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Old 11-13-2009, 02:50 PM
Posts: n/a
Default Re: Led Zeppelin is Rediculous.

I'm actually getting really quite sick of the backward-looking 'Rock' lobby at the moment.

Now that I've alienated everybody in this thread, I will explain.

I like Led Zeppelin. I used to like them a lot more, but I'm actually with DMC on this one on so many levels. This focus on bands that have been gone thirty or forty years to the forsaking of all others (to use matrimonial terminology) really irritates me. That and bands (like Wolfmother) who just re-hash this kind of music. It happened, it's over, please move on with your lives.

The truth is, it stagnates everything. Whenever I listen to Classical Music (and I listen to a lot more than the majority of the people on here as part of my degree) I can usually place it within a certain compositional timeframe and see a progression directly from Bach, through to Mozart, Beethoven, Stravinsky, Schoenberg et al. I don't know if it's just me, but the speed of musical change in the previous century should have made it easier to pinpoint to even more specific dates. I can do it with jazz - I can listen to a lot of the music and pinpoint a rough era as to when the music was written - pre-'Brew' Davis is definitely pre -'Brew' Davis and Brian Blade is definitely much more modern, because I can see a linear progression. However, when I listen to a lot of guitar-based music, I just don't hear that. I can certainly hear it for the first decade or two of rock, for argument's sake '55-'75 but really beyond that, I struggle to hear what has musically changed in a lot of mainstream material.

This focus on a very specific time frame (roughly '68-'78) means that younger generations are growing up with an attitude of just wanting to play that music. I'm sick of pentatonic scales, I'm sick of two-minute guitar solos, I'm sick of drummers hitting their crash every 'one' and I'm sick of vocalists who think that they can use the word 'wooohhhmmaaannn' in a song without a hint of irony.

There are plenty of bands out there that don't do this. I could name dozens, but it seems to so many young people today that this period is all that counts. I know, I've been there and out the other side and I was even critical of drum machines for a long time - until I started looking elsewhere. I've discovered so much musical diversity in the last two decades it is ridiculous, but so little of it uses the 'standard band' format. Bowie is a prime example - there's a guy who realised what he was doing was going to be passe in the next two years and changed it all just because he could. What did we get? Two (arguably three) fantastic albums - that mercifully haven't been copied - and mind-blowing collaborations with a small group of musicians that have seriously radicalised and influenced a wide range of musicians in the years since. Why then, do I keep hearing the same three chords on the radio? Why do I listen to a mainstream pop track and think it's from the 90s but it turns out to be the 'newest' chart release?

Because people don't listen to enough music. Vygotsky (a psychologist) postulated a theory known as 'Zones of Proximal Development' whereby in order to develop, one has to stretch slightly beyond their 'comfort zone' and seek new empirical experiences. I don't think enough people do that. Without that I would have never have started the degree I am doing, I would never have discovered some really fantastic music (let's just start with Schoenberg and Penderecki) and I would have never have discovered quite what a computer could do, and that actually deeply disturbs me, yet every time I log in, I keep seeing the same names mentioned, the same concepts mentioned and there is very little new in any of it.

Why not take the primitive rhythms of Stravinsky's 'Rite of Spring' and try something new, rather than lauding over Bonham, Paice et al (who I do think are great drummers) and really pushing some boundaries?
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