To what degree will you support musicians who (openly, possibly or jokingly) include racist, sexist, homophobic, or bigoted messages in their music, or who privately hold such beliefs?

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wasn't there some thread where Dan was schooling Geir about Mozart or Beethoven and Geir confessed that he only knew a couple of Beethoven's symphonies (the 9th and the 5th I think?) does this ring a bell with anyone?

You mean this thread?

Tarfumes The Escape Goat, Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

I don't think that's the one actually...my bad.

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 18:47 (3 years ago) Permalink

Those anti-semitic things that he supposedly "said" and "wrote" "repeatedly" over a number of "years".

Again, hating Jews (and basically all things non-European) in 1880 was about as common among Europeans as insisting the earth was flat was in 1450.

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 23:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

The shape of the Earth was not only discussed in scholarly works written in Latin; it was also treated in works written in vernacular languages or dialects and intended for wider audiences. The Norwegian book Konungs Skuggsjá, from around 1250, states clearly that the Earth is round - and that there is night on the opposite side of the Earth when there is daytime in Norway. The author also discusses the existence of antipodes - and he notes that they (if they exist) will see the Sun in the north of the middle of the day, and that they will have opposite seasons of the people living in the Northern Hemisphere.

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 23:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah that's the thread I was thinking of Tarfumes - thx

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 23:42 (3 years ago) Permalink

I am not a classical music fan at all, but out of what I've heard of classical music, Mozart is the best for me

That's cool brah. You can like whatever you like. You're not obliged to listen to anything.

Yep, the populist choices, but they are the ones who make him still relevant for more than a handful of classical music nerds.

That is completely, completely false, and I know that from personal experience, rather than just assertion. Admittedly you won't hear many of his great chamber music masterpieces on the barren wastelands of Classic FM, but at least as popular as the works you mentioned are the four great operas Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte and Die Zauberflote, plus Die Entfuhrung, the violin concertos, the Gran Partita Serenade, the Piano Quartets, the C major and C minor Masses, the Haffner, Linz, Paris and Prague Symphonies (not to mention favourites like no 25 and no 29), Other Piano Concerts which you've never bothered with no 9, no 13, no 17, no 10, no 20, no 24, no 25 and no 27, the Sinfonia Concertante.....

People go to see concerts with these pieces who are not by any stretch of the imagination "classical music nerds" (really don't know what to make of that phrase, are you being playful, or insulting, or just bludgeoningly stupid, or....?).

Out of Mozart's big production (he composed an amazing lot within his short life), the earliest works are largely forgotten. Yep, they are stored in there because Mozart is a big name, and because Körchel did a good job sorting his work out, but I think few people actually play them or listen to them.

If by "earliest works" you his juvenilia and compositions written before the age of about 14, yes, you're right. But a good deal of his late teenage works have plenty of currency and performances. After that of course he still wrote 'early works' but they are firmly in the canon of regularly played and recorded works.

In the case of most composers from this era, they are remembered for a handful of their work, and then another handful of string quartets etc. that a few nerds dig into while the man in the street are largely unfamiliar with them. Big parts of the production of, say, Mozart and Haydn are still unknown to virtually all people, not unknown as in they know it exists, but as in they've never heard it.

This is irrelevant guy, we're on a music message board full of music obsessives and music nerds, what the man on the street knows or cares about is not really that important (unless that's what we're talking about..). The fact is people who love classical music or who are curious about music full stop will if they bother to investigate be exposed to many dozens more of Mozart's works than you know about because they are regularly played and consumed and talked about. Do you give a shit that the man on the street is not aware of 'Supper's Ready' but loves 'Follow You Follow Me' ? Would you use the argument that because the man on the street doesn't know these works therefore they are 'for nerds' ? Are you a 'Genesis nerd', or a 'prog nerd' ?
You're omnivorous when it comes to popular music (after 1963, anyway), you listen to things you don't like because it fills in the gaps of pop history, it lets you know what has been created and what impact it had, even if it's not your cup of tea. and more than that you're just a plain fan of music, so you want to listen to as much as you can, it's all good right? Consequently you are something of a (lol) authority on popular music, because you've listened to artists in breadth and depth, the lesser known as well as the chart-topping. You have not done this with classical music, so you do not know whereof you speak. Why can't you admit this? Yet you still speak on classical music as if you knew anything about it. Why the pretense? And why the disparaging terms for those who have listened to it? Do you really think that music should be curated by people who don't have a clue, but who only go on what 'the man in the street' knows?

― henri grenouille (Frogman Henry), Tuesday, October 12, 2010 10:50 AM (5 months ago) Bookmark

EPIC SONNING

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 23:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

um whoops needs some formatting

I am not a classical music fan at all, but out of what I've heard of classical music, Mozart is the best for me

That's cool brah. You can like whatever you like. You're not obliged to listen to anything.

Yep, the populist choices, but they are the ones who make him still relevant for more than a handful of classical music nerds.

That is completely, completely false, and I know that from personal experience, rather than just assertion. Admittedly you won't hear many of his great chamber music masterpieces on the barren wastelands of Classic FM, but at least as popular as the works you mentioned are the four great operas Figaro, Don Giovanni, Cosi Fan Tutte and Die Zauberflote, plus Die Entfuhrung, the violin concertos, the Gran Partita Serenade, the Piano Quartets, the C major and C minor Masses, the Haffner, Linz, Paris and Prague Symphonies (not to mention favourites like no 25 and no 29), Other Piano Concerts which you've never bothered with no 9, no 13, no 17, no 10, no 20, no 24, no 25 and no 27, the Sinfonia Concertante.....

People go to see concerts with these pieces who are not by any stretch of the imagination "classical music nerds" (really don't know what to make of that phrase, are you being playful, or insulting, or just bludgeoningly stupid, or....?).

Out of Mozart's big production (he composed an amazing lot within his short life), the earliest works are largely forgotten. Yep, they are stored in there because Mozart is a big name, and because Körchel did a good job sorting his work out, but I think few people actually play them or listen to them.

If by "earliest works" you his juvenilia and compositions written before the age of about 14, yes, you're right. But a good deal of his late teenage works have plenty of currency and performances. After that of course he still wrote 'early works' but they are firmly in the canon of regularly played and recorded works.

In the case of most composers from this era, they are remembered for a handful of their work, and then another handful of string quartets etc. that a few nerds dig into while the man in the street are largely unfamiliar with them. Big parts of the production of, say, Mozart and Haydn are still unknown to virtually all people, not unknown as in they know it exists, but as in they've never heard it.

This is irrelevant guy, we're on a music message board full of music obsessives and music nerds, what the man on the street knows or cares about is not really that important (unless that's what we're talking about..). The fact is people who love classical music or who are curious about music full stop will if they bother to investigate be exposed to many dozens more of Mozart's works than you know about because they are regularly played and consumed and talked about. Do you give a shit that the man on the street is not aware of 'Supper's Ready' but loves 'Follow You Follow Me' ? Would you use the argument that because the man on the street doesn't know these works therefore they are 'for nerds' ? Are you a 'Genesis nerd', or a 'prog nerd' ?

You're omnivorous when it comes to popular music (after 1963, anyway), you listen to things you don't like because it fills in the gaps of pop history, it lets you know what has been created and what impact it had, even if it's not your cup of tea. and more than that you're just a plain fan of music, so you want to listen to as much as you can, it's all good right? Consequently you are something of a (lol) authority on popular music, because you've listened to artists in breadth and depth, the lesser known as well as the chart-topping. You have not done this with classical music, so you do not know whereof you speak. Why can't you admit this? Yet you still speak on classical music as if you knew anything about it. Why the pretense? And why the disparaging terms for those who have listened to it? Do you really think that music should be curated by people who don't have a clue, but who only go on what 'the man in the street' knows?

― henri grenouille (Frogman Henry), Tuesday, October 12, 2010 10:50 AM (5 months ago) Bookmark

FIXED

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Wednesday, 23 March 2011 23:46 (3 years ago) Permalink

I was reading that thread like 'lol omg classic Geir' and then realized it was from Oct 2010, which is even more lol.

aerosmith in fine form on that thread too

VegemiteGrrl, Thursday, 24 March 2011 00:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

"Again, hating Jews (and basically all things non-European) in 1880 was about as common among Europeans as insisting the earth was flat was in 1450."

Pretty sure that not everyone was openly advocating for the genocide of Jews in 1880.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Thursday, 24 March 2011 01:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

I mean Wagner produced like ACTUAL ANTI-SEMITIC BOOKS. It's not like he was just whispering "I hate jews" to his friends.

Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF), Thursday, 24 March 2011 01:27 (3 years ago) Permalink

Was not aware he did. I thought he was first and foremost Hitler's favourite composer because of all the "Arian" bombast in his music and "stage shows".

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Thursday, 24 March 2011 01:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

Long xpost. My mistake on Rocky Horror: it's Patricia Quinn in the credits, but the lips on the Rocky Horror poster are Lorelei Shark, the model from disco demolition night. That is all.

dlp9001, Thursday, 24 March 2011 03:04 (3 years ago) Permalink

Was not aware he did. I thought he was first and foremost Hitler's favourite composer because of all the "Arian" bombast in his music and "stage shows".

Geir if you would only read the thread before making assertions. We spent a fair few posts describing & linking to discussions of Wagner's active side-career as a professional anti-semite. He wrote a book called "Jewishness in Music." This is not a secret, it's commonly mentioned when discussing Wagner.

five gone cats from Boston (underrated aerosmith bootlegs I have owned), Thursday, 24 March 2011 03:09 (3 years ago) Permalink

Want to voice my agreement with the point about modern staging and how it can be used to reflect on Wagner and conceiveably rehabilitate whilst also condemmning him. I saw Parsifal at ENO a fortnight ago and the staging clearly presented the implications in the libretto, that the Grail Knights ARE a mad cult whose obsession and insanity has cut them off from reality. The stuff about 'pure blodd' in the last act is thus shown to be a feature of the morbid old-world religious-mania in an inherently bankrupt philosophy.At the end Kundry doesn't die, instead she goes off with Parsifal along the train tracks that lead out of the Grail Knights' compound (tracks which 'lead straight to Auschwitz' in the phrase of one reviewer.) The idea is that Parsifal and her are now happily in love. I haven't seen any other productions of Parsifal, but the funny thing is that the music, aside from some triumphalism in the last act, generally supported the director's vision. It is a score for a horror film, certainly in the first two acts, and this reinforces the feeling that we are looking at some kind of bizarre, horrifiying, Sci-Fi relaity in which civillization has broken down and only primitive, magical beliefs and superstitions can be clung to. In this light the anti-semitism of the lines about 'pure blood' make complete sense, and become reclaimed. The Grail Knights and their mania stand as a warning. If Wagner did not mean this to be the case, his music certainly proclaimed it.

glumdalclitch, Thursday, 24 March 2011 03:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

The art is better than the artist.

glumdalclitch, Thursday, 24 March 2011 03:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

Which reminds me of what George Steiner said in a BBC profile of Wagner in 1997, which handily is transcribed online:

Narrator

In the last year of Wagner's life his racist views became more extreme. The only way to redeem "the lower races" as he called them was by an infusion of the pure blood of Christ whom he believed was not Jewish but Aryan. Cosima's diaries show that he was increasingly preoccupied by what he regarded as "the Jewish problem". While he was composing Parsifal, he read that 400 Jews had died in a fire in a Viennese synagogue. Wagner made the drastic joke to Cosima that perhaps all Jews should be burned.

Professor George Steiner

You can go at that in a number of ways. My own conviction is people like ourselves—ordinary people—cannot grasp what is going on in the mind of a titanically complex creator who can create Parsifal and then say absolutely barbaric inhumanities. So I say that the man who has given us what he has, musically, lies outside my range of understanding. That doesn't mean it doesn't make me bitterly disturbed, ill at ease, but that—to put it very vulgarly if I may—that's my problem and not his.

Narrator

Richard Wagner died in Venice on the 13th of February, 1883. He was nearly 70. Wagner's legacy has been immeasurable. His music stands at the threshold of modern Western classical music and his influence on such composers as Mahler, Schoenberg and Debussy was immense.

Robin Holloway

Wagner has influenced virtually every composer since, with some exceptions like Stravinsky, who were very anti-Wagner. But the violence of their hatred is a form of tribute—a form of being Wagnerian by default, by opposite.

Roger Norrington

I find it difficult to see this man writing music. I can see him running a country, or at least an airline, or probably owning a few. But I can't see him writing music.

Magic Fire Music

Professor George Steiner

How can you have among the highest achievements of beauty or speculative elegance and audacity of the human mind and conscience and guts and viscera on the one hand, and the awfulness on the ohter? Wagner's music, as they say it in court, is Exhibit A.

glumdalclitch, Thursday, 24 March 2011 03:45 (3 years ago) Permalink

Judaism in Music is available online. How can people interested in racism / prejudice in music not read this?

"The first thing that strikes our ear as quite outlandish and unpleasant, in the Jew's production of the voice-sounds, is a creaking, squeaking, buzzing snuffle (15) : add thereto an employment of words in a sense quite foreign to our nation's tongue, and an arbitrary twisting of the structure of our phrases—and this mode of speaking acquires at once the character of an intolerably jumbled blabber (eines unertraglich verwirrten Geplappers); so that when we hear this Jewish talk, our attention dwells involuntarily on its repulsive how, rather than on any meaning of its intrinsic what. "

I Sincerely Think You Have No Class At All (u s steel), Thursday, 24 March 2011 09:36 (3 years ago) Permalink

"Again, hating Jews (and basically all things non-European) in 1880 was about as common among Europeans as insisting the earth was flat was in 1450."

Pretty sure that not everyone was openly advocating for the genocide of Jews in 1880.
--Fig On A Plate Cart (Alex in SF)

Nor for that matter were there really that many flat-earthers by 1450.

Anti-mist K-Lo (Phil D.), Thursday, 24 March 2011 10:17 (3 years ago) Permalink

Aristarchus, wasn't it? With his pole in the ground? Worked out the curvature of the earth in whatever BC. Font of knowledge me. Sure it was a couple of religious outliers who propagated the flat earth thing in the late medieval period and were more or less mocked/ignored.

I lolled at the Great Saucepan (GamalielRatsey), Thursday, 24 March 2011 10:48 (3 years ago) Permalink

Appropriately enough "Geir" is like something from German folkolre

Tom D (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 March 2011 11:55 (3 years ago) Permalink

Geir is a male name common in Iceland and Norway, rare in Sweden, and very rare in Denmark. It is an ancient Nordic name meaning "spear" or spear of God, as in the lightning bolt of Oden, and is one of the original nordic runes[1][2]

In Norway, its popularity peaked in the late 60's and early 70's. Nowadays it is an uncommon name among newborns in Norway but still holds its place in Iceland.

glumdalclitch, Thursday, 24 March 2011 11:56 (3 years ago) Permalink

I didn't mean the name, I meant that ridiculous comical creature "Geir" known to inhabit this message board

Tom D (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 March 2011 11:58 (3 years ago) Permalink

Geir if you would only read the thread before making assertions.

lol dude geirbot is not programmed to process information

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 24 March 2011 16:16 (3 years ago) Permalink

My own conviction is people like ourselves—ordinary people—cannot grasp what is going on in the mind of a titanically complex creator who can create Parsifal and then say absolutely barbaric inhumanities.

Lord, these are the types of statements I was being confused about upthread. Maybe I am insufficiently in touch with the incomprehensible divinity of Wagner's musical output, but it will just never strike me as all that ungraspable or mysterious that someone creates magnificent things while being small-minded and barbaric. It's true of a massive number of people who create magnificent things! I'm seriously tempted to say that it might help some people create something magnificent if they're limited in this way, insofar as they wind up with a very fixed and dramatic view of the world to assert.

oɔsıqɐu (nabisco), Thursday, 24 March 2011 16:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

^I agree wholeheartedly with this

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:06 (3 years ago) Permalink

yeah me too

Hyper Rescue Troop (Shakey Mo Collier), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:08 (3 years ago) Permalink

I get it coming from Steiner - he's one of the few crits still standing from mid-20th High Seriousness, & that tends to involve giving art some hefty work to do - revelation of truth of ourselves, the human condition, quiddity of being, finding forms answerable to the enormities of the century, language going beyond language, hard lines between high art and mass culture etc; so that involves some serious agonising when someone who is incontestably a master of the music tradition is a piece of shit vile anti-semite - & all magnified because Steiner's Jewish. He came back to the problem in the TLS recently w/r/t Celine & seemed to get stuck again.

Feel pretty far from his position myself; never quite been the High Serious type. I mean this:

I'm seriously tempted to say that it might help some people create something magnificent if they're limited in this way, insofar as they wind up with a very fixed and dramatic view of the world to assert.

Makes literary sense to me - destructive visionary force of the Modernists who flirt with (or marry) fascism is very powerful; Celine's sense of the fuckedness of the world is at the heart of him (BUT along with a kind of tenderness for those being destroyed by life that's harder to reconcile to evil opinions). I dunno.

portrait of velleity (woof), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:19 (3 years ago) Permalink

It sounds like he's talking about God in the Old Testament.

oɔsıqɐu (nabisco), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:20 (3 years ago) Permalink

That's Steuner for you

Tom D (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

Steiner, even

Tom D (Tom D.), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:22 (3 years ago) Permalink

i can buy that people who succumb to the small-minded assholery of their day are capable of remarkable achievements in a variety of fields, but I think art is an arena where such small-minded assholery is a good indication that your art is infantile, easily-replaceable pedestrian junk as well.

Wagner does seem to be full-on bonkers though, rather than casual douchebag, but I guess being one doesn't preclude being the other.

Philip Nunez, Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

It sounds like he's talking about God in the Old Testament.

― oɔsıqɐu (nabisco), Thursday, 24 March 2011 17:20 (1 hour ago)

Apposite! Both create the world in their respective texts, both were hateful raging assholes who inspired their followers to a religion..

glumdalclitch, Thursday, 24 March 2011 18:52 (3 years ago) Permalink

The amount of focus and ambition and effort required to achieve those monumental works of art is not necessarily going to come from someone who is well-adjusted. I think that a basic knowledge of human frailties sooner or later was destined to undermine the High Seriousness school of thought.

Destroy A. Monsters (Drugs A. Money), Friday, 25 March 2011 02:24 (3 years ago) Permalink

ayo old testament god is a bro, he always had the dankest manna

Bleeqwot the Chef (upper mississippi sh@kedown), Friday, 25 March 2011 02:33 (3 years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll is closing tomorrow.

System, Sunday, 27 March 2011 00:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

thank fuck we'll finally know how many ilxors enjoy the Macc Lads

a SB-in' artist that been in the game for a minute (Noodle Vague), Sunday, 27 March 2011 03:10 (3 years ago) Permalink

Automatic thread bump. This poll's results are now in.

System, Sunday, 27 March 2011 23:01 (3 years ago) Permalink

now you know, noodle vague

Algerian Goalkeeper, Monday, 28 March 2011 03:40 (3 years ago) Permalink

wow way to go ilx, you amoral beast

ilxor you've listened to one odd future album once (ilxor), Monday, 28 March 2011 04:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

OK, let's bite the elephant..

It's understandable how Wagner's 'beliefs' can run alongside his need to create beautiful/masterful works, rather than informing them directly.

Whereas Gary Glitter's works quite often (OK, more than once) have examples of how his predilections form a part of his.

(check the lyrics of this one, for instance)

Mark G, Monday, 28 March 2011 11:29 (3 years ago) Permalink

Glitter Band >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Gary Glitter anyway

Tom D (Tom D.), Monday, 28 March 2011 11:32 (3 years ago) Permalink

At least 10 Eric Clapton and/or Elvis Costello fans who voted. Two of the more racist musicians of the rock era.

Thraft of Cleveland (Bill Magill), Monday, 28 March 2011 13:39 (3 years ago) Permalink

XXX-Post At least he didn't do a cover of "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen"...

You're Twistin' My Melody Man! (Geir Hongro), Monday, 28 March 2011 13:41 (3 years ago) Permalink

I guess I abstractly understand the impulse to not stifle art that led so many people to vote the way they did but really this just reinforces to me the difference between feeling like you have the luxury to overlook or academify beliegs that run counter to your own and feeling like you do not.

One reason why I do my best not to support people whose views I find inimical is because success implies acceptance/approval. I do not want to give racists the mistaken impression that I am okay with their beliefs by giving them money; ditto homophobes and sexists, but there I have the luxury of being able to sometimes abstract my feelings from the sentiments being expressed because I am not their target.

This is also a case where falling into a side career of classical music via performance and connections rather than formal study is awesome/troubling, because while I knew a lot of the shit discussed upthread I'd never really gotten too in depth with it; I would have had much more of a problem doing "Der Meistersaenger" had I known all of this in this detail (although I bagged out of that concert anyway for a paying gig, lol).

'lol u stuck with me now watch this ass expand, joeks on u' (DJP), Monday, 28 March 2011 13:51 (3 years ago) Permalink

XXX-Post At least he didn't do a cover of "Happy Birthday Sweet Sixteen"...

The song involves being in bed with a girl, and waiting until midnight on the eve of her birthday, at which she becomes of legal age, and he enters her.

so.. !

Mark G, Monday, 28 March 2011 13:53 (3 years ago) Permalink

Confess to being on firmer ground discussing Gary Glitter's oeuvre than Mad Richie Wagner's

Tom D (Tom D.), Monday, 28 March 2011 13:56 (3 years ago) Permalink


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