The State Of Music

Discussion on new albums, developing listening skills, critical listening to others' work, as well as TOMB members' MP3 links, online recording critiques

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sparky
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Post by sparky » Thu May 18, 2006 6:47 pm

I have very ecclectic musical tastes. Everything from field hollers to Sinatra to Husker Du & Mudhoney to Motorhead to SRV to Hendrix

Yeah, back in the day Husker Du and Mudhoney and Motorhead were staples of mainstream rock radio. Hell, you could hardly get through a rockblock or a twofer tuesday without hearing a few Zen Arcade cuts.

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Post by JGriffin » Thu May 18, 2006 10:17 pm

Tatertot wrote:Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap.

Always has been, always will be. How many crummy romance storybooks were published during the same year as Moby Dick? How many schlocky pop tunes were written and published during the same year as "My Funny Valentine"? How many toss-back nu-wave albums came out the same month as REM's Murmur? Etc.
You'd be amazed how many people refuse to buy into Sturgeon's Law. I think it's spot-on.
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Re: The State Of Music

Post by philbo » Fri May 19, 2006 10:27 am

TV Lenny wrote:I have very ecclectic musical tastes. Everything from field hollers to Sinatra to Husker Du & Mudhoney to Motorhead to SRV to Hendrix blah blah blah. I'm 28 and was wondering if I was just getting older when I started to not enjoy the majority of music played on the main rock station in my area. The station recently changed format to 70's through now rock. Apparently I was not the only one that would turn it off after the morning show. I'm just not into System of a Down, Nine Inch Nails, etc. That's not to say there aren't a few songs of theirs I find something in them I like. But I wouldn't buy any of their albums. These are only two examples I can think of. I have done many recordings of lousy local bands and I always find something in their music that I like. Good thing for me, these bands are very much punk and I have a love affair for punk.

I'm curious to know what you think. Is there a lull in creativity or do I need to give these bands more of a chance? Funny thing is there is so much great music on indie labels and being self released. Just difficult to find. Drop some names of great bands you like that we can all check out.

Tom
Maybe I'm also a geezer... Me & my cronies call that kind of music (NIN, Slayer, etc.) we call it M.A.D. Music - - It stands for 'Mad At Dad'.
Youthful angst aside, it gets tiresome to listen to that crap after a certain point in your life.

An example: George Carlin - When young, his anger was cool and funny. Now he's older, it comes off as bitter. Same stuff, but coming from a different perspective.
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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Fri May 19, 2006 5:40 pm

dwlb wrote:
Tatertot wrote:Sturgeon's Law: 90% of everything is crap.

Always has been, always will be. How many crummy romance storybooks were published during the same year as Moby Dick? How many schlocky pop tunes were written and published during the same year as "My Funny Valentine"? How many toss-back nu-wave albums came out the same month as REM's Murmur? Etc.
You'd be amazed how many people refuse to buy into Sturgeon's Law. I think it's spot-on.
90% of people give a blank stare as their response to Sturgeon's Law, which only goes to prove the validity of said Law.

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Post by mikehattem » Sat May 20, 2006 3:53 am

AstroDan wrote:After decades of ridiculing hippie psychedelic nonsense, classic rock drum solo's, metal hair bands, Eddie Vedder clones, and nauseating pop punk, bands today are like unwilling to stick their necks out and be original in fear on themselves getting ridiculed. If they do, they're like "Hey check me out. I'm wearing Billy Joel's circa 1981 outfit and doing Simmon's drum fills. It's funny."

Bitter!
Oh man... that's sad... maybe you're a bit mainstream oriented... there is so much unbelievable music being made now its unreal... the only thing is you're not gonna find it on the radio or any major... I used to feel that way too... through alot of my 20s (im 30 now) i never listened to anything new... i didnt think anything new was good... until 5 years ago and the internet helped me find out about indie bands from all over the world that I would never have heard of otherwise... now I can't even keep up with it all... and im a beatles freak like most eevryone else here and alot of it appeals to that side of my musical taste...

as for bands: anything E6 - very mid-late 60s Beatles-Beach Boys influenced (Olivia Tremor Control, Neutral Milk Hotel, Apples In Stereo, of montreal, essex green)

some indie pop (60s influenced mostly and alt country)
Belle & Sebastian
Wilco/Uncle Tupelo/SV
Jayhawks
Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown
Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!
Polyphonic Spree
Camera Obscura

Os Mutantes
Flaming Lips
Beachwood Sparks (byrds influenced psych)
Mercury Rev
The National
The Pernice Brothers

thats just off the top of my head... you just gotta look a little harder...
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Post by mikehattem » Sat May 20, 2006 4:08 am

snuffinthepunk wrote:There's a trick to writing good music, whether it be simple or complex, and some people just don't know how to do it. Most don't, actually.
I wouldn't call it a "trick" man... its a skill/talent honed by years of writing, recording, and maybe most importantly listening... by calling it a trick you make it seem like its just something you find out and then you know how to do it... even the greatest songwriters write bad songs... when i record an album the final 12 songs are usually taken from a group of anywhere from 30-50 songs... for every keeper I write, there might be 3 or 4 songs that i don't keep... however i can take maybe the one or two things i like about a song like that and use it again and then it might put a song over the top and turn it into a keeper... no songwriter is 100%

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snuffinthepunk
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Post by snuffinthepunk » Sat May 20, 2006 7:24 am

mikehattem wrote:
snuffinthepunk wrote:There's a trick to writing good music, whether it be simple or complex, and some people just don't know how to do it. Most don't, actually.
I wouldn't call it a "trick" man... its a skill/talent honed by years of writing, recording, and maybe most importantly listening... by calling it a trick you make it seem like its just something you find out and then you know how to do it... even the greatest songwriters write bad songs... when i record an album the final 12 songs are usually taken from a group of anywhere from 30-50 songs... for every keeper I write, there might be 3 or 4 songs that i don't keep... however i can take maybe the one or two things i like about a song like that and use it again and then it might put a song over the top and turn it into a keeper... no songwriter is 100%

mike
yes, "trick" was definitely a poor choice of words, I certainly didn't mean it in the way it came off.
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Post by ;ivlunsdystf » Sat May 20, 2006 10:15 am

That snuffinthepunk avatar image is the best ever. The "Oops" thing, I mean.

(insert something profound about the current state of music here)

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Post by joeysimms » Sun May 21, 2006 12:15 pm

hey mikehattern: os mutantes is a 60's band, the records came out right alongside sgt. pooper and all that..
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Post by AstroDan » Sun May 21, 2006 1:29 pm

I think deep down I know that things really are getting better all the time. There really are a lot of great bands out there, possibly more than ever. It's still fun to make fun of bands with guys that wear girl's pants.
"I have always tried to present myself as the type of person who enjoys watching dudes fight other dudes with iron claws."

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Post by StygianSguitars » Sun May 21, 2006 2:07 pm

snuffinthepunk wrote:So, yeah, there is a lack of talent in the popular music pool these days, but there is still some good stuff out there. Like I said, check out Matchbook Romance, Aiden, Panic! at the Disco, and if any of you are into hip-hop (NOT radio hip-hop) check out Atmosphere. (He actually writes "songs," not just "beats" with some ramblings over the top) I'd also recommend the Gym Class Heroes (another Fueled by Ramen group...they do hip hop as well, and the lyrical stylings are quite delightful in my humble opinion =P) All of the bands I mentioned can be found on Myspace, and I bet my bottom dollar that you'll find them on purevolume as well.
I agree that Atmosphere and Gym Class Heroes are good hip hop. I don't listen to the radio/watch MTV or anything and I don't like hip hop/rap for the most part, but I like those 2 and I also think Sage Francis and Lordz of Brooklyn are really good. (LOB are actually a BAND they play instruments).

Anyway, here's some bands that I like (I'm into punkish type stuff too so maybe you'll like some of these):

Anti-Flag
^Political punk band
Alkaline Trio
^"horror-punk" I guess
Audio Karate (they broke up but I'm sure you can still listen to them)
Bad Religion
Bear Vs. Shark (ditto)
^they're good
Beret!
^they're a hardcore band from NY that do their music in French
Bouncing Souls
BoySetsFire
Break The Silence
^one of my favorites, they do melodic hardcore, very good lyrics/vocals/guitars/drums
Chiodos
^I don't know how to describe this music
Death By Stereo
^hardcore
Everytime I Die
^hardcore/southern rock
From First To Last
^their old stuff was pop punk, then they went up to like screamo/post hardcore, now they're a lot different, you kinda just have to hear it.
Good Riddance
^punk
Halifax
^rock/emo
Haste The Day
^hardcore, the old vocalist sounded like a mix between a cat hissing and a witch :) Haven't heard the new vocalist yet. good guitars too.
He Is Legend
^Southern Rock/something else.. these guys are cool
Mad Caddies
^Ska/punk
Melee
^piano rock?
Nightmare of You
None More Black
Poison The Well
^hardcore, interesting melodies, high energy, it goes from loud/fast to mellow back and forth
Refused
Rise Against
Saosin
Slick Shoes
Stars Will Fall (local band)
The A.K.A.s
^"Dance hall fight music"
The Blackout Pact
The Briggs
The Bronx
The Casualties
^punk
The Color Of Violence
^members of From First To Last, different style of music.
The Fall of Troy
^experimental.. these guys have some really cool stuff
The Number 12 Looks Like You
The Unseen
Throwdown
Thursday
Vinny Keys (local band)
^also like Chiodos, except they're in high school and just have this cool/weird sound.


I don't have the links for the rest of them, but they're probably pretty much all on myspace/purevolume. All of those links go to myspace.


Also, I'm in a band Stygian Sorrow we don't have much up yet, we're working on it. Our stuff is really unstructured/chaotic. It's fun.
My brother's got a couple bands Devolution Of Abeyance and Perpetual Dissonance they both kind of go along with metal but in different ways. and the guy that does vocals in my band and the guys that play drums and bass in my brothers band are in another one From The Ashes (me and my brother recorded a couple demos for them but they don't have them up yet, they have some songs up that they recorded during practice or something..)


Also, you should check out these record labels www.epitaph.com, http://www.trustkill.com/home, and www.fatwreck.com. And there's this other site where you can listen to new/unsigned bands (and some signed ones are on there too) http://www.mp3artistsonline.com/ you can click on "New Bands" or "New Songs" on top or probably just browse.. My band is on there too, http://mp3artistsonline.com/artists/Stygian_Sorrow




Lisa

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StygianSguitars
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Post by StygianSguitars » Sun May 21, 2006 2:15 pm

AstroDan wrote:It's still fun to make fun of bands with guys that wear girl's pants.
I actually like a lot of those bands. I don't care what kind of clothes they wear as long as the music is good.

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Post by joeyjoejoejuniorshabadoo » Mon May 22, 2006 12:12 am

For finding new music with minimal elbow grease I have found that the KCRW: All Songs Considered Podcast on iTunes is fantastic. There are also some great songwriter podcasts, several other public radio live performances, even one from BMI with more commercial stuff thats on the verge of "breaking". Last night I heard a band called The Gossip do "Standing in the Way of Control" on All Songs Considered and that made me a new fan. Disco Punk!

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Post by Roman Sokal » Tue May 23, 2006 10:32 pm

here is the unedited excerpt from the interview i did with producer bob ezrin for tape op magazine (from back in 2002) regarding this thread's subject matter. the following was shortened for space purposes for the print version so here is the whole thing. love him or hate him, mr. ezrin hits the nail on the proverbial head sort of speak....

---------------
Bob Ezrin: (as told to Roman Sokal)....

"Well, I think the music business right now, across the board, is characterized by a lethal sameness that comes as a result of a lack of understanding and vision at the top of the industry coupled with a need to continually make more money. We don?t know exactly what do to ? with the music itself, marketing, promotion, new technologies, pricing, product definition - so the best thing is to do what worked the last time. And that?s exactly what we?ve been doing, over and over and over again- doing what worked the last time because we don?t know what to do and we are afraid of the price of failure. It?s to the point that record companies, managers, producers, even arrangers, songwriters, everybody- is actually discouraged from stepping outside of the box because it frightens them. And that?s a terrible thing. I don?t think it?s necessarily specific to the music industry either, its happening a lot in film too, and even in literature, where the same book gets written over and over and over again- because the last one of that sort sold so well. What is happening- you can already see it - is that there is a backlash within the audience. They?re sick and tired of hearing, reading, seeing the same thing over and over again, so they?re often doing nothing. And everybody is feverishly searching for the reason for this drop of interest or sales in their particular medium. In our industry, we decided to blame it on downloading. That?s just too facile of an answer - and it?s wrong. Because, I could have downloaded the Eminem album, just as easily as I could have downloaded anything else, and that thing is flying off of the shelves. Why? Because people want it. And the reason they want it is because he really excites them. And the reason why they?d rather download than actually go out and spend the money on most other things is that most other things are not really that exciting at the end of the day. Basically folks are quite satisfied with hearing an "okay" song 2 or 3 times and moving onto the next thing. And that?s the state of our business! We?re putting out a lot of "okay" shit that people are quite satisfied with hearing 2 or 3 times and then moving on from. The reason for so much "okay" shit is that we continue to produce reproductions of original art so to speak and we try to foist them on the audience as the real thing. We don?t want anything new because we?re afraid that it might not sell!!! Any disagreements here?!

One of the other by-products of a world where invention is not encouraged, is that it starts to dry up. And the people who seek it are not stimulated anymore because they?re completely immersed in a world of mediocrity. Nothing turns their crank. I think that as a culture, we have really got to look at that. Do we want to promote a creative process which strives to create really great things that people really love or do we simply want to chase the last commercial success and "make our numbers"? I don?t think the Beatles started out to sell the most records in the world. Truth is they just started out because they had a burning need to do what they did.

...To be themselves. I don?t think U2 started out thinking about how they could sell the most records. I think they were who they were and tried to find a way to get people to recognize that.

...I still think, in spite of their many years of doing this and the distractions that they have in their lives- they?re not U2 all the time- 24-7, 365 days of the year. In spite of all that, I still think they?re one of the most inventive outfits out there. I really think they can be proud of what they do. I think they?re always out for something that pushes the envelope. That?s what I like about them.

...We have to develop a new crop of support people in the music industry- people who are the new impresarios, new record company- well, I hate to use the word ?executives?, new talent developers.

We need people who are genuinely looking for real talent and beauty, and worrying about the rest later. Because right now its exactly the opposite. Right now we are worried about the results first and shoe-horning the talent into that. Every record made now has to have that certain producer, certain mixer, has to be a certain length, has to be in a certain guitar tuning, has to have a certain vocal sound. Anything that steps outside of that has to be "eclectic" and "difficult". That?s bad and I think it?s wrong. I think there is more than one sound in the world- there?s more than one kind of music to play, more than one kind of melody to sing and more than one kind of story to tell..

[And...]"Radio". I think it?s being driven by forces other than just the desires or reactions of their audience. In a sense, radio these days is forcing a lot of stuff down the audience?s throat. And radio is so homogenized that the audience never actually gets the chance to check anything else out. One of the reasons why downloading is so exciting and important is that people are actually getting to hear things they would never have gotten to hear otherwise, and they can share them - send them to their friends and say "hey, check this out, its really cool, you?ll never get to hear it on the radio". Because of the consolidation of radio, there are no local voices anymore- its just one big huge monolithic national or international voice. And there are only so many spots on the playlist- when you have one voice with a limited number of spots, that limits the entire universe to that size. And that?s really bad for the business because it continually crams the same thing down the throat of the audience, to the point where they become numb, disinterested, and disengaged. We want the public to be engaged- we want them to love what we do, to be excited about the stuff ? and, right now, they?re not. It?s not because they?re bad people its because we don?t give them anything that they can get their rocks off on. So, another part of the solution is- developing other ways of getting the music out there outside of radio, which has essentially become closed-shop. The Internet is great for that. I think it?s extremely helpful for getting certain kinds of artists out to larger groups of people. Playing live is hugely important. We really need to support our local clubs and we really need to get out there and listen to what?s going on. Hopefully those clubs are being booked by people who have some vision and interest in music, and not just the gate. Those are fewer and farther between nowadays than before. So overall we need some serious upheaval in this business and it?s coming in the form of the current reaction to the shit we?re putting out now. When you start seeing a drop in sales like we have in this last quarter alone, there?s a clue and message there- that the public is voting with its pocketbook. And they?re saying "unless you give us something that we really want, we?re not gonna buy anymore." And our way of responding to that had better be to make better stuff. They bought Eminem. They?re not gonna buy Son of Eminem, or Just Like Eminem or Emulating Eminem. They?ve got him- they don?t need the rest of that crap. We don?t need anymore sound-alikes, we need more cutting-edge people like Eminem. We don?t need Korn wannabes. We need Korn to do something unique and special that?s their own. If we?re not developing that, there?s going to be a rude awakening in the next couple of years. A lot of big and important guys are going to lose their jobs. "
----------------------------------

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Post by cgarges » Wed May 24, 2006 10:17 am

It's a drag that wouldn't fit in tha mag. Thanks for giving it to us here, Roman.

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