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Interesting musical debate
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besson3c
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Nov 14, 2010, 12:26 AM
 
I don't know how many of you are aware of the debate and controversy that came out of the Ken Burns jazz documentary and from critic Stanley Crouch specifically who said that basically jazz in the 1970s didn't go anywhere, didn't influence anybody, and that Miles Davis was basically a sellout for taking the music in that direction given his image at the time, wardrobe, and Rock and Roll dominating music.

The counter argument basically involves examining the relationship between technology and art and how technology affects the "purity" of an art form, how 70s Miles did have an influence on a number of artists and fans, the difference between musical "costumes" designed to titillate and generate money vs. genuine self expression, and a number of other things - this is actually a rather immersive topic.

The music of Miles in the 1970s and late 60s represented a massive musical change that brought with it a different generation of fans in the fusing of jazz and rock, and a number of other significant ripples in the world of music. As many of you know, Miles was sort of the Steve Jobs/Apple of music in terms of being innovative, but at times his music was very difficult to fully appreciate. However, Jimi Hendrix and Miles was close to each other, Eric Clapton, Santana, and many others were thought to have been heavily influenced by what Miles was doing at the time, although the directness of that influence is perhaps debatable.

Here is a debate between Stanley Crouch and one of the members of Miles' band at the time which I thought was very interesting and touched upon a lot of the above. I happen to disagree with Crouch on this, but I'm curious to hear what you think

YouTube - Composer James Mtume Destroys Jazz Critic Stanley Crouch in a Debate about Miles Davis.mp4

All of this is totally relevant to music in general and how all of those branches on the musical tree work and connect to one another no matter what you are into, how musical innovation comes to be, how it impacts future generations, etc. so you don't really have to know or care about Miles to enjoy this, I don't think!
     
TheWOAT
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Nov 14, 2010, 10:22 PM
 
Ill check it out , but I am a dont know much about jazz...however I prefer the Miles Davis of the late 60s/early 70s to his stuff made prior to that. Ive heard a Masalis brother mention that the era mentioned above of Miles' music just "isnt Jazz", and Ive read the same sort of opinion on Amazon.com reviews of those albums. Miles seemed to have pissed off alot of people.
.......
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 14, 2010, 10:28 PM
 
That would be Wynton Marsalis, he's the most outspoken of the family although he may have mellowed in recent years. Miles and Wynton didn't get along, although I'd say that Wynton has pissed off people as well because of his attitude. I don't think Miles necessarily pissed people off, he was just subject to a lot of criticism during that time period.

It's always interesting to me that younger people these days seem to prefer the electric Miles stuff. It substantiates the theory that it was ahead of its time.
     
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Nov 14, 2010, 11:04 PM
 
For the record: I am no historian of Jazz!
I love MIles' music prior to this period. Sketches of Spain, Kind of Blue, Porgy & Bess, & Bags Grove are always in heavy rotation on the MBP. I didn't care much for his music after the late 60's, but I haven't tried to listen to it in years and years. Maybe if I revisited it now I'd like it better.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 14, 2010, 11:57 PM
 
For some context here. Bitches Brew was an early foray into jazz/rock fusion that helped propel free jazz, but Miles also got into heavier rock type stuff like this:

YouTube - miles davis 1971

The guy in this debate was talking about how they were going for "seamless transition" in creating these sort of open soundscapes that sounded unrehearsed yet were very tight and seamless to the band. This clip is a good demonstration of how those transitions worked.

This music will probably sound like it is best enjoyed when stoned to most here, but what do you think? Can you think any more recent bands that sounded like they could have been influenced by some these sounds? If you are a fan of Medeski, Martin and Wood that is one band that definitely sounds to me like it owes a lot to what Miles started here, and what Crouch claims never went anywhere.
     
olePigeon
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Nov 15, 2010, 12:48 AM
 
I heard on the radio about a jazz museum in Harlem is/was putting some early recordings of early jazz artists that had never been heard before. What the artsits thought jazz should sound like, and what the record company and managers though jazz should sound like were completely different. The recording changed everything we thought we knew about the origins and development of jazz.
"…I contend that we are both atheists. I just believe in one fewer god than
you do. When you understand why you dismiss all the other possible gods,
you will understand why I dismiss yours." - Stephen F. Roberts
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 01:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
I heard on the radio about a jazz museum in Harlem is/was putting some early recordings of early jazz artists that had never been heard before. What the artsits thought jazz should sound like, and what the record company and managers though jazz should sound like were completely different. The recording changed everything we thought we knew about the origins and development of jazz.

Maybe I should become a musical historian or academic or something because I do find this interesting, and not just in the area of jazz.

With any innovation, musical or non-musical we tend to want to lionize the inventor and create this romantic notion that he or she invented something out of thin air - the apple falling on the head sort of epiphany. We also sometimes want to think of geniuses as just having this talent that made everything easy for them and made it possible to come up with these innovations out of thin air.

In reality, nothing is created in a vacuum. I think the greatest artists and creators are aware of the history of their music up to a certain point. When a guy like Quincy Jones speaks he laments the fact that many of the hip hop artists he works with don't understand and/or appreciate where their music comes from - even just early rap, let alone jazz and the blues. It also strengthens the music. The connective tissue in music history is very interesting to me, as well as all of the cultural, technological, and other external influences.

I also feel more and more every day that the blues and swing are probably some of the greatest innovations that came out of North America in its entire history. It is hard to imagine the music we listen to without this, and not only that, but how we would otherwise see the world, see ourselves, etc. By that I mean the way we sing and deliver a song is very rooted in the blues, and the rhythms and basic steady backbeat of the music we listen to rooted in swing. Think of all the other art form that involve music as a supplement, the advertising, our media, etc.

Henry Rollins and Quincy Jones will tell you that the entire world emulates American music these days, whether you are talking about hip hop or the weird korean pop music they play in Asian restaurants I think our music has been one of our greatest and most influential global exports.

It's all pretty awesome, when you think about it.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 01:37 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I think our music has been one of our greatest and most influential global exports.

It's all pretty awesome, when you think about it.
And very, very wrong. As in incorrect. North America's two greatest exports are lies (Hollywood, you imagining the history of music, etc.) and insanity (fundies, politicians, expeditionary forces, jazz, etc.).

The fact of the matter is, almost no music outside of hip-hop, (c)rap and motown owes its existence to US musical history. The vast majority of pop, rock and dance music is rooted in European folk and classical... ..and the pop soundscape would sound pretty much exactly the same if the US had never existed.

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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 01:57 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
The fact of the matter is, almost no music outside of hip-hop, (c)rap and motown owes its existence to US musical history. The vast majority of pop, rock and dance music is rooted in European folk and classical... ..and the pop soundscape would sound pretty much exactly the same if the US had never existed.


So where does Africa fit into this?

Do you have any credible source to back this up, or is this just your personal belief?
     
Doofy
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:08 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
So where does Africa fit into this?
Nowhere. All the rhythms you think are African are derived from music taught to Africans by European missionaries. If you go and listen to proper African music, you'll find it's nothing like you think it is, nothing like a valid root of the US blues/swing/jazz scene.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Do you have any credible source to back this up
Yes, me.
Anyone with an IQ over 80 who's ever sat in a rural Irish pub will tell you the same thing.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:29 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Nowhere. All the rhythms you think are African are derived from music taught to Africans by European missionaries. If you go and listen to proper African music, you'll find it's nothing like you think it is, nothing like a valid root of the US blues/swing/jazz scene.
Even if that were true, this still doesn't explain the origin of the blues. The music that originated in Africa that eventually came to America was very distinct from European classical music at the time. Please tell me what European artist was experimenting in minor pentatonics with the added tritone?


Yes, me.
Anyone with an IQ over 80 who's ever sat in a rural Irish pub will tell you the same thing.
*Sigh* it sounds like we are getting revved up to play another game of "convince Doofy that he is full of shit and that he and his mighty gut feeling is not superior to what countless experts (in this case musical historians) have concluded". I may have to pass on this one, facts are no match against your gut feeling.
     
Doofy
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:34 AM
 
YouTube - Harlech

1794 Bess. Any rock music fan will recognise rock phrasing in that.

YouTube - What Do You Do With A Drunken Sailor?

1745.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:40 AM
 
Hehe, are you serious?

I'm not going to continue this conversation with you until you can tell me what a minor pentatonic with the added tritone is, and where this makes its appearance in this music.
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:51 AM
 
While you're at it, you might as well change the Wikipedia page on the Blues to suit your beliefs:

Blues - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
     
Doofy
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:52 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Even if that were true, this still doesn't explain the origin of the blues.
The blues root came through Africa to Amerikkka. But, despite popular misconceptions, blues is *not* the root of modern pop or rock - it's a different branch. Modern pop and rock owes much more to European folk and classical than it does the blues - from Irish jigs to sea shanties to flamenco to German oom-pah. Heck, Hollywood musicals like The King and I, Paint Your Wagon and The Sound Of Music are much more responsible for modern pop than the blues is.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
The music that originated in Africa that eventually came to America was very distinct from European classical music at the time. Please tell me what European artist was experimenting in minor pentatonics with the added tritone?
You must have missed the bit where I mentioned European folk music.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
*Sigh* it sounds like we are getting revved up to play another game of "convince Doofy that he is full of shit and that he and his mighty gut feeling is not superior to what countless experts (in this case musical historians) have concluded". I may have to pass on this one, facts are no match against your gut feeling.
Yes, you should pass on this one. Didn't your mom ever tell you not to argue about music with music professors?
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:01 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
The blues root came through Africa to Amerikkka. But, despite popular misconceptions, blues is *not* the root of modern pop or rock - it's a different branch. Modern pop and rock owes much more to European folk and classical than it does the blues - from Irish jigs to sea shanties to flamenco to German oom-pah. Heck, Hollywood musicals like The King and I, Paint Your Wagon and The Sound Of Music are much more responsible for modern pop than the blues is.
So, rock owes nothing to Chuck Berry, and basically all of the blues based rock in America in the 1950s?

You must have missed the bit where I mentioned European folk music.

Yes, you should pass on this one. Didn't your mom ever tell you not to argue about music with music professors?
Heh, somehow I knew you'd play that card. Dude, you're full of shit. If you said this in a classroom you should be fired for ignorance, plain and simple.

Tell me what a minor penatonic is with the added tritone, and tell me where it makes its appearance in the musical examples you provided? As a professor you should have no problems doing that.

You are also backpeddling now giving credit to the Blues and America. Instant replay, you said this:

The fact of the matter is, almost no music outside of hip-hop, (c)rap and motown owes its existence to US musical history
I suppose jazz, the blues and perhaps country were your "almost no" caveat here? Pretty big one.
     
Spheric Harlot
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:02 AM
 
We've been over this before. Doofy is wrong, but he knows it and is being contrarian.

Still, he's not entirely wrong, as of course European traditions melded into the truly American styles, as well. They didn't become truly American until wedded with African rhythmic and tonal traditions. Yes, the not-quite-minor-not-quite-major third of the Blues pentatonic is a clue to its African heritage.

Also, a number of developments needed European audiences and/or musicians to see real popularity. Jazz-rock arguably would not have developed without Alexis Korner and others on the British scene who looked at "American" music and emulated it - outside of its original context.

As for Miles: traditionalists hate him, and with good reason. Miles came from a well-educated, fairly well-to-do background, and he was in it to make money. That's not reason enough to dismiss him, though: Basis of his business plan was to blow people away with stuff they'd never heard before.
     
Doofy
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:07 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I'm not going to continue this conversation with you until you can tell me what a minor pentatonic with the added tritone is
You mean the commonly-used scale with added devil's note, as used in much European folk and classical dating back to the middle ages?

Jazz is rotting your head, Bess.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:11 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
You mean the commonly-used scale with added devil's note, as used in much European folk and classical dating back to the middle ages?

Jazz is rotting your head, Bess.

Still waiting for your example. One would think that in order to have such beliefs you'd be able to justify them, huh?

I suppose that the Rhythm and Blues in the 1950s was completely divorced from the origins of rock and roll?
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:16 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
We've been over this before. Doofy is wrong, but he knows it and is being contrarian.
No dude, I ain't wrong.
This "pop/rock was from the US" thing is roughly equivalent to the popular "Henry Ford invented the car" inaccuracy. It's bullshit to make Amerikkkans feel better about their country.
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Doofy
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:20 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I suppose that the Rhythm and Blues in the 1950s was completely divorced from the origins of rock and roll?
I've just shown you an example of an early rock song. Anybody into rock music would recognise the sea shanty as early rock - and it's 200 years before the 1950s.
Problem is, you don't recognise these things because your ears are tuned to jazz (while my ears perceive that Miles clip as cacophonistic bollocks). You wouldn't know rock if it hit you upside the face, and that's the problem.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:22 AM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
We've been over this before. Doofy is wrong, but he knows it and is being contrarian.

Still, he's not entirely wrong, as of course European traditions melded into the truly American styles, as well. They didn't become truly American until wedded with African rhythmic and tonal traditions. Yes, the not-quite-minor-not-quite-major third of the Blues pentatonic is a clue to its African heritage.
Exactly right.

As for Miles: traditionalists hate him, and with good reason. Miles came from a well-educated, fairly well-to-do background, and he was in it to make money. That's not reason enough to dismiss him, though: Basis of his business plan was to blow people away with stuff they'd never heard before.
Traditionalists were ga ga over him until he went electric. Traditionalists still consider his exploration/innovation of modal jazz, his cool/west coast jazz, and pretty much everything he did prior to his fusion period as landmark moments in the history of the music. As the dude in this debate said (and I don't know if this is exactly right), Miles felt that he was losing younger black audiences which is in part what prompted his curiosity in moving away from acoustic bands. When he did so, people either loved or hated it, but many hated it.

The debate also sort of touches on whether this change was purely a business plan or a musical plan that also happened to also be a good business plan. Miles felt that there was something to being on the bleeding edge of music and remaining connected to pop culture and younger fans. I'm not sure if believing this necessarily makes one a sell-out if they genuinely believe in their music and are artistically fulfilled by it. What do you think?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:26 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I've just shown you an example of an early rock song. Anybody into rock music would recognise the sea shanty as early rock - and it's 200 years before the 1950s.
Problem is, you don't recognise these things because your ears are tuned to jazz (while my ears perceive that Miles clip as cacophonistic bollocks). You wouldn't know rock if it hit you upside the face, and that's the problem.

The discussion originated in my saying that swing and the blues were our greatest inventions, and you debated this by saying that these weren't invented here. Now this has morphed into the precise origins of rock. I never claimed that rock was not influenced by Europe or music other than Rhythm and Blues and Jazz. In fact, music historians would agree with you that Europe was indeed an influence.

However, I reiterate, that is *not* what you were saying and what I was debating originally.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:27 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
No dude, I ain't wrong.
This "pop/rock was from the US" thing is roughly equivalent to the popular "Henry Ford invented the car" inaccuracy. It's bullshit to make Amerikkkans feel better about their country.

Except I didn't say that. Whoops?
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:49 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
The discussion originated in my saying that swing and the blues were our greatest inventions, and you debated this by saying that these weren't invented here.
I didn't say that at all.
I disputed your assertion that Amerikkkan influence is responsible for most modern pop/rock music around the world:

Originally Posted by Bess
Henry Rollins and Quincy Jones will tell you that the entire world emulates American music these days
Originally Posted by Doof
And very, very wrong. As in incorrect. North America's two greatest exports are lies (Hollywood, you imagining the history of music, etc.) and insanity (fundies, politicians, expeditionary forces, jazz, etc.).

The fact of the matter is, almost no music outside of hip-hop, (c)rap and motown owes its existence to US musical history. The vast majority of pop, rock and dance music is rooted in European folk and classical... ..and the pop soundscape would sound pretty much exactly the same if the US had never existed.
That's right, all of the Paganini-emulating guitarists I work with hate the blues, and swing, and jazz. And all of the Ibiza-trotting techno-heads I work with don't give a toss about any US music.
Europe is still years ahead of you musically. You follow, not lead.
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:53 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Except I didn't say that. Whoops?
You subscribed to that general notion when you popped up with the thoughts of Quincy Jones and the thug from a third-rate punk band.
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:58 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
I didn't say that at all.
I disputed your assertion that Amerikkkan influence is responsible for most modern pop/rock music around the world
Stop lying. You wrote this:

Nowhere. All the rhythms you think are African are derived from music taught to Africans by European missionaries. If you go and listen to proper African music, you'll find it's nothing like you think it is, nothing like a valid root of the US blues/swing/jazz scene.
Moreover, my statement is still right, as hip hop is global. I think you are just trying to save face here, but I'm happy to move on.

That's right, all of the Paganini-emulating guitarists I work with hate the blues, and swing, and jazz. And all of the Ibiza-trotting techno-heads I work with don't give a toss about any US music.
Europe is still years ahead of you musically. You follow, not lead.
Saying that apples are better than oranges is always a solid argument.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 04:05 AM
 
The conversation is laid out up there for everyone to see Bess. The fact that, as usual, you can't follow it should be obvious to anyone who cares to read it. The fact that you accuse me of lying because you can't tell my first post from my second says it all really.

Jazz is screwing up your brain mate. You need to go listen to some pop music.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 04:12 AM
 
Uh huh...

You would have earned additional respect from me by either admitting that you were wrong, or else apologizing for your misunderstanding me. Oh well, maybe one day your streak of infallibility and self-righteouesness will come to an end.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 04:25 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Uh huh...

You would have earned additional respect from me by either admitting that you were wrong, or else apologizing for your misunderstanding me. Oh well, maybe one day your streak of infallibility and self-righteouesness will come to an end.
You know why I'm infallible, Bess? It's because I don't talk about things I don't know anything about (which is why you'll never catch me in a cooking thread). And the things I do know about, I tend to know everything about because it's in my nature to find out everything about things which interest me.

I'm not wrong and I didn't misunderstand you. Until I bumped into this thread you were quite happy to repeat the lie that Amerikkka is responsible for popular music all over the world. It's not. Never has been, never will be.
Don't believe me though. Go do some research. Stop being so intellectually lazy by following what the morons have told you and find out the truth for yourself. Get yerself on a plane to Africa, go listen to some of their stuff. Then get yerself over to Ireland and Spain, do the same there. Do it.
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Nov 15, 2010, 04:41 AM
 
Are you drunk again?

I didn't say that America is responsible for pop music all over the world. I said that America's music is emulated, and it is. Hip hop, for starters, which also has a lineage of several other American born genres of music.

Are we done now?
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 05:34 AM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I didn't say that America is responsible for pop music all over the world. I said that America's music is emulated, and it is.
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
I think our music has been one of our greatest and most influential global exports.
I'm merely telling you that it's nowhere near as influential as you're making out.
And you're getting your panties in a twist about it. And you're not even fing Amerikkkan. Crazy fool.

Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Are we done now?
I don't know. Are you going to continue to perpetuate a myth?
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That's where there's thunder... and the wind shouts back.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 09:17 AM
 


No but seriously, how often do the same people have to rehash the same arguments?
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 10:41 AM
 
This debate is neither interesting, nor musical.

"One ticket to Washington, please. I have a date with destiny."
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 10:42 AM
 
Originally Posted by Laminar View Post
No but seriously, how often do the same people have to rehash the same arguments?
Seriously, I never intended it to become an argument. But a thread where the OP contains a complete bore-fest of a video and ends with "All of this is totally relevant to music in general and how all of those branches on the musical tree work and connect to one another no matter what you are into, how musical innovation comes to be, how it impacts future generations" is never going to be easy, is it?
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Spheric Harlot
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Nov 15, 2010, 10:49 AM
 
None of this affects Miles' genius.
     
Laminar
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Nov 15, 2010, 11:09 AM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
Seriously, I never intended it to become an argument.
Was that before or after your 12th post in this thread?
     
besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:11 PM
 
So, anybody have any comments on the debate video in the first post?

What makes a musician a sell out?
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:14 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What makes a musician a sell out?
Been inclined to wander... off the beaten track.
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:43 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What makes a musician a sell out?
When they no longer do it because they enjoy the music, but do it only for the money.

Nothing wrong with being a successful musician. One of my favorite bands is The Cranberries. Our librarian (who is also the host of NPR's Celtic Hour) grew up with several members of the band in Limerick. When she goes back to Ireland during the summer, the band still often goes to the local pub and play music for friends and family (or anyone who happens to be in the pub.)

So I think people who enjoy the music and company it brings can still be very successful without being sellouts.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 02:52 PM
 
Originally Posted by olePigeon View Post
When they no longer do it because they enjoy the music, but do it only for the money.

Nothing wrong with being a successful musician. One of my favorite bands is The Cranberries. Our librarian (who is also the host of NPR's Celtic Hour) grew up with several members of the band in Limerick. When she goes back to Ireland during the summer, the band still often goes to the local pub and play music for friends and family (or anyone who happens to be in the pub.)

So I think people who enjoy the music and company it brings can still be very successful without being sellouts.

What about music that was once enjoyed by the artist and music that is still enjoyed, but perhaps has runs its course in the mind of the artist, yet is still in popular demand?

This is probably where different artists and bands answer differently. Miles would say that he didn't care what the audience wanted, perhaps for the same reason that Steve Jobs used to say that user testing was pointless because people didn't know what they actually wanted because it didn't exist yet.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:17 PM
 
You know, most musicians aren't actually in it for the intellectual challenge but rather treat their music as a communication channel, as a voice to be heard. Thus seeking out a wider audience for their voice isn't actually selling out - it's just more of why they got into music in the first place.
The only way a musician can sell out is to allow someone else to gain control over his creative output in exchange for money.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:25 PM
 
Originally Posted by Doofy View Post
You know, most musicians aren't actually in it for the intellectual challenge but rather treat their music as a communication channel, as a voice to be heard. Thus seeking out a wider audience for their voice isn't actually selling out - it's just more of why they got into music in the first place.
The only way a musician can sell out is to allow someone else to gain control over his creative output in exchange for money.

Does this allowing of control include things like clothing, appearance, persona, and all of that other non-musical stuff, or is it fair game to hypothetically manufacture an image in order to reach a wider audience? Do the ends ever justify the means?

This is not a leading question, I don't have a strong opinion either way.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:37 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
Does this allowing of control include things like clothing, appearance, persona, and all of that other non-musical stuff, or is it fair game to hypothetically manufacture an image in order to reach a wider audience? Do the ends ever justify the means?
That's a very good question. I guess it depends on whether the controlling influence is guiding the artiste into where they always wanted to be, or forcing them into a position they don't want to be in. I'd say it hinges on whether the artiste can say "no" to the enhancements which are suggested.
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Nov 15, 2010, 03:44 PM
 
I'm inclined to agree.

When an artist chooses his musicians, his producer and his agency, or even his web designer etc (most are smart enough to realize that they can't do everything themselves), he'll choose people they trust to help him achieve his goals and fire them if they don't.

If he's not free to do so, he's sold out.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 04:00 PM
 
In today's climate it is sort of easy to come to opinions about artists that were manufactured from modest success to international stars by the big record labels, but in Miles' case it was more interesting...

Miles was already a millionaire, and could have stayed that way by playing My Funny Valentine to hordes of adoring women that wanted to rip his clothes off for the rest of his career (he was thought to be the first or one of the first black sex symbols here in America). He was doing quite well, he had no problems getting people to buy his stuff, yet he felt like he was losing younger black audiences. As a digression, it may make some cringe when you read about Miles and his racial statements, but black musicians of all kinds were overtly exploited at that time.

Miles wanted to get into using electric instruments. People that were in his bands at the time would say that when they'd rehearse he didn't really know how to ask for what he wanted, probably because he didn't really know what he wanted until he heard it. A lot of rehearsing and experimentation was necessary before the music made it out into the public. He basically put his entire musical legacy on the line, that legacy including contributions to early bebop, one of the labeled inventors of Cool/West Coast jazz, Modal jazz, his band being the who's who of jazz, popularized the harmon mute sound, being a cultural icon, etc.

The boldness of changing so radically what was working so well is really quite something, I think. I don't know of many other musicians who you could say have done that, let alone 4 times! I wonder if given today's musical climate whether we'll ever see something like this again, under the current conditions?
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 04:04 PM
 
Zero. There's been nothing left to do for the past ten years or so, though, so you can't fault the musicians.
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 05:24 PM
 
On a totally unrelated note, I'm just finishing up Scott DeVeaux and Gary Giddins' history book Jazz.

That has nothing to do with anything else in this thread.
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besson3c  (op)
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Nov 15, 2010, 06:12 PM
 
Originally Posted by Spheric Harlot View Post
Zero. There's been nothing left to do for the past ten years or so, though, so you can't fault the musicians.
What makes you say that there has been nothing left to do? I'm not necessarily disputing this, just curious as to what you think
     
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Nov 15, 2010, 06:22 PM
 
Originally Posted by besson3c View Post
What makes you say that there has been nothing left to do? I'm not necessarily disputing this, just curious as to what you think
Musicologists' consensus appears to be that the musicology of "popular" music is now a purely historical science.
This was pointed out at a university seminar on jazz rock I attended a while ago (including coverage of Miles, Alexis Korner, McLaughlin, Hendrix, Corea, Pastorius, Zappa, Zawinul, etc.).

Nothing has happened in the past ten years that isn't a rehashing of combinations already done - even the combinations have already been done, either in jazz rock of the 70s and 80s, or in the explosion of digital production and sampling in the 90s.

Bulgarian vocals on a techno soundtrack with jazz basslines? Been done.

Add a wall of distorted guitars and creepy wailing singing? Been done.

Set that to jazz progression and add smurf vocals? Been done.

What are you going to shock anyone with, let alone four times in a career? Fire? Arguably not part of the music, but Manowar and Rammstein are fine with that, and Pink Floyd blew up half a stadium in 1977, when they decided to fire off the remaining pyro on the last gig of their US tour. Throwing fresh vegetables into a garden shredder and aiming that at the audience? Yeah, Knorkator did that. Live porn show? Rock Bitch. Self-flagellation? Iggy and who knows who else.

Nobody's come up with ANYTHING new since about the year 2000 - which was about when William Orbit did the ambient reimagining of classical pieces.
( Last edited by Spheric Harlot; Nov 15, 2010 at 06:29 PM. )
     
 
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