Hard News by Russell Brown

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Hard News: One man’s Meat Puppets is another man’s Poison

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  • Jackie Clark, in reply to Lucy Telfar Barnard,

    I don't really do live bands either, Lucy. And I know that we may be in a minority of some sort. I have a shitload of friends who are always at gigs of some sort. It does make me somewhat sad that I don't get it - because the very few gigs I have been to in pub surroundings, I have enjoyed - but it's the noise that gets to me. It's so loud, and the gigs often run so late, that it just becomes an unpleasurable experience. So I pick and choose very carefully - I think I've been to 2 pub gigs in about 10 years.

    Mt Eden, Auckland • Since Nov 2006 • 3123 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Danielle,

    Prog in general is difficult for me because the self-conscious virtuosity kinda makes me want to hurl, and I hate all that 'look at us stopping and starting on a dime with our weird time signatures, aren't we awesome?'

    I don't buy that argument. What are they supposed to do - dumb it down? Was, say, Velasquez being pretentious because he wanted to refine his craft and experiment with technique?

    Sorry, most of the anti-prog sentiment basically boils down to jealousy imo. And as for switching time signature, well, was John Lennon pretentious? Or Radiohead?

    Or this guy? (try and pick the time sig)

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Scott Chris,

    And as for switching time signature, well, was John Lennon pretentious?

    Sometimes.

    Or Radiohead?

    VERY. And I say that as a fan.

    Or this guy? (try and pick the time sig)

    Yep, the faux-modernist strings are a give-away. And it's in 5/4 or some variation thereof.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    Wow, this thread kind of exploded when I wasn't looking. Someone early on was hating on Bohemian Rhapsody. Have y'all seen this? As renditions go, it's very passionate! Love it or hate it, most of us know it backwards....

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler,

    Of course on reflection, it's pretty hard to pin down the difference between "pretention" and "being really good at something, and wanting to expand its boundaries". We need the latter, and maybe the former is the necessary price we pay.

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • James Butler, in reply to Danielle,

    Prog in general is difficult for me because the self-conscious virtuosity kinda makes me want to hurl, and I hate all that 'look at us stopping and starting on a dime with our weird time signatures, aren't we awesome?' schtick

    I have something just for you, Danielle:

    Auckland • Since Jan 2009 • 801 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Tom Beard,

    Ah yes, you are absolutely right in terms of the distinction between vocoders and autotune. The former is an effort that can make a crap song truly rotten, but has a few of the good use-cases you link, while the latter I really can't bear - it offends my brain.

    Ok, Autotune the News is a crack-up, but I can't actually listen to entire "songs" there. I'm sure there are more subtle uses I can't discern, but top-40 radio at the moment? Eep.

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • TracyMac, in reply to Danielle,

    I know every word of that Charlene travesty as well, which just adds insult to injury. The fact that some of my braincells are occupied with that dreck...

    And yep, totally confirms the thesis about the spoken-word interlude. :-)

    And what AIN'T a woman supposed to see indeed? That teeth-clenching nauseating ridiculousness of that line really helped gel my nascent feminism when I was an adolescent. And got me thinking about the utter utter lack of logic in pretty much any misogynist "rationale" you can think of, so I suppose that's a good thing?

    Also, what I can now call "slut-shaming" contrasted with the perfect life of the perfect wife-and-mother? Yerggggh!

    Canberra, West Island • Since Nov 2006 • 494 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to TracyMac,

    And what AIN'T a woman supposed to see indeed?

    something to do with sipping champagne on a yacht. #belowdecks

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Craig Ranapia,

    That's great paranoid stalker pop -- it's a real thing people (Better Be Home Soon, Every Breath You Take).

    Love that label stalker pop. I went to a wedding once where the walking-down-the-aisle song was "Every Breath You Take". Beloved and I couldn't look each other in the eye else we would have collapsed with laughter and sobbing; it combined with sugared almonds in organza bags and full drag wedding at a winery, and a clearly (to us) mobbed bridgroom and best man. You'll be surprised to hear the marriage lasted about four months.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2613 posts Report Reply

  • Lilith __,

    I can understand that people don’t like Tom Waits, some of his stuff I can’t stand, either. But he makes up for it with the amazingly brilliant songs, like this one:

    I don’t know of anyone else who makes music like this.

    Edit: I love a lot of the tracks on Frank’s Wild Years , too, although I’m sure it’s a minority taste:

    What a crazy genius....

    Dunedin • Since Jul 2010 • 3470 posts Report Reply

  • philipmatthews, in reply to Lilith __,

    I don't know of anyone else who makes music like this.

    Legend. This also:

    Christchurch • Since Nov 2007 • 642 posts Report Reply

  • Geoff Lealand,

    Lilith; a well-placed opinion. Tom's work achieve that much-sought-after but elusive
    idea of authenticity.

    Hebe; my experience of elaborate weddings (not that many) is that males are largely irrelevant to the process. Bridegrooms could just as well be cardboard cutouts, for all they do. Some weddings are significant; many are meaningless displays of conspicuous consumption (and bad music).

    Screen & Media Studies, U… • Since Oct 2007 • 2327 posts Report Reply

  • Peter Darlington, in reply to Scott Chris,

    Prog in general is difficult for me because the self-conscious virtuosity kinda makes me want to hurl, and I hate all that 'look at us stopping and starting on a dime with our weird time signatures, aren't we awesome?'

    I don't buy that argument. What are they supposed to do - dumb it down? Was, say, Velasquez being pretentious because he wanted to refine his craft and experiment with technique?

    Sorry, most of the anti-prog sentiment basically boils down to jealousy imo.

    Hey, you're the anti-me!

    This must be why the universe works.

    Nelson • Since Nov 2006 • 892 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Papa,

    Alice was a very popular girl, apparently

    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    @Sacha, Kenny G was Hospo Gold at the time. However, many bosses and I disagreed as well. Another day, another round of musical torture:

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to James Butler,

    it's pretty hard to pin down the difference between "pretention" and "being really good at something

    Yes I agree. If you define pretentiousness as "showing off to compensate for emotional insecurity" or "taking yourself too seriously" then nearly every human I've ever met is prone to the resulting affectations.

    On the other hand, people quickly get bored with what they've mastered and so may wish to extend themselves. Not to mention the competitive instinct. You hear something and you are impressed by it so naturally you want to emulate it. That's why shit improves.

    Yep, the faux-modernist strings are a give-away.

    Hmm, I don't see that. By which criteria would you exclude a modernist string arrangement from a popular song? I love some of those Shostakovichy chords so it makes little difference to me that they are played by violins and not a synthesiser.

    And it's in 5/4 or some variation thereof.

    Yeah, well picked.

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Dean Papa,

    Scott Chris, you have excellent taste in music. Nick Drake and Will Oldham are 2 of my favs. And neither of them could be called pretentious!


    Auckland • Since Dec 2011 • 31 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Peter Darlington,

    Hey, you're the anti-me!

    And I notice your picture is upside down, so I'd suggest that I have things the right way up. ;)

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Dean Papa,

    Alice was a very popular girl,

    Birthday Party Nick Cave. Such a good bad man.

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2613 posts Report Reply

  • Hebe, in reply to Lilith __,

    I don’t know of anyone else who makes music like this.

    Thank God. Promise you don't bring Tom to our coffee meet, please. (I'll get in touch on email soon.)

    Christchurch • Since May 2011 • 2613 posts Report Reply

  • Sacha, in reply to Will de Cleene,

    this guy had never worked in hospo. pure cheddarmeister.

    Ak • Since May 2008 • 16838 posts Report Reply

  • Scott Chris, in reply to Dean Papa,

    Nick Drake and Will Oldham are 2 of my favs

    Ah, the good taste is yours by my reckoning. This guy's gone under the radar a bit too and has a fascinating back-story - the son of Anthony Perkins of Psycho fame no less:

    Auckland • Since Feb 2012 • 167 posts Report Reply

  • Will de Cleene,

    And a correction to my earlier post, so you can look without hearing:

    Raumati • Since Jul 2011 • 107 posts Report Reply

  • 3410,

    Tom's work achieves that much-sought-after but elusive idea of authenticity.

    And I always thought he was rather pretentious.

    Just goes to show, when it comes to music, you don't have to look far to find an opinion that is completely at odds with one's own, even from those whose opinions one generally rates. :)

    Auckland • Since Jan 2007 • 2618 posts Report Reply

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