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PurpleDawg

The Music Thread

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Not expert enough to make picks for anyone, but I have to say some of the rock by aboriginal artists--primarily Inuit--from northern Canada and Greenland I've heard lately is very good. While I was coming home today from the gym I heard Josh Qaumariaq of Josh Q and the Trade-Offs do a really interesting take on soul from an arctic perspective from Iqualuit (phonetically 'i-ck-al-ooeet' formerly Alert). Some of the groups might be worth a listen to some of the real music experts here.

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13 hours ago, Feeling Froggy said:

Down, not up from San Antonio, and midnight is morning, right? Still...

Terry Stafford says "thanks very much" to King George and Tony and the Dawns. Here's the b-side of your selection...

 

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3 hours ago, PurpleDawg said:

Terry Stafford says "thanks very much" to King George and Tony and the Dawns. Here's the b-side of your selection...

 

I like George's cover more, but Terry has a much better voice. The B-side is all about Terry's version, as is his version of Suspicion.

 

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Watched Eurovision 2019 this weekend. 

 

Loved the Icelandic heavy metal entry with its wonderful, though fairly typical of the genre, lyrics!!!

 

Debauchery unconstrained

Hangover uncontained

Life’s purposeless confusion

The void will swallow all  

Hate will prevail

Every joy derail

Just treacherous illusion Fraud, futility  

[Chorus]

All that I saw

Tears ran raw

All that I gave

That I once gave I gave you all  

Universal obfuscation

Unilateral execration

From gullible delusion

Escape will be curtailed

The void will swallow all  

Hate will prevail

And Europe’s heart impale

Burn off its web of lies

Now from the conflagration

Rise in unity  

[Chorus]

All that I saw

Tears ran raw

All that I gave

That I once gave

I gave you all

I gave you all  

Hate will prevail

Love to no avail

I gave you all

Hate will prevail

Every joy derail

I gave you all

Just treacherous illusion

Fraud, futility

Hate will prevail

 

 

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That's a catchy tune, and so happy! 🤣

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I needed more cowbell.

(My mind automatically associates this tune to London's most infamous and mysterious serial killer, though.)

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I know I talked about this blog before, maybe it was on the random general board thread, but I want to reiterate it over here: https://www.stereogum.com/category/franchises/the-number-ones/

 

The writer posts each day about every Billboard Top 100 #1 song starting from the first one in 1958.  He almost gotten through 1974 now.  With each song, he goes through a bit of the history of the song, the songwriter, and the artist, then critiques the song.

 

Anyway I bring it back up again because I was thinking recently that we may be experiencing the lowest point in popular music right now.  I think I'm very open minded to new sounds and have pretty eclectic tastes, but three-quarters of what I hear on Top 40 radio right now (and I hear a lot of it because it is all my kids listen to) is absolute garbage.

 

But as the Stereogum thread works its way through the early-to-mid-1970's, a whole lot of garbage made it to #1 in that era too.  All things in perspective ...

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59 minutes ago, Duquesne Frog said:

...I was thinking recently that we may be experiencing the lowest point in popular music right now.  I think I'm very open minded to new sounds and have pretty eclectic tastes, but three-quarters of what I hear on Top 40 radio right now (and I hear a lot of it because it is all my kids listen to) is absolute garbage.

It isn't just you. I have some very diverse musical tastes. The only new music I can tolerate is underground, though.

 

All mainstream music has been turned into formula by the record companies. Country is all pop about pickem up trucks. All pop is autotuned and sounds the same. Mainstream rock is a dead body that resembles boy bands more than rock. It goes on and on for every genre.

 

Shirley Manson did a really good  interview a few years back explaining how it has all changed. She went into detail about how unless another Nirvana happens to come out of the woodwork, mainstream music will continue to be all identical tunes, only with changing pretty faces playing them. It will have to be something so dramatic that it blindsides the execs at the major labels before they will change their tune. Then they will only jump on the wagon and copy this new music and image that goes with it until they water it down so much that everyone loses interest. From there, they will fall back into the cycle we are in now, and repeat.

 

The biggest problem with it probably isn't the "music" itself, but the distribution system used to bring it to the masses. YouTube and the streaming services have opened the doors to more varied tastes being catered to, and radio has turned into a far more locked down affair, partially by the legislation the RIAA lobbyists put into effect in the 90s when the FCC "opened up licenses", and partially because the industry as a whole is a backwards thinking entity that has to have one size fit all.

 

For one of the most liberal industries in terms of message sold in the product, it is amazing how conservatively it is run. So much so they are consistently being 20 years behind the time and mindnumbingly slow to adopt new ideas or technologies.

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42 minutes ago, Feeling Froggy said:

All mainstream music has been turned into formula by the record companies. Country is all pop about pickem up trucks. All pop is autotuned and sounds the same. Mainstream rock is a dead body that resembles boy bands more than rock. It goes on and on for every genre.

 

 

Agree.  Mainstream "bro" country is even worse than pop.  At least with pop there is some variation in the lyrical content.  Every single country song on the radio is indistinguishable from the last.

 

I'm starting to fear that my generation killed mainstream rock.  The "modern" rock station here in Pittsburgh is probably two-thirds 1990's grunge.  Which I love ... it is the music that was the soundtrack to my high school and college years.  But in terms of the passage of time, grunge is as "modern" now as doo-wop was when I was a kid.  Its like the record industry lost interest in discovering new rock after that.  Gen X seems to be the last generation that appreciated rock ... Millennials on seem to skew hip-hop. 

 

Which is not to say there haven't been good rock bands out there, some of whom seem to have gotten close to "mainstream" success ... Black Keys, White Stripes, Strokes, and more recently, Vampire Weekend, Arcade Fire, and bands of that ilk.  They just don't seem to get a chance to get regular radio play ...

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58 minutes ago, Duquesne Frog said:

I'm starting to fear that my generation killed mainstream rock.  The "modern" rock station here in Pittsburgh is probably two-thirds 1990's grunge.  Which I love ... it is the music that was the soundtrack to my high school and college years.  But in terms of the passage of time, grunge is as "modern" now as doo-wop was when I was a kid.  Its like the record industry lost interest in discovering new rock after that.  Gen X seems to be the last generation that appreciated rock ... Millennials on seem to skew hip-hop.

I agree that our generation (X) killed music. But I don't think that it was alternative rock that did it. I think it just caught the recording industry so off guard that they committed themselves to controlling the product more than ever. Remember, hair metal and butt rock was going to be the future of the 90s, until some three piece pop-punk band from dreary, rainsoaked Seattle exploded in late 91-early 92 out of nowhere.

 

I think it is a combination of the resurgence of pirate radio in the mid-90s, along with the internet.

 

I don't mean Napster and the mp3, either, as the RIAA will quickly point their finger towards. Really the first nail in the coffin for that was probably Real Media's junky software. It brought the concept of streaming (at a close enough level, anyway) of radio quality music. ShoutCast bundling with 1.X series of Winamp only improved more on the idea.

 

This was a threat to the stranglehold the RIAA had by controlling what radio played when any kid in his bedroom could stream a song on an online radio station broadcast to anyone across the globe with an interest.

 

After the mid-2000s when they had the laws changed enough to force an effective end to the new form of "pirate radio", a newer version of distribution emerged in YouTube. And by that point Google had way more power than they could or would bother fighting, so they struck an agreement for royalties that they have regretted ever since. As more people moved towards streaming what they wanted, the radio itself just turned into a medium that merely churns out continual streams of formulaic garbage with zero artistry and only designed to make a profit. And advertising. Lots of advertising.

 

Partially because the opening new licenses only allowed the normal commercial portion of the band to be bought by media mega-corporations and the new low frequencies "available" were selectively given out to churches by the FCC.

 

I love the sound of AM radio, I love the sound of FM radio, and I love vintage stereo tuners, but the future of radio is bleak. I doubt it will die, and you can always find something on it, since the cell phone companies don't care about buying up frequencies in the AM or FM range. But I also doubt you will want to listen to 30+ minute blocks of ads with a song stuffed in between that sounds exactly like the last song they actually played. Or 7-8 religious programs all shoved on the 80s, selling the same message with the only difference being where to mail the check.

 

And that is all I see the next 20 years of radio being.

 

And since it fits the topic and is music, not that nu-metal is really my favorite form of metal (or even really like the song itself, beyond the message). Also, an explicit lyrics warning is due, I suppose:

 

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The only music radio stations I listen to are non-commercial college stations. We're lucky to have several of those here, although I really only listen to them in the car,. The UMass-Lowell station doesn't play anything by an artist that has ever had an album in the top 40 and has a couple of legit death metal shows. The Emerson station is more mainstream but plays plenty of unpopular, lesser-known stuff, including quite a bit of funk. 

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20 hours ago, Duquesne Frog said:

Gen X seems to be the last generation that appreciated rock ... Millennials on seem to skew hip-hop. 

This is unquestionably true. I can't decide whether we killed rock or tried to save it. I didn't like a lot of grunge, but I recognize its importance. (And the original grunge bands like Nirvana were great. It was the acolytes that I hated.) Millennials have given up on rock altogether. I don't really blame them, but it's still sometimes astonishing that they've never heard OF, say, Van Halen. I don't mean never heard. Never heard OF. 

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Nirvana was good, and I welcomed the change from hearing nothing but Poison and the other hair bands that constantly were played in the late 80's and early 90's on radio. (Burned out by the sound by that point.) I always gravitated more towards Alice in Chains, Pumpkins, STP, and Soundgarden for my favorites of the era. I love the first Candlebox album, and the New Miserble Experience album by the Gin Blossoms defines the decade for me (even if it was far more country than the grunge side of things.)

 

I am sure this won't be a popular take, but the best I could ever say for Pearl Jam was that they didn't drag J. Frank Wilson's Last Kiss down to the level of the rest of their music.

 

Some of the later alternative bands to come along were still okay to my ears. Bush, Live, Seven Mary Three, etc. About 1994-96 era.

 

In about 1997-8, everything changed for me, though. I had gotten a car CD player that would play CD-R discs, had a beta version of Winamp on the home computer, and became fed up with everything the radio shoved my way. When the only shred of rock left being played on the airwaves was Marilyn Manson, I had enough and went fully underground with the extreme metal I was already listening to on vinyl, tape and CD during the period.

 

I haven't listened to radio steadily since I could make my own mix-discs and play them in the car. The only thing that has changed for me from then and now is that I play digital files direct without messing with CDs.

 

That and there isn't even a rock station that I can reliably pick up. The college station here only plays electronic, pop, or (very bad) rap-like crap. There are about 3-4 "country" stations that only play pop. The oldies station only plays the mop-headed muppet quartet (Beatles), The Beach Boys and fat Elvis. No doowop, no rockabilly, no real surf music, and no Specter girl groups. And 5 church stations.

 

My tuner sits tuned to an AM station, and rarely gets switched to for the horrible evolution of CoastToCoast once or twice a month, usually only for 5-15 minutes at a time. Otherwise, it glows warm white across a dial that is mostly dead to me these days.

 

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18 minutes ago, Feeling Froggy said:

I am sure this won't be a popular take, but the best I could ever say for Pearl Jam was that they didn't drag J. Frank Wilson's Last Kiss down to the level of the rest of their music.

Popular with me. I was never a fan. Honestly, a lot of my issues with grunge were with Pearl Jam. 

 

Quote

Alice in Chains, Pumpkins, STP, and Soundgarden

I liked Alice in Chains, Soundgarden, Rage Against the Machine, Audioslave ... not all grunge, but I liked them. 

 

Quote

Bush, Live, Seven Mary Three, etc.

Good bands. Live was a great band. Apparently still around ... I had no idea.

 

Talk about an unpopular opinion: I was a big fan of Offspring. Also Green Day, but that's not as unpopular. 

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Pre-grunge but an underrated '80s band

 

 

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Realizing it's a generation thing, in the 80's I turned to Country due the crap that pop music, etc. had become. 

 

I listen to 50's, 60's, and 70's  exclusively on satellite radio now. Or, stream if from Napster.  Unless, of course, I'm listening to sports talk radio. 

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17 minutes ago, Boston Frog said:

Talk about an unpopular opinion: I was a big fan of Offspring. Also Green Day, but that's not as unpopular. 

I love the self-titled. Ignition and Smash were great as well. Ixnay was good, Americana was okay, but by the 2000s, they lost a bit, in my opinion. Rise and Fall was an awesome rebound. I try to forget that Days Go By exists.

 

Supposed to be a new one coming out this year or next. The single they put out 4 years ago was pretty good, so I have higher expectations for the new one.

 

Agree with all the rest, as well.

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23 minutes ago, Feeling Froggy said:

Nirvana was good, and I welcomed the change from hearing nothing but Poison and the other hair bands that constantly were played in the late 80's and early 90's on radio. (Burned out by the sound by that point.) I always gravitated more towards Alice in Chains, Pumpkins, STP, and Soundgarden for my favorites of the era. I love the first Candlebox album, and the New Miserble Experience album by the Gin Blossoms defines the decade for me (even if it was far more country than the grunge side of things.)

 

I am sure this won't be a popular take, but the best I could ever say for Pearl Jam was that they didn't drag J. Frank Wilson's Last Kiss down to the level of the rest of their music.

 

Some of the later alternative bands to come along were still okay to my ears. Bush, Live, Seven Mary Three, etc. About 1994-96 era.

 

I don't know how unpopular the Pearl Jam take is.  A lot of people seem to be down on them (Boston), but I always liked them.  Records 3-5 (Vitalogy, No Code, and Yield) were great, IMO.  I get why people think a lot of their more popular stuff off the first two records was meh.  Loved me some Pumpkins, even when they went electronica with Adore.  I liked Alice in Chains best when they went acoustic (Jar of Flies).  STP was a great band, although I found Weiland's obtuse Jim Morrison-ish lyrics annoying.  And while I acknowledge Chris Cornell's greatness, I never really liked Soundgarden much.  Too dirgy.

 

That Gin Blossoms record was great. 

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Zebra Frog said:

Realizing it's a generation thing, in the 80's I turned to Country due the crap that pop music, etc. had become. 

 

I listen to 50's, 60's, and 70's  exclusively on satellite radio now. Or, stream if from Napster.  Unless, of course, I'm listening to sports talk radio. 

 

Showing the power of nostalgia, I largely hated 80's pop as a kid living through it, but now I find a lot of those songs more appealing.  The same is true of a lot of 80's country.

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1 hour ago, Duquesne Frog said:

 

Showing the power of nostalgia, I largely hated 80's pop as a kid living through it, but now I find a lot of those songs more appealing.  The same is true of a lot of 80's country.

I loved the '80s in general when I was living them (until 1988 or so), came to hate them in my 30s and now kind of love them again. All of it, not just the music. But there was a lot of good music in the '80s that people have forgotten or at least forgotten how great it was. U2, REM, INXS, G'n'R, ZZ Top, Van Halen, Triumph, Judas Priest, Iron Maiden, AC/DC all basically peaked in the '80s. Queen had a pretty good run, especially early in the decade. Thrash metal was at it height at the time. Hip hop was actually good, Kool Moe Dee, Public Enemy, K-9 Posse, Grandmaster Flash. Luther Vandross, Keith Sweat and Al B. Sure in soul Anita Baker and Karen White. Then there was Depeche Mode, New Order and the new wave stuff. Misfits, Minor Threat, Black Flag in punk early on, with the Replacements until they went more pop. Butthole Surfers, Dead Kennedys, Dead Milkmen, the Ramones (mostly early in the decade) as well. 

 

Country kind of tanked. Really tanked big time for me after the early '80s. But there was a lot of other good stuff. What's out there now in terms of popular music doesn't even come close. 

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I think back on the 1980s and while I can think of some great moments in life, living in South Texas, the music and movies end of things only conjures a one word description; corny. I love a lot of 80s metal with Maiden, Slayer, Coroner, Megadeth, Savatage, Dio, and even the few Metallica songs I like were all from the 1980s. For hard rock, AC/DC and GnR were definitely at their peaks in the decade. ZZ Pop was a major downgrade from the 1970s Top to me. Sabbath was a joke without Ozzy. Ozzy was a joke without Sabbath. Alice Cooper wasn't the same Alice as 1970s Alice, even if I liked a couple of his 80s songs. Same can be said for Aerosmith.

 

Country wasn't anything special to me at the time, and so I didn't pay it much mind, other than remembering a lot of George Strait being played on the radio. I also remember Alabama's If You're Gonna Play in Texas seeing a lot of play. I remember more traditional stuff being played by family than the 80s stuff. Hank, Conway Twitty, Cash. Even more 70s stuff, both mainstream and outlaw.

 

As far as rap goes; Straight Outta Compton. Nothing else needs to be said other than it made the genre legitimate to me.

 

The new wave, pop and synth stuff was something I never really got back then, exception being Billy Idol. I find some of the genres catchy and okay these days, but still more of a guilty pleasure or something to be taken only in small doses. And still very corny.

 

This statement will probably get my Native Texan card revoked, as well as being incapable of saying that I love the blues, but here goes... I hated SRV in the 1980s. Today, I still don't think he was the best Texan blues musician, but I have grown to appreciate and like some of his stuff. (At least not when he is covering Jimi. Hendrix was all emotion, filled with sloppy play and errors. SRV was too technically sound and proficient to pull off, in my opinion.)

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