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Adam Levine on record labels - no one knows what they're doing...

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  • #31
    OK Phil. We both agree we can throw out the sill Mozart every 200 years nonsense. And I agree that Sinatra and Ella are both excellent singers. Genius is so subjective it's a very slippery slide.


    I was pondering who I could counter with as having some sort of genius as a singer. I was thinking of Judy Garland. I wish she'd done a couple of jazz albums. I think they'd be loved. I've been watching her weekly show and have been noticing her performance mannerisms. She seems to have a treasure trove of little dance steps, hops and even hand gestures. I told my Dallas Dylan devotee friend that Judy was to live performance what Bob Dylan is to written lyrics. He didn't respond to that. He once sent me a youTube link of Dylan singing "A Change Is Gonna Come" at the Apollo. To my Dallas friend this performance proves what a genius Dylan is as a singer.

    Warning - If you dare ! Bob Dylan SINGING
    https://youtu.be/w3FIF4JZhk4

    My second contender was Otis Redding - he did a lot more than "Dock of the Bay" kids. I listened to his "Otis Blue/Otis Redding Sings Soul" and decided he was worthy.


    ​Then there's Billie Holliday.

    I happened to think of Sarah Vaughan. Great jazz singer. She's in prime form here in 1990. I heard an anecdote on the radio once that when she was singing with Count Basie's band at I think Birdland she was seen sitting in the audience on Sundays - her night off - eating fried chicken. She was living the music. She plays her voice here like it's a horn sometimes.

    Can we admit Sarah to the genius club ? (tee hee)

    Last edited by davd_indigo; 12-18-2015, 05:31 PM.
    https://soundcloud.com/david-goethe/tracks

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    • #32
      I'd have no problem with admitting that Sarah and Billie both deserve to be called brilliant - even "genius" - singers.
      **********

      "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
      - George Carlin

      "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
      - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

      "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
      - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

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      • #33
        So Sinatra isn't the Mozart that James Kaplan claimed he was. But he was some level of genius singer among many other singers of genius. It's just very subjective. And that's OK. It's art after all.

        I was just thinking a moment ago that comparing a singer to a composer is like comparing a singer or composer to a painter. I mean as far as who does a better or more brilliant job You can't really do it.
        https://soundcloud.com/david-goethe/tracks

        Dave's ,YouTube channel

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        • #34
          Originally posted by davd_indigo View Post
          I'm a fan of Sinatra too. I consider what I call his "sweet spot" maybe say 1957-66 (which includes "Strangers In the Night" . I'm not familiar with all his stuff though. But I think he had some great arrangers. Nelson Riddle for one. And Billy May for another.


          A side story:
          I heard James Kaplan interviewed on Diane Rehm a few weeks ago. He has a new Sinatra biography I think called "Sinatra". I thought he embarrassed himself without realizing it. He said that Frank Sinatra was a musical genius on a level with Mozart who only comes around every couple of hundred years. Huh ??? I like it that he adores the subject of his book. But I just took it as being another literary guy who knows nothing about music. Like the Rolling Stone reviewers I used to read a few decades back.
          Some of the early 50s stuff is really brilliant, I think. In the Wee, Small Hours (1955) is especially fine, seems to me. I used to disdain his prewar and WWII teen heartthrob stuff -- but, to be honest, a lot of it is really pretty good. He doesn't display the developed personality he would later, of course, but some of his singing is really quite effective, emotionally, I think. He showed a lot of promise.


          On the Mozart comparison thing, well, it's an excellent apple and a great orange, but, well... come on. Get a grip, Mr Kaplan. LOL
          .

          music and social links | recent listening

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          • #35
            Originally posted by Beck View Post

            Yes that is a valid point, my friend. But that's always the challenge for the genius in us. The next big idea that we don't quite have grasp of yet, but when someone pulls it off we''ll all be saying, "Why didn't think of that?" In my observation that mystique that is so crucial is much the same in a new love relationship. The audience is a woman and we woo her with the prospect of new love... different and better than she's had before, and we are sincere in wanting to be different and better... tap into her secret dreams and make them come true. Politics is similar, and no one did it better in recent history than President Obama. Either he or his advisers had this down. So we can connect seemingly unrelated dots, drawing from things as different as love and politics for starters. I'm still speaking in a the abstract. I don't even have an outline at this point, but I think that is better than no clue at all. It's an idea for an idea.
            You may have a finger on the pulse of the next phase...

            We now are well into an era of accessibility and familiarity. Familiarity... it breeds... you know... burn-out.

            We all probably know way more about Kanye West and his extended family than hardly any of us want to... maybe the next guy or gal to try to grab center stage ought, indeed, to play the mystery card.

            It's something to think about.
            .

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            • #36
              On the singers who also wrote or co-wrote front... Billie Holiday doesn't appear to have a fat songbook -- but she's got a few real nice tunes and one utterly, devastatingly brilliant one: "Don't Explain."
              Last edited by blue2blue; 12-19-2015, 11:46 AM.
              .

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              • #37
                Originally posted by davd_indigo View Post
                I'm a fan of Sinatra too. I consider what I call his "sweet spot" maybe say 1957-66 (which includes "Strangers In the Night"
                Which is also after he lost his voice and his range. Doing more with less, I suppose.

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                • #38
                  Sinatra was clearly a genius with his ability to phrase. A lot of which he learned from listening to BIllie Holiday, BTW.

                  The guy sang flat a LOT though. Especially in his later periods. The ones being more described as "genius" here. Were the flat vocals part of the charm to his phrasing? May have been. Good thing he wasn't auto-tuned, perhaps?

                  As far as Levine being laughed at as a judge for being an "auto-tuned" singer? Well, auto-tune is the coin of the realm these days. Used for good, bad and otherwise. It's even audible on the much-praised Adele's new record. But, even disregarding the fact that the judges on these shows are part of the entertainment factor (and, let's face it, "The Voice" is really just the Shelton and Levine Variety Hour) where is it written that one must be a great singer themselves in order to judge or coach great singers?

                  The Voice has yet to produce a big huge star the way "American Idol" managed a couple. I suspect it's just a matter of, like with "Idol", finding the right talent at the right time. These shows provide a conduit for talents to be exposed to the public but, at the end of the day, I don't care how much great promotion you have, not every season's winner can be Carrie Underwood. These shows are looking for the next big star as much as the next big star hopefuls are looking for them. Nothing is guaranteed.

                  I had read once awhile back that the producers of "The Voice" claimed they weren't that concerned whether any big stars came from the show. That that wasn't what their show was about. At least they were honest about it. Like all TV shows, these things are entertaining while they are on and next season who can even remember what happened the season before?



                  Last edited by Vito Corleone; 12-21-2015, 01:16 PM.

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                  • #39
                    What I always liked about The Voice that American Idol didn't have is that the judging is done strictly on what they sound like - at least initially. The judges don't have any idea what the contestants look like, how old they are or anything else besides the sound of their voice.
                    **********

                    "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                    - George Carlin

                    "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                    - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                    "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                    - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                    Comment


                    • #40
                      Originally posted by Mark L View Post
                      Which is why I've decided to diversify

                      People might not want to listen to my songs, but they sure as hell want to watch some extreme sock-puppet violence!

                      I didn't know who to root for...they looked equally matched...

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                      • #41
                        Major labels are still run by old men with an old mans mentality (some are not). How little they do to nurture new artists and bands.

                        The customer and end user have moved on. You might be looking at the first generation of kids that have never physically held a cd or album in there hand, nor do they care too. I bet there some that have never been in a record store, nor would they know where to find one.

                        The records store biz is dying, and Walmart and Target ain't a record store.

                        Having a long term job at a label is a low security job, and probably low paying. If you fail you are out the door, and you have nothing. If you do nothing you stay longer. Nobody gets a second chance any more.


                        Oh the list of problems goes on and on.

                        Just make it cost more costly to go out and see a band, find new music buy a bands music, and merch, and you'll be talking the same talk 10 years from now, or 20 years from now.

                        Being an up and coming music is probably one of the lowest paying jobs out there. Even Walmart has a health insurance plan and a stock option. For some reason folks got it in there head that musicians don't need to be paid for what they do, including there employers.















                        _____________________________________
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                        • #42
                          Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post
                          What I always liked about The Voice that American Idol didn't have is that the judging is done strictly on what they sound like - at least initially. The judges don't have any idea what the contestants look like, how old they are or anything else besides the sound of their voice.
                          That's definately a successful feature of their format. And also gives the audience a good opportunity to second guess the judges. We all get to sit there wondering if they will turn their chairs and wonder if their responses would have been different if they could see them like we do.

                          A big factor on all of these types of contest/judging shows is that the audience gets to judge the judges as well as the contestants. Agreeing/disagreeing with their choices is a big part of what these shows are selling.

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                          • #43
                            Originally posted by guido61 View Post

                            A big factor on all of these types of contest/judging shows is that the audience gets to judge the judges as well as the contestants. Agreeing/disagreeing with their choices is a big part of what these shows are selling.
                            I agree. In fact, the audiences get to choose the ultimate winner, so they are in fact the ultimate judges.
                            **********

                            "Look at it this way: think of how stupid the average person is, and then realize half of 'em are stupider than that."
                            - George Carlin

                            "It shouldn't be expected that people are necessarily doing what they appear to be doing on records."
                            - Sir George Martin, All You Need Is Ears

                            "The music business will be revitalized by musicians, not the labels or Live Nation. When the musicians decide to put music first, instead of money, the public will flock to the fruits and the scene will be healthy again."
                            - Bob Lefsetz, The Lefsetz Letter

                            Comment


                            • #44
                              Originally posted by Phil O'Keefe View Post

                              I agree. In fact, the audiences get to choose the ultimate winner, so they are in fact the ultimate judges.
                              I get why it happens, but I think musicians tend to be way too harsh on these shows (and then just come off often as insecure and/or snobbish, IMO).

                              ​They are entertainment shows. They could be remodeling houses as well as singing song and it would be largely the same show. And most of the contestants never "make it" although I'm sure most see a bit of a bump in their music careers when they return back home and if they can parlay to something bigger? Good for them. And the few that have gone on to big success directly from these shows all seem to deserve it to me anyway.

                              ​So to those who seem resentful that these shows are somehow a "short cut" for those who seemingly haven't yet paid their dues? I don't see it that way.

                              A) there are no real short cuts in this business. Everyone works hard regardless of what breaks they may stumble across along the way. And those that don't do the requisite work get weeded out eventually.

                              ​B) this business needs as many avenues for success and publicity as possible. Not fewer. The idea that we need to get rid of these shows because everyone should be slugging it out in smoky bars in order to find success? Well, unfortunately, there aren't enough smoky bars supporting live music anymore. Gotta take your breaks where you can find 'em.

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