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  1. #26

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    "My main beef with "music these days" is that no one bothers with melody anymore. There aren't any songs, only beats or sad grooves." DoctorJeff

    Nice post, DJ! And, your above quote is the symptom of the disease: Anyone with a vocal range of a Fifth who can bang out three chords on a guitar and mimic a harlequin in dress can potentially be a star. The audience level is low. Why should there be anything else?
    Play live . . . Marinero

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  3. #27

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    The demise of jazz clubs tends to come up here often but live music is live music.

    I'm optimistic about where things are headed. Gen Z California girls are on the move. Not just to Las Vegas...
    Sorry. Couldn't resist that one.

    Taylor Swift deserves a lot of credit for inspiring young women to get things done efficiently. I'm expecting to hear more interesting music on the charts in the coming years.

    Whether that filters down to live music, I don't know. Even further to jazz, I don't know.

  4. #28

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    There is always good music out there, you just have to know where to find it. Yes there is not the jazz scene or folk scene or whatever there once was. Yes top 100 music is full of dreck.

    My main beef with "music these days" is that no one bothers with melody anymore. There aren't any songs, only beats or sad grooves.

    That said, there are great musicians and singers and songwriters out there. Jeff Tweedy and Wilco, Chris Thile and his fellow neo-grassians, Jason Isbell, Brittney Howard and the Alabama Shakes, Brandy Carlisle, Donny McCaslin, Ben Monder, Julian Lage--that's off the top of my head.

    The problem from an analytic point of view is that music is so fragmented these days. Top 100 really is the scum that rises to the top--not that every single artist who's very popular is untalented, but just that the overarching effect of Top 100 is mind-numbing in its uniformity and lack of imagination.

    So to get to those gems you have to pan a lot of mud as it were. Frustrating, but you can't stay locked in the past. There are a lot of younger artists who deserve to be heard.
    Neo-grassians isn't really fair to younger musicians. What's so great about the rigidity of the old school? Bluegrass fiddle can be too sleazy or too exact.
    I think she gets it just right here;


  5. #29

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    Well I think a good model for a modern musician is Billy Strings. Don't know if you guys know him or follow him, but he's posting on Facebook about darn near every day. Plays as much as he can, every festival he can, and streams live performances on a regular basis. Molly Tuttle is also another good example (as close as you'll get to Doc Watson since Doc passed away).

    They're not waiting for clubs to open up or people to buy their records (well I'm sure they appreciate the CD and merch and ticket sales), they go out to the audience. That's the future, and it's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Great, great flattop player. Looking forward to seeing him one of these days.


  6. #30

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Well I think a good model for a modern musician is Billy Strings. Don't know if you guys know him or follow him, but he's posting on Facebook about darn near every day. Plays as much as he can, every festival he can, and streams live performances on a regular basis. Molly Tuttle is also another good example (as close as you'll get to Doc Watson since Doc passed away).

    They're not waiting for clubs to open up or people to buy their records (well I'm sure they appreciate the CD and merch and ticket sales), they go out to the audience. That's the future, and it's not necessarily a bad thing.

    Great, great flattop player. Looking forward to seeing him one of these days.

    Oh yeah. I picked up on both about a month ago. They great. You can jump in right away if you know the songs/chords. She's a California girl.

  7. #31

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    So when Prince and Michael Jackson became huge in the 1980s Pop embraced this rigid formula, which basically affected all music genres.
    Are you suggesting Prince and Michael Jackson didn't groove?

  8. #32

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    Quote Originally Posted by Stevebol
    Oh yeah. I picked up on both about a month ago. They great. You can jump in right away if you know the songs/chords. She's a California girl.
    Yes but she went to Berklee and moved to Nashville after that. Another California expat.

  9. #33
    No Prince and Michael Jackson both grooved, but it was way more technical and stiff imo. Go and listen to James Brown "Payback", "Cold Sweat" or Bill Withers
    "Use Me" Even any Bernard Purdie track.
    To me the Linn Drum Machine ruined the feel of the overall feel. It became to precise and lacked human interaction. Plus it was the basement everything else
    was built upon.

    Pop Music became more Theatrical and about production visually as well as technically with Prince and Michael Jackson. To me its like visiting animated Disney vs. Real Animals.

    Not being a Bluegrass fan, I don't have a dog in that fight. But I do like Clarence White as well as Nickel Creek.

  10. #34

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Yes but she went to Berklee and moved to Nashville after that. Another California expat.
    I wouldn't hold it against her. I would imagine Olivia Rodrigo and Bahari will stick around California.

  11. #35

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    Quote Originally Posted by Doctor Jeff
    Yes but she went to Berklee and moved to Nashville after that. Another California expat.
    That's career related. It's not like the countless economic refugees leaving. There's a lot of tension the last year because of it.
    I'm not going to turn into an old anti-social prick. There are a lot of mind games right now.

  12. #36

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    Maybe the problem with "music these days" is a divergence between "creative" and "derivative".

    Music has a derivative component (looking back or reflecting the influence of the past, a nod to authenticity) and a creative component (the new sound, blazing a trail). These components must converge and complement within the composing phase to result in good music of all types. This is one of the primary challenges of music composers - finding the right balance between old and new.

    Music these days sounds like it is losing the musicianship and composing talent to form and hold musical convergence; the components don't support each other so the derivative aspects have a "slapped together made by machine" vibe. The creative aspects seem to be increasingly focusing on more nonmusical oriented stuff - the "artist's" story, look, cred, attitude, clothing, etc.

  13. #37

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    I haven't read the thread but I get the sentiment. But then there's Jacob Collier who uses technology brilliantly and has the talent and chops to use them. I think listening to him has restored my faith in thje younger generations. Snarky Puppy, Emmet Cohen, Chad L.

  14. #38
    Jacob Collier is an excellent musician. But I always find when one person does it all, it lacks the synergy of different voices having conversations. And those different converging views are what makes music great!

  15. #39

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Jacob Collier is an excellent musician. But I always find when one person does it all, it lacks the synergy of different voices having conversations. And those different converging views are what makes music great!
    He has groups and has performed with Snarky Puppy and the Metropole Orchestra. He's too talented to fully pigeon hole.

  16. #40

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    He's more than an excellent musician. He's a frigging genius.

  17. #41

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    Jacob Collier and Snarky Puppy present no threat to the pop-industrial complex. Of that we can be certain.

  18. #42

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    Back in the 80s, I worked with a drummer who had a number one hit record in the 70s and made enough money to buy his father a house. He would've made more, but his partner in the band screwed him out of the publishing rights.
    He told me the music biz is 95% IMAGE and 5% music.
    Today I think it's 100% image.

  19. #43

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Jacob Collier and Snarky Puppy present no threat to the pop-industrial complex. Of that we can be certain.
    I thought we were talking about general talent and musicality of the current scene. That's what I get for not reading the thread.

  20. #44

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    Quote Originally Posted by sgcim
    Back in the 80s, I worked with a drummer who had a number one hit record in the 70s and made enough money to buy his father a house. He would've made more, but his partner in the band screwed him out of the publishing rights.
    He told me the music biz is 95% IMAGE and 5% music.
    Today I think it's 100% image.
    I got screwed out of 2.3 million dollars but I destroyed band residencies in the far east in the process.

    I'd do it again!

  21. #45

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    Quote Originally Posted by Litterick
    Jacob Collier and Snarky Puppy present no threat to the pop-industrial complex. Of that we can be certain.
    That's true but Olivia Rodrigo is different level;


    10 Disney Stars Who Switched From Acting To Music | TheThings

    She's going to f@ck up the music business like Nirvana and NWA.

  22. #46

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    No Prince and Michael Jackson both grooved, but it was way more technical and stiff imo. Go and listen to James Brown "Payback", "Cold Sweat" or Bill Withers
    "Use Me" Even any Bernard Purdie track.
    To me the Linn Drum Machine ruined the feel of the overall feel. It became to precise and lacked human interaction. Plus it was the basement everything else
    was built upon.

    Pop Music became more Theatrical and about production visually as well as technically with Prince and Michael Jackson. To me its like visiting animated Disney vs. Real Animals.

    Not being a Bluegrass fan, I don't have a dog in that fight. But I do like Clarence White as well as Nickel Creek.
    The Linn Drum was designed by and made for drummers. This is a stock track programmed by the drummer of Tower of Power. The real drummer duplicated the track;



    The Time was a steps band. Prince, Cameo, a number of others. They used drum machines extensively. A lot of people did in the studio. Then they'd get a real drummer for tours.
    I'm not sure Micheal Jackson used drum machines very much;

    Jonathan Moffett - Wikipedia

    If you start questioning the judicious use of tech in music, someone else will come along and say forget that, I'm going to do whatever to make some money. Drum machines and sequencing were issues in the 80's.

    I don't like where we are with live music. Bands still exist but it will never be the same.

  23. #47
    Snarkey Puppy is a great example of what I'm talking about on the newer Hip Bands. Excellent musicianship overall, but feels like an All Star Berklee or North Texas band that never really gigged for a living!
    All the right Hip Licks and Chops, but no Personality for me.

    If you want a great band that does both The Brecker Bros. Different versions bring it! Even EWF has more Danger in their playing!
    Where's the Blood as John McGlaughlin has so eloquently said. Chops without taking chances is boring! That's why I loved Jeff Beck when I was a kid. Same e with John McGlaughlin, they are dangerous trailblazing musicians!

    Birelli Lagrene is another one who like Jaco takes lots of chances. That's exciting and not like another Hollywood Blockbuster which is so fake.

  24. #48

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    I didn't really take the OP to be about jazz or jazzers. Jazz and classical players will still be good, albeit few in number.


    But pop? The OP could have been written in 1979, it's just that it's much worse now. Disco transformed music into something akin to "blaring sound to support your pathetic unsexy dancing while you desperately try to get laid", lol. It was then that "music" became repetitous, throbbing, dreck. Rap followed, then hip-hop.

    Setting compositional form aside for a minute, the three main elements of western music are harmony, melody, and ryhthm. Two of the three have been allowed to decay into a rotting, slimy, stench.

    Whew! I feel better now. I guess I really can't offer anything more than that, except perhaps - get off my lawn!
    Last edited by Donplaysguitar; 04-14-2021 at 10:00 PM.

  25. #49

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    Quote Originally Posted by jads57
    Snarkey Puppy is a great example of what I'm talking about on the newer Hip Bands. Excellent musicianship overall, but feels like an All Star Berklee or North Texas band that never really gigged for a living!
    All the right Hip Licks and Chops, but no Personality for me.

    If you want a great band that does both The Brecker Bros. Different versions bring it! Even EWF has more Danger in their playing!
    Where's the Blood as John McGlaughlin has so eloquently said. Chops without taking chances is boring! That's why I loved Jeff Beck when I was a kid. Same e with John McGlaughlin, they are dangerous trailblazing musicians!

    Birelli Lagrene is another one who like Jaco takes lots of chances. That's exciting and not like another Hollywood Blockbuster which is so fake.
    I don't have a single Snarky album but I think they're great. I think they write and play with heart, creativity and imagination. That's all I look for in a nutshell. Regarding TOP and EWF agreed, but I thought the conversation was about today. The OP (you?) mentioned Dirty Loops as one of the few he liked I think? I was responding to that. And the Brecker Bros sound like they came out of a music school too.

    I find it weird that we put conditions on what we like. That limits what we will HEAR and see in a work of art rather than just groking what the artist has to say. Like, "Well he's good and writes great music but I can only listen to guitar players who play Gibsons." I think Snarky Puppy did come from North Texas State? Why would that be a criticism? They kick butt regardless. I don't care if they met at symphony hall or were all teachers in high school.

    I just dig great music however it comes. There's so little of it today, all things considered. My biggest musical hero, Chick Corea, had it all laid out. Great composer, great player, great leader. I didn't like everything he wrote but damn, that musical mind something to behold.

    But I had been worried for sometime that music and young musicians were sacrificing production with DAWS at the alter of MUSIC and losing the ability to play and actually UNDERSTAND music and it's construction. That's why when I heard Jacob Collier, this young brilliant soul, that we were in good hands. I'm not concerned at all about pop music. Pop music has ALWAYS been mostly treacle with certain high and low points.
    Last edited by henryrobinett; 04-14-2021 at 08:48 PM.

  26. #50

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    I remember my 7th grade music teacher, Ms. Fanning.

    She said OK class, popular music isn't bad!

    We listened to a song by Judy Collins and went over the lyrics. Then a song by Elton John. It was about suicide.
    I thought, OK Ms. Fanning. Popular music doesn't suck sometimes.