November 21st, 2006

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11:29 pm - on not watching tv...

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on not watching tv... - graffiti.maverick — LiveJournal

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[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: November 23rd, 2006 - 05:31 pm (Link)
I'd say you're less unaware than you claim to be.

To be fair, I rarely ever refer to myself as 75 or as pop culture illiterate. More often than not it's other people who refer to me as such when I'm going on about how the hell they have lived to be x age and never seen The Sting/To Have or Have Not/Charade - you actually coined the "75 year old" one on an interview meme, and it amused me, hence referencing it here.

Why should I ever try to eat anything else when I might not like it?

I didn't say I MIGHT not like it. I hear it all over the place in the US, generally on different radio stations, at friend's houses, in clubs. I really dislike the vast majority of it. Every so often I come across a beat I like, but I can't think of a single pop song I'd say I really like. There are very few I can even tell apart.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 29th, 2006 - 04:55 am (Link)
ok, so would you consider your inability to tell things apart a failing on your part? Not saying you can't have preferences. I more mean don't you ever sit around thinking "i wonder what the fascination is with that MC Hammer and those New Kids on the Block all the kids are listening to?"
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: November 30th, 2006 - 03:54 pm (Link)
I don't consider it my failing that I can't tell pieces apart - I consider it a failing on the artists' part.

I can tell any Mozart piece by the music, the specific style. I can tell any Dave Matthews Band song by the same telltale signs. I can tell when it's John Mayer and everyone's like "Dude, his voice is just like DMB" and no, he's not, he sucks, he has no backup melody and nothing interesting going on, just 3 chords over and over. And then there are the 100,000 artists who all DO sound the same, because they ALL use the same 3 chords over and over and either scream or chant or whine into the microphone. A few of them are "popular" and a few others were last year or the year before. I have no idea why, and this brings me back to my point - no, it's not my fault they suck.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 30th, 2006 - 04:19 pm (Link)
You have to be careful there. I don't think its a failing on either part. I think its a lack of familiarity. People who aren't a fan of any particular type of music like to say "all ______ sounds alike" and I've heard blank replaced with heavy metal, hip hop, bubblegum pop and classical. Its not you can tell Matthews from Mayer because the specific inflections of their voices are dramatically different whereas Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson's are too similar. With few exceptions, the entire human vocal range is a pretty small subsection of the audible spectrum (I know you know this, as a voice major, but I'm recording for posterity). It's more that you are (self-)trained to recognize the nuances betwee Mayer and Matthews or different Motzart pieces and not trained to recognize the nuances between, say Lil John and Dem' Franchise Boys. It's the same as how some people can't tell the difference between Chinese people and Japanese people, but anyone from either of those races will tell you that they don't look alike at all. Or the way some people think all black people look alike. It's just exposure.
[User Picture]From: marsinthestars Date: November 30th, 2006 - 04:42 pm (Link)
That's where I disagree. Yes, people say "____ all sounds alike" when they don't know any of them. But I am saying in a literal sense that most pop music uses the same chords, the same inflections - they're all copycatting one another and because of that they all sound alike.
[User Picture]From: chrismaverick Date: November 30th, 2006 - 05:09 pm (Link)
I understand what you meant. And I disagree. The specific chords are not what makes one group sound like another anymore than the specific instruments. If that were the case, it would be your failing as you would only be able to tell music apart by recognizing huge distinctions. I mean, yes, I'm sure you can tell Ozzy Osborne from Jay-Z. But that's not the case. You can tell different Mozart pieces apart because you're listening for specific things. But can you tell two different orchestras apart who play the same Mozart piece? Or two singers who do the same aria? But they're using the same chords and the same inflections. Different pop groups aren't using the same inflections. They're not copying each other. influenced, sure, but not copying. You're just not experienced enough to tell the subtle differences. They're not even subtle. They just feel that way through non-exposure. A life long hip hop fan with no classical exposure wouldn't be able to tell Motzart from Beethoven for the same reason. But with out a doubt, I can guarantee you that no hip hop fan would ever confuse Biggie Smalls with Tupac Shakur (even though they were always thought of as similar and copying from each other). And no pop fan would ever confuse Britney Spears and Jessica Simpson.

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