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Old 04-21-2008, 12:12 AM   #21 (permalink)
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Well if its a consistantly good sound then I don't see why thats such a bad thing.

I'm not saying everyone should play it that way, but neither did Ethan.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:23 AM   #22 (permalink)
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Yeah I never said that at all, I mean Kid A is my favorite Radiohead album but I still love OK Computer. Changing stylistically is cool but I think there's a difference between, well what Radiohead did to what Liz Phair did which was go from cool 90s chick rock to a second rate Avril Lavigne to appeal to the masses. I mean I'm all for bands changing style, my favorite Elliott stuff isn't his lo-fi early stuff its his later experimental pop. I don't really understand where you derived all bands should stay the same from my post.
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Old 04-21-2008, 04:19 AM   #23 (permalink)
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the aim of ANYONE trying to make a living playing music is success and revenue.
Absolutely right. But that is not the question. The question is, what is the aim of people who make music period? That'll differ depending on who it is. The way I see it there are two options:

1. You make music because you cherish it as an art form and wish, as an artist, to make a statement and present your artistic vision to the outside world.

2. You make music because it's a BILLION DOLLAR industry and as a carefully manufactured product within that industry, you could potentially make a lot of money out of it. Artistic exploration? Psst. You couldn't give a monkey's!

3. Something that oscillates between the two extremes.

This is the same as in any other art form. Most obviously, there is the analogy of the cinema: on the one hand, you have arthouse film which is trying to make a profound statement, and on the other, you have the bad, generic, action blockbusters that turn the box office inside out. You think the makers of the latter are trying to make art, or to capitalize on the popularity of a genre and make a ton of dollars? The answer is obvious and no secret at all. Then, what about the visual arts? You think that cartoon pornographers have any artistic intentions in mind, compared to real abstract artists whose work goes in galleries? Of course not - they're trying to make money out of a craft, not make an artistic statement! Why is it that when it comes to music, so many people are entirely unwilling to make the same distinction, while it's quite clearly and blatantly present?

What was that word? Craft. Hmm. A crucial word indeed. Because the distinction in this whole discussion, all said and done, is between ART on the one hand, and CRAFT on the other. A generic movie, a generic song, a generic painting - what do they all have in common? The fact that they are made according to a tried and tested formula. There is no special thought in it, no flash of genius, no artistic exploration. It's the mere crafting of a product. Like making a table, or a chair, or a plate. Or a car, for heaven's sake. Something that you know is sure to be consumed because it has automatic market value and public demand.

Of course, you could have those types who are a bit of both. They are craftsmen on the one hand and are going for commercial success, but they balance that with their impulse for artistic exploration.

I don't think being an entirely commercial craftsman is necessarily a BAD thing. It just should not EVER be confused with art, nor should their work be compared to the work of real artists. It's a totally different profession, and a totally different output. And as such, it should be seen for what it is: part of the mass consumerist market. That doesn't necessarily make it crap. But crucially, from an artistic standpoint, it is determinedly worthless. And that should not for a moment be doubted.
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Old 04-21-2008, 10:14 AM   #24 (permalink)
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Originally Posted by Rainard Jalen View Post
Absolutely right. But that is not the question. The question is, what is the aim of people who make music period? That'll differ depending on who it is. The way I see it there are two options:

1. You make music because you cherish it as an art form and wish, as an artist, to make a statement and present your artistic vision to the outside world.

2. You make music because it's a BILLION DOLLAR industry and as a carefully manufactured product within that industry, you could potentially make a lot of money out of it. Artistic exploration? Psst. You couldn't give a monkey's!

3. Something that oscillates between the two extremes.
again. this whole thing is dependent on publicly accepted definitions for art and music. which no one has provided yet.

your first point seems rather contrived and pretentious. why would anyone want to make a statement and present their vision besides trying to influence the world to spin more along with their ideals? which would ultimately lead to greater success and (oh no! ) a betrayal of their ideals.

your second is rather close minded. the amount of money involved in making music for a living is substantially more than most people expect (especially once you start considering the time spent creating and rehearsing). i've got friends releasing their first album next week totally DIY but they still want to break even. they still need to make a good $1000 just to cover the recording and duplication fees, they get $0 for their hard work and dedication to writing and rehearsing their tunes. just because someone is trying to break even or (god forbid) turn a marginal profit does not mean they're automatically corporate shills. even the ones who are usually don't realize it. does timbaland think he makes bad music? i doubt it. would we agree on what music is? i doubt it. would it make him a less worthwhile musician in my book? no.

the 3rd option is where you'll find the vast majority of musicians out there today. the idealists from the 1st option will have its crowd of elitists keeping it legitimate. the 2nd option will have the suits making sure it remains profitable. and the 3rd option will just do it's thing and let the crowd fill itself as it sees fit.

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Originally Posted by Rainard Jalen
I don't think being an entirely commercial craftsman is necessarily a BAD thing. It just should not EVER be confused with art, nor should their work be compared to the work of real artists. It's a totally different profession, and a totally different output. And as such, it should be seen for what it is: part of the mass consumerist market. That doesn't necessarily make it crap. But crucially, from an artistic standpoint, it is determinedly worthless. And that should not for a moment be doubted.
so you going to spill the beans on just what 'art' is?
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:08 PM   #25 (permalink)
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so you going to spill the beans on just what 'art' is?
Alright, instead of writing another 10,000 words I'll keep it simple and to the point (I mean that with no condescension at all). Then we can limit what we're discussing.

Here is the definition and distinction, and it's entirely sociological, not idealistic (as you may think I intend, but I don't).

Art: made in order to be recognized, acclaimed and well-received by critics and the wider art community.

This entails (obviously and most generally): trying to make something that will be deemed either innovative, clever or profound.

Craft: made in order to be recognized, loved and consumed by the mass market.

This entails (generally): sticking to a tried and tested generic formula, thus "playing it safe" in order to best secure being marketable.

THESE are the two basic opposite intentions. They do exist. They are a fact. Denying their existence is folly (I'm not claiming that you are).





Now of course these are two extremes, two polar opposites. There are always going to be cases that blur the line between the two. Some writers achieve a bit of both at the same time, whether in music, film or literature.

Dave, to make it absolutely clear, I'm not making a pompous argument here. I'm stating the case as it is. There's material that's made clearly with no intent to impress critics at all, but to sell (e.g. generic romance novels, porn movies, and yes, Nickelback!).
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:12 PM   #26 (permalink)
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I'm not that sure if it's necesary to define art. You just have to take some kind of measurement and/or place it under a particular context to compare one artist with the other, and generally you will come with an objective result.

As an example, and it is just an example, I'll measure the musician's preparation. I believe on this particular case Beethoven deserves more credit than Ashlee Simpson.

But if we limit ourselves to our own taste, we won't get anywhere.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:23 PM   #27 (permalink)
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I'm not that sure if it's necesary to define art. You just have to take some kind of measurement and/or place it under a particular context to compare one artist with the other, and generally you will come with an objective result.

As an example, and it is just an example, I'll measure the musician's preparation. I believe on this particular case Beethoven deserves more credit than Ashlee Simpson.

But if we limit ourselves to our own taste, we won't get anywhere.
That is why I am making a sociological definition based on intent. I mean art in the sense of what is deemed "arty" by the wider art community. In that case, the intention of "art" is trying to win the acclaim of that community.

And art has always been instinctively understood as being about alternative/cutting edge vs generic/mainstream. For example, many of Beethoven's contemporaries composed minuets that were much better than his, conventionally speaking. But that is because he wasn't trying to make conventional minuets, he was trying to go beyond the mundaneness of his contemporaries.

I'll also say this: if all music for the last 40 years sounded exactly like Can and Ege Bamyasi, and then Nickelback as they are suddenly came out of nowhere and were the first of their sort, they would have been considered cutting edge art.

Last edited by Rainard Jalen; 04-21-2008 at 12:41 PM.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:27 PM   #28 (permalink)
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That is why I am making a sociological definition based on intent. I mean art in the sense of what is deemed "arty" by the wider art community. In that case, the intention of "art" is trying to win the acclaim of that community.
I'm sorry, my post was more in response to mr dave.
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Old 04-21-2008, 12:28 PM   #29 (permalink)
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your second is rather close minded. the amount of money involved in making music for a living is substantially more than most people expect (especially once you start considering the time spent creating and rehearsing). i've got friends releasing their first album next week totally DIY but they still want to break even. they still need to make a good $1000 just to cover the recording and duplication fees, they get $0 for their hard work and dedication to writing and rehearsing their tunes. just because someone is trying to break even or (god forbid) turn a marginal profit does not mean they're automatically corporate shills. even the ones who are usually don't realize it. does timbaland think he makes bad music? i doubt it. would we agree on what music is? i doubt it. would it make him a less worthwhile musician in my book? no.
I've never really understood this argument.
You should go into making music knowing full well you're going to lose money and that nobody owes you a penny.

Writing and rehearsing isn't hard work , it's a hobby and should be treated as such and that includes when it comes to spending money on it.
You want to make a record? that's fine just make sure you can afford it & don't bitch when people start pirating it over the internet.

Basically my opinion is if you want to share your artistic talent to the rest of the world be prepared to do it out of your own pocket & don't start crying when nobody's interested , You have your record you always wanted to make , that should make you happy enough.
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Old 04-21-2008, 01:29 PM   #30 (permalink)
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I have said it before on here many times. Whatever genre of music is being played you can either hear honesty in their music or not. It should be inherent in most people who have a half decent knowledge of music. I think interviews from bands are always a good indicator as to what their intentions and general ideas are. The best artists let their music do the talking.

Music should always be about honesty and that honesty should always be to themselves. If fans like what you are doing then that is a massive bonus.
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