― fritz, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― ethan, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Tom, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
and if this type of reaction is a myth, then what would be a more
accurate description of the process you go through in deciding wheter
or not you enjoy a piece of music?
what interested me about Ethan's Q.F'in'.C. thread was that it was
based on oppositions - that one liked x (the underdog) *more* than y
(canonized fave). So in a sense x's meaning was amplified by it's
relation to y. (eg the reader's reaction to "I love Felt" = that's
nice. but "I like Felt more than the Beatles" = wow!). The problem
with this argument is that it *needs* y to provoke the response it
seeks, and even in opposing the critical canon with some metaphorical
flag-burning it props the canon up by accepting the x vs. y polarity
as a given. In which case, it doesn't tell me much about the
listener's ideas about music or the music being discussed - it's only
about the existing hierarchy of critical favourites. In essence, it's
about culture broadly rather than music specifically. I quite enjoy
this type of discussion and think it's completely valid (and
traditional music-specific criticism is boring and/or out of my
grasp) but it makes me wonder if there is another way to think/argue
But that's not the best reaction to music for me - my best
reaction on hearing a piece of music is confusion. Thinking 'what the
hell is this???' Understanding a piece of music is great, not
understanding it is better. This ties into the other recent message
about 'artist worlds' to some extent as such music is often
hermetically self contained, needing little understanding of
influences to feel that chaotic otherness that characterises such
I'm not talking about 'difficult' music here. the Joe Meek
produced version of 'Please Stay' by the Cryan Shames is much more
typical (actually thats a thought, did I read on here once somebody
mention that you could only appreciate Joe Meek on an intellectual
level? I'd argue the opposite... apologies if I misquote).
Neither am I talking about being wrong-footed by some wild free
jazz formlessness - though I'm not excluding that either - the
Birthday Party / Laughing Clowns gig I saw was special because of the
white knuckle loss of control I felt listening to it, I didn't think
much about the bands interesting use of Faulkner's Southern Gothic
motifs. I'd also include the Young Marble Giants live for that same
loss of control, the hypnotic feeling of slipping into something and
being powerless to stop it.
The first time I saw Public Enemy I felt like this, the second
time I saw them I didn't, though they were probably more coherent and
articulate. I can think of many more examples from all genres of
music and from all levels of popularity and critical approval - so I
don't think there is much reaction to other folks opinions, its often
live performances, but sometimes its hearing a recording for the
first time too.
Such a reaction can depend on all sort of things, what sort of day
I've had, how much beer I've drank... whatever. I'm a terrible man
for analysing gigs in the pub afterwards and retrospectively deciding
on why I liked it, but thats just fooling myself as I have already
enjoyed it without really understanding why.
I'm too old and too contrary to really pay much attention to
critics one way or the other, though there is one exception where a
band I would probably think were slight but mildly interesting seem
to have their faults magnified when praised by other people. I'm not
much of a Magnetic Fields fan - if I had never read a word about them
I would probably find them OK in small doses, instead each listen
just irritates me more and more. Ocasionally it works the other way
and I will read something that illuminates an aspect of a piece of
music and can deliver much enjoyment out of listening to it.
It's not a bad thing to enjoy music on an intellectual level it
just might get in the way sometimes.
I was in my car the other day and there was a CD in the player my
wife had left from the last time she used the car. It was playing
track 7 which was a gorgeous piano led repetitive instrumental. I
thought was fantastic. I actually thought it was best new band in
Scotland Lapsus Linguae as it bore a resemblance to their
astonishing 'Parade' song. (see http://www.lapsuslinguae.co.uk/ ).
When the song finished the next track was some sensitive female
singer songwriter thing. Uh ho, my wife has been making compilations
on the CD burner again.. I'm puzzling where she got the new LL track
and skipping further through the CD I find Logical Song by
Supertramp. Something very wrong here...
I pop the CD out and see it is the Magnolia soundtrack. So its
not Lapsus on track 7. The rest of the CD has awful dirges from the
likes of Aimee Mann. I program track 7 on repeat and listen to it
about a dozen times very loud. The CD case isn't in the car so I
can't find out what it is until I return home.
Turns out its an Aimee Mann instrumental (hmm, thats a lovely
phrase isn't it?) I know I still love that track, and I'm not even
embarassed to admit it here amongst you young cool gunslingers. I
don't think I loved it any more when I thought it was by Scotlands
best and hippest band either. However I can't help wondering if I
would have liked it less if I had known it was Aimee Mann before I
heard it. I hope I wouldn't, but I don't really know for sure.
― Alexander Blair, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Sterling Clover, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
I will give widely praised or revered records/composers a
spin, but at the end of the day my gut rules what's been fed into my
head (NB - I'm including music which *appeals* on an intellectual
level as 'gut' rather than 'head' here. Hope that's not too
I also think that the best music writing disobeys your
ABC. Heavily slanted writing (including where it's clearly a 'false'
presentation of the writer's true views on the subject) forces you to
think about the subject, whereas a balanced piece of criticism often
can just be read and instantly forgotten.
why someone else likes something doesn't always get you anywhere.
Often the reason is that it sounds like something else they like.
― Jeff, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Lord Custos, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
and, sterling, I'm trying to avoid either/or's as much as possible,
but it's like a gravitational pull.
But being a Yank, I'm not exposed to anything worthwhile anymore.
Just think...in America VH1 is now PROVEN BY SCIENCE to be less
cruddy than MTV. Thats not because VH1 is any damned good...it just
goes to show how Cosmically Bad MTV has gotten. Back in the 80's the
only show I watched was 120 Minutes with Dave Kendall. That was the
only show that justified that stations existance...
Ohhhh....sorry....I've gotten wayyyyy off-topic.
i might attack music i secretly enjoy, in the attempt to talk myself
out of it, but i never champion anything i dislike.
And while i wish that there were more videos, and more variety, i
don't care how i think i feel about the music, i'll watch any video,
no matter the genre now.
― badger, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Sure, but technical criticism seems conspicuous by its absence. I find that criticism that at least touches on the technical is far more interesting to me than criticism that does not -- especially in music, but also in other fields as well. Engaging the actual material of the work is one of the ways in which a critic can show that his/her theses have some foundation in reality.
― Phil, Tuesday, 30 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― fritz, Wednesday, 31 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
― Sterling Clover, Wednesday, 31 October 2001 01:00 (fifteen years ago) Permalink
Behind the Music is my ultimate nostalgic hangover binge watch these days. so easy to dial up any band on youtube and watch the VH-1 spin masters tell a tale as old as time.
anybody have any favorites? the hair metal bands tend to be the most fun. as much as i hate Guns N Roses as a band, there's a pretty awesome story there.
also i love the Red Hot Chili Peppers one mostly cos the narration by Downtown Julie Brown. everytime she calls them "The Chili's" it's so great.
― AdamVania (Adam Bruneau), Sunday, 14 May 2017 14:57 (one month ago) Permalink