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Last night I was asked "How can you live with yourself?"


jeff42

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IMO I am still entertaining, even if it is just myself. I know I get enjoyment out of playing my drums in my home studio. Or when me and a few metal heads get together and bang out Iron Maiden's Piece Of Mind from start to finish... (those were the days. Haven't done that in years) :sigh:

 

 

Do you think it would be worth it to put together a band that plays this type of stuff?

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Not necessarily. Consider it's origins . . . beating drums around a fire. Singing in church. . . .


and it really is fun to play alone (depends on your choice of instruments, I guess) or with a few other musicians just for your mutual enjoyment. That's entertainment after a fashion, but the idea that we should all be about music that caters to people, many of whom aren't even listening, seems sort of bizarre.

 

 

I don't think there's any need to be concerned about catering to people who aren't there, or worrying about pleasing the public when playing alone in a small group of other musicians for mutual enjoyment. That WOULD be bizarre, IMO. But once you go out on stage with the intention of presenting your act to the PUBLIC? NOT catering to them is what begins to seem bizarre to me.

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If you're suggesting that music isn't art unless you go public, I disagree. Nor do I agree that the bar for the artistic output should be much higher (genius??) just because you're not currently looking for a vehicle to put it out there.

 

 

It seems to me that for a creative act to constitute art, it needs to communicate something. Obviously, somebody can fill their closet with tapes (or paintings, or manuscripts for novels) that nobody ever sees, and that doesn't mean that what they've done is not art, if it can and eventually does communicate an idea, a concept, a feeling, whatever, to somebody. I suppose a person crafting something that gives himself pleasure could constitute art.

 

But IF you consider yourself an artist but never put your work out in a context where there is an opportunity for communication, at the very least I think you give up the moral high ground when it comes to complaining about what anybody else does.

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I have a question for you older guys... did you like the premier pop bands of the day when you were a teenager? When I was a teen the big pop acts were stuff like Hanson, N'Sync, Backstreet Boys, Britney Spears, Marilyn Manson, Limp Biscuit, Korn, etc. I disliked it and the only inspiration I found in any of it was I wanted to crush it.

 

 

I think that path is probably common to most teens and is more social than music in construct. When I first started listening to music as a pre-teen, I was big into pop stuff. I listened to "American Top 40" relgiously every week, bought tons of 45s, loved the schlockiest songs, etc. By the time I was in high school in the mid 70s there started to be this whole disco/anti-disco thing developing and you were clearly on either one side or the other. And even though I had been big into early 70s R&B as a kid, I chose the "rock" side. (I found disco to be more offensive to R&B than to rock, but that's a topic for another thread.) Although my rock tastes then were fairly "Top 40" as well: Boston, Foreigner, Foghat, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, etc. It was later when I got into college that my tastes started going more "alternative" towards new wave & punk.

 

Years later, I went back and found that I actually liked much more of the 70s disco music than I had previously thought and realized my position had been much more a teen-social thing than purely musicial.

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It seems to me that people who look down on cover bands with gimmicks tend to be the same people who will talk about their music as Art, which it certainly can be, but taking that view ignores the important distinction between the art of song creation and the craft (even, sometimes, art) of performing. Real art is about communicating to an audience. You can write the greatest song ever but if you don't find some way to get it into the ears of people, then it's not going to be effective art.


For certain kinds of music, wigs and costumes work well. For other music, not so much. But if gimmicks like that wouldn't work to convey some bedroom genius' profound concepts, all that means is he needs to come up with something that WILL work, or else it's still an art fail.

 

 

"It seems to me that people who look down on cover bands with gimmicks tend to be the same people who will talk about their music as Art, which it certainly can be, but taking that view ignores the important distinction between the art of song creation and the craft (even, sometimes, art) of performing."

 

That's me. Except I don't "look down" on, I want them to aspire to more than that. As far as performance goes, I love performing. I was not, and still am not, a shoe gazer. Rock music, pop music, is meant to be performed. But there's a difference between Carrot Top and Richard Pryor. I can tell you who I like more. As do most of the world's audience.

 

"You can write the greatest song ever but if you don't find some way to get it into the ears of people, then it's not going to be effective art."

 

True. But hats and wigs won't do it. Though you will get more greenbacks in your g-string.

 

"But if gimmicks like that wouldn't work to convey some bedroom genius' profound concepts, all that means is he needs to come up with something that WILL work, or else it's still an art fail"

 

Agreed. Whatever happened to powerful musical performance? Sure, make a face, work the tears, dress in sparkles, make them question your sanity and sexual preference and whether you eat children or not... it's all fair game. As is hat and wigs. It's just that, "hats and wigs" is lame. Bottom of the barrel interpretation of "performance".

 

An easy fix to the age old art of performance. Yeah, art! It can be fun. But it doesn't have to be lame.

 

It's the difference between lame and lame'.

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An easy fix to the age old art of
performance
. Yeah, art! It can be fun. But it doesn't have to be
lame.

 

 

I think I already addressed this but, yeah I agree with you. It's easy to throw on a wig for a laugh, but it's the showmanship-equvilant of yelling "can I hear somebody say HELL YEAH!" between songs. It'll get you by, and probably even work pretty well in most cases, but there might be better ways to do it and good bands should be looking to up their game on ALL levels: play better, sing better, look better, have a tighter show, better sound, better lights, etc etc etc. A band can 'get by' with a LOT of things on a LOT of levels. But my biggest complaint with so many bands is their willingness to settle for just 'getting by'.

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I think that path is probably common to most teens and is more social than music in construct. When I first started listening to music as a pre-teen, I was big into pop stuff. I listened to "American Top 40" relgiously every week, bought tons of 45s, loved the schlockiest songs, etc. By the time I was in high school in the mid 70s there started to be this whole disco/anti-disco thing developing and you were clearly on either one side or the other. And even though I had been big into early 70s R&B as a kid, I chose the "rock" side. (I found disco to be more offensive to R&B than to rock, but that's a topic for another thread.) Although my rock tastes then were fairly "Top 40" as well: Boston, Foreigner, Foghat, Pink Floyd, Zeppelin, etc. It was later when I got into college that my tastes started going more "alternative" towards new wave & punk.


Years later, I went back and found that I actually liked much more of the 70s disco music than I had previously thought and realized my position had been much more a teen-social thing than purely musicial.

 

 

I'm confused.... isn't music still mostly a social thing to you rather than being "purely musical"?

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But once you go out on stage with the intention of presenting your act to the PUBLIC? NOT catering to them is what begins to seem bizarre to me.

 

 

I don't know if I agree with this, at least the way I'm understanding you. Speaking as a fan, a lot of the music I like best doesn't really sound to me like a band "catering to" anybody; it sounds like people following a sound that inspires them, and doing it well. And, the other side of the coin is- I can definitely be turned off by a band that sounds like they're creating their material to "cater to" a demographic.

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I'm confused.... isn't music still mostly a social thing to you rather than being "purely musical"?

 

 

Not as much as when I was a teen, and not for the same reasons. Also, I now REALIZE it was a social-thing back then, but when I was a teen I probably didn't.

 

I'm nowhere NEAR the musical snob now that I was as a teen. In fact, I don't think there is ANY style of music I dislike simply because of it's style and especially because of it's social construct. When I was younger, I let myself be cut off from a lot of good music simply because "those people" listened to it. Now I just like music for being good music. I don't much care what club you have to go to hear it or which tshirt you're supposed to wear.

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I don't know if I agree with this, at least the way I'm understanding you. Speaking as a fan, a lot of the music I like best doesn't really sound to me like a band "catering to" anybody; it sounds like people following a sound that inspires them, and doing it well. And, the other side of the coin is- I can definitely be turned off by a band that sounds like they're creating their material to "cater to" a demographic.

 

 

But I wasn't speaking as a fan. I was speaking as a performer. A good performer delivers in such a manner that it always sounds like they are following a sound that inspires them--even if the source of that inspiration is something less noble than purely artistic reasons. If anybody in the audience is wondering whether I'm "catering" or not, then I've already failed.

 

You gotta love what you're doing and find that spark that makes you connect to the material and then deliver it to the audience. But as a performer that connection might be something as simple as a beat or a lyric or just enjoying making people dance. If I'm playing something like "Poker Face" there are going to be a lot of little elements in the performance I relate to and enjoy successfully relating to the audience. It doesn't mean that the entire song has to be something that comes from my soul. For one thing, it's a cover. I can only get sooooo "soulful" about ANY cover. Secondly, I play in a band. There are all sorts of musical and performance compromises because I'm just 1/5th of the performance. That might mean (and often does from my position) simply working to help the singer deliver HER sound-inspired connection to the audience rather than anything I'm doing directly.

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I'm nowhere NEAR the musical snob now that I was as a teen. In fact, I don't think there is ANY style of music I dislike simply because of it's style and especially because of it's social construct. When I was younger, I let myself be cut off from a lot of good music simply because "those people" listened to it. Now I just like music for being good music. I don't much care what club you have to go to hear it or which tshirt you're supposed to wear.



I am the same way. I used to carry the METAL flag high in my high school & college years. Now I feel like if its good, its good no matter what it is. Some people gravitate to certain types of music more than others. Thats cool. I still gravitate to metal more than Hip-hop but there is some hip-hop I love... there I said it! :lol:(as 17 year old jeff wants to punch 37 year old jeff's face in)

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Not as much as when I was a teen, and not for the same reasons. Also, I now REALIZE it was a social-thing back then, but when I was a teen I probably didn't.


I'm nowhere NEAR the musical snob now that I was as a teen. In fact, I don't think there is ANY style of music I dislike simply because of it's style and especially because of it's social construct. When I was younger, I let myself be cut off from a lot of good music simply because "those people" listened to it. Now I just like music for being good music. I don't much care what club you have to go to hear it or which tshirt you're supposed to wear.

 

 

But, if it's not a social thing for you then why is the reason you play music because you enjoy playing in front of people? Isn't that a social thing? If it was purely musical would you need the audiences validation to make it worthwhile?

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I don't know. The crowd is out there for sure. Metal music in general has a very loyal following. I did toy around with an idea a few years ago of putting together a Traditional/ old school "true" metal show with some of the metal heads I know. As things started to progress I realized I would be doing most if not all of the work getting this thing off the ground so I stopped. I just didn't have the time. I was going to have it billed as an "all-star" kind of tribute and do it every few months as an 'event" kind of thing. Its the only way it would work IMO. Promote the hell out of it as an event and do the gigs in catering halls or bigger clubs, not a weekly gig at a corner bar.

 

 

How much of the work do you do in when it comes to keeping your current band up and running? Does your current band play weekly gigs at corner bars? Do you think the amount of work you put in to your current party band could translate to success for a metal band?

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Players evolve and change in what kind of stuff they get into. If you would have asked me when I was 18 if i would ever consider playing in a country band I would have told you had a screw loose. Well here I am down in texas helping to crank out what to many is pretty obscure stuff and enjoying the hell out of it. I would think alot of it is that I really like playing with the guys I play with, and I like the reaction of the crowds we play for to it. It almost seems like I have come home musically ,, which is a pretty strange thing for a kid from the soul belt of the great lakes to say. Yea I enjoy playing this stuff. http://www.bing.com/videos/watch/video/gary-p-nunn-w-jerry-jeff-walker-london-homesick-blues/5df95943b4515301ca3a5df95943b4515301ca3a-415581864127?q=you+tube++gary+p+nunn&FORM=VIRE1

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But, if it's not a social thing for you then why is the reason you play music because you enjoy playing in front of people? Isn't that a social thing? If it was purely musical would you need the audiences validation to make it worthwhile?

 

 

Performing and being a fan are two different things. When you asked me about if I liked pop music when I was young, I told the story about how being either a "Rock" guy or a "Disco" guy was a social thing. And certainly a lot of music young kids listen to are about the social aspect: if you're into metal, or punk, or whatever.

 

As a performer, of course there's a social aspect to it, but it's completely different. I'm not there to hang out with those people or become their friends or be into the same music they are into. I'm there to create a positive social experience for everyone there for the bit of time I'm there to entertain them, but that's a completely different thing than talking about what music we personally enjoy listening to and why.

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How much of the work do you do in when it comes to keeping your current band up and running? Does your current band play weekly gigs at corner bars? Do you think the amount of work you put in to your current party band could translate to success for a metal band?

 

 

I put in a lot of work with this band right now (too much sometimes!) and with a metal band I think it would be way more.

 

For one the music is way more complex. I do think that eventually I am going to give this metal tribute band a shot, just got to find someone else to help with the Glorious Burden. (Iced Earth ref.)

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Performing and being a fan are two different things. When you asked me about if I liked pop music when I was young, I told the story about how being either a "Rock" guy or a "Disco" guy was a social thing. And certainly a lot of music young kids listen to are about the social aspect: if you're into metal, or punk, or whatever.


As a performer, of course there's a social aspect to it, but it's completely different.
I'm not there to hang out with those people or become their friends or be into the same music they are into
. I'm there to create a positive social experience for everyone there for the bit of time I'm there to entertain them, but that's a completely different thing than talking about what music we personally enjoy listening to and why.

 

 

 

I can see that ,, you are really not in one place long enough to ever get that close to the crowd. You come in , you do your thing ,, give them a good backdrop for their event or party and go on down the road. We tend to stay in one place and they come to us , so we get to know the crowd and people. different model all together.

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Excellent point-the guy came out and supported jeff42 despite the fact that he doesn't dig the music. "Hiow can you live with yourself?" is a lot milder than 'the music you guys play sucks!" For what it's worth, a musician said essentialy the same thing to me once after hearing my group playing at a club. He wasn't offended by the music we were playing, but thought I could have done a better job with it. I mean, this dude was saying I should have been playing hipper inversions and more hip chords. truth be told, he was right.


People are wired differently. What's the big deal? If I am in a cover band, I don't really care what I play. I'm much more concerned with how the vibe is among the band, i.e. is everyone capable of having a good working relationship without all the drama.


The older I get, the more inclined I am becoming to following what I want to do and what got me started in this entire mess when I was 13-14. Not everyone came up in the rockstar, life of the party thing. I was more inspired by musicians who I felt were genuine in what they are playing. To me it came across in a way that scrapped off all the BS and got right to the core. I wanted to rock, I didn't want to play what I considered cheesy pop songs.


It's just the way I approach it. It could be different than you. Jeff's friend may have different goals than Jeff. I read most of the post in this thread and I didn't see anyone say anything about the fact Jeff's friend came out to support live music, told Jeff his band sounded good, and told Jeff he was an awesome drummer. So, his buddy wouldn't want to play Lady Gaga. Is that really more important than the fact he came out to see live music and complimented Jeff and his band on their performance?

 

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I still gravitate to metal more than Hip-hop but there is some hip-hop I love... there I said it!
:lol:
(as 17 year old jeff wants to punch 37 year old jeff's face in)

 

:)

 

That's funny and I totally get it. Peer pressure had a lot to do with it at the time, and it's even funnier when I realize that at the time I thought I was immune to said pressure.

 

Riiiiiiiiggggght. :p

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I still gravitate to metal more than Hip-hop but there is some hip-hop I love... there I said it!
:lol:
(as 17 year old jeff wants to punch 37 year old jeff's face in)

 

Check some of this out:

[video=youtube;pU77QDe3M-A]

 

And my favorite:

[video=youtube;hpSo-tIacYI]

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I think I already addressed this but, yeah I agree with you. It's easy to throw on a wig for a laugh, but it's the showmanship-equvilant of yelling "can I hear somebody say HELL YEAH!" between songs. It'll get you by, and probably even work pretty well in most cases, but there might be better ways to do it and good bands should be looking to up their game on ALL levels: play better, sing better, look better, have a tighter show, better sound, better lights, etc etc etc. A band can 'get by' with a LOT of things on a LOT of levels. But my biggest complaint with so many bands is their willingness to settle for just 'getting by'.

 

 

I hear what you're saying, BUT... The same argument could be made for picking "easy" songs (ie can't miss songs, Pour Some Sugar, SHA, etc....). It can be just another way to "get by".

 

IMO there's two reason to utilize anything like wigs, hats, lights, show, song selection, etc... The first is to enhance and already very good band. The second is to cover up for deficiencies and inferior musicianship. The key is making sure you're in the first group and not the second.

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IMO there's two reason to utilize anything like wigs, hats, lights, show, song selection, etc... The first is to enhance and already very good band. The second is to cover up for deficiencies and inferior musicianship. The key is making sure you're in the first group and not the second.

 

 

Not sure I entirley agree with that, I mean look at KISS; they capitalized on the second.

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No, I'm being an attitude elitist. As I've said here a couple of times already, my problem with Jeff's friend isn't that he THOUGHT "how can you live with yourself?" it's that he chose to SAY it. IMO, it wasn't about JEFF, it was about HIM.


Like I said, I might be more APT to say that to a guy working at 7-11, but I never actually WOULD. I've never put down whatever gig ANYBODY is doing, unless maybe if it was illegal. You do what you gotta/wanna do in life. It might not be a path I would personally choose, but I'd never put down another person for theirs. And CERTAINLY not a friend.

 

 

No, you'd just be a silent snob. It works both ways.....you are still looking down on them, even though you don't say it.

 

If they are looking down on you, then you are both in the same boat. What if he appreciated what you did, and you him, instead of condecending to him by not telling him he's the douche you think he is?

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IMO there's two reason to utilize anything like wigs, hats, lights, show, song selection, etc... The first is to enhance and already very good band. The second is to cover up for deficiencies and inferior musicianship. The key is making sure you're in the first group and not the second.



first group! first group! first group! first group! :cool: I hope. :lol:

-and that BEP metal remix may find its way into our set. I am going to suggest it next week. thx! I tried to get the guys to do a bit of the metal version of sexy back a few months ago but they gave it a soild "meh." :idk:

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