Music opinion/question of the week...

General music discussion.
Silent Majority
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Silent Majority » 02 May 2019, 1:21pm

With the obvious disclaimer that I'm most likely blind to much of the issue because of my positionality, I'm really very far from fashionable on this one. I love music mixing up and not only was rock n roll a synthesis of different people's music, all the musics that went into it couldn't help but be influenced by all different cultures. The blues and gospel have more European parents than is usually talked about. Hillbilly, jigs, jazz, reels, polka, indigenous African music, south American rhythms, French folk songs, 17th century protestant hymns were all integral parts of the blues.

Power structures are going to fuck us up but the best music comes from the bottom up. We've more in common than that which divides us.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by matedog » 02 May 2019, 1:30pm

Inder maybe a comment awhile back that really opened my mind about "appropriation" debates. Basically "appropriation" takes real issues like racism, imperialism, and capitalism, and obfuscates these issues by combining them all together under one moniker and then throwing in the completely asinine and hollow "authenticity" debate in the mix. That might not be exactly what Inder was going for, but that's where it led me.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Marky Dread » 02 May 2019, 1:37pm

I'll take this from what Maj said above. "We've more in common than that which divides us".

This is my attitude lets work with the positives.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Flex » 02 May 2019, 1:38pm

I think I spent a hot second in the "musical appropriation" camp, and I certainly think we can acknowledge the historic, systemic injustices that, say, got Elvis rich and famous while leaving a bunch of talented black artists in poverty. But the logical endpoint of this critique actually seems to be a weird "ethnic purity" in the arts which I find very unsettling and reactionary.

And, sure, sometimes the appreciation can be a bit clumsy - Paul may be a case in point - but good lord let's have a little grace for people trying to expand their horizons, not narrow them.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 02 May 2019, 2:02pm

Looking at early rock and roll - I think it needs to be mentioned that while many white artists made it big covering songs written by African-American artists - they also opened up that music in a way that couldn't have been done otherwise. I think Pat Boone is a pretty icky person - but his "whitewashed" versions of songs by guys like Fats Domino served as a gateway drug for many white Americans. I'm not saying this makes anything right - but when a culture is marginalized - half of the battle is just being heard. I don't think I ever would have heard of Willie Dixon had I not first heard the Stones' version of Little Red Rooster.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by matedog » 02 May 2019, 2:03pm

Flex wrote:
02 May 2019, 1:38pm
I think I spent a hot second in the "musical appropriation" camp, and I certainly think we can acknowledge the historic, systemic injustices that, say, got Elvis rich and famous while leaving a bunch of talented black artists in poverty. But the logical endpoint of this critique actually seems to be a weird "ethnic purity" in the arts which I find very unsettling and reactionary.

And, sure, sometimes the appreciation can be a bit clumsy - Paul may be a case in point - but good lord let's have a little grace for people trying to expand their horizons, not narrow them.
It all leads back to the "authenticity" debate. Just because someone is African American, does that qualify them to listen to, judge, and/or create hip hop? Shouldn't class/socioeconomic background qualify as well? Would a rich African American be better qualified to participate in hip hop culture than a poor white person who lives in the inner city? And furthermore, who is qualified to judge the judgers? I surely shouldn't be able to dictate whether someone is qualified to judge hip hop (to continue the same example).

It gets muddy really quickly and distracts from the real issues.
Look, you have to establish context for these things. And I maintain that unless you appreciate the Fall of Constantinople, the Great Fire of London, and Mickey Mantle's fatalist alcoholism, live Freddy makes no sense. If you want to half-ass it, fine, go call Simon Schama to do the appendix.

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Heston » 02 May 2019, 2:17pm

I don't care what key it's in, where it's come from, where it's been...
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by JennyB » 02 May 2019, 2:18pm

Flex wrote:
02 May 2019, 1:38pm
I think I spent a hot second in the "musical appropriation" camp, and I certainly think we can acknowledge the historic, systemic injustices that, say, got Elvis rich and famous while leaving a bunch of talented black artists in poverty. But the logical endpoint of this critique actually seems to be a weird "ethnic purity" in the arts which I find very unsettling and reactionary.

And, sure, sometimes the appreciation can be a bit clumsy - Paul may be a case in point - but good lord let's have a little grace for people trying to expand their horizons, not narrow them.
I agree with you. And I think there has to be accounting for the fact that Paul grew up in that community. Reggae was the music he grew up with and listened to. I understand the criticism when Gwen Stefani did her Harajuku Girl thing. That seemed exploitative to me. But I think that's apples and oranges. Oh, another I thought of - people criticized Paul Simon for Graceland, and I can understand the criticism. But on the other hand, he exposed African music to people who would have otherwise never heard it. So it's an interesting conundrum.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Heston » 02 May 2019, 3:21pm

JennyB wrote:
02 May 2019, 2:18pm
Flex wrote:
02 May 2019, 1:38pm
I think I spent a hot second in the "musical appropriation" camp, and I certainly think we can acknowledge the historic, systemic injustices that, say, got Elvis rich and famous while leaving a bunch of talented black artists in poverty. But the logical endpoint of this critique actually seems to be a weird "ethnic purity" in the arts which I find very unsettling and reactionary.

And, sure, sometimes the appreciation can be a bit clumsy - Paul may be a case in point - but good lord let's have a little grace for people trying to expand their horizons, not narrow them.
I agree with you. And I think there has to be accounting for the fact that Paul grew up in that community. Reggae was the music he grew up with and listened to. I understand the criticism when Gwen Stefani did her Harajuku Girl thing. That seemed exploitative to me. But I think that's apples and oranges. Oh, another I thought of - people criticized Paul Simon for Graceland, and I can understand the criticism. But on the other hand, he exposed African music to people who would have otherwise never heard it. So it's an interesting conundrum.
With all respect, does it even really matter that Paul grew up in a West Indian community? I grew up in a poor but predominately white area but as soon as I picked a guitar up I wanted to play reggae and ska (along with other genres) purely because I loved the music. Should there ever really be a restriction on that?
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Flex » 02 May 2019, 3:25pm

Heston wrote:
02 May 2019, 3:21pm
With all respect, does it even really matter that Paul grew up in a West Indian community? I grew up in a poor but predominately white area but as soon as I picked a guitar up I wanted to play reggae and ska (along with other genres) purely because I loved the music. Should there ever really be a restriction on that?
Generally no, I say. It shouldn't be an issue. I think we can tell the specific cases (say, Vanilla Ice) that feel appropriative.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Wolter » 02 May 2019, 3:52pm

Flex wrote:
02 May 2019, 3:25pm
Heston wrote:
02 May 2019, 3:21pm
With all respect, does it even really matter that Paul grew up in a West Indian community? I grew up in a poor but predominately white area but as soon as I picked a guitar up I wanted to play reggae and ska (along with other genres) purely because I loved the music. Should there ever really be a restriction on that?
Generally no, I say. It shouldn't be an issue. I think we can tell the specific cases (say, Vanilla Ice) that feel appropriative.
I think most people looking at something in good faith can tell when an artist loves and cherishes a genre and when they are trying to make a buck. And when it’s a little of both.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by JennyB » 02 May 2019, 4:02pm

Heston wrote:
02 May 2019, 3:21pm
JennyB wrote:
02 May 2019, 2:18pm
Flex wrote:
02 May 2019, 1:38pm
I think I spent a hot second in the "musical appropriation" camp, and I certainly think we can acknowledge the historic, systemic injustices that, say, got Elvis rich and famous while leaving a bunch of talented black artists in poverty. But the logical endpoint of this critique actually seems to be a weird "ethnic purity" in the arts which I find very unsettling and reactionary.

And, sure, sometimes the appreciation can be a bit clumsy - Paul may be a case in point - but good lord let's have a little grace for people trying to expand their horizons, not narrow them.
I agree with you. And I think there has to be accounting for the fact that Paul grew up in that community. Reggae was the music he grew up with and listened to. I understand the criticism when Gwen Stefani did her Harajuku Girl thing. That seemed exploitative to me. But I think that's apples and oranges. Oh, another I thought of - people criticized Paul Simon for Graceland, and I can understand the criticism. But on the other hand, he exposed African music to people who would have otherwise never heard it. So it's an interesting conundrum.
With all respect, does it even really matter that Paul grew up in a West Indian community? I grew up in a poor but predominately white area but as soon as I picked a guitar up I wanted to play reggae and ska (along with other genres) purely because I loved the music. Should there ever really be a restriction on that?
No, that's not what I meant by that. I was just pointing out the reason he was drawn personally to Reggae.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Marky Dread » 02 May 2019, 4:04pm

Heston wrote:
02 May 2019, 2:17pm
I don't care what key it's in, where it's come from, where it's been...
That's good someone should use that in a song.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Heston » 02 May 2019, 4:04pm

JennyB wrote:
02 May 2019, 4:02pm
Heston wrote:
02 May 2019, 3:21pm
JennyB wrote:
02 May 2019, 2:18pm
Flex wrote:
02 May 2019, 1:38pm
I think I spent a hot second in the "musical appropriation" camp, and I certainly think we can acknowledge the historic, systemic injustices that, say, got Elvis rich and famous while leaving a bunch of talented black artists in poverty. But the logical endpoint of this critique actually seems to be a weird "ethnic purity" in the arts which I find very unsettling and reactionary.

And, sure, sometimes the appreciation can be a bit clumsy - Paul may be a case in point - but good lord let's have a little grace for people trying to expand their horizons, not narrow them.
I agree with you. And I think there has to be accounting for the fact that Paul grew up in that community. Reggae was the music he grew up with and listened to. I understand the criticism when Gwen Stefani did her Harajuku Girl thing. That seemed exploitative to me. But I think that's apples and oranges. Oh, another I thought of - people criticized Paul Simon for Graceland, and I can understand the criticism. But on the other hand, he exposed African music to people who would have otherwise never heard it. So it's an interesting conundrum.
With all respect, does it even really matter that Paul grew up in a West Indian community? I grew up in a poor but predominately white area but as soon as I picked a guitar up I wanted to play reggae and ska (along with other genres) purely because I loved the music. Should there ever really be a restriction on that?
No, that's not what I meant by that. I was just pointing out the reason he was drawn personally to Reggae.
Ok, gotcha Jenny.
There's a tiny, tiny hopeful part of me that says you guys are running a Kaufmanesque long con on the board

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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by gkbill » 02 May 2019, 4:28pm

JennyB wrote:
02 May 2019, 2:18pm
Flex wrote:
02 May 2019, 1:38pm
I think I spent a hot second in the "musical appropriation" camp, and I certainly think we can acknowledge the historic, systemic injustices that, say, got Elvis rich and famous while leaving a bunch of talented black artists in poverty. But the logical endpoint of this critique actually seems to be a weird "ethnic purity" in the arts which I find very unsettling and reactionary.

And, sure, sometimes the appreciation can be a bit clumsy - Paul may be a case in point - but good lord let's have a little grace for people trying to expand their horizons, not narrow them.
I agree with you. And I think there has to be accounting for the fact that Paul grew up in that community. Reggae was the music he grew up with and listened to. I understand the criticism when Gwen Stefani did her Harajuku Girl thing. That seemed exploitative to me. But I think that's apples and oranges. Oh, another I thought of - people criticized Paul Simon for Graceland, and I can understand the criticism. But on the other hand, he exposed African music to people who would have otherwise never heard it. So it's an interesting conundrum.
Hello,

Many times an artist adopts a certain kind of music because they love it and cannot see any real material gains right away - sometimes as part of a bigger picture. I was thinking of Johnny Clegg. Clegg initially encountered a lot of resistance from white South Africans/Boers but got into the music and the associated political/social program through a love of the music. As times changed, he received broader acceptance.

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