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Author Topic:  The Truth Why Modern Music is Awful
Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2019 8:13 am    
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Quote:
a good 75% of the stuff my generation grew up listening to was crap. The “classic rock” stations are a testament to that. And I dare say, so are the classic country stations

The ratio doesn't sit well with me. In my youth I liked almost everything that was on the radio, except of course the mentioned Archies etc. The "Classic Rock" stations are no proof for yor argument Fred. But back in the day DJ's were often afficiandos. I remember hearing stuff like Illinois Speed Press or the Airplane I even heard P.F.Sloan Confused
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Fred Treece


From:
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Post  Posted 18 Jun 2019 8:45 am    
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I LOVED The Airplane! But I now realize that 75% of what they did was utter crap. Even though I still have a place in my heart for it. Does that make sense? The 25% that was brilliant is still brilliant. Volunteers is one of my top 10 all-time favorite albums. 🤠

I dig what you’re saying about the DJ’s of early FM. I am sure some of those old-timers feel the pain of modern corporate radio too.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2019 8:11 pm    
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James Mayer wrote:
Why do you guys care about "charts". Why are you paying for corporations to dictate the rules of their game to you when you have the vast wealth of the internet at your disposal? This is a bit like complaining, in 2019, that the video rental shop down on the corner doesn't have a good variety of VHS tapes.


James, I can't speak for everyone, but I care about the chart music because that's what most people hear. There are some great young steelers out there who seldom...or never get heard by the vast majority of listeners. Yes, I know about the internet - it's like most people's "junk drawer". There's wonderful stuff there, but it's often hard to find, and too much of a bother to fool with.

Ever try to look up someone when you don't know their name, or how to spell it properly? Laughing The internet is almost endless, and that's both an asset and a detriment. In the old days, the DJ or programming director made it easy in many markets. Then came "corporate radio", and variety and individuality went out the window.
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b0b


From:
Cloverdale, CA
Post  Posted 18 Jun 2019 9:54 pm    
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I think most people can type "pedal steel" into Google or YouTube if they're interested in the instrument. Heck, googling "peddle steel" even sends you right to this forum. Laughing
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Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 6:11 am    
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Donny Hinson wrote:
Ever try to look up someone when you don't know their name, or how to spell it properly? Laughing The internet is almost endless, and that's both an asset and a detriment. In the old days, the DJ or programming director made it easy in many markets. Then came "corporate radio", and variety and individuality went out the window.


I can give you several tips for what has worked for me for finding new music that I like:

1) Music services like Pandora can auto-create playlists for you just based on you typing in the name of an artist or song that you like. It categorizes it by genre, instrumentation, affiliated artists, etc.. You can then refine it further by either giving a 'thumbs up' or thumbs down' to the songs it suggests. Sometimes it can surprise you.

2) When you find a new song or artist you like, do some research on Allmusic.com or Wikipedia to see who the songwriters, session musicians, producers, etc. are and see who else is on the same label. Then go listen to their work.

3) Pay attention to the songs that your favorite artists cover - or conversely, which artists cover songs by your favorite artists. Then go listen to them.

4) If you see an interview with an artist you like, see which other artists they name-drop and go listen to them.
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 6:18 am    
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Curt, I figure Donny followed your points 4&3 already a long time ago. That's what I did too.
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 6:28 am    
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Okay b0b, so I'm an older person that doesn't know much about how to do searches on the internet. If I type in pedal steel guitar on a google search page, it brings up over 36 million hits. That really narrows it down, don't it? Laughing

Now, suppose I was looking for the names of young pedal steelers, those that weren't as old as you or I. Why don't you go to YouTube and type in young pedal steelers and see what that brings up? Razz

Sure, you and I know how to effectively do this search $#!& (at least we sometimes do), but a lot of older, retired people don't. They have a hard time learning, or give up early, and just go watch "I Love Lucy" reruns.
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Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 6:33 am    
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Joachim Kettner wrote:
Curt, I figure Donny followed your points 4&3 already a long time ago. That's what I did too.


It becomes a neat experience on its own of seeing the spiderweb of artistic influences and affiliations develop and be revealed.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 7:55 am    
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It is probably easier than ever to find the music you enjoy listening to. But as musicians, we also must expose ourselves and study the music we are going to end up playing on a bandstand because it is popular. So there is the music you enjoy as a consumer, and there is the music you play. If they are one and the same, lucky you.

I think the OP’s subject heading indicates a frustration from the players’ point of view, which may be outdated itself, given the dire live music situation for pop music cover bands. Maybe bands that do originals don’t have this quandary. I was never in one that actually got paying gigs, so, not sure.

I probably stepped in something there. Rolling Eyes
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Joachim Kettner


From:
Germany
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 8:15 am    
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I would like to come back to your ratio and say that 25% of the listeners of live music or in general are sopthisticated and the rest are not. There could be some mingling of these groups.
I never liked Led Zep, and so to my satisfaction neither does Pete:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CTJywZoG_bw
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 8:42 am    
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Excellent point, Joachim. I might take that 25% down a few points...

Pete Townsend doesn’t like anybody, very much. Even his own band sometimes! A great character though.

You might enjoy this little blurb my brother found somewhere:

From Ian McLagan’s fantastic memoir, All the Rage:
“Hello, Bob. I’m Peter Grant, I manage Led Zeppelin.”
“I don’t come to you with my problems!” Dylan snapped.
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Barry Blackwood


Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 8:55 am    
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Quote:
Sure, you and I know how to effectively do this search $#!& (at least we sometimes do), but a lot of older, retired people don't. They have a hard time learning, or give up early, and just go watch "I Love Lucy" reruns.

Are there any new ones? Confused
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post  Posted 19 Jun 2019 9:10 am    
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Donny Hinson wrote:
James Mayer wrote:
Why do you guys care about "charts". Why are you paying for corporations to dictate the rules of their game to you when you have the vast wealth of the internet at your disposal? This is a bit like complaining, in 2019, that the video rental shop down on the corner doesn't have a good variety of VHS tapes.


James, I can't speak for everyone, but I care about the chart music because that's what most people hear. There are some great young steelers out there who seldom...or never get heard by the vast majority of listeners. Yes, I know about the internet - it's like most people's "junk drawer". There's wonderful stuff there, but it's often hard to find, and too much of a bother to fool with.

Ever try to look up someone when you don't know their name, or how to spell it properly? Laughing The internet is almost endless, and that's both an asset and a detriment. In the old days, the DJ or programming director made it easy in many markets. Then came "corporate radio", and variety and individuality went out the window.


I think the internet is far more of an asset than a detriment. You have to learn a few things in order to get better at finding the good stuff and ignoring the bad, but it's worth it.

As for DJs and program directors: again, you have more access to those than ever before. Curated playlists are the norm on just about every streaming platform. Spotify has a playlist for just about everything. They are created by members, for the most part. You'll find a ton for various flavors of country. I've seen quite a few just for "pedal steel". As curt mentioned, Pandora is a tried and true standby for music discovery. It works well. That's how I found a great local Portland band named Richmond Fontaine and learned about steeler Paul Brainard.

Also, your notion of "most" people might be a misconception. The streaming revolution is real. Cable TV mostly survives because it's still the best platform for live sports. All of their other content is now available on various streaming platforms. The only people I know that still have cable are either pretty old or can't give up the sports. Music streaming has no such issue. I only ever listen to radio if it's NPR and I can also do that by using their live stream. "Most" people do not get a newspaper delivered to their door these days.

Corporate labels spend huge sums of money to give the appearance that they are still relevant.
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Curt Trisko


From:
St. Paul, Minnesota, USA
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2019 7:40 am    
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Donny Hinson wrote:
In the old days, the DJ or programming director made it easy in many markets. Then came "corporate radio", and variety and individuality went out the window.


Have you tried satellite radio, Donny? The stations on there still have curated setlists. It's as easy to use as turning the tuner knob on your car radio. And once you find a few stations you like, you can just leave it there. For example, there's a popular Willie Nelson themed station called Willie's Roadhouse with classic country, western swing, super rootsy stuff, and some newer stuff that's influenced by Willie. No radio commercials either.
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James Mayer


From:
back in Portland Oregon, USA (via Arkansas and London, UK)
Post  Posted 21 Jun 2019 8:16 am    
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One of my favorite online stations is simply named "Country Radio" out of Prague, Czech Republic. There's a lot of familiar classics no longer sung in English, some that are, and plenty of stuff I've never heard before. Great pedal steel appears frequently. Sometimes, a John Denver song comes on but not often enough for me to boycott the station. Smile

It's a good example of what wasn't possible until the internet.

https://tunein.com/radio/Country-Radio-895-s17087/
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2019 6:27 am    
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Curt Trisko wrote:

Have you tried satellite radio, Donny? The stations on there still have curated setlists. It's as easy to use as turning the tuner knob on your car radio.


Yes I have Curt, and what with all the music that's out there, I'm amazed how small their set lists really are. It's sorta like the old days of AM radio, where you'd listen on the way home from work, and a lot of days you'd hear the same songs at around the same time.

Don't get me wrong, the amount of stuff that's available on the 'net is almost overwhelming, and I appreciate the availability on places like YouTube. But the stuff they spoon-feed us on the listening services is just like the old radio days... too repetitive.
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Mitch Drumm


From:
Frostbite Falls, hard by Veronica Lake
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2019 6:55 am    
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What's the need for any form of "radio", Pandora, Spotify, CDs, disk jockeys, or the rest of it?

Most $100 plus "car radios" can play direct from a USB stick. Not to mention any home PC can play right off the hard drive.

A $10 USB stick will hold 10,000 plus MP3s. Play across genres or artists at random or play Hank Thompson 24 hours a day. Be your own "program director".

Unless you are in a public place (supermarket, elevator, someone else's party), why are you listening to ANYTHING you don't like? Wifey? Radio has not been my music source since the early or mid 1970s--the cassette era.
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Fred Treece


From:
California, USA
Post  Posted 23 Jun 2019 8:04 am    
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Mitch Drumm wrote:
What's the need for any form of "radio", Pandora, Spotify, CDs, disk jockeys, or the rest of it?

Again...From a consumer point of view, maybe you’re right. This is why the ancient iPod was made back in the early 00’s.

For working musicians, however, streaming services are a godsend. If I want band members to learn a song, I just email a link, like we do here on the forum when we link a tune in a comment. I don’t have to buy the album and make 4 cassette copies of it and deliver them at rehearsal.

As Curt and James have explained in preceding posts, even on the consumer side of it a streaming service can be very useful, enjoyable, and affordable. It’s brilliant! I just wish it was a little easier for new artists to get promoted and paid, but that’s another issue. Half of this thread has been about “other issues”....
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Bryan Staddon


From:
Buffalo,New York,
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2019 5:57 am     The Media is not the dictator!
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There is currently more media of everything available to anyone who opens their mind and seeks it out. Never in my 62 years has it been easier to hear crazy good stuff from all over the world,! Blaming the media for ones shortcomings and closed minds is total BS!
Who would say such a thing, oh wait............
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 2 Jul 2019 7:56 am    
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I can resonate with that, but airplay has been a major factor for a long time, from early rock n roll days when hits got the play
and then the overplay which reduced their effectiveness. Rock n roll is a big dinosaur, watch out for falling brontosaurauses....

However, nothing works like it did in the days of 45's at all. The whole digital thing... who saw that? It's this!
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Glenn Suchan


From:
Austin, Texas
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2019 10:26 am    
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Some quite varied comments on this thread - I've enjoyed reading everyones insights. In doing so, I've realized that the music critiqued in the original commentary is based in Western European and American influenced culture. There is a whole spectrum of popular modern music from other cultures that is just wonderful and definitely not homogenized for the masses.

I tend to be esoteric in my musical tastes and some of the popular artists from these cultures are among my favorites. Artists like: Tinariwen (musicians comprised of members of the trans-Saharan, nomadic peoples known as the Tuareg); from Mali - Habib Koite; Sona Jobarteh (fabulous singer and master of the Kora); Singer and actress, Fatoumata Diawara. From the Ukraine, a quartet known as DakhaBrakha.

Tinariwen, from their album Emmaar
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IFtmB2U3Clo

Sona Jobarteh performing her song "Gambia"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bxk-IVvma8g

Habib Koite, from his album Baro
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s6RPjv-o47E

Fatoumata Diawara performing her song "Timbuktu Fasso"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xwbfkiK-wo0

DakhaBrakha performing on NPR's "Tiny Desk" broadcast:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hsNKSbTNd5I

Keep on pickin'!
Glenn
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Mike Neer


From:
NJ
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2019 3:53 pm    
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Glenn, like you I believe music is too great and important to be limited to things we understand and relate to. Some of my most profound musical experiences have come courtesy of music from remote or distant parts of the world in which I understand neither the language, culture or religion. Qawwali, sufi, gnawa, as well as Bulgarian choirs, Malagasy harp, etc. have captivated me and opened me up to anything. Modern classical (is that an oxymoron) has also heightened my listening experience. I like to go out of my comfort zones and embrace all good music.
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Glenn Suchan


From:
Austin, Texas
Post  Posted 3 Jul 2019 4:16 pm    
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Curt Trisko wrote:
Donny Hinson wrote:
Ever try to look up someone when you don't know their name, or how to spell it properly? Laughing The internet is almost endless, and that's both an asset and a detriment. In the old days, the DJ or programming director made it easy in many markets. Then came "corporate radio", and variety and individuality went out the window.


I can give you several tips for what has worked for me for finding new music that I like:

1) Music services like Pandora can auto-create playlists for you just based on you typing in the name of an artist or song that you like. It categorizes it by genre, instrumentation, affiliated artists, etc.. You can then refine it further by either giving a 'thumbs up' or thumbs down' to the songs it suggests. Sometimes it can surprise you.


Curt, I gave up on Pandora some time ago for the following reason: If you type in a specific artist's name Pandora will start with a song by that artist then invariably the next song is completely unrelated to the style and feel of the genre in which your selected artist performs. My guess is the selection algorithm that Pandora uses is based heavily on the popularity of the ensuing Pandor selections. It's seems as if Pandora's 'mind' thinks like this. "Oh, so you like this artist, well here's an up-and-coming new artist that the recording label is pushing". Most of the time I would run out of the allotted number of 'thumb-down' that Pandora allows. At that point Pandora plays what it 'thinks' fits the artist or genre you select.

I did find that if you select Morton Subotnick, or Karlheinz Stockhausen, or Charles Wuorinen, or other 12-tone, serial composers, it will pretty much just play the artist or genre you selected... probably because there are no popular artists working in that genre. Laughing

To Mike Neer: Here, Hear!! Cool

Keep on pickin'!
Glenn
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Donny Hinson


From:
Glen Burnie, Md. U.S.A.
Post  Posted 4 Jul 2019 6:13 am    
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It seems that most outlets pick material based on popularity; what most others are listening to. And as we all know, what is most popular often isn't very good. What brought many artists to success was their individuality, but what the mainstream "McMusic" producers want to make and sell is formulaic sameness.
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Charlie McDonald


From:
out of the blue
Post  Posted 4 Jul 2019 7:08 am    
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I suppose we should say 'modern American music.' Without music from the rest of the world, from quite a few places I would have drowned.

I love the Habib Koite.
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