Art (or music) mirroring life


Platinum Member
Totally and completely offtopic, but Todd ... I didn't meant to imply that Art only plays backbeat but I concede that's how it sounded ... just that he plays backbeat more than most :)
Oh yes, no prob- I just wanted to make sure that was point was clear- the OP was saying something similar.

Regarding the original topic of this thread- I'm no sociologist, but the extreme negativity in music seems to me to come from normal teenage angst combined with an infantile, egocentric, nihilist, poorly educated, over-medicated, over-stimulated populace addicted to novelty, outrage, and boundary-transgressing. This pretty much applies to right wing politics as well, but even more so.

con struct

Platinum Member
Oh yeah, music mirroring life. Well, since the landmark supreme court obscenity hearings that focused on Henry Miller's novel "Tropic of Cancer" in 1964 there's been a lot more "naughty stuff" allowed in this country. The funny thing is that the music business took a long time to catch up to what the rest of the arts, literature mainly, were doing. After all, you can't put "naughty stuff" in a song that you're selling to white teenage girls.

But then television started showing people having sexual relations (gasp!) and having gay characters (HUGE gasp!) and let's not forget that in the sixties movies were getting really naughty and political ideas started getting expressed in propular song lyrics. The floodgates were opened.

Tipper Gore tried to put a stop to all that, but all she succeeded in doing was having "Parental Advisory" labels stuck on records that had naughty stuff in them.

I heard a record that was made in the 1930's. It was called "Sal's Got a Meatskin Hid Away." Guess what it was about?

Anger? Listen to Woody Guthrie. The thing is that anger became a selling point during the punk era and people got used to it. As much as I like punk I sometimes think it was one of the worst things that could have happened to music. I mean, guess what? You actually do have to able to play an instrument to play music. You have to, you know, actually be able to write a song.

Now you hear anger all over the damn place. I was gassing up my car about a year ago and the guy next to me was blasting rap music from his car stereo. "Dont piss me off, 'cause I'll get out my sawed-off." Nice lyrics, no?

Anger, sarcasm, bitterness, it's always been around. It's just that now it's become something of a stock in trade. It is, I believe, a symptom of impotence, raging about something that you can't do much about because, in the end, what you're railing against has nothing to do with you, it doesn't care.

You want to do something really revolutionary? Make your message to the world "I'm just fine, thank you very much." But first you'd have to be just fine, and how many records do you think that would sell?

I apologize for the rant.


Platinum Member's a funhouse mirror, it includes the artist's and the audience's lenses of their perspective.
Great observation.

amygdala activation.

I didn't find the conersation particularly negative (at least at that point) and my comments weren't aimed AT any person.
I had similar concerns with Larryace's historical interpreation and my comments were focused on that area in both cases (both in terms of historical evidence and how the socio-political situation can lead to sample error)
Fair point, poor choice of words by me. Not negativity ... "conflict" is the word I was after; it's conflict that attracts us like moths to a flame. I'm thinking adrenaline junkies :)