The Current Trend In Popular Music ... (Page 5)
brie_grape: I feel truly sorry for someone if they can't appreciate the beauty and originality in Bon Iver's music
Rabbit/gerogie apparently can't spell his/her own name.
brie_grape (the confessed graffiti vandal) says:
"I feel truly sorry for someone if they can't appreciate the beauty and originality in Bon Iver's music"
No, I can't appreciate Bon Iver. But art, as we've discussed before, is in the eye ... or ear ... of the beholder. What you perceive as beauty and originality I perceive as derivative pretentiousness.
Neither of us are wrong.
It's hard to "measure" the quality of music in any objective way, but there are some things that can provide, at least, some indications. One of those is longevity, whether people continue to listen to it over time, or whether it's just a proverbial flash in the pan. Another is the degree to which it influences other musicians.
If numerous musicians are citing Bon Iver as an influence twenty years from now, I'll eat my critical words. (I've been around long enough to have done that before.)
brie_grape: "flash in the pan" artists generally don't garner the critical acclaim and edge-of-their-seat fanbase that Bon Iver has amassed in the few years he's been creating music, let alone create a genre-crossing/blurring fanbase (work with James Blake, Kanye West goes to show his immediate influence on pop music, not just his folk roots).
StuckInTheSixties: brie_grape says:
" 'flash in the pan' artists generally don't garner the critical acclaim and edge-of-their-seat fanbase that Bon Iver has amassed in the few years he's been creating music" ... etc etc.
Sure they do. The history of pop music is littered with artists that garnered great acclaim for a short time, and then fizzled out and disappeared, or tapered off to an obscure existence. It has nothing to do with how their art is created. Many "flash in the pans" are/were great artists.
It's just that it's very difficult to quantify the quality of art.
I could be proven totally wrong about Bon Iver. Who knows? Got a crystal ball?
(laughs) There was a time when I thought the hottest thing goin' was a band called Iron Butterfly. They were HUGE!!! ...
... for a few years.
Their biggest legacy is the inclusion of the structured drum solo as a semi-required part of many bands' performances. (Many would curse them for that legacy, including, to a certain degree, me.)
Ever heard of them? I didn't think so. (They now exist in obscurity.)
Stanislov: intelligent people use MS word to type their comments, then do a cut & paste. Hope you learned from this.
I do that when I start typing a comment, see that it's getting long and elaborate, and realize it's worth the effort for the assurance that I won't somehow fuck it up that way.
New Wireclub has a change that has screwed me a few times now.
It used to be that you could interrupt a comment like this one, and say, for example, just click below to go to a previous page to reread something, copy something to paste, etc. and then use the "back up" button on the browser to return you to where you were composing the comment, click on the comment field, and your incomplete comment would reappear so you could resume working on it.
Now, if you leave the page for any reason, your comment is GONE.
brie_grape: It just happened twice more. Mother of fucking god, this new Wire is just horrible.
I don't have a crystal ball, no, but I do have reason to believe Bon Iver will be successful for a few more years (at least) and why he will definitely be remembered.
Last.fm is a mega successful and popular website that monitors the listening trends of millions of people around the world. For scope, Led Zeppelin currently has 102 million plays, The Doors have 76 million plays, etc. And by "plays" I mean individual mp3 plays from a single person who has downloaded the mp3, and the last.fm software which monitors the listening trends of that individual.
Now, Bon Iver, who has only been around since about 2007, has only released two solo albums (about 10 songs each) and one EP (4 or 5 songs, if I'm not mistaken). He has 42+ million plays on Last.fm, with about 800,000 listeners. That doesn't include all the people who buy his music, physically or digitally, and it doesn't include the others (the majority of his listeners) who don't use last.fm. The point is this: it's DOCUMENTED that Bon Iver has a HUGE fanbase, and has had a huge fanbase since his arrival on the "indie scene." This is NOT a one hit wonder, and as far as "flash in the pan" is concerned, he's remained consistent and sought-after by many people (both underground and mega mainstream) for years now. These facts should directly contradict any "flash in the pan" fears.
What makes him so popular? Like I said, he certainly isn't a "one hit wonder" (like your Iron Butterfly), in fact I'm not even sure he's had a single hit (in the conventional pop music sense). He certainly doesn't rely on image, as he's a tall, oafish, balding 30-something with an acoustic guitar and plaid shirt. He doesn't rely on selling out (he almost exclusively works with independent record labels and musicians), he doesn't rely on gimmicks, either. In fact, his debut album, which is almost entirely just his voice and an acoustic guitar, was recorded (as legend has it) in some remote cabin in the woods. His reputation was so much as "the guy who wrote that album off in the woods..." that he became embarrassed by it, and shys away from talking about it. Basically, this dude wants the music to speak for itself, and doesn't try to push any image or gimmicks on anyone.
So when you call him pretentious, I'm at a total loss as to why, when Bon Iver, to me, seems like one of the very few truly authentic musicians out there. Because his band of multi-instrumentalists used a triangle in a performance? Do you think classical composers are pretentious for including percussionists in their pieces?
That doesn't even begin to mention the critical acclaim he's received from countless publications, most famously by the hard-to-please tastemakers at Pitchfork. Again, these are achievements that Iron Butterfly never achieved. The two are miles away from each other in every regard.
And yes, I do know who Iron Butterfly is. I just spent my ENTIRE summer semester taking (exclusively) classes on the state and history of pop music, starting back in the 60s (emphasis on folk music), but also extensively looked at blues and blues rock (ie 70s rock/zeppelin), and the transformation it underwent to form prog rock, punk, disco, etc. I also studied the "image" of pop music, due to the rise of MTV and its decline (or what I consider to be its decline) in contemporary culture.
So to talk about Iron Butterfly, one of the most successful bands of the 60s, as if they're some obscure secret, is just silly.
BobbyBaloney: Bon Iver gets way too much airplay on Sirius. The name sounds stupid and the music just sucks. Bon Iver is on the same level of suck as Beirut. Thats just my opinion, I'm sure many people think Bon Iver and Beirut make great music, I'm just not one of them.
Your comparison of Bon Iver to the likes of Led Zepellin and the Doors by virtue of the plays on Last.fm is, to say the least, skewed. When did Last.fm come into existence? When did Led Zep and the Doors come into existence? See what I'm saying? You're comparing the attention being given a current phenomenon with the attention being given those old classic warhorses in one venue in current times.
Your point is well taken that Bon Iver gets a lot of airplay ... uhh ... webplay ... attention. He's current. He might wind up being the most important voice in pop music in the next 50 years. Who knows? I'm not disputing that he's popular.
I AM disputing that popularity at a particular point in time is definitively indicative of whether or not they'll be of significant note in a historical sense. There is no way to know without that proverbial crystal ball ... or simply waiting as time passes to find out.
And Iron Butterfly wasn't a "one hit wonder." The had a moderate hit with one song. But that wasn't the basis of their popularity. There were a bunch of other reasons, one of which was the that they were perhaps the first band to have a mass recognition of a song that encompassed an entire side of an LP. And there was the drum solo thing. Mostly, it was just WHEN they appeared in the times. It's not really important. They're really not important. They're just an example of an act that was kind of BIG for a short time, but in the historical perspective, utterly unimportant.
My assessment of Bon Iver was based solely on the single television appearance described at the beginning of this thread. He's not the only one indulging in that particular type of pretentiousness. I gave it a name: The Arcade Fire Syndrome. It's a sort of fad I've recognized. Lots of different instruments being used to little effect. Certainly no demonstration of virtuosity or any serious capability on all of those instruments. Does that guy that went "ting" on the triangle (adding utterly NOTHING to the composition) possess the skills of an orchestra percussionist, to cite the comparison you made? I doubt that. He probably wouldn't know a paradiddle from a parachute or a ratamacue from a pool cue. (Google: paradiddle and ratamacue)
You must have flunked your class on pop music, because Iron Butterfly were not even remotely close to anything that could be described as "one of the most successful bands of the 60s." They had a few albums, one of which sold pretty well. That one album didn't sell too many CD copies, I assure you.
And I strongly doubt anyone reading this knows anything about them other than the name, and having some vague knowledge that they were some old 60s band or something.
(Edited by StuckInTheSixties)
brie_grape: They were very successful. "In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida is the 31st best-selling album in the world, selling more than 25 million copies."
brie_grape: I wasn't comparing Zeppelin to Bon Iver in terms of style, talent, or any of that. What I'm pointing out is that people are listening to Bon Iver's music at a ridiculous rapid rate, one that will solidify his place in music consideration in the future, almost certainly, for that reason alone
brie_grape: "The Arcade Fire Syndrome. It's a sort of fad I've recognized. Lots of different instruments being used to little effect. Certainly no demonstration of virtuosity or any serious capability on all of those instruments."
Who cares about virtuosity? Jesus, this isn't 1972
As for In-A-Gadda-Da-Vida, 31st best-selling album, more then 25 million copies ...
Wow! That's a revelation. Hmm ... I must say that surprises me. Thanks for the trivia tidbit!
Who cares about virtuosity?
Well, you were the one that cited "classical composers ... including percussionists in their pieces." That sort of music is built on virtuosity. So it jazz. So is all kinds of popular music. Personally, I'd rather be dazzled by virtuosity than bored by pretentiousness.
But that's just me ...
Element118: well...i guess what happens to be the best no matter what it is in life Is just a matter of to each his own, that's what makes the world go around people, DIFFERENCE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Element118: But no matter how great somneone is at something...there always is someone who comes along much greater, may take some time in most cases but they do come along...thats a garauntee!!!!!!!!!!!!!!