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58 minutes ago, MORELOCK said:

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.

Solange is probably the more talented sister, except that isn't how star power works.  There is no way to narrow down why some people connect with a wide audience and others don't.

49 minutes ago, OSJ said:

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. 

I'm not disputing the talent, but I just don't view her as magnetic in the same way.  Beyonce isn't Beyonce because she's the most talented, it's because she has all the intangible qualities that connects to people.  Beyonce is also pretty much self-made, pretty much everything she's done from Destiny's Child to her current music was 100% her idea.  Seriously, Destiny's Child changed rosters in the middle of their run, because two of the members weren't sticking to the Beyonce program.  The 2 Americas thing was said in jest, but there is a clear black female empowerment angle to everything she does.  

@Brian Fowler  damn, now I want Rihanna to do a rock album.  She could be an all-time great front woman.

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10 minutes ago, supremebve said:

 

@Brian Fowler  damn, now I want Rihanna to do a rock album.  She could be an all-time great front woman.

I've wanted it for the 12 years since that aired. I mean, goddamn

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Posted (edited)
12 minutes ago, Brian Fowler said:

I've wanted it for the 12 years since that aired. I mean, goddamn

I don't know if there is a person on earth who oozes sex appeal like Rihanna.  If she made eye contact with me, I'd probably propose.

 

Edited by supremebve

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6 minutes ago, supremebve said:

Solange is probably the more talented sister, except that isn't how star power works.  There is no way to narrow down why some people connect with a wide audience and others don't.

I'm not disputing the talent, but I just don't view her as magnetic in the same way.  Beyonce isn't Beyonce because she's the most talented, it's because she has all the intangible qualities that connects to people.  Beyonce is also pretty much self-made, pretty much everything she's done from Destiny's Child to her current music was 100% her idea.  Seriously, Destiny's Child changed rosters in the middle of their run, because two of the members weren't sticking to the Beyonce program.  The 2 Americas thing was said in jest, but there is a clear black female empowerment angle to everything she does.  

@Brian Fowler  damn, now I want Rihanna to do a rock album.  She could be an all-time great front woman.

I was hoping that was said in jest. Agreed that everything post- Destiny's Child has shown that Beyonce knows exactly what it means to connect with as large an audience as possible while keeping a very clear black female empowerment angle to everything that she does. I was offbase with the Goto crack, and should probably explain it a bit more fully. I LIKE Goto's matches, he never has a bad one, my biggest criticism is that they occasionally seem uninspired and he rarely surprises me.  Lord knows I don't care for the vast majority of stuff that Lady Gaga does, (I don't think that sixty year-old Irish dudes is the demo she's marketing toward, but ymmv); however, she does do something that Beyonce never does, from time to time she surprises me. 

Four of my favorite musicians/performers of the last forty years would be (in no particular order) Roy Wood. Prince,  David Bowie and weird, old George Clinton of Parliament/Funkadelic. An odd foursome? Yeah, but they share one commonality that to me is super-important, they could (and for the two living gents) still do, manage to surprise me. Beyonce is certainly very pleasant to watch perform for reasons... I find her pleasant enough to listen to, I just don't think she's ever going to push the envelope beyond what she knows she can do so very, very well. I can understand that. Roy Wood, despite being a founding member of the Move, Electric Light Orchestra, and Wizzard doesn't make as much in a year as Beyonce makes in a single show. I've been listening to George Clinton since this 13 year-old white boy heard Free Your Mind & Your Ass Will Follow, and the dude will probably go to his grave close to broke despite five decades of being one of the most innovative figures in American music. 

The analysis of why and how some artists connect with a huge audience and others don't has been the subject of doctoral dissertations written by folks smarter than either of us and the jury remains out. Why Beyonce and not Solange?  Why did Edwin Starr have a #1 hit and the Mighty Hannibal didn't?  Why the Beatles and not the Move?  Ah, it's time for Friday Night Fights... Laterz.

 

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9 hours ago, supremebve said:

The 2 Americas thing was said in jest, but there is a clear black female empowerment angle to everything she does.  

 

This is an argument I've heard for Bey's success too, but I don't think it's as clear as it's made out to be. Flashing the word "feminism" on a screen during a performance isn't actually making any kind of statement. And I couldn't picture soccer moms jamming out to the overtly racial Solange stuff. I think that's exactly where my distaste for Beyonce ties in, actually - she seems inauthentic to me. I haven't heard her make a large number of specific feminist statements. The black female empowerment angle seems to be pushed just enough to get the young people on board, but not enough to scare off the white soccer moms who fear black culture and feminism. It's what I understood OSJ to mean when he said she tries to be everything to everyone.

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10 hours ago, supremebve said:

Solange is probably the more talented sister

Probably????

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1 hour ago, MORELOCK said:

 

This is an argument I've heard for Bey's success too, but I don't think it's as clear as it's made out to be. Flashing the word "feminism" on a screen during a performance isn't actually making any kind of statement. And I couldn't picture soccer moms jamming out to the overtly racial Solange stuff. I think that's exactly where my distaste for Beyonce ties in, actually - she seems inauthentic to me. I haven't heard her make a large number of specific feminist statements. The black female empowerment angle seems to be pushed just enough to get the young people on board, but not enough to scare off the white soccer moms who fear black culture and feminism. It's what I understood OSJ to mean when he said she tries to be everything to everyone.

Winner, winner; chicken dinner! That was exactly what I meant.  As I said, I listen to or preferably watch (for reasons) Bey, and everything is pleasant enough, nothing that I wouldn't call "top-forty edgy", which is to say not edgy at all. I listen to Solange and there will be times that I think, "Whoa, girl you're not going to go there?" and sure enough, she goes THERE, effectively telling a large portion of her potential audience that they don't share her experience, and never will and can either hang around and learn something or just fuck right off. That's the sort of courage in an artist that appeals to me. To me, Bey is the ultimate manufactured megastar and Solange is the real artist. It goes back to the discussion about Michael vs. Prince, Michael needed prescription sleep meds because the dude stayed awake at night worrying that not everyone loved him enough when he was the biggest star on the planet. Prince didn't give a fuck if you liked what he was doing or not, he was sharing his unique vision and talent with us and if you were along for the ride, cool; if not he could not have cared less, he was Prince and he was a musical genius and didn't mind letting you know that he knew that.

To me, nearly everything about Michael was manufactured and calculated to the nth degree for maximum popular appeal, again, there's nothing wrong with that, particularly coming from the fucked up background he did, no one in the history of popular music has come closer to the ideal of being all things to all people than did Michael Jackson. However, with that kind of popularity there is necessarily going to be an element of predictability and possibly even blandness. By the time he did the crotch-grabbing stuff it was already too late, he had succeeded at the goal of being all things to all people and any efforts to be edgy were just viewed as another marketing move. 

Prince whether you liked him or not (and my fandom is weird, I can enumerate forty or fifty tracks that I just love and by the same token name twenty or thirty that I can't stand), was real as fuck. He didn't care whether you dug him or not, he was Prince, he was a genius and he knew it and made damn sure that you did too.  There are a dozen performers who could have been shaped into the Michael Jackson role and pulled it off. Oh, the dude was insanely talented and worked his ass off to continually improve, but that's not an uncommon trait in someone who is that driven to be a star. Prince worked his ass off because his genius wouldn't allow him to do any less. Like I said, there are probably a couple of dozen super talented performers that could have been Michael Jackson, there was only one guy capable of being Prince.

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2 hours ago, MORELOCK said:

 

This is an argument I've heard for Bey's success too, but I don't think it's as clear as it's made out to be. Flashing the word "feminism" on a screen during a performance isn't actually making any kind of statement. And I couldn't picture soccer moms jamming out to the overtly racial Solange stuff. I think that's exactly where my distaste for Beyonce ties in, actually - she seems inauthentic to me. I haven't heard her make a large number of specific feminist statements. The black female empowerment angle seems to be pushed just enough to get the young people on board, but not enough to scare off the white soccer moms who fear black culture and feminism. It's what I understood OSJ to mean when he said she tries to be everything to everyone.

Before the self-titled Beyonce album, I would have agreed with you 100%, but since then there is a much larger emphasis on the black female empowerment imaging.  The thing about never hearing her make a large number of specific feminist statements is strange, because she doesn't really talk.  She's one of the few artist who kind of lets the work speak for itself.  A lot of white soccer moms were put off by "Formation," and the Black Panther (not the comic book) cosplay at the Super Bowl.  There is a whole lot being said in the imaging of her music lately, and it may not feel as edgy as Solange's music, but there is something that needs to be said for subtlety.  Beyonce's music went from bubble gum pop girl group to insinuating that she might reward her damn near billionaire husband with Red Lobster for fucking her well.  Like, if you fuck me right, I'll get your broke ass some cheddar bay biscuits.  It's a clear reversal of the over the top misogyny that takes place over decades of hip-hop records.  She's making a statement that black women, who generally are higher educated and higher paid than black men, are out of the hard dick and bubblegum business.  That entire album is saying, "I'm the queen of this shit, so get in line or get ran over."  She does all of this while not offending anyone but the most anti-black, misogynist people...which is fucking hard to do.

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That practiced inoffensiveness is kind of my issue, though. She seems to get a lot of credit in woke circles, but has been able to do that without actually taking any kind of direct stand. Presenting her beliefs in a subtle, oblique sort of way just doesn't seem all that courageous. For her to play it as safely as she has and still receive credit for fighting a fight that she isn't really directly fighting doesn't add up to me. If she's being painted as some kind of revolutionary, she *should* be speaking out - and not just through lyrics. 

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Posted (edited)

You get more flies with honey than vinegar may be a Beyoncé adage. 

There is something to be said for her approach vs Solange, who I agree is the more undiluted artist.

But as a Black women who communicates with a lot of other Black women, trust me: Beyoncé is pressing a lot of the right buttons that someone who doesn't share our experience can't fully understand.

Edited by Burgundy LaRue
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If you've got 20 minutes to spare, devote them to Lizzo's "Tiny-ass Desk" concert.

 

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Am I the only person excited that Tool is finally putting out a new album at the end of August, and that they're current library is finally getting released digitally?

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1 hour ago, Mike Campbell said:

Am I the only person excited that Tool is finally putting out a new album at the end of August, and that they're current library is finally getting released digitally?

Nah, you're not alone. Well, about the new album anyway. I don't really care about their discography being on Spotify and stuff, since I have everything they've ever released in physical and (ripped) digital formats. I'm not super pumped on the album title or the new logo, but it'll probably grow on me like the 10,000 Days era stuff did.

This has nothing to do with the new album or anything, but my first ever concert was seeing Tool at Bonnaroo 2007 (for free). My 2nd ever concert was Nine Inch Nails a year later, and those are my two favorite bands ever.

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I'm cautiously excited. It seems like each new album they've done initially disappoints me and then slowly grows on me until I'm calling it a masterpiece. But it's been so fucking long.

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I got into Tool around the time Lateralus came out, so 10,000 Days was definitely a shocker for me when it was released. But like I said (and Fowler), it grew on me. I don't know if I'd call it a masterpiece, but it's really good, just not exactly in line with the rest of their discography. But every album is different from the other. Opiate doesn't sound like Undertow, Undertow isn't like Ænima, and Lateralus is like none of those before it. 10,000 Days is a nice mix of all of their previous albums (except maybe Opiate), so here's hoping this new one takes a little bit from everything they've done previously.

Maynard's Dick is still the peak of Tool's songwriting, though. 😉

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Posted (edited)

Speaking of new albums getting released, the two I'm now looking forward to most were both announced today, and are releasing on the same day: you will be able to buy Lightning Bolt's new record "Sonic Citadel" on October 11th, and also starting on that day I will probably be howling wildly about the new Richard Dawson record "2020." As you may remember, Dawson's last album "Peasant" was my favorite album of 2017. The single for the new record is an ode to stuff self-care in your ears until all the scary things go away. So, I'm fucking excited for whatever this next record is going to be. Seems like he's going Rock Populist, which will be an easier sell than his last record (medieval folk about fascism & fear & isolationism)

 

Edited by Lamp, broken circa 1988
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Y'all are crazy.  Tool hasn't put out anything since Ænima. 

I kid.  But seriously, relistening to it -- Opiate, Undertow and Ænima sound dated, but at least they're not boring.  Lateralus and 10,000 Days are boring as all get out.  And Maynard sounds checked out.  I'll listen to the new Tool, but I'm not excited. 

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Admittedly I can only listen to Lateralus all the way through if I'm stoned out of my mind, and I haven't smoked weed in like 3 or 4 years, so... yeah, I'll probably never sit down and listen to that album front to back ever again. It has some good songs on it, but it's definitely one of those albums that's better as a whole than just cherry picking songs to listen to. That said, though, if presented with the choice to only listen to Lateralus or Puscifer/APC... yeah, I'm going with Lateralus.

Ænima is their peak, and nothing will ever top it most likely. Just saying/typing the album title makes me want to go listen to stuff like Third Eye, Pushit, the title track, H, etc. Plus, that album introduced me to Bill Hicks, and I'm forever grateful for that, so...

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Honestly, and I wouldn't have said this even a couple years ago, by I kinda think 10,000 Days is their best album.

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God fucking dammit, David Berman has died, reportedly by suicide.

RIP

 

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So if you've been in the "how's it going" thread you know I had a pretty fantastically shit July.

The only comfort I drew in it was from his Purple Mountains record, because it was saying things I was feeling but wasn't strong enough to say or think.

Sad I didn't even have the opportunity to see him or say thank you, but I'm grateful regardless.

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Berman played a role in one of my greatest personal regrets.  I discovered the Silver Jews around the time Tanglewood Numbers came out and didn't really know anything about them prior other than that they were Pavement-adjacent.  Bought the CD, loved it, bought the rest of their CDs.  Then I saw in the Onion that they were coming to Madison.  I grabbed a ticket immediately, but when the day of the concert came I decided I didn't really feel like going out and would just catch them the next time they came through town.  Not knowing, of course, that they never toured and that this was a very precious opportunity.

So that's how I ended up getting high and playing Xbox instead of going to a, literally, once in a lifetime concert.

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