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Old 10-02-2010, 10:16 PM   #11 (permalink)
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To me, the songwriting aspect is far more important than the technical aspect. To quote a phrase, "The most important part of music is what isn't in the notes." Don't get me wrong, I love hearing talented musicians just as well, too, but if their songwriting doesn't do much for me, then I'm not going to be a fan of the band.

My best example for this is probably Rush, and oh dear God, I am jumping into the fireplace talking about Rush, I'm sure. Can I respect their instrumental virtuosity? Sure. But they just don't seem to flesh the actual meat of their songs out enough for me, instead preferring to cover up the lack of song with flashy instrumental pyrotechnics, so on the whole, I'm not a Rush fan, though I do enjoy some of their material from time to time. Rush fans, please do not tear my face off
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:28 PM   #12 (permalink)
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Dude, Neil Pert wrote about fu‎cking trees, man, dude. Fu‎cking trees.
Whooooooaaaaa...

Dude, you're right. I hadn't even thought of that. I can't believe I've been such a blind fool for so long! I take back everything I said!
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:30 PM   #13 (permalink)
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But seriously, I feel very much the same about Rush. There's a few albums I enjoy but there's a lot of their stuff I just can't get behind. I should've gotten tickets to their shows around here because I bet it would be awesome to see them live.

I had a friend who loved Rush. Played bass, and he actually had a bass Geddy Lee used on the road, apparently. Was pretty cool.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:33 PM   #14 (permalink)
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How much do you care about musicians' instrumental skills? Do you think virtuosity makes for good music, or that it hurts songwriting?
(this topic might need to be articulated better)
Ever since Andy Warhol made "ideas without skill" fashionable back in the 60s, it seems to me that popular culture has been playing a game of "skill limbo". How low can we go? How badly drawn can a cartoon be and still be considered a cartoon? How many drum machines and sequencers can we stack up to avoid having to learn a real instrument? How much plastic surgery does it take to make acting skills unnecessary? I really don't know the answers to those questions. Every day is a new horror.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:35 PM   #15 (permalink)
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But seriously, I feel very much the same about Rush. There's a few albums I enjoy but there's a lot of their stuff I just can't get behind. I should've gotten tickets to their shows around here because I bet it would be awesome to see them live.

I had a friend who loved Rush. Played bass, and he actually had a bass Geddy Lee used on the road, apparently. Was pretty cool.

I think Moving Pictures and Signals are pretty cool albums, but other than those and a scattered assortment of random songs, I don't like most of their material. Still, seeing them live would be pretty cool, if only because of how awesome they are at their instruments.

Also, despite my misgivings towards Rush, owning a bass that Geddy Lee used to use would be sweet. I'm not gonna deny that.
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Old 10-02-2010, 10:51 PM   #16 (permalink)
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I think it's a silly question. The best artists can manage a balance of both skill and creativity with ease and excellence.
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Old 10-03-2010, 01:51 AM   #17 (permalink)
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I think it's a silly question. The best artists can manage a balance of both skill and creativity with ease and excellence.
I don't think it's that silly a question. Personally, I like a lot of music that exhibits attitude and catchy songwriting but little technical skill (so I think this is awesome). Also, some people don't care about good songwriting and creativity and end up listening to bull**** like Buckethead.
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Old 10-03-2010, 05:44 AM   #18 (permalink)
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Much akin to minimalism, if done with the intent of creating some powerful, it very well might be a good thing.

Jazz, for example, can feature insanely proficient musicians. John Coltrane is near John Petrucci in terms of 'Hey why not just solo right here right now?'. But Coltrane's playing is a spiritual experience; the way he plays saxophone is very pronounced and upfront, and he completely steals the show for every note he plays. Even in his most "Why is he soloing for no reason?" moments, he manages to provide you with some sort of intrigue.
That's a pretty good description of Coltrane's style. The way I see it, he simply has a lot to say (so to speak) and nothing to prove, whereas Petrucci still seems to be on his endless shredquest to bore everyone to death. Bit of a pity since I actually like some of his riffs on Train of Thought.
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Old 10-03-2010, 08:18 AM   #19 (permalink)
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i just think it's about not interrupting what music is asking of its medium. it doesn't take any skill to hit a gong standing 5 feet in diameter. but when you hit it, it reaches every single body in its projection area and speaks to them. if you interrupt its decay though, it's almost like you absorb its intent and then assume responsibility for its proper redistribution.

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Old 10-03-2010, 09:27 AM   #20 (permalink)
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Ever since Andy Warhol made "ideas without skill" fashionable back in the 60s, it seems to me that popular culture has been playing a game of "skill limbo".
Andy Warhol was actually very technically skilled and in fact worked as a commercial illustrator before becoming famous as a fine artist. His fine art also involved a high level of technical skill. His Brillo boxes, for example, were not commercially produced boxes that he had bought at the store, they were perfect reproductions created from scratch by him. If you don't think that takes a high level of technical ability, then you don't know much about the craft of creating visual art.
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