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Old 08-22-2009, 05:54 PM
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Pollyanna Pollyanna is offline
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Default Re: Pop Music in General

Ok, living is over for now. Back to the PC :)

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
...genre is largely interpretation and interpretation is largely marketing or audience in the popular music world. The question that would need to be answered is which one is art?
Hmm, Yes and no. Also in the execution. Put a a ballsy (or overies-y) drummer and guitarist with an amp turned up to 11 together and you have rock. Execution and attitude. Or songs can also be jazzified, countrified etc. In the band before my current one we played The Stranglers's version of Walk On By. With the current band it's more like Dionne's, but we kept a few elements of The Stranglers in the chorus, arrangement and soloing. "Genre messing" is one of the joys of life IMO :)

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
Is the song "You Keep Me Hangin' On" any more 'sophisticated' than "Sugar Sugar." I would say perhaps, but barely and they both have the same social function, to sell records.
No way! Sugar Sugar is purely lovey dovey, YKMHO's lyrics are simple but convey powerful emotions. Which song would be better fit into The Wiggles's set list? As you say, SS is kids' music. Not everyone can teach PhD level astrophysics and someone has to supervise the finger painting at the kindergarten. Someone has to play music for the little ones. Not what I want to play, but good luck to those who do. I think bubblegum pop absolutely suuucks (or chews) but, as you've suggested, it still has value.

Originally Posted by Deltadrummer View Post
Jazz is losing its audience today, and classical music has been in decline for a decade now. People ask the question how do you save jazz, how do you save classical music? A lot of people's paychecks depend on it. A lot of musician's paychecks depend on the status quo. And people ask the question how do you market jazz to a new, perhaps younger audience. I think that as people are expressing the problem here, it is not one of marketing. Marketing is the problem. If you hear The Coltrane Quartet recording of Alabama, and it's meaningless to you, there is a bigger problem. You got no soul.
Is it *just" marketing? I know I'm *supposed* to like 'Trane because he gets so many raves but most of his music bores me. I'm not keen on bop. My big sister had a long relationship with a leading sax player/multi-instrumentalist. I went to jazz clubs hundreds of times. I *wanted* to like the music and went through a peer-influenced Aydee-esque phase where I thought non-jazz music was too unsophisticated to bother with (even tho I couldn't play it - lol).

But ... I've always been a closet pop fan - The Beatles, Madonna, early Elton, The B52s, The Bangles, Bryan Ferry, George Michael, old disco - all that uncool music. I'm a sucker for a good tune and a good feel. I didn't admit it at the time for fear of being thought of as just a ditzy girly-girl by my muso friends but I was absolutely NUTS for the riff/beat combo in The Knack's My Sharona.

Just because something is an acquired taste doesn't mean everyone will like it if only they get to know it. Just ask Con struct :) Horses for courses. A lot of jazz doesn't speak to me. My soul may not be too flash, but most of the moving parts still work.

Alabama would try the patience of most people. Great if you close your eyes late at night and drift into it, like classical, like Dark Side of the Moon or Eno or a whole bunch of moody things. Not much good for the unwashed otherwise, who often use music as a backdrop for their social lives and rarely if ever turn off the lights, turn up the volume and sail away on sound.

Why does Trane really move you but not others? Why do we like some people more than others? Similar questions.

Uncool non-muso types (hoik! ptui!) dig pop and rock'n'roll. They love a good tune, a contagious beat, words that describe something they've felt. Music that speaks to their generation or scene. Jazz has developed over the years to a point where subtleties that are only picked up by connoisseurs are considered to be of paramount importance. Forests and trees, ivory towers, rareified realms and all that. Just as intellectuals in the art world could never turn the public on to Jackson Pollock and his ilk, hard bop is a minority taste. Hell, so is all bop for that matter.

Why can't at least some jazzers compromise without giving us Kenny G wallpaper? Why not simplify and make the song structures more clear? Get more into composition. Melody. Rhythms that make you want to move. Hardly anyone gives a rat's posterior if a drummer plays polyrhythms (Polly Rhythms!) ... they just want it to sound cool. Is it a buzz? Is it beautiful? Does it "speak"?

Music doesn't have to be trite to reach a mass audience. Birdland did well and can be appreciated on a basic visceral level but if you want to dig deeper there's lots of nuances to enjoy. Kinda like The Simpsons :) Joe and co didn't play Birdland by rote; they improvised within a structure rather than tossing off the common jazz club fare:

1. theme
2. sax solo
3. piano solo
4. bass solo
5. drum solo
6. theme
7. Outtro

Unless it's VERY cleverly done, that just bores most people [expletive]less. Nice over dinner, tho ... as long as it doesn't get too intense.

For now, it looks to me that jazz, along with indie, world, prog, experimental, metal etc is just more of the sincere stuff running down the musical gutters (re: Aydee's and my chat earlier), occasionally being used as "compost" to fertilise the pop scene through samples, funk, and sessioners slipping some nuances into MOR tunes.
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