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Posted (edited)

here comes an extremely esoteric rant.

So my favorite band ever is Women. They're from Calgary. They're amazing. You might have heard me talk about them. Anyways, how amazing they are has lead me down wild roads searching out new bands from that scene and related ones, which has lead me to a lot of amazing groups. Freak Heat Waves, Telstar Drugs, Manchild, Faux Fur, Jean Audet and his million bands, Each Other, Grime Kings, etc etc etc. A lot of stuff that I've listened to obsessively and dissect for months when I find some newly unturned stone.

There's this new buzz band called black midi. They're talented musicians. They have some good tunes. They also do a lot of extremely, extremely similar things to all these Calgary bands I've mentioned. A lot of the critical response centers around how experimental and new they sound. This frustrates me. Greatly. I will continue writing songs, there will be at least one about this hernia forming in my stomach.

I had to put this somewhere and I chose here.

Edited by Lamp, broken circa 1988
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Bet you'll live a much more fulfilling and happy life if you swear off of reading Pitchfork or Consequence of Sound. I know I have. They're as out of touch as Rolling Stone, and much more obnoxious.

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It’s very weird to hear this song start and it NOT end up being Jump Around.

 

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Posted (edited)

Apropos of nothing but going to a 80s YouTube rabbit hole, I can’t believe Susanna Hoffs is 60. She looks like she could be in her 40s. 

 

Edited by odessasteps
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FYI.   Kanye West has the President of the United States' phone number.  

 

 

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Tickets for the Slayer show at MSG are so expensive that the only way you can afford them is to sell your soul to Satan.

Well played Slayer, well played...

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Something I was thinking about in the weird sidetracked discussion in the wrestling thread...

Beyonce is pretty much considered without debate the biggest pop star in the world, and I'm curious why. Not "why is she popular?" (I'm not a big fan, but I don't hate her or anything) but what about her level of success makes her the biggest star of this era?

I mean, Adele's second best selling record, world wide, has literally double the number sold of Beyonce's best selling record. And Adele's best selling album is nearly triple.

Rhianna has 8 more number 1 hits as a solo artist (and still 4 more even if you count Destiny's Child)

I'm not questioning that she's a huge star, but the idea that she's the one that you would compare to Michael Jackson seems strange to me. 

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I think it has more to do with her being heavily marketed that way for 20 years now than anything tangible.

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What Morelock said. While Beyonce is still light-years away from just coasting on her rep or being famous for being famous, let's face it, she has a tremendous publicity machine behind her that has banged on and on about how big a star she is for two decades. As always, where there's that much smoke there has to be some fire. I'm not particularly poptismic and much of what she does leaves me singularly unimpressed. I'm an old Tina Turner guy and Beyonce on her best day is no Tina Turner.

It's funny when the discussion was on Michael Jackson it was interesting to me as Michael was a year younger than me so theoretically should have been a touchstone for me. Nothing could be further from the truth, he was to me always in the category of "I won't change the station if he comes on, but I'm not going to seek him out either." Oh, the dude had talent, he was an incredible performer, just wasn't my thing. He was obviously trying to be all things to all people and that always comes off as shallow to me though I can understand how intelligent it is from a business standpoint.  One James Brown is worth twenty Michael Jacksons to me, the former influenced every genre of music, the latter ate at the table that had been set by others. 

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5 hours ago, Brian Fowler said:

Something I was thinking about in the weird sidetracked discussion in the wrestling thread...

Beyonce is pretty much considered without debate the biggest pop star in the world, and I'm curious why. Not "why is she popular?" (I'm not a big fan, but I don't hate her or anything) but what about her level of success makes her the biggest star of this era?

I mean, Adele's second best selling record, world wide, has literally double the number sold of Beyonce's best selling record. And Adele's best selling album is nearly triple.

Rhianna has 8 more number 1 hits as a solo artist (and still 4 more even if you count Destiny's Child)

I'm not questioning that she's a huge star, but the idea that she's the one that you would compare to Michael Jackson seems strange to me. 

I think Beyonce is the argument for star power.  Rihanna, Adele, Taylor Swift, etc. sell more records, but if you put all of them on the same stage at the same time, I'm willing to bet we all eventually just stare at Beyonce.  Beyonce also seems to have a bigger slice of the cultural zeitgeist than just about any other performer.  If "Crazy in Love" comes on half the room is going to try to do the booty shake part...no matter what room you're in. Rihanna probably has the biggest international audience.  I dated an Ethiopian girl, and she told me that Rihanna sells out stadiums in Africa.  Adele has sold the most records over the last decade, and has crossed over pretty well on black radio here in the U.S., but she's also biggest in the places where people actually buy music. Rihanna has sold an incredible number of records, but she may be an even bigger star in places that don't really account for many record sales.  Taylor Swift's audience is the least diverse, and she's generally loathed as a psuedo-new age Pat Boone among black Americans.  She's never going to be able to overcome that to take the #1 spot.   

8 minutes ago, OSJ said:

What Morelock said. While Beyonce is still light-years away from just coasting on her rep or being famous for being famous, let's face it, she has a tremendous publicity machine behind her that has banged on and on about how big a star she is for two decades. As always, where there's that much smoke there has to be some fire. I'm not particularly poptismic and much of what she does leaves me singularly unimpressed. I'm an old Tina Turner guy and Beyonce on her best day is no Tina Turner.

It's funny when the discussion was on Michael Jackson it was interesting to me as Michael was a year younger than me so theoretically should have been a touchstone for me. Nothing could be further from the truth, he was to me always in the category of "I won't change the station if he comes on, but I'm not going to seek him out either." Oh, the dude had talent, he was an incredible performer, just wasn't my thing. He was obviously trying to be all things to all people and that always comes off as shallow to me though I can understand how intelligent it is from a business standpoint.  One James Brown is worth twenty Michael Jacksons to me, the former influenced every genre of music, the latter ate at the table that had been set by others. 

Beyonce is an incredible performer, but she's one of those good at everything great at nothing performers.  Can't sing like Aretha, but does have the ability to blow you away with her vocals.  She's not Tina Turner on stage, but neither is anyone else.  She's took an ownership of her career, and manicured it to the point that she's kind of undeniable even if you're sitting around trying to deny her.  She's literally trying...and succeeding...at being the black female pop star that she wished was around when she was a child. 

I'm on the exact same page.  I really like Michael Jackson's music, but I never turn on any Michael Jackson music.  I turn on Prince like twice a week.

James Brown is the most influential performer in the history of popular music. There is not a single genre of modern, popular music that doesn't have James Brown's fingerprints all over it.  He's kind of the guy who the catalyst that took music from the black church to rhythm and blues, to rock and roll, to soul, to funk, to hip-hop.  I don't think soul, funk, and hip-hop exist if James Brown doesn't exist.  I don't think sampling exists without James Brown.  All the crazy instrumental breaks in disco were just artists indulging their inner James Brown. 

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Star power can't be measured. We simply know it when we see it. The trick is to find the key to harness that star power into something that can be measured. That's where Beyoncé excels. She's top-level at all the tangibles, and she's cornered the market on making the intangible something that can be held in some way.

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I always liked MJ. I have Fly on the Wall and Thriller on vinyl.

But I more or less worshipped Prince, and kinda still do. But Jackson was the bigger star in a tangible way. Sold more records, had more hits, etc.

And, to be honest, I've never been blown away by Beyonce's voice. It's definitely not bad by any stretch of the imagination, but it's never moved me personally. I'm incredibly happy for anyone that is though. I have nothing but respect for the empire she's built. But speaking just for me, in that hypothetical "put all the major pop stars on stage" I'm pretty sure I'd fail to notice her next to Rhianna or Gaga or Adele.

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1 hour ago, Burgundy LaRue said:

Star power can't be measured. We simply know it when we see it. The trick is to find the key to harness that star power into something that can be measured. That's where Beyoncé excels. She's top-level at all the tangibles, and she's cornered the market on making the intangible something that can be held in some way.

I guess that's kinda my thing: I don't see it. I mean, again, I'm not saying she's not a star. I just... I don't see her as THE star.

The other thing I'm realizing in this discussion: women have like completely conquered this era of pop music. Which is awesome. But I hadn't really thought about it until right now. There's not really a male star in this discussion for biggest pop star these days. I mean, Drake has the hits, but I think most people separate what he's doing from pure pop

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Beyoncé also has an aura about her. She's not readily accessible.. There's a mystique surrounding her that plays a huge part in her being the superstar she is today.

Think of Diana Ross vs Patti LaBelle. Patti is without question the better singer and all-around entertainer. Patti has something about her that's relatable. That's part of her charm and why she's still so beloved by the Black community. Diana's very good in her own right, but there's a cloud surrounding her that makes her harder to reach. It elevates her in a way that can't be easily explained. I think Beyoncé has a similar quality, though she's a much stronger singer and savvy business person.

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40 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

But speaking just for me, in that hypothetical "put all the major pop stars on stage" I'm pretty sure I'd fail to notice her next to Rhianna or Gaga or Adele.

My eyes would go towards Rihanna first and foremost, because...um...reasons.  None of those women are nearly as electric as a performer as Beyonce.  Are they just as, if not more, talented?  Yeah, but they'd just be standing in the corner while everyone watched Beyonce own the stage.  Have you guys ever seen the Twitter meme about Beyonce always being on beat?  It's just Beyonce doing some absurd dance, but making it work 100% despite you laughing at how ridiculous she looks.  

I'm pretty sure VH-1 needs to bring back those DIvas specials so we can actually prove this shit for once and for all.

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23 minutes ago, Burgundy LaRue said:

Beyoncé also has an aura about her. She's not readily accessible.. There's a mystique surrounding her that plays a huge part in her being the superstar she is today.

Think of Diana Ross vs Patti LaBelle. Patti is without question the better singer and all-around entertainer. Patti has something about her that's relatable. That's part of her charm and why she's still so beloved by the Black community. Diana's very good in her own right, but there's a cloud surrounding her that makes her harder to reach. It elevates her in a way that can't be easily explained. I think Beyoncé has a similar quality, though she's a much stronger singer and savvy business person.

An interesting comparison, I'm a huge Patti LaBelle fan and have been for more years than would be kind to either Ms. LaBelle or myself to enumerate; a huge part of her charm is as you mention, there seems something accessible about her. Diana Ross has never done much for me, oh, she's insanely talented, I can see that, but her music has for the most part (and perhaps not so oddly, when you read my take on Michael Jackson) been in that area of trying to be all things for all people and losing a lot in the effort.  Considering MJ's fanboyism of Ms. Ross, it perhaps isn't so surprising at all that I would come to the same conclusions about his music. Same with hers, I'll listen if it comes on the radio and likely won't change the channel, on the other hand, I won't seek it out either. I own a bunch of Patti LaBelle CDs. Don't own any Supremes or Diana Ross solo pieces.

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4 minutes ago, OSJ said:

An interesting comparison, I'm a huge Patti LaBelle fan and have been for more years than would be kind to either Ms. LaBelle or myself to enumerate; a huge part of her charm is as you mention, there seems something accessible about her. Diana Ross has never done much for me, oh, she's insanely talented, I can see that, but her music has for the most part (and perhaps not so oddly, when you read my take on Michael Jackson) been in that area of trying to be all things for all people and losing a lot in the effort.  Considering MJ's fanboyism of Ms. Ross, it perhaps isn't so surprising at all that I would come to the same conclusions about his music. Same with hers, I'll listen if it comes on the radio and likely won't change the channel, on the other hand, I won't seek it out either. I own a bunch of Patti LaBelle CDs. Don't own any Supremes or Diana Ross solo pieces.

Diana Ross is the least talented person we've discussed by about 750,000%.  

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20 minutes ago, OSJ said:

 Considering MJ's fanboyism of Ms. Ross, it perhaps isn't so surprising at all that I would come to the same conclusions about his music.

That probably stems from going through the Motown machine and retaining a lot of the pop music veneer throughout their careers. Whereas fellow Motown alums Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder searched for self-identity and moved in a much different direction.

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My only experience seeing Beyonce actually perform is her Superbowl halftime performances... On that measure, and only that measure, Lady Gaga outstrips her as a performer by a massive margin, at least to me. 

I feel like I'm coming across more negative on Beyonce than I actually feel though. I think her music is fine, I just don't see her being ahead of her contemporaries the way I constantly hear she is.

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2 hours ago, Burgundy LaRue said:

That probably stems from going through the Motown machine and retaining a lot of the pop music veneer throughout their careers. Whereas fellow Motown alums Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder searched for self-identity and moved in a much different direction.

I have only had the pleasure of seeing Stevie Wonder perform live once. It was in 1972 when I was 15 and he was the opening act for the Rolling Stones, to this day I remain astounded that Mick and the boys had the temerity to follow his set. The dude played every instrument on the stage before settling down to the keyboard and quite simply blew the roof off the joint. The crowd went from a bunch of Stones fans who were politely tolerating that Stevie was playing to a rabid 15,000 Stevie Wonder fans who didn't want him to go. One of the best live performances I've ever seen and I've seen a bunch. David Bowie, Lux Interior, and Mick Jagger are three of the best showmen I've ever seen, they were (and in Mick's case, still are) very adept at reading the crowd, much of that is picking up on visual clues, (are people getting up to dance, are they milling around, etc.) Stevie Wonder couldn't do that, but he just KNEW. 

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22 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

My only experience seeing Beyonce actually perform is her Superbowl halftime performances... On that measure, and only that measure, Lady Gaga outstrips her as a performer by a massive margin, at least to me. 

I feel like I'm coming across more negative on Beyonce than I actually feel though. I think her music is fine, I just don't see her being ahead of her contemporaries the way I constantly hear she is.

Lady Gaga = Hiroshi Tanahashi (once in a generation level talent)

Beyonce = Hirooki Goto (everything's fine, just not tremendously exciting )

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21 minutes ago, OSJ said:

Lady Gaga = Hiroshi Tanahashi (once in a generation level talent)

Beyonce = Hirooki Goto (everything's fine, just not tremendously exciting )

This is one of those moments that you realize that there are 2 Americas.  

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Brian's constantly hearing that she's exceptional ties into the marketing I brought up earlier. We've been told that Beyonce is an icon on the level of legendary performers since she left Destiny's Child, but I don't really remember anyone ever really getting into the nuts and bolts of why. I think that's because there's not much of an argument to back it up. Her sister Solange outranks her in just about every conceivable category as far as I'm concerned.

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13 minutes ago, supremebve said:

This is one of those moments that you realize that there are 2 Americas.  

Oh c'mon... You may not like what Gaga chooses to play, it ain't my thing, not by a long shot, but when you add up the various components of performer, composer, arranger, etc. to say nothing of a pretty much self-made stardom without a huge publicity machine behind her she starts to outshine Beyonce with a quickness.  That said, I'd rather listen to Patti LaBelle than either one of them, but that's just me. 

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1 hour ago, supremebve said:

This is one of those moments that you realize that there are 2 Americas.  

I never discount the possibility of subconscious racial bias..  But, basically, I thought Gaga gave the best halftime show since they went back to modern pop stars, and it wasn't particularly close.

I mean, it wasn't Prince (nothing is Prince) but it was jaw dropping levels of amazing.

Beyonce's was fine. It wasn't a disaster like Black Eyed Peas, and it had the hilarious moment where Destiny's Child showed up and just were her backup singers/dancers and, IIRC, didn't even do a Destiny's Child song. But I was so completely confused by the articles about it being the best halftime ever that night/week. It was... Fine.

(In fact, the main reason I slipped Gaga into the discussion with Bey, Adele and Rhianna was her halftime show.)

Although the most electric live performance I've seen from any of them is this:

 

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