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Old 12-11-2014, 09:01 PM   #21 (permalink)
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I find progressive rock a little easier to absorb when I'm drunk because my mind is just slow enough to appreciate all the details without being overloaded by mental visions of colors and textures.
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We were born to die.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:28 PM   #22 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Mondo Bungle View Post
I force myself to because it's step 4 How to Be Edgy and Revolutionary As a Teenager: 6 Steps
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:45 PM   #23 (permalink)
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^It's funny because it's true.
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Old 12-11-2014, 09:54 PM   #24 (permalink)
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Haha, that's pretty great.
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Old 12-12-2014, 11:37 PM   #25 (permalink)
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Generally I'll sit back and really try to piece an album together, rather than treat it like songs to enjoy. Then once I get what it's saying I dissect instrumentation and how they convey what's being said, including vocals and even lyrics as instrumentation. Once I appreciate that, for whatever reason it sounds better to me. Of course stuff can also just sound cool, but I'm talking about, like, the Mount Eerie album or something, where it's infinitely better than its already cool self once you completely understand.

I also have to be edgy and revolutionary.
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Old 12-20-2014, 08:20 PM   #26 (permalink)
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Interesting topic.

I usually find it *easier* to appreciate "difficult" (which I interpret to mean complex) music than I do simple music. The more stuff that is going on in a musical piece, the more I am going to be drawn into it and pay attention to what's going on.
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Old 02-05-2015, 10:47 AM   #27 (permalink)
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I would just listen to what you want to listen to. I can get into some fairly experimental stuff but it's never been something I've actively -tried- to do. The older I got, the more 'out there' my music tastes became. If a few years ago you told me I would be listening to ambient music, I might have been skeptical. I think what really got me into experimental music was experimental pop -- artists like Bjork, Karin Dreijer, synthpop, art pop, trip hop, artists like Goldfrapp, who prided themselves on hyper accessibility but simultaneously have an experimental edge (circa Felt Mountain). Over time it just becomes natural. I've never really had to try to enjoy experimental music. It was a very steady and natural transition. I can intellectualize and conceptualize music as much as I want to but at the end of the day it boils down to what the music makes me innately feel.

I guess if you wanted to make a point to engage in experimental music, I would start with something you are at least somewhat familiar with, like if you are really into Hip Hop, I would suggest CLPNNG by Clipping because they blend elements of experimental, electronic, and noise with very cliche Hip Hop motifs.

It's funny because I am not in any conceivable way a fan of mainstream pop so this strategy didn't really apply to me. I was already heavily interested in experimental music. I think my introduction to anything even remotely alternative pop was Speak for Yourself by Imogen Heap. That album kind of blew my mind in a way I didn't think pop music could because it's such a contradiction.

It's a pretty obvious indie / electronica (lol what even is electronica) pop album. It has all of the pop cliches -- all of the ornaments and the hooks and I remember listening to it and enjoying it and then I heard Hide and Seek and it pretty much changed everything me.

I was watching an interview with Grimes once where she described minimal music as the anti pop, because it's just completely bare. There aren't any tricks. There's nothing to hide behind. It's just bare. Every sound is immediately heard. She went on to explain that she was terrified of minimal music, that it was the hardest music she could imagine making because there is nothing to hide behind.

That's why Hide and Seek is so amazing. It begs one to wonder what really is experimental, and what should be considered experimental? To me, Hide and Seek is one of the most experimental works of art in contemporary music because it completely deconstructed her entire formula. It's a ****ing pop album and then halfway through she turns around and completely forgoes nearly every pop cliche. There weren't any tricks. It was just pure pain, completely unadulterated musical perfection, complete emotion, and it's so unbelievably genius to me because of the contrast. If you're in a room and everyone is screaming as loud as they can, another scream is insignificant, but you know what is completely moving? Someone sitting silently. Contrast, to me, is the ultimate experiment.

If you take a noise album and it's 100% noise, is that really experimental? No, it's expected. It becomes normality. It becomes "pop". For Imogen to forego her entire pop aesthetic to make one of the most ethereal, beautiful things I have ever heard, the only song I can safely say is 100% perfect -- that's experimental to me. That is so brave and so courageous. Maybe I'm over thinking it, but that is easily one of the bravest things I've ever seen in art. And it charted really well because people felt it. That song is so famous because it's so unequivocally heartbreakingly beautiful.

When The Knife made Shaking the Habitual... THAT is experimental. They were so terrified of becoming parodies of themselves, of being predictable, that they dropped every single shred of their aesthetic, of what they perceived music to be. How many times have you seen a synthpop / dance pop duo make a dark ambient / drone album? But it was still undeniably The Knife. Probably the most amazing album I've ever heard.

Wow I rambled. What were we even talking about tbh
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Old 02-05-2015, 11:28 AM   #28 (permalink)
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Interestingly enough, I never really listen with patterns or forms immediately in mind. If I hear something I like, my ear latches onto it. What that thing might be is very... broad. I have a tendency to play genre roulette when I'm listening to music because my expectations of how melody, harmony, and rhythm/meter work together are fluid. Whether or not something is challenging to listen to depends on how you choose to listen to something.

For instance, comparing two figures like Bach and Merzbow, one of the two is typically considered "easy listening." The other, not so much. You have a cultural context that makes Bach's music far easier to digest than Merzbow's. And yet it's extremely misleading to paint Bach with the brush of "easy listening" when you have works of his like The Musical Offering that pretty solidly demonstrate that Bach is anything but easy.

Obviously Bach and Merzbow are two extremely disparate musicians, but the point is that music is only "easy" or "difficult" because of relative exposure and familiarity. Western music hinges on a combination of melody and harmony, whereas rhythm and meter tend to be very simplistic and/or static. To many Western ears, as soon as you remove traditional notions of melody and harmony from the equation, music will tend to move into the realm of impenetrability. When you understand that limit and shift around it, it starts to blur and fade. Or at least, that was the case for me.
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Old 02-27-2015, 11:23 AM   #29 (permalink)
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depends on my mood, really. the first time I heard anthony braxton I was pretty shaken up, but the second time it was amzing. the same goes for caspar brotzman...
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Old 05-24-2015, 05:42 PM   #30 (permalink)
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The instrumental production or beat will catch me as difficult in a sense that I will listen to it numerous times over to hear different ways or sounds that carry the song. One of my favorite bands to pull this would be PortisHead.

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