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-   -   I was talking with my friend about Vampire Weekend and defending them...... (http://forums.netphoria.org/showthread.php?t=183222)

Catherine Wheel 10-28-2015 06:55 PM

I was talking with my friend about Vampire Weekend and defending them......
 
by comparing them to the Police who he likes a lot. He thinks Vampire Weekend are rich privileged phonies who are appropriating black music. He thinks what they are doing doesn't just come naturally to them and that it's all very calculated.

I was telling him about how the Police were very similar in that some of them were from a privileged background and they were also playing Caribbean music. And Sting and Ezra Koenig were both teachers before they started their bands. And because of their teaching background they both tend to have songs that have lyrics with impressive vocabulary.

redbreegull 10-28-2015 08:41 PM

I don't know anything about Vampire Weekend but I have a few thoughts:

1) art is artifice. The idea that music just pours out as a reflection from the essence of your soul is ridiculous. It's all calculated and well-practiced and if it isn't it probably won't be good.

2) almost all modern music draws heavily from black American culture. Cultural appropriation as a concept is used so widely and indiscriminately, I can never even tell what people mean by it. Ultimately I would laugh at someone who seriously thinks it is wrong to draw on music you like because it comes from people with a different skin color unless you are doing it in some sort of blatantly disrespectful or mocking way

3) you're right about the police, a bunch of white boys playing faux-black music, but who cares and how is that any more cultural appropriation than white rappers or eric clapton and jimmy page lifting from robert johnson? the police even referenced the oddity of them playing Caribbean music with Regatta de Blanc which obviously means white reggae

Elphenor 10-28-2015 08:50 PM

I think there is a lot music that is very uncalculated and "essence of soul" but most people don't actually want to listen to something like that

PUNK

Rock music from the very start was ripping of black artists and culture starting with the blues and then later picking up reggae and such

Music tends to be best formed by oppressed groups

slunken 10-28-2015 09:35 PM

a closer comparion to vampire weekend would be talking heads and not the police

david byrne said he consciously tried to not sing like a black man.

just something to think about

redbreegull 10-29-2015 04:27 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4230331)
I think there is a lot music that is very uncalculated and "essence of soul" but most people don't actually want to listen to something like that

PUNK

I don't know, I think that something we value a lot in art is the appearance of effortlessness, or spontaneity. When we watch a movie we don't want to think about the actors or the director, we want to see something that seems like it is actually happening. We want the illusion to be immersive.

Elphenor 10-29-2015 10:05 AM

Something like Smashing Pumpkins is almost certainly a constructed illusion with huge production budgets and a virtuoso guitarist and drummer and concept albums etc.

Something like The Damned was these guys fucking around and it happened to be great and trend setting

Dogfighter28 10-29-2015 11:11 AM

If you think punk acts don't give a shit about their presentation you've got another thing coming

Elphenor 10-29-2015 11:14 AM

Some do

A lot never did and it's not even about the presentation it's about the music itself

The exploding boy 10-29-2015 11:46 AM

Quote:

Originally Posted by redbreegull (Post 4230326)
1) art is artifice. The idea that music just pours out as a reflection from the essence of your soul is ridiculous. It's all calculated and well-practiced and if it isn't it probably won't be good.


this

Dogfighter28 10-29-2015 11:54 AM

I think the artifice comment is an oversimplification that may apply to a lot of music but not all. You see plenty of examples of people who can write great songs and say that they had their "antenna" up at the right time and the song doesn't even feel like it comes from them.

Now, having the right work habits, and methodically putting yourself in the right space to receive those transmissions is key. But it doesn't mean everything is calculated in the moment.

Elphenor 10-29-2015 01:14 PM

It is a total oversimplification because it's pretty well documented that a lot of famous groups had multiple people who had no idea what they were actually doing they just exerted their personalities through the medium

The exploding boy 10-29-2015 01:29 PM

you can not really know what you're doing (meaning not really mastering your instrument and songwriting basically) and still do something calculated.

documented by who? them? romanticizing.

I just dont really believe that most musicians sit down to write a chord progression and and are like "omg this is just pouring out of me as an extension of my personality and emotions in ways i don't understand"

actually i dont know, maybe some do, but i probably hate them.

I'm talking about music, lyrics are different. Sometimes they are 100% real, sometimes they're calculated, sometimes they're real but also calculated,

Elphenor 10-29-2015 01:37 PM

I mean it's not difficult. This is not classical music. The great thing about guitars and rock music is that it's EASY

It is a genre of music that allows for an extension of personality very easily

Elphenor 10-29-2015 01:40 PM

Did The Ramones "master their instrument and songwriting"

Fuck no they didn't nobody in that band knew what they were doing

Dogfighter28 10-29-2015 01:53 PM

i have definitely written music that was 100% trial and error and grasping at straws. i would like to improve in areas of music theory and composition but i havent had the time

redbreegull 10-29-2015 02:10 PM

I think the Ramones were very very well practiced and precise in what they did.

I have experienced the "transmission from beyond" feeling when writing a song, where something just falls into place in a matter of a few minutes and you're like wow damn where did that come from

but IMHO and in my experience that does not translate directly into something finished that will sound good to others or even to you the next day. I'm not suggesting there is no such thing as an inspired moment... but if you don't take that thing and practice it a hundred times, try it different ways, rack your brain to edit and improve and hone it, I don't think it is likely to come off as an effortless masterpiece so much as unfocused and amateurish. These punk bands that are getting mentioned, I think that the ethos of that kind of music is look at us we suck! But the Ramones or whoever didn't actually suck, it is a very convincing and well-played narrative. If they actually sucked we probably wouldn't be talking about them. Just my two cents.

redbreegull 10-29-2015 02:13 PM

like I think there is a reason they were the Ramones and not actually a group of teenagers playing in a garage, you know?

I also don't really agree that rock music is "easy" just because it is comparatively simple. Writing a song that stays with people is a serious work of craftsmanship. Writing a great pop hook, that's a skill. It's a craft. I don't believe anyone can do it.

Elphenor 10-29-2015 03:08 PM

There's so much evidence to the contrary though
Read like anything from anyone who knew them

Listen to live shows

It's not that they "sucked". But they did play very simple music not on purpose but because it was all they knew how to do.

Elphenor 10-29-2015 03:12 PM

And I think most great pop hits in rock were written by accident in like 15 minutes tops

redbreegull 10-29-2015 03:13 PM

Simplicity does not equal unpracticed or unprecise though. I know what you are saying, I just think that them being able to come across like that is a testament to their artistry, not a testament to their lack of artistry

redbreegull 10-29-2015 03:14 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4230613)
And I think most great pop hits in rock were written by accident in like 15 minutes tops

I mean take Today for example, Billy says he wrote that in one sitting. I don't disbelieve him. But if you play today in an acoustic guitar, there's not much going on there. There are so many other levels of craftsmanship that went into it before it came out sounding the way it does on the album or live with the band.

Elphenor 10-29-2015 03:16 PM

Which is why Smashing Pumpkins aren't that type of artist/band

Elphenor 10-29-2015 03:18 PM

I think Ramones were good almost by accident and that's what's brilliant about it is what I'm saying

Elphenor 10-29-2015 03:20 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Poots (Post 4230620)
I doubt bohemian Rhapsody was written in 15 minutes.

does that count as a pop song

Elphenor 10-29-2015 03:24 PM

That is a rad pop song

Sonic Johnny 10-29-2015 05:07 PM

Quote:

Originally Posted by Elphenor (Post 4230621)
I think Ramones were good almost by accident and that's what's brilliant about it is what I'm saying

The Ramones and The Police are basically the same thing dude just one is ostensibly a punk band.


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