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Why is modern pop music so terrible?

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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby cuttime » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:30 am

Really, pop is not ALL bad at all. How can you top this?
https://www.space.com/37879-bonnie-tyle ... -2017.html
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby terrybritton » Sun Aug 20, 2017 10:43 am

cuttime wrote:Really, pop is not ALL bad at all. How can you top this?
https://www.space.com/37879-bonnie-tyler-solar-eclipse-2017.html


And don't miss Space.com's Spotify playlist for the event! :lol:
https://www.space.com/37823-total-solar-eclipse-playlist.html

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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby stubbsonic » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:56 am

In a life-shaping conversation with a wonderful musician and upright-bass builder, we talked about how trying to ascribe meaning to music is an over-simplification.

Music expresses something for the artists, and evokes something in the listener. It may have been inspired by some event or concept, and it may evoke an event or concept; but ultimately, the experience of listening is its own vastly complex experience that is connected to the mind and the feelings. In a live performance, if an artist suggests the "subject matter" of the piece, before performing it, I can allow that suggestion to shape my experience, but it doesn't always.

It is, of course, tempting to say that lyrics have meaning-- i.e., they point to something with words. I love beautifully written lyrics (like Peter Gabriel, Imogen Heap, Todd Rundgren), and I like clever lyrics, too. But, there are some songs with very simple lyrics that just hit the bullseye for me, emotionally. And some that are barely noticeable.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby FMiguelez » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:59 am

mikehalloran wrote:I consider Jackson Pollack the most important artist of the 20th C. and I'll go to the mat with that opinion (as long as there's good food and my glass is kept filled, of course). It's not because of his technical skills (yes, you can take that as a joke) but because, what asked what his work meant, he said it meant whatever you wanted it to mean. It was the viewer who gave meaning to the work, not the artist.

Yes.
I LOVE Jackson Pollock!

And whoever asserts he can make paintings like his, most probably hasn't actually tried doing it. There's so much more in his art than random paint-splashing.

One of my first MOTUNation avatars was a picture of myself with a Pollock in the background at MOMA :)

I think his art is the equivalent in music as Schoenberg, Berg, Webern or even Nono (some of my favourite 20th century avant-garde composers).

If by "going to the mat" you meant "when you die", I'll go with you to the mat thinking Pollock is awesome too :)
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby Gravity Jim » Sun Aug 20, 2017 2:23 pm

stubbsonic wrote:In a life-shaping conversation with a wonderful musician and upright-bass builder, we talked about how trying to ascribe meaning to music is an over-simplification.


Precisely (and that goes for the rest of your post, too).

Art needs no justification. Saying "modern pop music (is) terrible" is nothing but a statement based in one's ego, an attempt to label oneself as intellectually superior to others. (Which is also a crock.)

Music is music. Individuals are affected by it in different ways and for different reasons. I can't listen to Weather Report's "A Remark You Made" without getting teary-eyed, and I'd rather hear Lady Gaga's "Bad Romance" twice in a row than even one song from any one of 50 dreary, serious singer-songwriters. Hearing Lyle Lovett and His Large Band play "If I Had A Boat" live onstage is a more satisfying musical experience for me than hearing "Ein Kleine Nachtmusik" again for any reason. "Walk Away, Reneé" and "Cry Me A River" are the two most complete pop songs of all time. That's how all that music makes me feel. Maybe it doesn't make you feel that way. Fine. But don't tell me it sucks, because it delivers the emotional charge to me and millions of others.

And I'm surely not going to believe you, feel bad about myself or really even give a sweet flip if you proclaim otherwise. If you don't get this, then you have it all wrong.

Seriously, if you can't revel in "Uptown Funk," you're dead. Check Tim Ayres & The Smoking Section (a band of Nashville studio cats) as they add some extended harmonies to it:

https://youtu.be/QRuM2rk2miQ
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby FMiguelez » Sun Aug 20, 2017 3:45 pm

Gravity Jim wrote:
Saying "modern pop music (is) terrible" is nothing but a statement based in one's ego, an attempt to label oneself as intellectually superior to others. (Which is also a crock.)

Hmmmm.. I completely disagree, Jim.
Why do you think it's an attempt to show intelectual superiority?
What prevents it from being an honest opinion?

For instance, I dislike mariachis.

Does that make me a snob or someone who wishes to show intellectual superiority?


Gravity Jim wrote:
Seriously, if you can't revel in "Uptown Funk," you're dead. Check Tim Ayres & The Smoking Section (a band of Nashville studio cats) as they add some extended harmonies to it:

https://youtu.be/QRuM2rk2miQ

So how is saying -"if you can't revel in 'Uptown Funk', you're dead"- any different from saying that -"Pop music is terrible"-?
Isn't that a contradiction?
Why wouldn't that statement make you a person who "labels himself as intelectually superior to others"?

I'm just trying to understand what you're saying. :)
Last edited by FMiguelez on Mon Aug 21, 2017 7:14 am, edited 2 times in total.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby Shooshie » Sun Aug 20, 2017 6:51 pm

People have been trying to define art for thousands of years. Any time a definition is considered "correct," it just freezes art locally until someone finally gets tired of it and does something different which then becomes the new definition of art. There are no definitions of art. It's one of those nebulous things like "spirit" that we all seem to recognize, and yet it doesn't come from any one place or idea. It's sort of what makes you go "wow," and that can cover just about anything. Do it a certain way, and it will make you go wow. Do it another way and you get nothing. Recognizing the difference between the two, the wow version becomes art to you. Maybe not to someone else. Because it is impressive, people will copy it. Maybe e even form a "school" around it. Maybe even codify it into a definition that determines whether the society's officials will support anything BUT it. Once that happens, the people are gettting tired of it, and they start finding something else to make them go Wow!


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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby James Steele » Sun Aug 20, 2017 11:36 pm

cuttime wrote:Really, pop is not ALL bad at all. How can you top this?
https://www.space.com/37879-bonnie-tyle ... -2017.html


With this: (Language warning!)

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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby Babz » Mon Aug 21, 2017 6:47 am

I got this...

Because the melodies, chord progressions, rhythms, and lyrics -- especially the lyrics-- are really bad.

Other than that, it's great.
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby HCMarkus » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:16 pm

When the news cycle can be measured in Hz, can we expect music to be enduring?

Anyway, as to matters of taste, I refer to a favorite quote:

"I know what I like and I like what I know"

- Genesis; Selling England by the Pound
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby mikehalloran » Mon Aug 21, 2017 1:27 pm

I'm glad we agree on Pollack.

Going to the mat is a wrestling term. In context, it means that a person will go to great lengths to defend an argument and not give in (even if defeated).
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby Gravity Jim » Mon Aug 21, 2017 2:02 pm

FMiguelez wrote:
Gravity Jim wrote:
Saying "modern pop music (is) terrible" is nothing but a statement based in one's ego, an attempt to label oneself as intellectually superior to others. (Which is also a crock.)

Hmmmm.. I completely disagree, Jim.
Why do you think it's an attempt to show intelectual superiority?
What prevents it from being an honest opinion?

For instance, I dislike mariachis.

Does that make me a snob or someone who wishes to show intellectual superiority?


You can dislike anything. But you can't call it "terrible" or say "it all stinks the place up," or whatever. There is a good deal to be learned from mariachi music, and especially the vocal pop based in it. My cousin Daniel lived in Mexico for almost 10 years and loves that music. Now that he lives back in the midwest of the US, he still listens to almost nothing else.

You don't have to like it. But you can't say it all sucks. A musician should understand that all kinds of music mean something to someone. If you brand an entire genre as "terrible," then you're essentially saying that the people who DO like it are idiots. That's what I'm saying.

In my experience, really good players seasoned in years of performance or studio work find something to like in everything, or at least something to learn from.

I didn't add it to my iTunes, but I figured out a couple things about arranging and playing guitar in an arrangement from this "mariachi" tune from Breaking Bad:

https://youtu.be/4DPGjjCBcAg
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby Shooshie » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:38 pm

"Hating" music can have to do with more than artistry or its value. My first girlfriend hated a particular pop singer (I don't remember who) because she watched her mother being violently assaulted and murdered in her house while that music was playing. Someone else I knew hated rap because he used to get bullied by a gang who played it on their boombox. Likewise, I had some negative connections to some particular music from childhood (Edith Piaf), which later in life became a favorite. Those kinds of things are not rational, not always fixable, and yet completely justified, each in its own way.

Conversely, sometimes our love for a particular artist or genre comes from an incident we experienced, such as the first date with the love of your life. That's the great thing about music. It binds with you emotionally, sometimes in ways that are inexplicable. One doesn't have to explain hating a type of music, while loving it need not make sense at all. It just is what it is, and further exposure or a reversal of fortunes may flip one's feelings about it.

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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby cuttime » Mon Aug 21, 2017 3:47 pm

Shooshie wrote:"Hating" music can have to do with more than artistry or its value. My first girlfriend hated a particular pop singer (I don't remember who) because she watched her mother being violently assaulted and murdered in her house while that music was playing.

Wow. I think that could be straight out of "Clockwork Orange".
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Re: Why is modern pop music so terrible?

Postby cleamon » Tue Aug 22, 2017 5:00 am

Shooshie wrote:"Hating" music can have to do with more than artistry or its value. My first girlfriend hated a particular pop singer (I don't remember who) because she watched her mother being violently assaulted and murdered in her house while that music was playing. Someone else I knew hated rap because he used to get bullied by a gang who played it on their boombox. Likewise, I had some negative connections to some particular music from childhood (Edith Piaf), which later in life became a favorite. Those kinds of things are not rational, not always fixable, and yet completely justified, each in its own way.

Conversely, sometimes our love for a particular artist or genre comes from an incident we experienced, such as the first date with the love of your life. That's the great thing about music. It binds with you emotionally, sometimes in ways that are inexplicable. One doesn't have to explain hating a type of music, while loving it need not make sense at all. It just is what it is, and further exposure or a reversal of fortunes may flip one's feelings about it.

Shooshie

So true. When my wife was pregnant with our first child, we listened to a particular album all the time. She had morning sickness very bad. Even to this day, 40+ years later, if I play ANY song from that album she gets nauseous.
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