and therefore can't compete with by throwing money at it.

And it didn't only happen with black americans. Old timey country slowly built up into country swing but then got stripped down into honky tonk. Then it got built back up into Nashville sound, then it got stripped back down into country rock. Early guitar rock built up into prog and arena and glam bombast, and then got stripped down into punk. So it's not a black/white thing.

But it seems like a black/white thing. Because if at some given point in American history 10% of the population was black, but 50% of the popular or important music came from black people, then we wonder if black people are somehow magical musically. But that 50% might actually line up to the percentage of the poor population that was black. And so music proved itself to be meritorious in a land of unequal opportunity. And the story of 20th century music became the story of how the entire world came to embrace and identify with music originally intended for minority teenagers in a segregated society.

And that's a great story, and can't be twisted to say anything negative about anyone, except about the people who ensured it was a segregated society.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:13 pm 
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pave wrote:
boo boo wrote:
I pretty much hate how hipsters seem to like every black artist that has ever existed by default. It's the very definition of trying way too fucking hard.


well historically a large amount of musical innovation came from black artists. possibly because innovation usually only comes in two forms: reacting against mainstream trends & established norms OR further developing those trends & pushing boundaries. and when it comes to the first one, marginalized groups are usually responsible (not just racial groups though, but certainly in america racial groups often have unique cultures that make for interesting artistic innovations imo).

i mean all blues styles except for the late 60s heavy blues, most jazz styles, rock n roll, funk, rap, soul, etc... all black innovations.


And all this time, I thought rock & roll was half blues, half country...


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:48 pm 
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well that's true with rockabilly (well, r&b + country). but early rock n roll imo owes far more to r&b and jump blues than to country.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:54 pm 
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Eric Wood wrote:
Well it's not really about race. It IS about communities and it's also about economics.

But if we're talking about American music and how it's influenced by the community it comes from and the economic status of the people in that community, then you're probably going to end up using the words "black" and "white," and then people get uncomfortable and whatever.

The point is, a lot of innovations are about cost reduction. That's the big, straight forward, not at all racist point to take away. An orchestra becomes a smaller combo; the whole percussion section reduced to a drum kit. Then the combo gets slowly stripped down until it's just a guitar, bass and drums. Then the band gets replaced by turntables.

With each step along the way, once the new, revolutionary music becomes popular, it gets an influx of money, and then spends an extended time slowly developing, which inevitably means it gets more expensive to produce, and then poor people can't competitively make it anymore. And so then the next revolution comes from poor people stripping down costs and making something that the musical establishment can't wrap their heads around, and therefore can't compete with by throwing money at it.

And it didn't only happen with black americans. Old timey country slowly built up into country swing but then got stripped down into honky tonk. Then it got built back up into Nashville sound, then it got stripped back down into country rock. Early guitar rock built up into prog and arena and glam bombast, and then got stripped down into punk. So it's not a black/white thing.

But it seems like a black/white thing. Because if at some given point in American history 10% of the population was black, but 50% of the popular or important music came from black people, then we wonder if black people are somehow magical musically. But that 50% might actually line up to the percentage of the poor population that was black. And so music proved itself to be meritorious in a land of unequal opportunity. And the story of 20th century music became the story of how the entire world came to embrace and identify with music originally intended for minority teenagers in a segregated society.

And that's a great story, and can't be twisted to say anything negative about anyone, except about the people who ensured it was a segregated society.


Hmm...I think this is an overstatement of a progression that I don't think is demonstrated by music history outside a couple of specific examples.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Sun May 06, 2012 11:54 pm 
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pave wrote:
well that's true with rockabilly (well, r&b + country). but early rock n roll imo owes far more to r&b and jump blues than to country.


It owes more to it but it still owes a great deal to country.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:47 am 
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corrections wrote:
Hmm...I think this is an overstatement of a progression that I don't think is demonstrated by music history outside a couple of specific examples.


I think it's a dominant trend of popular music. Pop music is, by definition, music which is supported by a broad base of paying customers. Therefore, by definition, pop music doesn't even exist without a middle class to pay for it. And therefore, it doesn't make sense to study pop music history from a stylistic or social viewpoint but not from an economic viewpoint.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 7:57 am 
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Kind of Blue is massively overrated and doesn't even hold a candle to Bitches Brew or In a Silent Way.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 12:13 pm 
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well, call us back when you listen to more jazz than rock


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:32 pm 
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batman wrote:
well, call us back when you listen to more jazz than rock


I don't listen to much more rock than I do jazz.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:48 pm 
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hell yeah


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 3:59 pm 
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Just for the record, this isn't some opinion I formed after having heard that album once or twice. Kind of Blue was always around when I was a kid; my dad owned it on vinyl and used to play it all the time. I bought it on CD at my local record store a few months ago hoping maybe It would click when I revisited it. Obviously, everyone else is hearing something I'm not.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:07 pm 
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for sure. I just judged you too quickly since you haven't been around here long. I used to only like jazz albums that had rockin' electric guitar solos, and I just assumed that's what you were into as well.

I think Kind of Blue is more popular than In a Silent Way because it is less experimental. I don't think it's a stretch to say that In a Silent Way (or Bitches Brew, or even On The Corner now that I think about it) would literally frighten people who have never heard something similar.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 4:56 pm 
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I sort of lost my mind the first time I heard Bitches Brew.


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 Post subject: Re: state your unpopular opinions as facts
PostPosted: Mon May 07, 2012 11:28 pm 
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Eric Wood wrote:
corrections wrote:
Hmm...I think this is an overstatement of a progression that I don't think is demonstrated by music history outside a couple of specific examples.


I think it's a dominant trend of popular music. Pop music is, by definition, music which is supported by a broad base of paying customers. Therefore, by definition, pop music doesn't even exist without a middle class to pay for it. And therefore, it doesn't make sense to study pop music history from a stylistic or social viewpoint but not from an economic viewpoint.


I was not arguing for ignoring an economic viewpoint. As far as your definition of pop-music that definition sounds a bit dubious to me. What makes you think a middle class must exist to support pop music?


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