Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Jagged little soundtracks?

While I'm on the subject of music I detest, another thing that majorly irks me nowadays is all these weepy, whiny Alanis Morissette/Avril Lavigne-inspired movie themes. Although, I think I'd like to retract the word inspired from the previous sentence, as that term has no connotative place in any description of the movie scores I'm thinking of.

, directors and musical directors, mix in another genre now and then, 'K? I beg of you. No, I don't expect The Thomas Crown Affair (the McQueen original) or Mo' Better Blues (at least watch from 8:00 on; sooo hot), every time out, but it'd be nice to hear the credits roll to something that didn't sound like meercats being tortured in the background.


Steven Sashen said...

One of my favorite SNL Weekend Update lines (paraphrasing):

"Alanis Morissette has just released her new album. Alanis, just because it's in your diary, that doesn't make it a song."

Steve Salerno said...

Thanks for that, Steven. So true, and not just about Morissette, of course.

I'm still trying to figure out what the generational fascination is with that style of music. Because it isn't just Morissette and her ilk; it's Bob Dylan and Pete Seeger, during my generation. And the Beatnik "song poets" right before that.

Whence this teenage/young-adult desire to listen endlessly to songs--all based on the same three or four chords--that aren't so much sung as spoken (or, in some cases, croaked)?

Anonymous said...

I think it's because that type of music isn't too far off of the "songs" that the current teen/young adult generation creates itself and uploads on YouTube etc.

If Alanis and Avril can get famous and rich from their songs, it gives you hope that you can too, since your songs are on the same level. Your stuff compares favourably to theirs, and that's a great feeling.

Comparing your homemade stuff to true musical or songwriting talent isn't such a great feeling. You realize how puny your talent is, how far you are from achieving anything of quality or originality - never mind making money off it.

It's kind of like how average-looking girls don't generally hang out with very pretty or beautiful girls. But they will hang out with a "grenade".

RevRon's Rants said...

Spoken? Croaked? Alanis?? I'm actually a fan, and find her performances rich with vocal and emotional nuances that resonate for me. Sure, she's recorded some stinkers (who hasn't), but I do appreciate the body of her work. I will own, however, that her rather uncanny resemblance to a love of my college days just might play some minor part in the formulation of my opinion. :-)

On a positive note, one dream concert that I would love to attend (or even obtain a dvd recording) would be a duet of Sting and Sade.

Anonymous said...

"I'm still trying to figure out what the generational fascination is with that style of music."

Assuming you are actually not putting any extraordinary effort into figuring anything out, is the above just another way of saying you just don't like nor approve of that music?

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 1: I think that's an excellent point. Today's pop music is very much "within reach." In fact, I see YouTube uploads all the time that, to my ear and eye, are indistinguishable from what you hear on top-40 radio. From time to time I hear karoake that falls into the same category.

Anon 2: I've already made clear that I don't like it. But my question is earnest: Why do so many young people like this type of music?

Anonymous said...

'But my question is earnest: Why do so many young people like this type of music?'

For the same reason I adored the Stones, Hendrix, Beefheart, Country Joe et al and that later kids went for the Sex Pistols--it shocked, horrified and confused the older generation.
Its a clear way of differentiating oneself at a time when that differentiation is all important.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 11:52: Not the same thing at all, in my view. By that logic, many more kids should love, say, NIN, and they don't. (I do.) They should love, and make No. 1-selling, culture-wide idols out of, the Deftones. They don't. (I do.) So this isn't solely about shock, horror and/or some generational schism. There's something else going on.

Anonymous said...

No, Its a generational schism.
What did the kids of the free-love hippy generation do? Become bankers and entrepreneurs, setting business and wealth gathering on a pedestal--because it was opposite to their parents values.

Steve Salerno said...

Anon 2:59: I still don't see how you can make that case, because the music I'm describing has been, in a sense, the one constant over the past 50 years. All generations seem to go through a phase where they fall under the spell of that whining, groaning, diary-style music. The surface manifestations may differ: Avril Lavigne doesn't really sound like Bob Dylan. But the essential format and message? In a related category, by the way, is Rihanna's insufferable Run This Town, which apparently is now the authorized theme song to everything. In fact, it's what prevents me from going to see The Fighter, despite its excellent reviews; I just don't think I could sit through one more iteration of that effin song.

And let me tell you, that is one sweeping cultural/sociological observation you've got going there...!

Dimension Skipper said...

Two relevant comics published today...


Doghouse Diaries

The WV for this comment?... "phish"

(A group I'm aware of as far as its existence, but have never actually heard.)

Matt Dick said...

I need to just say that Capt. Beefeart is worse than anything produced today. I acknowledge the talent, I think. I kind of think. I mean it's like a Matisse collage. It's exactly like a Matisse collage: just because the artist *can* produce better art then I could doesn't mean that this individual piece of art is any better than I could do.

I could cut yellow construction paper quadrangles and paste them willy-nilly on a board as well as Henri Matisse. And I can make discordant noise as well as Beefheart. And I know I'll get the post-hippy eye-roll over how I just don't "get" it... but there it is... crappy noise is just crappy noise, no matter than he's probably really talented.

Wow. That seems less like the considered essay it was supposed to be, and more like a drunken rant. I stand by the sentiment, but I think I need to relax.