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Thursday, February 24, 2005

::YAWN:: More dog bites man non-news

Belaboring the obvious: Bob Dylan flogs a dead horse Boring news from the program notes of Bob Dylan's latest tour:
"I know there are groups at the top of the charts that are hailed as the saviours of rock'n'roll and all that, but they are amateurs. They don't know where the music comes from... I wouldn't even think about playing music if I was born in these times... I'd probably turn to something like mathematics. That would interest me. Architecture would interest me. Something like that."
(This from a guy whose chops were never all that good to begin with, whose music is pedestrian at best. ::sigh::) Thanks for belaboring the obvious, Bob. Anyone with ears and two functioning brain cells can tell that the recording industry is pushing so-called vocalists who simply can not sing at the public (partly because more and more of the public are atonal musical idiots—or maybe it's a self-sustaining feedback loop), or pushing vocalists who can sing to record crap for atonal musical idiots to consume. Pitch? Melody? Heck, rhythm! All just messy blobs in most "big" recording non-artists' non-work, today. The big deal with rap is supposed to be rhythmically-spoken words with some aort of pseudo-musical instrumentation backup, but if one listens to rap for even a very short time it is obvious (to anyone with ears and two working brain cells) that the words and the rhythmic delivery are usually wildly at odds with each other. In othert words, rap is crap. Want to hear proto-rap as music? Listen to Woody Guthrie or Pete Seeger do so 30s era "talking blues." Or try some Langston Hughes. Rappers just don't seem to have the mental capability to actually craft decent rhythmic lyrics that actually have inherent rhythm that "sings" on its own, which is probably why so much rhythm is forced onto words in nonsensical ways in rap. Crafting well-wrought lyrics that beg a rhythmic delivery calls for thoughtful hard work. I've heard very, very little rap that demonstrates the creators did little more than scoop up something that fell into the toilet bowl and call it art. And rap is some of the MOST creative of popular recording output! OK, yes, there are a few exceptions. But even the few exceptions seem to be steered by unmusical idiots (in both the redording industry side and the consumer side) toward producing homogenized, dumbed-down unmusical pap. Witness the emerging talent of someone like Fantasia Barrino, who can interpret a song like nobody's business, is steered toward doing an album like "Free Yourself" which is full of... " pop/hip-hop, a humdrum patter over a rhythmic, repetitive semi-musical background" [Orson Scott Card—who knew we'd have similar musical tastes?] Even with a voice as rich and a delivery as strong as this gal can make it, these "songs" are pretty crappy. Dimwit lyrics, boring background. Just unworthy of someone who could, IMO, be an artist. And that pretty well represents the best of the new. ::sigh:: And yes, there are other exceptions that could be creating more music, but a large portion of the public is simply too stupid to know that music could be better than the crap they consume. So, back to that mediocre musician, Bob Dylan. Even he thinks the stuff coming out of the sewers of the recording industry today is crap. Now, that's rich. Afterword: I neglected to acknowledge Drudge for the link to the article about Dylan's comments that spurred this rant, and now the link is gone from Drudge. Ah, well.