May 12, 2021, 03:29:57

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Mass Media / Re: Desperate journalists -- T...
Last post by SueC - Today at 03:20:45
OK, number one for me, if a discussion is going to disintegrate into the throwing of abuse at anyone - artists, discussion participants etc - then I won't be around for more of it - and the last comments from @Oneiroman are crossing the line, and I also think the journalists we've discussed here, from what I've read of their work, have a repeating pattern of crossing the lines of respectful behaviour, and have become rather self-important about their views.  There's a difference between offering up your views and ideas for consideration, and offering up you views and ideas as superior - and that's a problem across a lot of philosophy, wider academia, politics, religion, discussion forums, you name it - pretty much any field of human endeavour, and indeed in many people's own families.  It's a human problem, and the responsibility for that problem rests with each and every adult - it's something everyone needs to grapple with and work on - although often, sadly, the people most in need of it are least inclined to work on it - e.g. sociopaths/narcissists, who seem to lack the empathy to understand their negative impact on other people, or to care about that.

Note I'm talking about views and ideas - as distinct from verifiable facts:  I'm not giving equal weight to flat earth theories, young earth theories, anthropogenic climate change denialism, conspiracy theories etc as I am to well-established science with a great deal of testing and evidence behind it.  The shape of the Earth or the number of protons in a carbon nucleus or the existence of the SARS-CoV-2 virus aren't up for debate - those are objective things that are verifiable - and they're vastly different things to our personal opinions on music, or poetry, or the meaning of life, or the best way to deal with your in-laws, or how you should decorate your house etc.

I'm happy to have a respectful debate - and for most of this thread that's what it's been.  None of us are perfect - I've had to apologise to people before too, and expect that periodically I will be apologising to people for the rest of my days because like everyone else, I make mistakes, and I can do or say ill-considered things that aren't respectful of other people around me.  This is more likely to happen in relation to subjects we're personally passionate about, and have a lot of emotional investment in.  So that's also why I find personal music journalling (which I do on a couple of other threads here) particularly helpful for figuring out my own stuff, and my relationship with the world around me, while also engaged in something I find really interesting - and why music projects in which people write about their favourite songs, artists, etc switch high school students on to an amazing degree, and really get them thinking, and buzzing!   :)

How do we stay respectful?  Especially in the face of the kind of naughty side I suspect we all have, that makes us laugh at witty take-downs of people and things we don't personally like?  ...because let me give you an example.  Last night I was asking my husband, "So what do you think of when you hear the term 'soft rock'?" ...and he said, "Bryan Adams, who should be burnt with fire, and all his records and alleged instruments with him."  And we rolled around with laughter.  But we'd not post such a thing, unless it was clearly understood amongst the people in the discussion that we knew we were making an exaggerated, outrageous statement we didn't literally mean - more like the fiction-fantasy of our dark sides, than what we would actually advocate - and part of the laughing, for us, is at the idea of actually saying or believing such a thing.  Because we'd obviously not want to burn musicians whose music we don't like or shoot all their records at the moon etc (although the latter part would have vastly amused us as teenagers, as an actual thing to do).  We'd just like to stop hearing their stuff, and we can fix that by not buying any and by taking earplugs when we go where there's radio we can't turn off.   :winking_tongue

Have you ever seen this web page of music jokes?...we nearly ruptured our diaphragms the evening we first came across it.  We had in-laws visiting and things were tense, and by the end of the day my husband and I needed to wind down and de-stress before there was any thought of getting sleep.  So we took the laptop, settled down in bed, and looked for funny things, since as we all know, laughter is an excellent de-stressing technique.  And we found that list of music jokes, which are so outrageous and so mean that the very idea of it is hysterical.  Who would think like this?

The least stressful workplace I was ever in was a team of people who respected each other and everyone's capabilities deeply, but spent large parts of the day saying outrageously insulting things to each other - the dead opposite to what we actually thought and felt.  We were laughing inwardly much of the time, and outwardly at intervals - it was like a stage play.  Sometimes, someone from another part of the workplace would walk through the door and just go pale.   :rofl   I'm sure they thought we were the workspace from hell.

As a high schooler, I sent dreadful things to the local university radio request show for them to read out on air - and they did, which amazed me - but then, part of their request programme was also that you could request for them to smash up certain records, and they at least pretended to do that on air - this is in the days of vinyl, which offers this incomparably pleasing scrunch upon destruction.  One thing I sent was a picture of Michael Jackson cut out from a magazine, in which his hands were in his pants pockets in this slightly distasteful way, and I'd put on a thought bubble, "OMG, my testicles, where are they?" - and written this mock-narrative of his birth to go with it, from the point of view of his mother, which was equally tasteless and disrespectful and, to a teenager, utterly hilarious.  In a teenager I can excuse it - teenagers are fighting back in a world where they have as yet very little power.  I can see the appeal.  But as an adult I have significant amounts of power over my own life and other people's lives, and therefore wouldn't think it right to be producing that kind of material!  ;)

The "I-statement" is a good start:  Saying how we feel about something, the effect it has on us etc - rather than giving someone or something we don't like an unfair pasting.  "I feel like this when/because..." and not "This person / song is...(abusive epithets)."  And like everyone else, I have to remind myself of the rules of fair engagement on a regular basis.
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Other Artists / Re: Currently Listening to
Last post by Ulrich - May 11, 2021, 18:39:15
"And I know I'm gonna make it
If my heart can take it
And if I don't, I know I'm gonna go out fighting
And I know I'm gonna get through
Cause I got the will to
And if I don't, you know I'm gonna go out trying
I will be strong
I will hold on
I will keep winning until the race is run"

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Mass Media / Re: Desperate journalists -- T...
Last post by Ulrich - May 11, 2021, 13:01:48
Quote from: Oneiroman on May 10, 2021, 21:00:42is worth fifty of that old Blueshirt fascist Yeats... mystical Celtic nonsense
... I think that comes across as rather elitist. 

Will you tone it down a little bit, please?

Quote from: Oneiroman on May 10, 2021, 21:00:42quotes Hugo Race as saying his more recent stuff has a "kind of personal truth in there about reality and being alive".  Well, I don't like personal truths about reality - isn't that what Trump believes in? 

Sounds like you misunderstood him completely here. From what I gathered it was about that particular album, and his inspiration lead him to write about his life right now (something he of course could not write about in his teens, eh?)...

Quote from: Oneiroman on May 10, 2021, 21:00:42Race's old bandmate Nick Cave, for me, now personifies everything I despise about the increasing middle-aged spread in pop music - bland, boring, sentimental, "mature", unthreatening, safe, incurious, self-centred bilge.

Nick Cave said himself years ago that in the 80s he was a junkie, always looking out for his next shot in the arm...
Hence I gotta admit, I never enjoyed what I heard from The Birthday Party or other "early" stuff. I liked him around '97 to 2003, then I started losing interest again. What I heard from his latest 'Bad Seeds' album, was "nice" but not really to my taste (sounded more like reciting poetry instead of "songs").

Btw, from what I heard the Beach Boys didn't even surf - which is why I never found them really "credible".

Quote from: Oneiroman on May 10, 2021, 21:00:42In post-punk and other types of modern music being a "non-musician" was considered a good thing because it meant you didn't bring any preconceptions about what was right and what was wrong, what was good and what was bad. 

But even they couldn't help but learn to play their instruments.
Example: The Cure, what sounded minimalistic or naive on "17 Seconds", was way more intricate on "Disintegration".

I'm off to eat some boyled biscuits now (German expression, don't ask)!
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Something else / Re: Currently Watching
Last post by MeltingMan - May 11, 2021, 10:50:50
Captain Kronos - Vampire Hunter on youtube. (Good old Hammer production. You can endure the interruptions in advertising.) 👌🏻
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General The Cure Discussion / Re: Missing the train - lost o...
Last post by Ulrich - May 11, 2021, 09:35:55
Quote from: Oneiroman on May 10, 2021, 23:36:31... I don't like them too cold - we're used to warm beer after all.

I know... which reminds me of the "Guinness extra cold" I drank in a pub at Victoria Station many years ago. One guy at the bar said "that's for the tourists".  :lol:
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@Ulrich There are some fantastic German beers but I don't like them too cold - we're used to warm beer after all.
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Mass Media / Re: Desperate journalists -- T...
Last post by Oneiroman - May 10, 2021, 21:00:42
@SueC I'm sorry you don't share my enthusiasm for Baudelaire.  As you say it's merely a matter of personal preference.  For myself I think one Baudelaire poem is worth fifty of that old Blueshirt fascist Yeats.  All that mystical Celtic nonsense is not to my taste, and I'm half-Welsh!  I would definitely side with the modernists, but I do love "gothic" literature, from Ann Radcliffe and Mary Shelley through Poe and Le Fanu to MR James, Lovecraft, Shirley Jackson and Thomas Ligotti.  Baudelaire for me has elements of both modernism and the gothic, so he's right up my street.  I would guess you don't like another of my favourite writers Patrick White, who also doesn't shirk from exploring the seamier side of life.  You like "butterflies and sunsets" but I like abandoned buildings and wildernesses (both environmental and of the soul ).  I don't talk about personal issues online as I think it's self-indulgent, but let's just say I've been where Mark Fisher has been - well not to the hereafter, obviously.

When I use the term "pop music" I suppose I mean the stuff you'd find in the rock and pop section of a record store (do they still have any of those in WA?).  The word "rock" is sullied by its association with hard rock which post-1975 I generally detest.  So I would include alternative in that grouping, whatever alternative is supposed to mean.  I really can't understand the obsession with placing music into "genres" and "sub-genres", which seems particularly prevalent in the US.  But I do think broad categories -eg classical, jazz, easy listening, folk, country, blues, soul, rock and roll, reggae, African, Latin and so on are probably indispensable in pointing the consumer - and I use the term deliberately - in the right direction.  For myself I have lots of records from all those categories.  I stick to my argument that nearly all the best rock and pop is made by under 40s.  @Ulrich quotes Hugo Race as saying his more recent stuff has a "kind of personal truth in there about reality and being alive".  Well, I don't like personal truths about reality - isn't that what Trump believes in?  There are personal experiences and personal beliefs and personal values, but I'll leave personal truths to Meghan Markle and the like.  Race's old bandmate Nick Cave, for me, now personifies everything I despise about the increasing middle-aged spread in pop music - bland, boring, sentimental, "mature", unthreatening, safe, incurious, self-centred bilge.

The best definition of what I like about pop and rock was given (in relation specifically to surf music) by one Murray Wilson (presumably Murry Wilson, father of several Beach Boys), which I found in some sleevenotes to a compilation I bought years ago.  He said "Surfing music has to sound untrained with a certain rough flavor to appeal to the teenagers.  As in the case of true c & w [country and western], when the music gets too good, and too polished, it isn't considered the real thing."  I must still be a teenager in my 60s.  In post-punk and other types of modern music being a "non-musician" was considered a good thing because it meant you didn't bring any preconceptions about what was right and what was wrong, what was good and what was bad.  The most inspiring blues and soul singers aren't necessarily very good technically and even in jazz Miles Davis couldn't do what the likes of Dizzy Gillespie or Clifford Brown could do in terms of playing fast and intricate solos, but he put more feeling into what he did than most jazz musicians were capable of.

You say you have a scientific background which informs the way you think about and interact in the world, so to lay my cards on the table, I studied social anthropology at university.  Although the realm of ideas and art fascinate me I would always try to look at the social contexts in which those ideas and art forms arise and circulate, without wishing to take a reductionist position.  But whether I could make "truth" claims about my positions I'm not so sure.  I can't really see where "logical" analyses of art would lead.  And I don't see how referring to The Cure's later style as part "slippers-comfortable despair" could be objectively falsifiable.  Surely you can't take it literally to mean Fisher thinks that the band wear slippers?  It's a trope, not a statement of fact.

When you say "Don't most adults blindly follow the basic tenets of their societies without ever seriously questioning the underlying assumptions and noticing the elephants in the room?  Isn't there a vast deficit in imagination and creativity in the everyday lives of people running on their various hamster wheels?" I think that comes across as rather elitist.  It sounds like you are saying that "ordinary" people are all witless drones, unlike us intellectuals and thoughtful types.  How, objectively, do you ascertain how blind and unquestioning people are simply because they have or choose to accept certain conventions and ways of being just to make a living and put food on the table? 

i wouldn't know anything about death being "the truth of sexuality".  I don't give a fig for sex, sexuality or romantic love, although I am attracted to death.  I suppose I must be a card-carrying Goth, even if I don't make my face up like Conrad Veidt in Caligari.  I think Mark Fisher took a lot of his ideas from Deleuze and Guattari's Anti-Oedipus, which I haven't read, but to quote from Fisher's PhD thesis, 'Flatline Constructs: Gothic Materialism and Cybernetic Theory-fiction':

"Both Deleuze-Guattari and Baudrillard offer theorizations of reproduction, but whereas Baudrillard continues to take sexual reproduction as the paradigm, critiquing simulated-reproduction for its deviation from the sexual model, Deleuze-Guattari oppose all reproduction (sexual or otherwise) to a model of "contagion", a non (or hyper)sexual mode of replication which takes its cue from vampirism, lycanthropy and disease. So where Baudrillard's "negativized Gothic" proceeds by way of identifying an increasing perfection in the techniques of artificial reproduction (leading, in his view, to a triumph of a post-sexual necrotic culture), Deleuze-Guattari follow the Gothic line in identifying modes of replication that cut across organic reproduction altogether."

Make of that what you will.

I think Desmond Morris' The Naked Ape is meretricious tripe and Alain de Botton has managed to present the bleedin' obvious as though it was "philosophy".  But it's horses for courses.

I hope you'll take all this in the spirit in which it's intended - a robust debate.  I'm going to be busy for a while from now on so I won't have any time for such long posts, but I'm not throwing my toys out the pram if I don't reply in detail.  Perhaps it would be better anyway to go back to the original topic of journalistic approaches to the early works of The Cure.


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Mass Media / Re: Desperate journalists -- T...
Last post by Ulrich - May 10, 2021, 16:41:41
Quote from: Oneiroman on May 10, 2021, 00:44:54In general I much prefer the early works of pop musicians. 
I do personally like the more tentative, exploratory, raw and maybe immature material that people in their late teens to early thirties can produce.  Pop music in my opinion isn't like some other art forms, where for example writers can get better as they get older. 

Well I can't help but disagree here. Some musicians are/were better back in the day, some are still good or do get even better.

Coincidentally, I just read the following by Hugo Race on his FB (about an album he made with Italian backing band Fatalists, released 2 years ago):
QuoteTaken By The Dream - Spring 2019: "Fatalists is a space where I can explore my own songwriting with a group of musicians who are truly excellent and very tuned in to my work. I know it sounds strange, but I really don't get to choose what music I'm going to make next. I am fatalistic in this sense, that when inspiration arrives I interpret it as a signal of the next path to follow. Music is a way of reflecting the chaos of our reality in a way that words alone fail to do. Taken By The Dream is definitely not a collection of songs that I could've written earlier in my life, there is a kind of personal truth in there about reality and being alive and what in the hell all of this really means." #hugoracefatalists Now available from our Bandcamp: https://helixed1.bandcamp.com/artists

Gotta say I only got into his music between 2006 and 2011 (or so), thus I can't get all of his old albums (many were released on small "indie labels" and are long deleted), but from what I heard I think he's still good, if not better than ever NOW.

Quite a few years ago I had a conversation with TV Smith (formerly of The Adverts) after one of his gigs and we talked about old songs and new songs, so I told him that I thought his new songs were even better than the old ones with The Adverts (much as I like them). He said: "Actually I like the new ones better as well!" (or something along these lines).
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Something else / Re: The Animal Thread
Last post by SueC - May 10, 2021, 16:38:53
As the temperatures are dropping here in the Southern Hemisphere, our dog is finding more ways to be extra-cosy:



She has now taken to sticking her face under a pillow - but in such a way that she still gets oxygen.

Summer mode looks more like this:

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General The Cure Discussion / Re: Missing the train - lost o...
Last post by Ulrich - May 10, 2021, 16:34:28
@SueC - Sorry, I think I'll pass.

Quote from: Oneiroman on May 08, 2021, 21:17:32@Ulrich So long as we don't get into a debate as to which is better - British beer or German beer?

I like many kinds of beer! Whenever I came to England, I tried the local beer (of course), no matter what it was (bitter, lager, stout)...

With time, I learned, e.g. some friends in south London got me into "real ale" (no chemicals), which is ace! Near their house is an award-winning pub, where I spent hours with them.  :cool

Of course, there are lots of breweries in Germany who make excellent beer. :happy
I enjoyed one "Ulrichsbier" (from the "Berg Brauerei") with my brother-in-law last night.
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