Where is that deeply felt groove gone?

I put on James Taylors cd Live today to listen to some really nice songwriting and Carlos Vegas beautiful grooves. Then it struck me that none of the up and coming players of today are having a groove that really moves you emotionally.

Cats like Jeff Porcaro, Carlos Vega, Steve Gadd and Steve Jordan had and have that ability in a big way.

Do you guys have any thoughts on this?
 
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GruntersDad

Administrator - Mayor
Staff member
None of the music moves me so it's doubtful any of the drum grooves would. Today's music is terrible IMO.
 

Average

Senior Member
It all gets quantized and sterilized out of the music now. All of the notes are smoothed out volume-wise so that it really doesn't sound like there is a person playing anymore. Oh well. Go watch live music I guess.
 
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DSCRAPRE

Guest
Agreed. Music is about money now. They figure that if they make everything sound the same, they won't have to worry about little things like artistic vision or talent getting between them and their money.
 

Average

Senior Member
Agreed. Music is about money now. They figure that if they make everything sound the same, they won't have to worry about little things like artistic vision or talent getting between them and their money.
I was out the other night and there was a video screen with videos playing of top 40 pop music. I think I know what the producers are going for. It is usually a female singer who looks almost exactly like the one on any of a million other videos, only this one may have a slightly different shade of blonde hair than the last one. She is surrounded by nondescript "musicians" who have a certain look and are interchangeable with the ones from the last video. The musicians pretend to be playing the instruments but if you watch them, they aren't playing anything resembling the track, and in most cases (especially in the case of guitar) it looks as if they have never actually played an instrument. The song on the video you are watching is virtually identical to the one seen just before. Maybe the hook is very slightly different but that is about it. The guitar tracks are nondescript and interchangeable, as are the bass and drum tracks.

This interchangeability has to be intentional. I think it is one way that the studios and record companies take negotiating power OUT of the hands of musicians. "Don't want to sign the contract? Thats just fine because we can find another drummer to lay down the sterilized tracks. You don't have a drum sound and we took everything unique about your playing OUT when we quantized it and compressed it. Like it or not, you are now completely replaceable." Studios and record companies don't want to be held over a barrel anymore by musicians who have an identifiable sound.

People are still laying down fat as hell grooves, they just aren't allowed on major labels anymore except in special, already established cases. There are some incredible drummers playing right now who will never see the light of day to the mass consumption part of the music business. Oh well. Keep on doing what you do because you love it and don't compromise for a quick buck.
 
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droveto

Senior Member
It's out there, you just have to work hard to find it. Chick Corea is still putting out great tracks with grooving drummers year after year. I can watch Tony Allen on youtube just about any time and for hours at a time. You want to see groove, that guy has it million fold. If you can stomach smoother jazz, manu katche has a really sweet performance playing with Jan Gabarek.
 

Coldhardsteel

Gold Member
Agreed. Music is about money now.
Implying that music wasn't about money back then.

It is impossible to say that there are no more groovy players. If you scour the web and the Tube, then of course you're going to find groove, and in some cases it may meet or come close to the examples you presented, even if it is a rare occurrence.
 
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DSCRAPRE

Guest
Implying that music wasn't about money back then.
Poorly worded on my part. The music industry has always been about money, hence the term industry. At least talent used to be part of the equation too.
 

brady

Platinum Member
Implying that music wasn't about money back then.
Perhaps. But not to the extent as it is today. It's also about women and music. :)
I think most musicians 20-30-40 years ago actually cared about these things above the money.

Today it seems, more than ever, that money is the primary driving force. Kids see others coming out of obscurity to become rich and famous on American Idol or whatever other karaoke shows are out there and think it's that simple to get a record deal. Or, even worse, just Auto-tune the #$^%^ out of your voice and sell a million records.

It's insulting to the hundreds of talented musicians out there that have busted their asses for years taking any and every gig just to get by.

So, to answer where the groove has gone. It's still around, you just have to look for it. You probably won't find it on mainstream radio though.
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Keith Carlock comes to mind. Yes, it seems to me that the companies are cementing their power by making musicians superfluous. With pitch correction and standard dance blah music you don't even need good singers, just spunky ones. Definitely increases the margins.

With young people I'm seeing two trends - some find what they want by going retro, others have acquired a taste for pitch-corrected digital diva dancers backed by sequencers. I find it a bit surreal that flesh and blood humans congregate to dance to robot music, a bit like Japanese robot pets and robot spouses.
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
Funny to hear about the money being the thing that's destroyed modern music when I see so much of the chatter on here emphasizing the virtues money-making. It seems there are contradictory views on that depending on the thread title one is posting in.

There's a lot of quality drummers out there these days for those inclined to look, but it's true there hasn't been a John Bonham since, well, John Bonham.
 

synergy

Senior Member
The answer is in the OP. Just stay as far away from the top 40 as you possible can and you will find great/ fantastic music.


I have never trusted the top 40 or radio play due to the overwelming feeling that 95% of the time they were completely control by the 'machine'

The record companies have deals with radio stations over what they play and how many times etc-

There is such great music out there- trouble is trying to find good music in the top 40 is like looking for a wife in a whore house... Sure you might get a good one- but mostly, well you get the picture
 

MikeM

Platinum Member
I have never trusted the top 40 or radio play due to the overwelming feeling that 95% of the time they were completely control by the 'machine'
Agreed. And as far as drumming goes, what's really the difference between some drum machine part to a pop song programmed by some unknown person, or Tom Sholz cutting up tapes of Sib Hashian in order to make one good take for a Boston record? Non drummers doing the drum parts for pop is nothing new.

I also agree that if you're looking for inspiring drumming, you probably shouldn't be looking to the top 40 list. That's been true to varying degrees for ages.
 

con struct

Platinum Member
I suppose it's a matter of what you consider to be deeply-inspiring, beautiful grooves. It's very subjective, isn't it?

Has that kind of groove gone anywhere? Or is it just that the music has changed? I mean, long gone are the days when the dance floors were filled with people getting up for "Green Onions" or "I Can't Turn You Loose."
 
I can relate to all your arguments, especially the ones about the record industry and how its making almost everything sounding exactly the same. But still I think the focus on technique, speed and chops has become too strong. Especially in the genre of death metal, which to me is more sport than it is music. But thats me. And maybe its more a matter of the music being played today compared to what was being played back in the 80`s and early 90`s.

With deeply felt grooves I mean stuff like this:

Jeff Porcaro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1juoRQOlTBE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZsePyO4tVA

Carlos Vega:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh6WQV7cv5M&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNmZhcTXhTA&feature=related
 

Pollyanna

Platinum Member
Mr FP, metal has always been about adrenaline and it's been full of flash since Deep Purple - and before. I remember the rush I felt listening to the flashy metal bands in my teens and I reckon young people today would get a very similar feeling from modern metal.

Groove in metal? Yes, but not the type that floats my boat, not that that matters ...
 

con struct

Platinum Member

droveto

Senior Member
I can relate to all your arguments, especially the ones about the record industry and how its making almost everything sounding exactly the same. But still I think the focus on technique, speed and chops has become too strong. Especially in the genre of death metal, which to me is more sport than it is music. But thats me. And maybe its more a matter of the music being played today compared to what was being played back in the 80`s and early 90`s.

With deeply felt grooves I mean stuff like this:

Jeff Porcaro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1juoRQOlTBE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZsePyO4tVA

Carlos Vega:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh6WQV7cv5M&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNmZhcTXhTA&feature=related
Did you check out any of the cats I mentioned?
 

toddbishop

Platinum Member
I can relate to all your arguments, especially the ones about the record industry and how its making almost everything sounding exactly the same. But still I think the focus on technique, speed and chops has become too strong. Especially in the genre of death metal, which to me is more sport than it is music. But thats me. And maybe its more a matter of the music being played today compared to what was being played back in the 80`s and early 90`s.

With deeply felt grooves I mean stuff like this:

Jeff Porcaro:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1juoRQOlTBE
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=SZsePyO4tVA

Carlos Vega:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Qh6WQV7cv5M&feature=related
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yNmZhcTXhTA&feature=related
This post-80's LA studio thing has become pretty much the dominant style of drumming across many genres. It's almost inescapable in commercial music. Porcaro and Vega are kind of legendary players, but there are a lot of people doing this basic thing very well, to put it mildly. As for the music, I never thought of GRP All-Stars or late Toto to be the zenith of soulfulness, exactly, but that style is not dead either.
 
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