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Listening for uniqueness and overall appeal not just sound.

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  • Listening for uniqueness and overall appeal not just sound.

    Driving home, I noticed a picture of an artist on a billboard, the image is purposely design to get attention.
    Having collected vinyls for years, I would often play albums of artists I did not know based on their cover design, this did not determine if i'll like the sound but rather an appeal which led me to it.

    Over the years, I have noticed that I am more drawn to artist with bold personality. Prince. Bowie, Ceelo, Jagger and more.

    To confess, I see Bowie's face before I hear his voice. It is that bold!

    Recently, I stumbled upon the band Empire Of the Sun, they instantly struck a cord, in fact I bought all three of their Albums on vinyl. I will not say these guys are new in terms of style but they are
    different from what I have been seeing lately. For me this is where personality meets sound and provides this uniqueness.

    Their songs represent the most artistic themes I have seen since the early 90's and beyond.

    In my opinion, new music is not in shortage, uniqueness and artistic personality is.

    What songs or artist have you discovered because of their style and appeal, then fell in love with their sound? Or you heard the sound and the artistic personality made you a fan.

    AI
    If you stand for nothing your life becomes meaningless. The world and everything you have today exist because people before you stood up, worked hard and died to provide us all the opportunity. Get involved!

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  • #2
    That stuff is all production. Not bad but the team is not credited.
    Originally posted by Unconfigured Static HTML Widget...








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    • #3
      Eventually it all comes down to the music for me. Good music in a drab package I'll keep around and revisit - drab music in an interesting package will get my attention for a time, then become mostly forgotten.

      Not that I have anything against creating the big package as a performer - the hair, the strut, the pose, the vibe, the attitude, the radical style, etc etc. But if the music doesn't fulfill the expectations that the packaging raises, then I move on after a short time.

      It's impossible to draw a totally clean line between purely musical content and all the other stuff that comes attached. But the distinction between musical and extra-musical content is still worth thinking about. Like that old song, Hairstyles and Attitudes - brings up the question of the arbitrary connections we make between things essentially unrelated. Do we like Beethoven's music because we like to identify with his image as a Romantic Rebel? Or because of his music, considered apart from the political/cultural issues of 1800?

      Eventually, the music must stand alone and make the cut.

      nat

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      • #4
        The first few minutes of the movie "Purple Rain," where you see the lead-up to "Let's Go Crazy" culminating in the song, is what got me into his music. It was a statement that at least to me, showed the excitement of playing live.

        But I generally hear the music before seeing the persona, so my opinion gets formed early on.
        The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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        • #5
          Originally posted by Anderton View Post
          The first few minutes of the movie "Purple Rain," where you see the lead-up to "Let's Go Crazy" culminating in the song, is what got me into his music. It was a statement that at least to me, showed the excitement of playing live.

          But I generally hear the music before seeing the persona, so my opinion gets formed early on.
          I was sort of turned off by Prince's persona. Then I heard the guitar solo from "Let's Go Crazy" in passing one day back in '84 and figured he had a right to the attitude. I made something of a study of him after that.

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          • #6
            I always felt Prince's output was very irregular...moments of genius, followed by WTF moments. But when he was on, he was on.
            The first 3 books in "The Musician's Guide to Home Recording" series are available from Hal Leonard and http://www.reverb.com. Listen to my music on http://www.YouTube.com/thecraiganderton, and visit http://www.craiganderton.com. Thanks!

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            • #7
              Originally posted by Anderton View Post
              I always felt Prince's output was very irregular...moments of genius, followed by WTF moments. But when he was on, he was on.
              Me too. There's some stuff around the turn of the century that really didn't work for me at all. Basically, very dense arrangements. Wielding all the power he'd acquired, to a fault it seemed. But from Purple Rain, Sign 'O The Times, Batman, lots of great stuff.

              "Housequake" rules!!

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              • #8
                I really don't pay attention to stage personality or stage appeal.

                People do things to get noticed, and they do things that aren't necessarily what they are.

                In my first band we started out with "razor cut" hair and brocade dinner jackets. Booking agent says "Grow your hair long and wear English style jackets and you'll make $25 more a week per person" (which is like $200 today in buying power). By the time that band was done we went from formal wear to psychedelic attire.

                People do things to get noticed. The Beatles did it with hair. Vince aka Alice Cooper is a real down-to-earth guy, but the theatrics got him noticed. I didn't like Prince's video personality, but I liked a lot of his music. I've had the opportunity to meet a number of "A-List" stars and found quite a few to be not like their stage personalities. Others were pretty true.

                Do I like the music? Does it speak to me? That's most important. I even like some poor performances, although I'd probably like them better if they were done better (but you never know). Looks? Personality? Theatrics? They matter to a lot of other people, but not to me. I suppose that makes me weird, but I'm OK with that.
                Bob "Notes" Norton
                Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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                • #9
                  I can't remember a time when I let the image or the persona lead my buy, or keep me hooked. In my teens and early 20's $$ for new music was precious to the point that I just wasn't willing to take the risk on buying based on a cool album cover. Well, there was this Roxy Music cover that had my eye, but I still didn't spring for it. (You maybe know the one.) But I always made sure I had a good idea of what I was getting. And later, that illusion of the artist as something to be followed through every turn because of their weight as an icon had no hold on me. We're all human. And maybe it's harder for a musician to buy into the whole idol bit than it is for the masses.

                  I can say I purchased on reputation a few times, which didn't always work out. Schon/Hammer for instance. Jan hung a left at Albukoykee!

                  But zeitgeist and being caught up by an artist's thang? Nah.

                  What were those words that used to frequent these surroundings?

                  Music first.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by RockViolin View Post
                    <...snip...>I can say I purchased on reputation a few times, which didn't always work out<...>
                    Music first.
                    Been there, done that, but more times than not, reputation worked. There are perhaps a dozen artists that I'd buy just because of their name -- as long as I also like the description - (if Stan Getz released an album of songs by The Carpenters, I'd have to listen to it first). After buying a number of winners in a row, I have confidence that the next will be good. And they usually range from OK to great.

                    And +1 to Music First and if I may add this, music last.

                    But there is more than one right way to do this. Many years ago I had a friend who bought LPs by their covers, he bough a lot of junk, but made some good discoveries as well.

                    Insights and incites by Notes

                    Bob "Notes" Norton
                    Owner, Norton Music http://www.nortonmusic.com
                    Style and Fake disks for Band-in-a-Box
                    The Sophisticats http://www.s-cats.com >^. .^< >^. .^<

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Notes_Norton View Post
                      Been there, done that, but more times than not, reputation worked. There are perhaps a dozen artists that I'd buy just because of their name -- as long as I also like the description - (if Stan Getz released an album of songs by The Carpenters, I'd have to listen to it first). After buying a number of winners in a row, I have confidence that the next will be good. And they usually range from OK to great.

                      And +1 to Music First and if I may add this, music last.

                      But there is more than one right way to do this. Many years ago I had a friend who bought LPs by their covers, he bough a lot of junk, but made some good discoveries as well.

                      Insights and incites by Notes


                      I knew a couple of guys in college, roommates - bass player and drummer, that had an entire wall maybe 20 ft. long and 8ft. high shelved with CDs. Very little free space. The first time I saw it I was just agog. The bassist said it was all to listen to as much as possible and therefore to know more. Osmosis, it seems. But yeah, takes all types. And I gather they had the budget. I mostly was always spending on gear in one form or another.

                      How good it is that now that nobody has to leaf through junk at much of a cost beyond moments wasted.

                      I've heard there's only one way to rock though.
                      Last edited by RockViolin; 05-03-2017, 03:50 AM.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by RockViolin View Post
                        I can't remember a time when I let the image or the persona lead my buy, or keep me hooked. In my teens and early 20's $$ for new music was precious to the point that I just wasn't willing to take the risk on buying based on a cool album cover. Well, there was this Roxy Music cover that had my eye, but I still didn't spring for it. (You maybe know the one.) But I always made sure I had a good idea of what I was getting. And later, that illusion of the artist as something to be followed through every turn because of their weight as an icon had no hold on me. We're all human. And maybe it's harder for a musician to buy into the whole idol bit than it is for the masses.

                        I can say I purchased on reputation a few times, which didn't always work out. Schon/Hammer for instance. Jan hung a left at Albukoykee!

                        But zeitgeist and being caught up by an artist's thang? Nah.

                        What were those words that used to frequent these surroundings?

                        Music first.

                        So the band I mentioned, Empire of the Sun: I actually heard their song on a Toyota Prius commercial. So I actually did not see the band first.
                        I visited you tube to listen to the full song.

                        I rarely ever watch music videos and so the music has to be good however, there has to be some appeal.
                        If you stand for nothing your life becomes meaningless. The world and everything you have today exist because people before you stood up, worked hard and died to provide us all the opportunity. Get involved!

                        Audio Icon

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                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Anderton View Post
                          The first few minutes of the movie "Purple Rain," where you see the lead-up to "Let's Go Crazy" culminating in the song, is what got me into his music. It was a statement that at least to me, showed the excitement of playing live.

                          But I generally hear the music before seeing the persona, so my opinion gets formed early on.

                          I have to tell you, I had a Prince LP which I acquired, I wanna be your Lover. The album cover had Prince riding naked on a horse.
                          Believe me, in Liberia at the time, this was shocking and never heard off. My first thought was, "WOW! This guy is brave."

                          So in a nutshell, the cover got me to play the record and the music was good, so I have to say Prince's personality grabbed my attention but the music made me stay because you can't really listen to pictures.

                          But I do wonder, and I know this is hypothetical, will Prince have become as popular or well know if he was just plain without the purple stuff? That is possible but there are always many great maybe even better and less popular singers without the purple crayons.
                          If you stand for nothing your life becomes meaningless. The world and everything you have today exist because people before you stood up, worked hard and died to provide us all the opportunity. Get involved!

                          Audio Icon

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                          • #14
                            "Dirty Mind" was what grabbed my attention. That was really bold and nasty. And finding out that Prince played most or all of the instruments? Fantastic.
                            Ken Lee on 500px / Ken's Photo Store / Ken Lee Photography Facebook Website / Blueberry Buddha Studios / Ajanta Palace Houseboat - Kashmir / Hotel Green View - Kashmir / Eleven Shadows website / Ken Lee Photography Blog / Akai 12-track tape transfers / MY NEW ALBUM! The Mercury Seven

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                            • #15
                              Generally, I care way more about the music than the image and personality, but in some cases a unique personality is needed to make music special. I've been thinking about that in the area of the blues lately. Few blues artists these days have the big, often weird personalities of the legends such as Muddy Waters, BB King, Howlin' Wolf, and most modern blues is relatively bland as a result. Of course, those guys put their strong personalities into the music and they weren't trying to appeal to a focus group of pubescent girls. Same with Prince, you didn't need to see a picture of him to hear in the music that he was a unique personality.
                              "In a time of universal deceit - telling the truth is a revolutionary act."- George Orwell

                              My music: http://www.oranjproductions.com

                              The first website dedicated to the the baritone guitar: http://www.thebaritoneguitar.com

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