1244 Comments

CGI animation is overrated- I much prefer traditional 2D forms. Unfortunately, a lot of people seem not to agree with me.

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I would say mine would be that I deeply disagree with the discourse that Elvis Presley appropriated and ripped off Black artists. I think it fundamentally misunderstands music and Elvis' contribution to it as well as his artistry.

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Here we go. Just one: Recordings are not music.

Don't get me wrong. I love recordings and use them all the time in my own music, to learn licks, to study the music, for delight, none of which are things I'd want to give up for a second. Listen to them every day, without the slightest conflict or regret.

Still -- recordings are not music. They are something else, valid in their own right, but still not music as it was understood for millennia. And we still haven't figured out how to talk about them in a clear way, because most people, even sophisticated critics, treat recordings and music as more or less the same phenomenon, or as if one merely represents the other without changing it. But just as we understand that writing is not merely a transcription of speech (pace Plato and Rousseau), or that a movie is not just a recording of a play, or that a photograph of a horse is not a horse, a musical recording, even an analogue recording, is not even remotely similar to live music (now there's an interesting neologism of the recording age: "live music," a phrase that would have been a puzzling redundancy just a few generations back).

There are endless ramifications to this idea -- yet I've never seen them worked out in an essay, let alone a serious conversation. What are the relations between music -- which for all of human history until little more than a century ago, meant only a real-time performance at which one had to be physically present -- and recordings, which turn musicians into portable ghosts, or might not even any longer represent music that anyone actually played? What, actually, is a recording of music?

Now that everyone has left the dinner table, I will continue to think about this....

BTW, Ted, I am a tremendous admirer of your writing, and a good friend of Dana.....;)

You can reach me at rothmandavidj@msn.com.

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Modern pop music is crap. It's been that way since the 1990s. They're ARE a few artists who stand out, but they are few and far between.

I also believe that you can (and should, when necessary) separate the artist from their work. The fact that someone is an awful person doesn't always affect the quality of their work.

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U2 has never been an above-average band, neither musically nor lyrically.

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Songs should only be allowed to be used in a film soundtrack once.

Each song only gets one movie. There needs to be a registry or something.

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The music of ABBA and the Bee Gees will (justifiably!) live longer than that of Captain Beefheart, King Crimson, or Brian Eno.

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I'm sooooo tired of women acting like men in modern stories in name of "empowerment" or whatever. All women now have to be "in charge" and brilliant and strong, which leaves no room for romance or chivalry or any kind of decent love story.

Okay, I'm off to watch Red White & Royal Blue again -- the only movie I've seen in years that gets it right.

Also Phil Spector's vaunted Wall of Sound is just bad production with a fancy label.

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I think the music of Bob Dylan, Rolling Stones, David Bowie, Lou Reed and Velvet Underground is overrated.

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I have always disliked the "world music" category. All music from the planet is world music. Brazilian music is Brazilian music, although there is much more to Brazilian music than samba and bossa nova. Colombian music is Colombian. The same applies to Colombia as Brazil. I think it is a lazy way to refer to music that is difficult to categorize according to where it originated. African music can be further identified by the country of origin, say Angola or Cameroon. Plus I am not a big fan of drum machines. They have a place but I would rather hear skin on skin or drummers using drumsticks.

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When we share and discuss our favorite bands, it’s OKAY that actual music quality is often less important to us than the way music makes us feel. Further, non-musical elements such as branding, mythology, and stories play an important contextual role in our enjoyment of sound; often, by dramatizing or articulating our feelings. Being intellectually curious about all of the reasons that music engages us can turn engagement with culture into a journey of self-discovery!

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I'm f***ing tired of Boomer Rock prevalence in film and tv. I grew up to it. Springsteen is my man. Elton can bring tears. But come on, labels! You spent $500m or whatever on Bruce's (and Bob's and Tom's and David's etc) catalog, and now when I stream HBO or Netflix, their songs dominate!! Give younger voices some oxygen to breathe! Invest in new music and push those songs onto the filmmakers. Invest in the future not the past!!!

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I don't feel obliged to feed people. Almost every woman I know, when told about a meeting, get-together, party, etc. wonders and says, "What can I bring? Oh, you have to let me bring something". When you walk in someone's house they feel obliged to feed or beverage you. I don't care, eat what you want, hopefully before you get here.

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I don’t “get” Greta Gerwig / Noah Baumbach as great filmmakers

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I’m giddy with anticipation for this thread. :) Here’s my first:

Saturday Night Live is terrible. All of it. Including The Golden Years of the show, whenever you think the Golden Years are. SNL has from moment one produced the most bland, inoffensive material ever created. It is almost never even a little funny.

Every cast member is automatically awful for having appeared on the show. Bill Murray recovered. Pretty much nobody else in the show’s entire run did not. Yes, including him.

It’s one of those rare things where I legitimately cannot understand why anyone likes it. When I don’t like things that other people like I usually assume that I’m just missing something. Not with SNL. It’s just a bunch of really lame catch phrases. “Could it be Satan?” “We’re here to pump you up.” “Cheeseburger cheeseburger”. These are not funny even the first time. They get worse with repetition.

Whew. Catharsis

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My spiciest hot take is that music streaming did not ruin or hurt the music industry. The music industry and labels hurt themselves. It never was about the artist and it’s still not. Radio still exists, concerts still exist; streaming is a NEW avenue to reach more people.

The future of music needs to be:

No labels - more exposure through the Internet.

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