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What This Guy Said

August 22nd, 2014 - 2:32 pm

Many, many bad words — all of them richly deserved.

(H/T, Jim D.)

All Comments   (10)
All Comments   (10)
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While I agree with the majority of this rant, I am wondering if the audience really does deserve better. If mediocrity is not just acceptable, but profitable, it is because the audience is making it so.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's like the guy thinks that rock n' roll needs to be authentic to be real rock n' roll.
It never was, baby.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
*Shrug*

See, I sense this comes down to your feeling on how music should be appreciated. I always hated live music anyway (this may be why I've reached my age with my eardrums relatively intact). I don't really care whether the band can do what it sounds like they can, in the same way that I don't really care if a painter uses the "grid" method to produce an image from a picture. I'm listening to it to hear how it sounds, not wonder if it OUGHT TO sound that way. Heck, as time wears on, I drift more and more towards electronic bands that are 100% synthetic, some of which do not give live performances. Not all of those are what you'd expect, either. E.S. Posthumus, whose work you almost certainly have heard in the background of a film or commercial, was two brothers and a mostly synthetic orchestra (sadly, one of them passed away).

It's not that I don't get where he's coming from. Sure, maybe the talent is a bit diluted. MAYBE. Or maybe a changing of the necessary talents for the field just favors different skills. Maybe people who are better writers than performers have a chance to run an actual band now, rather than being consigned to the credits on the album insert. I've heard Hinder gives the worst live performances on Earth, but while "Lips of an Angel" isn't exactly Shakespeare, it's definitely not the worst SONG on Earth.

I just feel as though there's a strong thread of "fuddy dud" running through this... which is something, coming from me. Worse is the sense of futility. I really don't think the music industry is going to stop polishing. They might pull back on it, in the same way films might pull back the CGI a bit. But they're too powerful for anyone to just leave alone entirely, except as an experiment or to make a point. Nor do I think people need to. I buy albums because I want album cuts. I don't care if they gave the disk to aliens and they performed a blood ritual on it to make it sound decent. Just as long as it sounds decent, and matches my taste... eh.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment

The point is that instead of putting a final polish on a gem, the studios are just polishing any old turd they can find. And now that they know how to polish turds, they've stopped looking for gems.

Nothing wrong with polished turds, if you like that sort of thing, but some of us want actual polished gems.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's stretching the point to call every band that is not virtuosic a "turd". Especially because I seem to recall quite a lot of mediocre music being released in those good old days. Nostalgia has rose tinted the heck out of the 60s and 70s.

But of course. The production wasn't as good back then. And what a relief that was, eh? Because then you KNEW a mediocre song was mediocre, and you knew it until the song was over on the radio. G*d help you if there was a song like it on every station you listened to.

A lot of the tat that's used to make listening to the radio like walking through an active minefield has been neutralized. It's improved my morning commute. No, the pieces are not world-conquering classics. A few are cute, most are catchy, pretty much all of them meet a minimum standard of quality. The horror!

Now, yes, he makes an accompanying argument about dilution of talent in studios. To which I have two responses. One, related to the above: perhaps talent at PERFORMING music is no longer the central talent of the field. You can make listenable music on the strength of songwriting or lyrics. Maybe you can even do it on sheer surreality: see Train's comeback. And you know, for all the talk of the fans deserving better, albums still move and concerts still sell out. Oh, they aren't for the "right" people? The people who bought the MP3s and tickets apparently disagree.

The second point is: Why do you need to wait for a studio to find artists for you in 2014? There's a huge indie scene in virtually every genre. Anyone can post their songs online. Many of them have access to basic modern production thanks to the increasing availability of the tools. I happen to know FL Studio, for example, is available to anyone. Users include (reading off the listing on FL Studio's page) Avicii, Deadmau5, Afrojack, Basshunter and the list goes on for awhile. You might not like those groups, but you should see at least that their production is decent, and pretty much anyone can BUY that level of polish and apply it in their home office. Or, of course, less, to showcase their performing talent. Think studios weren't selecting OUT a lot of genuine talent because they thought a genre was saturated or a band's style was too strange? Because I guarantee you they were. And if you ignore the idiot hipster kids you'll run into, you can go find gems without a studio telling you about it. Is there work involved? Yes. But I really don't see how poking around for good bands on the internet is any LESS convenient than looking at the latest releases in stores and tracking things by word of mouth.

I dunno. Maybe it's more fun to be alarmed. But I just can't bring myself to see improved production as a musical apocalypse striking down the mighty and putting the lowly in positions above their station. I just think the field is changing and people had gotten used to the way things were, warts and all.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Fortunately, in the film world, the addition of affordable wiz-bang tech has had the opposite effect to this guy's complaint re music.

Filmmakers anywhere can rent top grade camera & gear and for, maybe, a $10k post hardware/software investment, produce studio quality films.

How do I know this? I'm right now sitting in the booth of the Chinese Theatre working the HollyShorts Film Festival watching films from all over the world w/ production values indistinguishable from the studio fare in the next theatre over. FX shots just as good as Guardians in the main theatre. Every film in this house shot on the same cameras weather they are from Warner Bros or two kids from Canada. All they have to have is talent. And it's out there in spades. Talent that the Networks never would have let in the door. Or never even realized because until now, you had to have the backing of a studio to make a film to this level,

Yeah. I have a vested interest. HollyShorts.com
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment

Live music. If a new band can't hold my attention live, then I won't buy their recorded mush.

That, of course, means that Top 40 is pretty much dead to me.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
There are some very good bands who are essentially studio bands; they do stuff which would be too difficult or expensive to do on tour.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Doing multiple takes being one of them, plus irritating the concert audiences no end.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
Coming from an engineer's perspective-- one that happily got the hell out of the business just as this crap was coming in-- it's not always laziness. When dealing with prima donnas, some times you only get a take or two before they flake out, run off, "go to the bathroom" for two hours, etc-- and fixing it is the only choice you have.

With that said, apply everything he said to driving, and yes. That.
3 weeks ago
3 weeks ago Link To Comment
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