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Author Topic:   Britney Spears
Meryn
Newbie Larva

Posts: 4
From:
Registered: Jan 2001

posted January 09, 2001 16:59     Click Here to See the Profile for Meryn   Click Here to Email Meryn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Britney Spears performs “What tha..*[email protected]$?” on American Music Awards.
Meryn Cadell runs to her computer.

Okay.
Once there was a thing called Hair. Once there was a thing called Broadway. Once there was a thing called Spinal Tap.

Well honey, all of them have come and gone, and all we have left is Miss B. Spears performing on the American Music Awards. What a cataclysmic oxymoronic anticlimactic hilarity. It was Spinal Tap TIMES TEN.


Maybe the problem is that all the good choreographers have died. Or wouldn’t be caught dead working on a half-lip-synch number masquerading as dramatic opera masquerading as Muppet Treasure Island.

I mourn the loss of culture as a vehicle for - well, for just about anything. But is it too much to ask to be caught up in the moment, maybe, or to want to sing along? Were there words behind Miss B’s tremendous range of furious and hysterical faces? (Yes I know that there were, and I know I’m sounding purposely Old Ladyish.. And I know that the words were “I’m stronger”.... and I’m saving that for a whole other day.)

But enough about her. I’m so turned upside down by what I just saw I’m jumping all over the place. Miss B is but one demon seed in the new garden called Completely Useless Pop Culture. Poor Steven Tyler, having weathered and survived YEARS of recording and touring and awards shows; I loved that he chewed gum and adjusted his glasses during the opening shit-ck about the new dress, clearly vibing “What’s happening on stage just doesn’t even *exist* to me.”

Yes, I know, (oops) I did it again. Turned things around until Miss B was front and centre. .... Can you believe that she and Keri Russell, one of the brightest young women I’ve seen on screen, hatched from the same Mouse egg? But the worlds they inhabit aren’t that far apart - even a smart show like “Felicity” had to come into line like some optometrist’s test - (“Let us know when all the lines meet up in the centre; then your vision’s perfectly obscu - I mean, it’s perfect.” - In the second season, Felicity had to have bare shoulders and tighter tops, the bad girl had to become pretty darn nice so that the whole cast could hang out in one big (comPLETEly unbelievable New York) loft, every main character had to sleep with another main character ....and people were stupid enough to blame the show’s ratings drop on the length of Keri Russell’s hair.

Or maybe that wasn’t stupid at all. Maybe that was truer than all the stars in the blankety-blank sky.

How much more surface can we go? How fast can we go? Isn’t Jennifer Love Hewitt like, so 98 degrees ago? Isn’t Kid Rock so six months old? Last night, on the American Music Awards, where were the ghosts of Billy Corgan, Michael Stipe, Courtney Love; where were the teen voices echoing every word of Gwen Stefani, Alanis Morissette? WHO?

....Okay, once there was a thing called Hair. Now I’m not saying it was the be-all and end-all of anything, (let alone a real be-in[the idea of which had been borrowed from an true event in San Francisco{which had itself been co-opted from the ideas and actions of the Diggers}]) BUT when we’re talking about events on a stage involving music, and people being moved to think, or moved to move - Hair kind of took a new turn.

And I wouldn’t be making these comparisons if pop music, the stuff of bands or solo folks - - (or memorable duos; like, is it really paleolithic to yearn to see Wyclef Jean and Erykah Badu harmonize and giggle together, sitting side by side in one of the most pure and beautiful performances I’ve ever seen on an awards show?) - - singing a song they probably wrote themselves, or if not, a song that they imbue with such power that they just have to stand there stock still to blow your pants off, no velcro required? (think k.d. lang and Roy Orbison doing Crying at the Grammys or even goddamit Ms. Dion singing that over-the-top and way overly-played titanic thing - that song was beautiful when she sang it at the Grammys. The woman has a lovely voice, and she stood there and made that song shiver-worthy even if you had recently taken to screaming and running from any store or taxicab unfortunate enough to be tuning it in on the radio).

So I wouldn’t be making these comparisons between a pop song performance and a stage musical, except that the lines have once again become singular; overlapped into one sheer hell of lights and ropes and levels, and well-trained dancers in Calvin Klein underwear and donkey tails writhing “like a demon! oh, that’s it! like, like it’s ...the war or something and people are killing you! it’s just .... like it hurts really bad! ooh, that’s good!”, trying to stay in character and wondering if they’ll ever get to do a dance solo in a regular costume, in a theatre even one quarter this size, and how many people in their dance class tomorrow will say they actually caught sight of them behind the crow’s nest there. Niiiiigel!!

Look. To sum up. People on stage moving together to music can be one of the most amazing and dramatic things to witness. Or, in the right hands, it can be so oddly wrought, so ill-conceived as to be rendered completely ineffectual - neither here nor there; neither camp nor divine. Just things stuck together, like “let’s put on a show”, with a $150,000 budget. Who’s running this place?!

Okay, I’m exhausted. Ranting is hellish work. If you want the rest of where this story was going, check back soon and I’ll try to finish up on (or at least dent) the topics of:


1. The demise of the Broadway/stage anything, otherwise known as “Attack of the Hand Acting”


and

2. The pinwheel centre of the whirly-gig of our current lives as witnessed by our peers as taped by and presented to our audience of the documentors and cheerleaders for the content of our lives as repackaged and relived by ...... well, us of course. Duh!

Question:

Is that pinwheel centre

- constantly shifting?

- moving too fast to see?

- irrelevant?

- made of jelly?

- made of venetian cream ???


oh, and footnotes. Just so you know everything, check the footnotes.

Meryn Cadell.com

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Eponine
Highlie

Posts: 726
From: Midwest, US
Registered: Sep 2000

posted January 09, 2001 17:53     Click Here to See the Profile for Eponine   Click Here to Email Eponine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Ok, I didn't see this spectacle, so I'm not going to comment directly on that. Just the condition of the music industry in general. I've said it before,and I'll say it again. The music industry is all about making money. Musical integrity is a very small part of it. Britney Spears makes money. Or rather, her body combined with the brainwashing of the American public and the backtaping of her songs that says "Buy my CD, Buy my CD." (Ok, I'm kidding about the backtaping part.) Britney Spears gets ratings. Ratings make money. See how it's all connected? This is why I've stopped listening to the radio and don't contribute to the music industry anymore. Napster rocks!
And that's all I have to say about that.

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Mr Bill
Alpha Geek

Posts: 315
From: currently in orbit
Registered: Oct 2000

posted January 09, 2001 18:34     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Bill   Click Here to Email Mr Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
You think this is a low point? Wait for "Popstars" to come on tv. It looks to be a "Survivor-in-the-recording-studio" kind of thing. yeesh. The only manufactured band that worked was the Monkees. At least they were funny.

Ans here's a relevant link concerning the music industry: Courtney Love Speech

------------------
Life Rule #1: Don't sweat the small stuff.
Life Rule #2: It's all small stuff.

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Petethelate
Uber Geek

Posts: 863
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2000

posted January 09, 2001 18:38     Click Here to See the Profile for Petethelate   Click Here to Email Petethelate     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Guess I'm just too dam' old. Went through some of this back when Hair was on the screen (never saw the B'way version, though the cast albums were pretty good). Trying to encapsulate the life and times of most anything in a musical is hard; and IMHO, the film version of Hair was done a bit too close (in time) to the real events. (So I'm an old fart. If someone does a Broadway version of the Palm Beach Follies in 10 years, you'll understand. And hurl.)

Several years ago, I listened to a radical country station called KFAT. About as commercial as a brick outhouse, but frequently damned good. It went the way of all good music, because the owners thought they could sell the station and make a bundle of money. The next station was crap, but they sold the station and made a bundle of money. The story repeated itself too many times........ Now, I listen to news on the radio.

IMHO, for a long time, about the only honest people in the music business were those making it (and the roadies; God bless the roadies, cause nobody else will...), while the others were scum incarnate. With even more money in the pile, I'm not surprised that it tends to spill over into the 'musicians'.

With luck, even BS will pass. With great luck, she might have a speck of talent and turn it into something good. Hey, even the Monkees had some talent and it later developed. (Similar tale; Cher's TV show was medium horrible. Last I looked, she was a good actress.) With ordinary luck, Britney will get too old and some kid will take her place.

/retreats to garage where he hums "Age of Aquarius" to himself.

Petethelate

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Snaggy
Moderator

Posts: 1399
From: Canada
Registered: Jan 2000

posted January 09, 2001 23:41     Click Here to See the Profile for Snaggy   Click Here to Email Snaggy     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Thanks Meryn!

(I asked her to post her Britney bitchin' article she wrote for her website, ...thought the folks here would enjoy it.)


Mr Bill: I can't wait for Popstars!

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alexandria
Super Geek

Posts: 134
From: new york, new york usa
Registered: Jan 2001

posted January 10, 2001 00:15     Click Here to See the Profile for alexandria   Click Here to Email alexandria     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eponine:
This is why I've stopped listening to the radio and don't contribute to the music industry anymore. Napster rocks!

there's one aspect of napster that's been overlooked, namely its potential as a form of vigilante justice. i won't use ms. spears as an example here, as i can't stand her music, and downloading it would inflict as much pain upon me as it would upon her. if, however, there is an artist whose music you like (a guilty pleasure, perhaps) but whose personal politics, place in the music industry, etc., you dislike, napster can be used as a relatively benign form of retribution. i know too many musicians to feel comfortable downloading the work of artists i respect, but i have no qualms about avoiding contributing to, say, eminem's coffers. yeah, this is probably just an elaborate justification for circumventing copyright laws... but i think it's time we embrace napster as an agent for social change. pay for the good indie albums; download the crappy, commercialized ones and the ones by artists whose politics and/or hate speech make you cringe. eventually someone'll take notice.

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Mr Bill
Alpha Geek

Posts: 315
From: currently in orbit
Registered: Oct 2000

posted January 10, 2001 05:38     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Bill   Click Here to Email Mr Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Alexandria: It's a good idea, unfortunately like most good ideas, it probably won't happen. Ain't apathy wonderful.

Snaggy: I'm curious to see it. Probably the same part of the brain that has to look at car wrecks.

------------------
Life Rule #1: Don't sweat the small stuff.
Life Rule #2: It's all small stuff.

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RedNivek
unregistered
posted January 10, 2001 08:08           Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
How about this?

Pay for the good indie records... dont pay for or download/steal the corporate stuff... just ignore it.

Sure, Meryn referenced the Diggers, but not Abbie Hoffman, so dont "Steal this corporate garbage"..... do what people who never get out of ruts do... support the good stuff of your kinda folk.

This "consumer society" means that people wear cell phones, pagers, Tommy Hilfiger, drive cool cars... meanwhile their own neighborhoods and sense of community suffer as they become more consumer-centric and less human... then we wonder why there is road rage and people dont know (and dont really care to know) their neighbors.

Whoa... thats deep. Hug your dog, say hi to your neighbor... avoid thinking you will only be accepted by marching in line with the material goods faction. Well, maybe most people wont accept you, but who cares?

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Petethelate
Uber Geek

Posts: 863
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2000

posted January 10, 2001 10:56     Click Here to See the Profile for Petethelate   Click Here to Email Petethelate     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by RedNivek:
How about this?

Pay for the good indie records... dont pay for or download/steal the corporate stuff... just ignore it.

{snip}
This "consumer society" means that people wear cell phones, pagers, Tommy Hilfiger, drive cool cars...

{snip}
and people dont know (and dont really care to know) their neighbors.

Whoa... thats deep. Hug your dog, say hi to your neighbor...

{snip}


Yep, that's me. I wear a pager because my boss says I have to (and the company pays for it; most of the time I remember to turn it on...). My cool cars are a 1973 VW Super beetle (the Rodney Dangerfield of the VW set) in semi-permanant restoration mode, and a 1986 Toyota Pickup. My clothes come from Price Club and Target when I find them that fit, and Repp's Tall and Fat when I can't. I've got Champion sweatshirts; does that count?

Oh yeah, I do have a Handspring (the Palms looked cooler, but I like HS), but I actually try to use it for memory type tasks. My memory is like a steel sieve...

We don't know too many of our neighbor's names (this is California, where talking to neighbors is considered unusual, but we know a fair share of the dog's names--and we talk to their owners.

I do buy CDs from time to time; Wierd Al Yankovic, PDQ Bach and numerous classical labels. Don't know if I've ever heard Ms. Spears.

Am I immune? Dunno.

Petethelate

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Steen
SuperBlabberMouth!

Posts: 1162
From: Maryville, TN, USA
Registered: Jan 2000

posted January 10, 2001 13:20     Click Here to See the Profile for Steen   Click Here to Email Steen     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Meryn wrote:
Maybe the problem is that all the good choreographers have died. Or wouldn’t be caught dead working on a half-lip-synch number masquerading as dramatic opera masquerading as Muppet Treasure Island.

There's no need to go insulting The Muppets by associating them with the teen-slut marketing ploy.

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octothorp
Assimilated

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From: calgary, alberta, canada
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posted January 10, 2001 14:34     Click Here to See the Profile for octothorp   Click Here to Email octothorp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
What's saddest about all of this is that there's so many really, really brilliant musicians out there recording new music and releasing fantastic albums. I think that what we're seeing is a larger rift forming between pop music and good music. Pop music is no longer just packaged and commercialized by the big labels. It's now MANUFACTURED, packaged and commercialized by the big labels. When record labels do their search for new acts, you can be sure that malleability is a key attribute. Artists with willpower and vision are too dangerous.
Last night I went to a concert by my favorite country-punk singer, Neko Case--a lovely redheaded diva with a great personality and fantastic patsy-clinesque voice. Well, Neko had a fairly bad case of the flu. And I've seen musicians cancel shows for less, but Neko got up there with her eucalyptus juice and sang her heart out for a fairly lengthy set, despite the fact that she appeared to be having trouble standing. Most of us in the audience felt kinda torn about cheering for an encore--as much as I loved to hear her singing, I didn't want to put her through having to sing another song. But she came out again, said she'd sing one song, then sang two songs, and gave a lengthy apology, promising to return soon and sing louder and longer next time. Anyway, if I had lost faith in contemporary music, this one show would have restored that faith. Hopefully some other people on here have heard of Neko Case, but I'd offer her type as the antithesis to Ms. Spears.
In my life and in the lives of my circle of friends, Britney Spears is nothing beyond a vague cultural reference to the problems with youth (This coming from a 23-year-old... crazy 22-year-olds and their music...). I have no problem with whatever she chooses to do on whatever awards show, because it has no bearing on my life. Was it not for this (very well written and insightful, even though I didn't get many of the cultural references (Who is this Felicity of which you speak?)) article, this entire episode would have passed beneath my radar. Besides, the search for good music is a reward in itself--so much better than being force-fed MTV schlock.
As far as social activism in regards to the music industry, the ideas posted on here (by alexandria, among others) are good, and the only thing I would ad is this: the key objective shouldn't be to cripple the big record labels--that's a little unrealistic. It's enough to support and sustain the indie labels.
RedNivek, you are completely right about the whole thing starting with our own neighbourhoods. We have to understand that it's more important to know how many children our neighbours have than to know who won whatever awards the industry is offering this year.
Hey, anyone remember the days when instead of turning on the TV or the radio, we'd all pull out the instruments we had learned in our childhood, and just sit around the kitchen and play, and those who didn't know how to play would sing, and those who couldn't play or sing would dance? No? You don't remember that? Me neither... sad...

#

sorry, I got carried away, but it's kinda a big deal for me.

And thanks to Meryn for sharing this here--it's been a good catalyst for discussion.


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Blind Harper
Alpha Geek

Posts: 264
From: Saskatoon, SK, CA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted January 10, 2001 15:39     Click Here to See the Profile for Blind Harper   Click Here to Email Blind Harper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Here's an interesting thought:

Every generation of the modern 'subcultural' culture, ie. the fast-forward social milieu from at least the end of WW2 on, an to some extent before, has had its own distinctive 'music'. This has always been hated by the generation's parents, who feel it to be the embodiment of disobedience, unmusical, etc. Witness the dawn of Rock in the 50's, the wider social-change rock of the 60's, disco in the 70's, punk in the 80's, metal in the 90's. For the better part of a century we've seen this cycle of first attaching oneself to a 'rebel' musical style which is semi-deconstructive compared to the music of previous generations, then growing up and having children of on's own and seeing them attach themselves to music that just souds like a bunch of shouting and noise.

My point is this: My generation, at least the 'intellectual counterculture' who have actually read Generation X and feel that GenX nihilism and existential despair on a personal level (a subset to which I feel I belong) has taken this to somewhat of an extreme. Rap (the good kind, not Eminshit and his ilk), Extreme Metal, Neopunk, Industrial Techno, and Goth Rock are all manifestations of a sort of nihilism in the social stratum, an extreme deconstruction of music. I can see this going at most one step farther; the children of the next generation might have some sort of 'minimalist rock' similar to the works of John Cage but with more of a beat. But how far can this trend be taken? In short, what kind of music could possibly come after Marilyn Manson or Pantera that a Gen-Xer would find 'unmusical' or 'destructive of values'?

Just something to chew on.

------------------
"BIRTH (n) The greatest and most terrible of all disasters." - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Worship the Mighty Froglord!

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Tau Zero
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation.

Posts: 1685
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posted January 10, 2001 16:10     Click Here to See the Profile for Tau Zero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blind Harper:
I can see this going at most one step farther; the children of the next generation might have some sort of 'minimalist rock' similar to the works of John Cage but with more of a beat.
The future is today (or yesterday); the part of Kid A that I've heard is awfully minimalist, and some newage (rhymes with "sewage") stuff is pretty much there too.

With all of that going on, is it any wonder that dead jazz artists are out-selling the live ones by a large margin?

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octothorp
Assimilated

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From: calgary, alberta, canada
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posted January 10, 2001 17:02     Click Here to See the Profile for octothorp   Click Here to Email octothorp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blind Harper:
Here's an interesting thought:
For the better part of a century we've seen this cycle of first attaching oneself to a 'rebel' musical style which is semi-deconstructive compared to the music of previous generations, then growing up and having children of on's own and seeing them attach themselves to music that just souds like a bunch of shouting and noise.

I'm going to humbly disagree with this (kinda)--I think we're reaching a threshold point in regards to this cycling. Yeah, there's certainly a deconstructionist trend in music, but I question if it's a backlash against the previous generation's music, or if it's a backlash against the glut that we see coming at us in the future (more Britney Spears stuff). What's more, I think we're starting to realize that a lot of the stuff that we've been traditionally rebelling against is not crap--I see a lot of artists rebelling by going back in finding merit in music--or entire genres--that were discarded before they were really explored. We haven't exactly discarded punk the way that past genres such as disco were quickly discarded. GenX dispair isn't that different from our parents dispair or, for that matter, the despair of any other generation. We're egocentric if we believe that we're going through some new hardship that has never been expressed before. Yeah, the expression changes, but that doesn't invalidate previous expressions of those same hardships. I mean, what are we in such a hurry to rebel against?! Let's not all rebel just for the sake of rebellion. And let's not just keep deconstructing everything, in a musical sense. Let's create something for once. (Blind Harper, I'm not directing this rant at you--just general frustration with our generation, and with every generation when they reach this age.) By rebelling against the previous generation, we aren't affecting any change, we're doing exactly the same thing as the previous generation.
As far as Kid A being the future of music, yeah, it is kinda out there, but IMHO it's not going to stay around. Radiohead is going to release a pop album in a few months, and Kid A will be forgotten--it's too random in the direction it's chosen to move. Right now the only reason people are respecting the album is because radiohead commands so much respect.
Good point about contemporary jazz though, Tau. Traditional jazz covered so much ground in so little time that we're still only beginning to appreciate just how much was accomplished in the era beginning with Ellington and ending with the death of Charles Mingus. It's only natural that the movement would kinda run out of steam.
OK, speaking of random (was I speaking of random? I know I was somewhere up there...) this rant is getting kinda random, so I'm going to stop (for now).
But one last point in regards to the whole deconstructive rebellion thing: the music industry is entirely conscious of it, and they're searching right now for the next Marilyn Manson to be the poster child for the unhappy consumers of the next generation. Any true rebellion would not be directed by commercialism and big business.

#

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Petethelate
Uber Geek

Posts: 863
From: San Jose, CA, USA
Registered: Feb 2000

posted January 10, 2001 17:12     Click Here to See the Profile for Petethelate   Click Here to Email Petethelate     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
# wrote: Any true rebellion would not be directed by commercialism and big business.

To quote Gill Scott Heron: "The revolution will not be televised." BTW, first heard this in '74 or '75. It predated rap by a good 4 years, and it's still though-provoking. OTOH, I (still) haven't figured out which side of a revolution I'd take....

Ptl

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kimbrosan
Super Geek

Posts: 144
From: Below the Mason-Dixon, USA
Registered: Dec 2000

posted January 10, 2001 17:47     Click Here to See the Profile for kimbrosan   Click Here to Email kimbrosan     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I think what's missing from a lot of bands or performers with structured lifestyles is passion and the ability to make mistakes.

Too often, we're treated to a lot of product that's been digitally sweetened to the point where there's only a little bit of coffee in our sugar. I have no idea if this is the case with Miss Spears's offerings, but the balloony bass and tin can beats can't bode too well.

I like music that can capture my imagination simply for the fact that you feel that the artist was driven to produce, damn the consequences and hello to a new trail. A bonus is if it's good.

And no, I'm not suprised that more kids are into rare grooves -- we forget the articles that drove the artists into the mood to create or that the artists used to create their songs. Good rap is a great example -- emcees trading lyrics, singing over their favorite beats or sampling instruments to string into looping chains.

A lot of people call that morally bankrupt songwriting. "They don't play instruments!" Lots of great photographers don't create vistas or people. It's the "eye", the discernment of detail, the timing of the shot and the composition of the piece that gives power. Same with lots of electronic forms of music and the best hip-hop that comes out today.

The center isn't necessarily jell-o or custard, it's only what you hitch your guidewires to. In the case of Ms. Spears,(Reference to second picture: Toni Braxton wants her "dress" back, btw) it's a sugar snowball that's bound to dissolve but reform every once in awhile for a Where Are They Now? special. Product, product, product.

The unfortunate thing is that two heads will grow back where one's cut off. That's always how it will be when there's money and the espousal of 'pop sensibility' about -- the base question is if you're doing it 'cause you're driven by something internal and raw or if it's the flashbulbs in your eyes.

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The Chump
Super Geek

Posts: 102
From: In my chair, in front of my laptop, at my desk, in my kitchen, in my aprtment, on my street, in kent, in ohio, in the US, yadda yadda yadda
Registered: Dec 2000

posted January 11, 2001 04:11     Click Here to See the Profile for The Chump   Click Here to Email The Chump     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm going to make this quick.
Artists get screwed, period.
The fact that my area has held onto one indie station that doesn't fill the status quoe or hold onto the flavor of the month philosophy is a good thing. In a town called streetsborough, ohio is a little station whose FM channel has never changed, it's 88.9. This particular station is paid for by local buisnesses and run by people who stand out. The station used to be known as V-Rock, all heavy-metal, all the time. It is now the Alternation. Though the station has been passed from one type of taste to another, the "morals" remain the same. Playing local bands and filling the gaps with bands that are semi-popular amongst underground listeners. You've probably heard of some of the bands but most of them are based right here in Ohio and no one has ever complained about the selection. Why? Because although most of the songs aired monday-saturday (sunday is the Oldies Jukebox, which they did for the Old Guy who helps run the station) fit into the category of alternative, I bet you would never have heard most of the stuff they play. The reason is because it doesn't fit into the mold of the typical pop music. If you would like to hear a sample, you can listen to their streaming audio, I think the link is IP: Logged

alumshubby
Neat Newbie

Posts: 14
From: Columbia, SC, USA
Registered: Jun 2000

posted January 11, 2001 09:49     Click Here to See the Profile for alumshubby     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
As bad as the music industry and the radio lackeys have gotten in the past thirty years, the Internet is providing new hope even beyond peer-to-peer stuff like freenet and Napster.

Thanks to SHOUTCast, RealPlay et al., there are a lot of independent stations -- many of them with an Internet-only presence -- emerging. For example, Radio on the Rise (WOTR) in Nashville, Tenn., plays up-and-coming independent artists. And for spy-movie buffs out there, there's Timber, a high-fidelity stream (AFAIK, 'Net-only) that plays 60's-esque spy-movie music.

------------------

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Blind Harper
Alpha Geek

Posts: 264
From: Saskatoon, SK, CA
Registered: Oct 2000

posted January 11, 2001 15:11     Click Here to See the Profile for Blind Harper   Click Here to Email Blind Harper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the files of Octothorp:
I think we're reaching a threshold point in regards to this cycling. Yeah, there's certainly a deconstructionist trend in music, but I question if it's a backlash against the previous generation's music, or if it's a backlash against the glut that we see coming at us in the future (more Britney Spears stuff).

Good point, but I think that to a large extent the 'Pop' side of modern music and the 'anti-pop' side have developed in tandem. Another thing; it was only in the 80's with punk that we started to see a seperation between the music of the masses and the music of the rebels. The music-indistry capitalists of earlier generations always at first reviled the young peoples' "rebellious" music, then quickly made it their own as they sensed the potential for profit; until the point where, with Disco in the 70's, we begin to see Music as a purely commercial phenomenon. So in some ways, yes, the punk movement and other 'Underground' musical movements which came after are a backlash against commercialism, and are to a large extent more directly descended from each other than some of the musical movements of older generations. OTOH, the music of the intellectual-counterculture, I feel, suffers quite a lot from commercialism itself. But alternative artists have done a great deal to try and get rid of that. If Trent Reznor can get obscenely rich and still be a valid creative and musical force, well, why not?

What's more, I think we're starting to realize that a lot of the stuff that we've been traditionally rebelling against is not crap--I see a lot of artists rebelling by going back in finding merit in music--or entire genres--that were discarded before they were really explored. We haven't exactly discarded punk the way that past genres such as disco were quickly discarded

Also a good point. This is part of what I mean by 'intellectual-counterculture'. The counterculture has always (always? within any period really significant to me on the level of personal historical influences, anyway) been 'anti-status quo' and the embrace of wild and rebellious music symbolizes that. But I feel that the intellectual-counterculture is to some extent growing beyond the need for symbols. I don't like listening to NIN or Radiohead or Marilyn Manson just because they symbolize 'my generation'. That is, I will admit, a part of it. But I listen to them, in the main, for the same reason I listen to Sex Pistols or Jefferson Airplane or Sondheim or Beethoven: because, at least to my taste, they're damn good music. I am part of the set which believes aesthetics is defined not only by environment but by reason.

GenX dispair isn't that different from our parents dispair or, for that matter, the despair of any other generation. We're egocentric if we believe that we're going through some new hardship that has never been expressed before. Yeah, the expression changes, but that doesn't invalidate previous expressions of those same hardships.

Well, for starters, the social consciousness of America and those countries which, like mine, happen to be inextricably tangled with it, has changed radically over the past century. During the middle ages most generations could pretty much guarantee that the society they lived in would, to a large extent, be the same world their parents were born into. Since at least the Renaissance, the rate of social change has been increasing, with big jumps at the industrial revolution and WW1. The only real absolute we face now is that every generation, every decade even, is going to be highly and unpredictably different from the last. Yes there are absolutes when it comes to hardship, injustice, and suffering; but there are also unique situations which every generation must face, and these situations shape the way in which the generation as a whole is defined. The Hippie generation was defined by idealism and drastic social movement, the Baby Boomers by self-absorption and self-gratification. Now, the generation which I find myself on the tail-end of has to face the world that our mothers and fathers have made. We have to face the fact that there is no longer a peace movement, no longer viable socialist parties, that international aid foundations are struggling, that the Prime Minister greets human rights protests with pepper spray and anti-globalization rallies turn into riots and anarchy. We have to look at the way our ex-hippie parents have sold out. We have to look at the moral bankruptcy of the 'I'm okay, you're okay' philosophy of the Boomers, the spiritual deadness of most major religions. We look at all this, and I at least, not to mention a lot of my friends, wonder what all of it really accomplished. So yes, I feel that Gen-X nihilism is a bit different than the ways in which other generations have dealt with their problems.

Sorry to rant; but this is pretty close to the core of my social philosophy.

But one last point in regards to the whole deconstructive rebellion thing: the music industry is entirely conscious of it, and they're searching right now for the next Marilyn Manson to be the poster child for the unhappy consumers of the next generation. Any true rebellion would not be directed by commercialism and big business.

I fully agree.

------------------
"BIRTH (n) The greatest and most terrible of all disasters." - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Worship the Mighty Froglord!

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Tau Zero
BlabberMouth, the Next Generation.

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posted January 11, 2001 16:41     Click Here to See the Profile for Tau Zero     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blind Harper:
Another thing; it was only in the 80's with punk that we started to see a seperation between the music of the masses and the music of the rebels. The music-indistry capitalists of earlier generations always at first reviled the young peoples' "rebellious" music, then quickly made it their own as they sensed the potential for profit; until the point where, with Disco in the 70's, we begin to see Music as a purely commercial phenomenon.
I'm not exactly sure what you meant by that, but I think you will find "music as a purely commercial phenomenon" going all the way back to the fabled Tin Pan Alley where authors sitting at little desks in what amounted to sweatshops were expected to turn out music at some ridiculous rate; I seem to recall one or more songs a day.  "The Man" was certainly in control of that.

I wasn't around then, but I recall someone writing that Woody Guthrie became popular during the Great Depression because he gave a voice to all the misery that people were feeling, while the execs of Tin Pan Alley were making the galley slaves turn out oh-so-happy tunes, like musical soma.  Right there you have an example of a gulf between the popular and commercial predating disco by 40 years and even the Beatles by around 30.

Plus ça change, plus c'est la meme chose.

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Uncomfortable Man
Neat Newbie

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From: Carrboro, NC, USA
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posted January 11, 2001 16:58     Click Here to See the Profile for Uncomfortable Man     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Mr Bill:
You think this is a low point? Wait for "Popstars" to come on tv. It looks to be a "Survivor-in-the-recording-studio" kind of thing. yeesh. The only manufactured band that worked was the Monkees. At least they were funny.

Sad to say, but the "Survivor in the Studio" has already been done. The guy who brought you 98 boy sinks n' the backstreet degrees (well, whatever they're called) decided to put a "band" together (really, a bunch of singer/dancers) and auditioned a few hundred, trimming down to the final few. We, the public, were privileged to be able to see the process on a show called "Making the Band." The scary thing was the level of earnestness displayed by the candidates, like it was their life dream to be the puppets of Lou whasname (the Svengali dude what gave us the other bands).

So this "Poptarts" thing or whatever is not only derivative once, it's derivative twice (oh, except this new thing is with women, right? wow, the creativity of Hollywood.

I'm reminded of the Harry Golden rule: don't bother making up anything really ridiculous for a story, because somebody's already done it for real =)

I'd continue the rant, but I have to stop now, because I have to watch "Temptation Island"

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Petethelate
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posted January 11, 2001 17:58     Click Here to See the Profile for Petethelate   Click Here to Email Petethelate     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
BTW, praising the Hippies and slamming the Baby Boomers is a mite confusing. According to my memory, Hippies were baby boomers. Whether the Hippie movement was fueled by idealism or peyote/hashish/weed is best discussed in another topic.

Ptl

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Nitrozac
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posted January 11, 2001 23:36     Click Here to See the Profile for Nitrozac   Click Here to Email Nitrozac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I did a brief check on Britney just now, and looked up her bio which explains a lot. I didn't see the Music Awards, either, but I watched her host SNL, and I thought she had a pretty good sense of humor, and she was funny. I have to confess, I like Britney Spears, but not enough to buy her CDs or even to download on Napster for free. I can understand why the millions of girls like her.

Britney comes from an entirely different culture than what I was exposed to. In Canada the "tiny girls in dance girl competitions" scene doesn't exist up here. You could almost say that Britney Spears' childhood was like Jon Bonnet's. Ever since Britney was a tot in Hicksville, she's been dancing, singing, performing, and competeing. At age 11 she was in the Mouseketeer Club. By 15 she was a Pop Star, with the music video directed by a porn film director. Now, at 18 she's a music Super Star, gay icon, and Madonna's ordained replacement.

What I like about her the most is how hard she works. When I was 15 all I did was practise piano, go to school, draw, and hang out with pals. At 15 Britney was working harder than I ever did! Now at 18, she's a full fledged career performer with a schedule that would make any 40 year old CEO have a heart attack. You really have to look at that. Sure she's tacky as hell, but so was Madonna, and Cindy Lauper. Not only does she have to work, tour, record, schmooze, and everything else, she has to deal with her massive fame. That means paparazzi, stalkers, fake friends, family strains, security, body guards, hate mail, death threats, etc. It's really no mystery that she doesn't have a boyfriend or is a virgin. Who could have sex with that kind stress and workload, never mind build a relationship with a guy?

Britney is tacky, and probably could have made better decisions, such as the strip tease segment. When I saw that, I thought "WOW! what a great ass!" in that girlish-jealous sort of way. She has an awesome body, and obviously some perv is directing her show moves, but remember when Madonna would just strip infront of cameras at the Canne Festival? That was tacky. I think we're expecting far too much from such a young woman. I suspect she'll grow up, and she'll look at those Music Awards shots and screeeeeam in agony at how she looked! That's what we all do when we grow up. C'mon, give the gal a break!

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Meryn
Newbie Larva

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posted January 12, 2001 10:19     Click Here to See the Profile for Meryn   Click Here to Email Meryn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Nitro, I agree that Miss B. works really hard. She isn't even really an issue in this whole thing, which is telling indeed. It's about the culture (and the vultures?) around her. Yes her stamina is amazing and she works very hard to do all the things she is supposed to do.

And she's been doing it for years. I think of her as the JonBenet who didn't die.

originally posted by Blind Harper:
>>For the better part of a century we've seen this cycle of first attaching oneself to a 'rebel' musical style which is semi-deconstructive compared to the music of previous generations, then growing up and having children of one's own and seeing them attach themselves to music that just souds like a bunch of shouting and noise.<<

It’s so true. But while most “kids’ trends” are towards heavier, more “evil” music than what preceded them, it’s strange to be in a time where alt. music - - (whatever it may mean, and no matter how much it got turned into - and boy did it ever - a marketing niche) which was about anger and/or angst and/or alienation and outsiders - - has been *supplanted by* the sweetest, most generic of music & lyrics. And the only thing that is heavier or more “evil” about this current phase is the sexuality. And that’s because it’s flat-out, if you’ll pardon the term. Like everything else about this genre, the sex is just one-dimensional: here it is.

originally posted by Octothorp:
>>Britney Spears is nothing beyond a vague cultural reference to the problems with youth (This coming from a 23-year-old... crazy 22-year-olds and their music...) .....Was it not for this .......article, this entire episode would have passed beneath my radar.<<

I know what you mean Octothorp, and not so long ago it would have passed beneath mine as well. I guess as each successive ‘generation’ in music is allotted less and less time, I’ve found myself studying the whirling centre of pop culture to try to see what it actually is and what it means. It means, of course, first and foremost money, no question. But *money*, four years ago, was *bankable* on an “angry young woman”. And *money* was *bankable* from circa 1991-1995 on shoe-gazing twangsters who wouldn’t give you the time of day. (the collective you, not Octo!)

And we can’t say it means nothing. (Well, we can, and many do. But I don’t think it means nothing.) What is most popular and prominent in the pop culture has long-reaching effects, as well as long-reaching underlying causes or instigations. And we can’t forget the fact that pop music is life-defining for a lot of young people just as they just trek over the crest into puberty. Alanis Morissette defined some young women’s coming of age, as Courtney Love did for others, and Nirvana for others (especially after Kurt Cobain’s death; that’s when the real teen fanaticism began, which is helpful in showing what we’re dealing with here.) No matter how stupid or irrelevant pop culture looks from the outside, it actually has an impact on many people’s lives.

[PS - I'm so damn newbie I'm not using quotes in the standard way; pardon my freshness. ; ) ]

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octothorp
Assimilated

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From: calgary, alberta, canada
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posted January 12, 2001 12:48     Click Here to See the Profile for octothorp   Click Here to Email octothorp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blind Harper:

The Hippie generation was defined by idealism and drastic social movement, the Baby Boomers by self-absorption and self-gratification. Now, the generation which I find myself on the tail-end of has to face the world that our mothers and fathers have made. We have to face the fact that there is no longer a peace movement, no longer viable socialist parties, that international aid foundations are struggling, that the Prime Minister greets human rights protests with pepper spray and anti-globalization rallies turn into riots and anarchy. We have to look at the way our ex-hippie parents have sold out. We have to look at the moral bankruptcy of the 'I'm okay, you're okay' philosophy of the Boomers, the spiritual deadness of most major religions.



You're absolutely right about how most of us listen to music because it's good music, not strictly on what generation it's designed to speak to.
I think that the only serious point we really disagree on is whether our generation's problems are fundamentally unique. Or maybe the problems are unique, but the solutions aren't. And I guess that's my main point is that we spend too much time lamenting our current situation, rather than trying to find solutions. No viable peace movement? Well, let's start one, like our parents did. No viable social parties? We can start one of those, too. International aid foundations floundering? Well, considering that the new wealthy elite is quickly becoming generation-x, seems that we have the power to fix that, too. Prime Minister greeting human rights protesters with pepper spray? Hey, at least those protesters are trying to make a difference instead of mopping around. Spiritual deadness? I'd recommend a social-action based grassroots religious movement like Quakerism. As I said in an earlier post, if we're unhappy with the way things are, we should try to create honest change with our rebellion, rather than listening to loud music and calling that our rebellion. We can't really criticize our parents, because they affected way more change than we are. I would be proud to belong to a generation that spoke out against war and other social issues the way they did, just as I feel pride in hearing about other bits of social activism in our own generation.

#


ps: damn, I wish I had thought to quote Gill Scott Heron. It's the perfect quote, Ptl.

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Nitrozac
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posted January 12, 2001 13:54     Click Here to See the Profile for Nitrozac   Click Here to Email Nitrozac     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Oops, I did it again, I forgot to welcome Meryn! Welcome to our corner of the Universe, Meryn! Everyone here is pretty nice, and talkative.

I see what you mean, last year's Music Awards, (or was it two years ago?), had Alanis, Sheryl Crow, and weirdly Shania Twain (in some strange streetwalker outfit). It had more substance, and music I'd be interested in buying.

Then Cher re-invented herself to fit into teen culture. She's about 60 years old, and there she was in all her plastic-surgery glory, midriff and all (she invented that look, btw). Good for her, I thought.

I think rap music has influenced us in many ways, the cultural morals have reached into our lives. ie. selling out to "the man" is a bad thing. These days there's something for everyone, at every age and culture. I wonder what the effect digital downloading will have on the music that reaches us. Will record labels crumble? Will we be exposed to neighborhood music more? Will we expand our audio pallette to include music from distant lands that would never had made it through traditional routes? Hopefully this experience will make our lives richer, but also allow artists to make art.

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Blind Harper
Alpha Geek

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From: Saskatoon, SK, CA
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posted January 12, 2001 16:14     Click Here to See the Profile for Blind Harper   Click Here to Email Blind Harper     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
From the files of Petethelate:
BTW, praising the Hippies and slamming the Baby Boomers is a mite confusing. According to my memory, Hippies were baby boomers.

Apologies - I may have gotten my labels mixed up. Whatever the generation was between the Hippies and Gen-X (And I know there was one, it had a very distinctive cultural signature) - the whole 'I'm okay, You're okay' culture of self-absorbed conspicuous consumers - that's what I meant when I said 'Baby Boomers'.

Whether the Hippie movement was fueled by idealism or peyote/hashish/weed is best discussed in another topic.

The drug-experimentation was an effect of the Hippies' ideals and social philosophy, not a cause of them.

From the files of Meryn:
But while most “kids’ trends” are towards heavier, more “evil” music than what preceded them, it’s strange to be in a time where alt. music - - {...} which was about anger and/or angst and/or alienation and outsiders - - has been *supplanted by* the sweetest, most generic of music & lyrics.

I argue that alternative is a viable trend completely apart from candyfloss-pop. Alternative is the artistic 'flag' of the intellectual-counterculture. Of course, I'm not saying that 'everyone who listens to neopunk or industrial techno is intelligent and musically discriminating'. But I think the distinction reflects a fundamental rift in the social signature of our generation, between those who are ruled by the growing influence of corporations on the social milieu, and those who see the slow death of idealism and individual power going on all around us but simply feel powerless to stop it.

From the files of #:
And I guess that's my main point is that we spend too much time lamenting our current situation, rather than trying to find solutions. No viable peace movement? Well, let's start one, like our parents did {...} if we're unhappy with the way things are, we should try to create honest change with our rebellion, rather than listening to loud music and calling that our rebellion.

But this is a part of the essential character of what's going on. One person can't make a difference. Yes, a thousand people can make a difference, but every one of those thousand people is one person who, in their own eyes, can't make a difference. And even if those thousand people can shake off the nihilism and powerlessness that they feel at the state of our world and its history, what would be the lasting effects?

My father, in the 60s, was about the biggest hippie alive. Now, he's on the board of elders at the local Evangelical church and votes Alliance. He thinks that Gov't funding for the arts and for science, for medicare, for farmers' aid and small business aid should be scrapped. He's turned into a laissez faire capitalist. That's what happened to idealism.

'Lasting social change' starts to look like a bit of a joke in the face of things like this. I have to fight daily to hold onto my belief that the world of the future will of necessity be better than the world of the past. One could say that an entire generation of the intellectual has been siezed with a kind of entropy of the soul.

I am trying to make a difference in the world - through my art, the one medium through which I feel I can affect any kind of social change, however small. But it's difficult going. There are times when you just have to put Downward Spiral on the CD player and say 'F%%k it all. F%%k the world. I'm gonna play some X-Com.'

Once again, sorry for the wildly wandering nature of my intellectual spew. I did have a point to make at one point, I swear...

------------------
"BIRTH (n) The greatest and most terrible of all disasters." - Ambrose Bierce, The Devil's Dictionary
Worship the Mighty Froglord!

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AgentOBorg
Geek Apprentice

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From: The 666th Layer of the Abyss
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posted January 12, 2001 16:25     Click Here to See the Profile for AgentOBorg     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote

Hmm, I've been a bit put out with must of the current pop scene myself -- so much that I hardly know who most of these people are (but I've seen one of Britney's videos).

Really, though, and I'm sure I sound really dumb asking this -- but like I said, I don't know who much of anyone famous is these days -- but who are you. I found MerynCadell.com by accident looking for AY2K, and surmised you must be a singer or something, and possibly even famous -- but, well, are you famous? And for what kind of music (others may answer if Ms. Cadell is busy)? I don't mean to sound rude or dumb, but a singer closely associated with geekculture made me curious, and I tend to not get out much and stay pretty behind.

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Greg Wooledge
Alpha Geek

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posted January 13, 2001 14:48     Click Here to See the Profile for Greg Wooledge   Click Here to Email Greg Wooledge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Meryn's a singer (and possibly more -- I don't know very much about her).

In December 1999, Meryn recorded a song written by Snaggy called "The Cat Carol". A link to an MP3 encoding of the song was included at the bottom of a relevant AY2K episode. Search the archives for it -- I suspect the link is still live.

After that, go to your favorite music-sharing service (if you don't know any, start with Napster) and search for Meryn Cadell. You'll most likely find several copies of a song called "The Sweater", which is her most famous. It's a spoken-word-over-lo-fi-synthesizer song with some really funny, insightful lyrics. (Example: And different is not what you're looking for. [...] You're looking for the boy of your dreams who is the same boy in the dreams of all of your friends.)

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Eponine
Highlie

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posted January 13, 2001 17:08     Click Here to See the Profile for Eponine   Click Here to Email Eponine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Hm... I did a search for Meryn on Napster, and only one person had her songs. Strangely he goes by the name greycat. Now who could that be...?

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Meryn
Newbie Larva

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posted January 13, 2001 19:20     Click Here to See the Profile for Meryn   Click Here to Email Meryn     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
First off, old Snaggy doesn’t need my mp3’s. He has all my music. Hell, I wrote and recorded half of it at his house. Also, I'm surprised at your slim returns on your search @ N-ster. I was actually quite surprised at how much of my stuff was on Napster when I looked a couple of months ago; even old duets I’d done. Anyway. I have mp3’s at my site; more are forthcoming, and all are requestable, so you can go to Napster or get it from the source. Same difference. Same low price! As in goose egg.

Now on to the Subject At Hand!!

Wrote Blind Harper:
>>I argue that alternative is a viable trend completely apart from candyfloss-pop. Alternative is the artistic 'flag' of the intellectual-counterculture.<<

I agree and I disagree, but the disagree is really just a quibble. The word “alternative” has come to mean so many things to so many people. ..Someone asking, “So what’s her music like? Folk? Techno? Alternative?” shows that for some folks, in some (especially media-saturated) circles, “alternative” has become some meaningless label for the cd bins.

HOWEVER, I fully agree with you that there is an alternative to candyfloss pop, and that it is alive, well and growing. And in Canada we’re lucky to have the CBC so that we’ve got Brave New Waves and David Wisdom to play the things we love and introduce us to a whole lot more. And then there are the small and mighty stations at colleges and universities which literally breathe new ideas, not just in music, but in community activity and activism.

What is interesting to me is how close or how far away, at any given time (year/month/generation) the “media zeitgeist” little peephole that a television-viewing audience has (or is given) is to shining light in on what most “young people” are really listening to, and even feeling like. Like sun and moon (just to be topical!), sometimes they converge and it causes a little stir, people talk about it, but the earth feels a little chillier and a little less shiny.

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Eponine
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posted January 13, 2001 20:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Eponine   Click Here to Email Eponine     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Meryn:
Actually while those songs were downloading (took forever!) I visited your website. I was excited to see that you had songs for download, and even more excited to see lyrics. So you can bet that I will definitely download the songs from your website, now that I know they are there.

------------------
Normal people scare me.
AIM: Eponine4982

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Greg Wooledge
Alpha Geek

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posted January 13, 2001 20:34     Click Here to See the Profile for Greg Wooledge   Click Here to Email Greg Wooledge     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
I'm on OpenNap, not Napster. So if you found a greycat on Napster, it's someone else. (I was greycat-linux there for a brief while, but now I'm one of the banned. )

Does commercialized music suck? Most of it, yeah. But remember that it's not targeted at you -- it's targeted at pubescent girls and boys who haven't heard anything good to compare with. If you want to fight the system, introduce your younger relatives to something other than the mainstream.

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Orbhead
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posted January 14, 2001 03:12     Click Here to See the Profile for Orbhead   Click Here to Email Orbhead     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
For those of us geeks that remember the early nineties, the same thing was happening. Manufactured crap. Although it wasn't as abundant back then as it is now, you must remember that media was different then. Everyone didn't have a computer at home, everyone wasn't on the internet, and everyone didn't have 500 channels on TV to choose from. I attribute how modern technology has made the world a smaller place, and why the New Kids on the Block weren't quite as popular as their modern equivalents are.

People started getting sick of the New Kids on the Block, and all those crappy sappy mainstream ballad love songs, and stations started picking up lesser known bands, and people actually liked them! My God! Perhaps you have heard of some of them. Pearl Jam, Smashing Pumpkins, Nirvana, Jane's Addiction, yada yada yada (please note my sarcasm here). All of a sudden everything changed. Of all a sudden manufactured crap wasn't "cool" anymore. Artistic integrity was, intelligent music was, meaningful lyrics were. And if you look back at past decades, we can see the same pattern here.

Let's look back at the 50's. All the kids wanted to hear Rock 'n Roll. The traditional institution didn't like it. It was the devil's music. But the demand for it won. The likes of Bill Haley and Elvis broke new ground in the mainstream, and the music changed. Sometime in the early sixties, a new generation was wanting something new. People were changing, the generation was changing. "Rock 'n Roll" was getting tiresome. Then the Beatles took a new artistic direction, and we all know what the Beatles did for music. This phase lasted a while, Woodstock came and passed, a new generation of people came along and wanted to head Disco. Others wanted to listen to Kiss and Iron Maiden. Disco died, and then Heavy Metal, Punk Rock, and New Wave was in. Generations change, media changes, and the music changed.

I guess all I am trying to prove by all this rambling is that all those kiddies that buy into the Britney/Backstreet/*N Sync are growing up, and one day very soon from now, some band or some idea is going to come along and blow everyone away. And the mainstream will change. I believe it is already starting to, it just might take time to notice it. I think this thread already sort of proves that. That infamous Courtney Love article at salon.com proves it. We are just in a slump right now. Things will come around. They always do. History repeats itself.

I hope this makes some sort of sense to everyone, although some of my facts may not be exact, and I have only touched the tip of the iceberg (there is a lot more music out there than just what I was talking about) I am sure that you got the essence of the thought I was trying to get across.

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Orbhead
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posted January 14, 2001 03:24     Click Here to See the Profile for Orbhead   Click Here to Email Orbhead     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
And if I was REALLY smart, I would have noticed that Blind Harper already made the point that I was trying to make. Next time I won't be so daft.

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Mr Bill
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posted January 14, 2001 04:29     Click Here to See the Profile for Mr Bill   Click Here to Email Mr Bill     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
To get away from the generation vs. generation thing for a moment or two:
Something I've noticed over the years that happens to popular bands is what I call the "backlash effect". A band (or singer) will become famous seemingly overnight. They put out several albums in quick succesion, their songs always hitting the top of the charts in short order. They are hailed as the Greatest-Thing-To-Happen-To-Rock-n-Roll. Thanks to the media, we now know every minute and trivial detail of their lives. At a certain point, the backlash effect kicks in. It starts with a small thing, which snowballs into an avalanche faster than their rise to fame. The next thing you know, everyone hates them, their music sucks, and we change the channel when we see them on TV.

Want some names? How about Michael Jackson? He was hailed as the King of Pop. Now most people think he is a freak.

Think Country music is safer? Billy Ray Cyrus: the man became famous on one song. ONE song. Now where is he? Does anyone care? (granted, this guy could have been more of a flavour of the week sort of thing.)

Spice Girls. Enough said.

I think every celebrity that gets overly famous get hit by the backlash effect. It seems the only ways to avoid it are either to die while famous (Buddy Holly, etc...), or to work your way up slowly.

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Life Rule #1: Don't sweat the small stuff.
Life Rule #2: It's all small stuff.

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weirdo513
Super Geek

Posts: 235
From: Indiana University
Registered: Oct 2000

posted January 14, 2001 05:25     Click Here to See the Profile for weirdo513   Click Here to Email weirdo513     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
This is why I avoid devices of Mass-Communication other than the internet...

Nothing good can come of it...

(Well, aside from the SImpsons and South Park of course...)

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~Weirdo~
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lewser
Single Celled Newbie

Posts: 1
From: Seattle, WA, USA
Registered: Jan 2001

posted January 15, 2001 13:24     Click Here to See the Profile for lewser     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
Actually, Mr. Bill, Michael Jackson declared himself to be the King of Pop. I seem to remember seeing something on (shudder) MTV about the early days, and at some point they got a fax from MJ's people telling MTV that from that point on they should always refer to Jackson as the 'King of Pop'. Although, I agree with your point in general.

Generally, though, I think the backlash-effect is valid only for those people/groups that have nothing to add artistically to the world in general. Look at the groups, or just stars in general, that have had staying power. REM, The Beatles, Dylan, etc. (well, actually, I can't think of any more offhand, but I know there are). Most of the people who've stuck around for long periods of time usually have something to say, and the rest fade into obscurity, or late-night infomercials.

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octothorp
Assimilated

Posts: 361
From: calgary, alberta, canada
Registered: Feb 2000

posted January 15, 2001 13:40     Click Here to See the Profile for octothorp   Click Here to Email octothorp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Eponine:
Meryn:
Actually while those songs were downloading (took forever!) I visited your website. I was excited to see that you had songs for download, and even more excited to see lyrics. So you can bet that I will definitely download the songs from your website, now that I know they are there.



They're good stuff!

#

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octothorp
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Posts: 361
From: calgary, alberta, canada
Registered: Feb 2000

posted January 15, 2001 13:55     Click Here to See the Profile for octothorp   Click Here to Email octothorp     Edit/Delete Message   Reply w/Quote
quote:
Originally posted by Blind Harper:

I am trying to make a difference in the world - through my art, the one medium through which I feel I can affect any kind of social change, however small. But it's difficult going. There are times when you just have to put Downward Spiral on the CD player and say 'F%%k it all. F%%k the world. I'm gonna play some X-Com.'


I won't argue with that. And I'll admit that it's inevitable that as a generation ages they become cynical and start voting alliance and all that. And possibly I will, too--I certainly hope not. But it would be nice to get some idealism from musicians out there. I can't remember the last time I heard a sincere socially responsible song on pop-radio. Moby is the only really socially conscious popular musician I can think of, but his views aren't reflected either way in his music.

#

ps. yeah, I know I could have combined these last two posts, but I'm soooooooo close to getting 100 posts.

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