Music opinion/question of the week...

General music discussion.
Dr. Medulla
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jul 2019, 1:07pm

Flex wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 12:47pm
Some old fans and critics were, rather famously, not especially pleased with Dylan going electric.
Oooh, that's definitely a good one. I might be inclined to do him and the Beatles as they're contemporaries, and I feel like I'm leaning on punk a bit much in these lectures. And with Dylan, it wasn't just the sin of electrification, he also confounded by recording in Nashville and made a lot of public statements that pissed off folkies. Yeah, that might be the better twinning even if punk fans are generally more intolerant of diversity. John Doe's book on the early L.A. punk scene really illustrates well how diverse it originally was and how, as it grew, fans, not bands, established an orthodoxy of sound, behaviour, and dress, and basically chased out a lot of strange groups.

Actually, now that I think about it, comparing folk fans and punk fans is the even better one because, as many have argued (and I mostly agree), punk and folk are ideologically quite compatible, apart from aesthetics. They share the loathing of commercialism, the mass, and celebrity, and privilege songs about honesty and from experience, along with breaking down the barrier between performer and audience. And, in practice, fans tend to think of themselves as the real keepers of the music (hence the outrage by unacceptable change).
gkbill wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 12:52pm
Elvis Costello has been able (in my opinion) to change yet keep his audience happy (his Wolfman of Love(?) tour was fun but different).
Yeah, he's in that Fall camp, I think, where the core fans don't get pissed off with the stylistic changes. Some stick around, some go, but people don't get offended. All that ends up being a completely different topic of why are some artists allowed to change their sound without their fans clutching at pearls and dropping monocles.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Wolter » 11 Jul 2019, 2:12pm

Recent comments by Partridge aside, I think XTC managed to keep their fan base for years as they expanded their sonic palette. Admittedly, they never went too far past some form of “catchy pop song,” but within those broad boundaries, they covered a lot of ground.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by WestwayKid » 11 Jul 2019, 3:02pm

Wolter wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 2:12pm
Recent comments by Partridge aside, I think XTC managed to keep their fan base for years as they expanded their sonic palette. Admittedly, they never went too far past some form of “catchy pop song,” but within those broad boundaries, they covered a lot of ground.
I agree. Personally, one of things that drew me to XTC is the fact that they constantly expanded their sound.
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love

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

Post by WestwayKid » 11 Jul 2019, 3:17pm

Speaking of Swindon's favorite sons...I stumbled upon this clip the other day:
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love

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

Post by Heston » 11 Jul 2019, 3:37pm

Marky Dread wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 11:55am
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 10:44am
Gonna abuse Westway's good will again in this thread to mine the collective wisdom of the board. I mentioned in the Reading thread that I'm listening to Our Band Could Be Your Life in part for lecture ideas. I've already decided to do one on indie labels, but listening to the chapter on Black Flag, I've come up with another idea. One of the themes in McKinney's brilliant Beatles book is that the band freed their audience, to help them see that there could be more to life than suburbs and mortgages and the like. Yet, as the band continued to explore and really pursue freedom, more and more of the early fans rejected and resented that. The Beatles got too weird, too controversial. We want the Fab Four! The same kind of thing happened with Black Flag, with the band aware of conformity within hardcore and so they regularly altered their sound and look, and a lot of the audience reacted negatively. We want the old stuff! So I'm interested in examining this idea of "the old stuff was better," where the artist wants to grow and the audience resents it. My question(s) then, can you think of other interesting examples of bands and fans developing a somewhat antagonistic relationship because the band wants to change and the fans don't, and do you have any thoughts about this dynamic?
The Clash. The band took lots of stick from moving away from the punk sound of earlier records.
Yeah, The Clash jumped out to me straight away. I was ridiculed for liking them by my mates when I first got into them (83-84), they were seen as a joke for turning into a "pop" band. All the press about them was bad, the rehabilitation didn't start until "Story Of" came out in 88, and their star has risen ever since. Yet you still get people who only like the first 2 LPs.
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 Heston » 11 Jul 2019, 3:41pm

Wolter wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 2:12pm
Recent comments by Partridge aside, I think XTC managed to keep their fan base for years as they expanded their sonic palette. Admittedly, they never went too far past some form of “catchy pop song,” but within those broad boundaries, they covered a lot of ground.
They kept a small hardcore fanbase but the British record-buying public largely forgot about them after "Senses." Their albums sold really poorly from 1983 until their demise over here. That freak hit with Dear God in the US seemed to save them financially.
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 Heston » 11 Jul 2019, 3:49pm

Unbelievable but XTC's 7 albums after English Settlement spent a grand total of 15 weeks on the UK chart, none getting higher than 28. Skylarking incredibly only got to number 90. They have to be the most under appreciated band the UK has ever produced.
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 WestwayKid » 11 Jul 2019, 3:52pm

Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 3:49pm
Unbelievable but XTC's 7 albums after English Settlement spent a grand total of 15 weeks on the UK chart, none getting higher than 28. Skylarking incredibly only got to number 90. They have to be the most under appreciated band the UK has ever produced.
They might be one of the most under appreciated bands in history. It's always cool to bond over music...starting up a conversation with someone and finding out they're really into The Kinks or something like that - but it is downright awesome when I chance on someone who loves XTC!!
"If they believed in a place called Kokomo, then so did I." - Michael Edward Love

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

Post by Dr. Medulla » 11 Jul 2019, 4:17pm

Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 3:49pm
Unbelievable but XTC's 7 albums after English Settlement spent a grand total of 15 weeks on the UK chart, none getting higher than 28. Skylarking incredibly only got to number 90. They have to be the most under appreciated band the UK has ever produced.
Reason #67 glabzillion to ignore the charts as indicative of anything meaningful. Or, at least, that something not charting says nothing whatsoever about quality.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Heston » 11 Jul 2019, 4:21pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:17pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 3:49pm
Unbelievable but XTC's 7 albums after English Settlement spent a grand total of 15 weeks on the UK chart, none getting higher than 28. Skylarking incredibly only got to number 90. They have to be the most under appreciated band the UK has ever produced.
Reason #67 glabzillion to ignore the charts as indicative of anything meaningful. Or, at least, that something not charting says nothing whatsoever about quality.
I get that with the singles chart but for a band to be financially viable they have to shift some units. The fact that all of XTC except Andy had to take "normal" jobs outside of the band is a bit sad really. I would never expect them to shift U2-style units, but that is a poor showing for one of (imo) the UK's greatest ever bands.
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 Dr. Medulla » 11 Jul 2019, 4:35pm

Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:21pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:17pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 3:49pm
Unbelievable but XTC's 7 albums after English Settlement spent a grand total of 15 weeks on the UK chart, none getting higher than 28. Skylarking incredibly only got to number 90. They have to be the most under appreciated band the UK has ever produced.
Reason #67 glabzillion to ignore the charts as indicative of anything meaningful. Or, at least, that something not charting says nothing whatsoever about quality.
I get that with the singles chart but for a band to be financially viable they have to shift some units. The fact that all of XTC except Andy had to take "normal" jobs outside of the band is a bit sad really. I would never expect them to shift U2-style units, but that is a poor showing for one of (imo) the UK's greatest ever bands.
Except that living off record sales alone is mostly a no-go because of how massively imbalanced the record industry was/is in terms of who gets the money. Most bands generate their real income from touring and, if they're lucky, licensing, which, well, was ruled out before long with XTC.
Poonty, boloques, juffmunch, carpoo, snazellfonks.

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

Post by Wolter » 11 Jul 2019, 4:45pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:35pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:21pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:17pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 3:49pm
Unbelievable but XTC's 7 albums after English Settlement spent a grand total of 15 weeks on the UK chart, none getting higher than 28. Skylarking incredibly only got to number 90. They have to be the most under appreciated band the UK has ever produced.
Reason #67 glabzillion to ignore the charts as indicative of anything meaningful. Or, at least, that something not charting says nothing whatsoever about quality.
I get that with the singles chart but for a band to be financially viable they have to shift some units. The fact that all of XTC except Andy had to take "normal" jobs outside of the band is a bit sad really. I would never expect them to shift U2-style units, but that is a poor showing for one of (imo) the UK's greatest ever bands.
Except that living off record sales alone is mostly a no-go because of how massively imbalanced the record industry was/is in terms of who gets the money. Most bands generate their real income from touring and, if they're lucky, licensing, which, well, was ruled out before long with XTC.
Yeah. That’s the real career killer. No touring revenue means unless you’re getting massive songwriting royalties, you have nothing.
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Re: Music opinion/question of the week...

Post by Heston » 11 Jul 2019, 4:46pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:35pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:21pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:17pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 3:49pm
Unbelievable but XTC's 7 albums after English Settlement spent a grand total of 15 weeks on the UK chart, none getting higher than 28. Skylarking incredibly only got to number 90. They have to be the most under appreciated band the UK has ever produced.
Reason #67 glabzillion to ignore the charts as indicative of anything meaningful. Or, at least, that something not charting says nothing whatsoever about quality.
I get that with the singles chart but for a band to be financially viable they have to shift some units. The fact that all of XTC except Andy had to take "normal" jobs outside of the band is a bit sad really. I would never expect them to shift U2-style units, but that is a poor showing for one of (imo) the UK's greatest ever bands.
Except that living off record sales alone is mostly a no-go because of how massively imbalanced the record industry was/is in terms of who gets the money. Most bands generate their real income from touring and, if they're lucky, licensing, which, well, was ruled out before long with XTC.
I've read that most bands didn't make much money from touring back in the day, it was all about the record sales. They were prepared to take a loss on touring to publicize their latest record. It's obviously the opposite now...
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 Dr. Medulla » 11 Jul 2019, 4:49pm

Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:46pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:35pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:21pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:17pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 3:49pm
Unbelievable but XTC's 7 albums after English Settlement spent a grand total of 15 weeks on the UK chart, none getting higher than 28. Skylarking incredibly only got to number 90. They have to be the most under appreciated band the UK has ever produced.
Reason #67 glabzillion to ignore the charts as indicative of anything meaningful. Or, at least, that something not charting says nothing whatsoever about quality.
I get that with the singles chart but for a band to be financially viable they have to shift some units. The fact that all of XTC except Andy had to take "normal" jobs outside of the band is a bit sad really. I would never expect them to shift U2-style units, but that is a poor showing for one of (imo) the UK's greatest ever bands.
Except that living off record sales alone is mostly a no-go because of how massively imbalanced the record industry was/is in terms of who gets the money. Most bands generate their real income from touring and, if they're lucky, licensing, which, well, was ruled out before long with XTC.
I've read that most bands didn't make much money from touring back in the day, it was all about the record sales. They were prepared to take a loss on touring to publicize their latest record. It's obviously the opposite now...
Nope, the inverse. A bit dated (but appropriate to the time period we're talking about), but Steve Albini's rant is still worth a read: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-problem-with-music
Poonty, boloques, juffmunch, carpoo, snazellfonks.

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

Post by Heston » 11 Jul 2019, 5:04pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:49pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:46pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:35pm
Heston wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:21pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
11 Jul 2019, 4:17pm


Reason #67 glabzillion to ignore the charts as indicative of anything meaningful. Or, at least, that something not charting says nothing whatsoever about quality.
I get that with the singles chart but for a band to be financially viable they have to shift some units. The fact that all of XTC except Andy had to take "normal" jobs outside of the band is a bit sad really. I would never expect them to shift U2-style units, but that is a poor showing for one of (imo) the UK's greatest ever bands.
Except that living off record sales alone is mostly a no-go because of how massively imbalanced the record industry was/is in terms of who gets the money. Most bands generate their real income from touring and, if they're lucky, licensing, which, well, was ruled out before long with XTC.
I've read that most bands didn't make much money from touring back in the day, it was all about the record sales. They were prepared to take a loss on touring to publicize their latest record. It's obviously the opposite now...
Nope, the inverse. A bit dated (but appropriate to the time period we're talking about), but Steve Albini's rant is still worth a read: https://thebaffler.com/salvos/the-problem-with-music
That does seem a bit of a cynical rant and I'm not sure of how totally true it is, no two bands will be in the same situation. I have read of load of instances of bands making losses on tour. A lot even charged support bands to play, such were the frugal returns for the main act.
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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