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 Post subject: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 5:57 pm 
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Sure, I'm a musician but I'm in a sort of a crisis. I'm very negative towards the modern music industry and how it's developed. A lot of people tell me that's just an age thing but I disagree because I always listen to music that moves me one way or another. It has to be creative. I would rate the late 1960s as probably the most creative era of popular music we ever saw, so it stands to reason I loved the huge bands like The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, The Beach Boys and many of the fringe, experimental bands (a particular favourite of mine being The Californians).
In the 1970s, although nobody dared admit to it, I have to say Abba's song-writing impressed me. I am also a bit of a John Denver fan.
I also viewed the 1980's a really a very good period. I particularly admired Scritti Politti.

Personally, with regard to the music I make, I was pretty inspired by Lyle Mays. He played synth with the Pat Metheny Group and a fair few Lyle Mays fans have commented on Lyle's signature sound. This is a synthesised ocarina/panflute tone he often used to do leads with the PM Group. I seem to recall he was using a Prophet to do this around 1979.

I have scores of unfinished tracks I simply recorded on an old mobile phone (and once on plain cassette). Lots of these tracks never seemed to get finished although a few are. What was tricky was I never really had any feedback as where I live there is very little interest in learning guitar or keyboard. Whereas in the 1980's we had a fair few bands and I once saw Judie Tzuke perform.

I still enjoy it but the truth is I tend to put music in the last place as somehow I can't really connect with the current environment. I mean, pretty much all the music I listen to (never mind compose) is music most people around would find strange because it comes from a different era. I have definitely noticed though that lots of radio DJs are going back to older music. So often I hear bands like The Police, ELO, Phil Collins, Kate Bush and so on being played.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 7:55 pm 
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10.7Megahertz wrote:
Sure, I'm a musician but I'm in a sort of a crisis. I'm very negative towards the modern music industry and how it's developed. A lot of people tell me that's just an age thing but I disagree because I always listen to music that moves me one way or another. It has to be creative. I would rate the late 1960s as probably the most creative era of popular music we ever saw

The "age thing" is probably more accurate than you imagine. I personally would rate the mid '50's as the most creative era of pop music, because the '54-'57 period is when the various genre's -Country and Western, Rhythm and Blues, Group Harmony, instrumentals, Rock and Roll, etc, all melded into the category.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jan Tue 23, 2018 8:16 pm 
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Location: Calgary Alberta
I agree with fifties. The aging thing is true also .
Dan in Calgary


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 9:41 am 
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Location: Ft Worth TX
Only thing I can think of that's a lot better now than it was then, can't be spoken outright here. But the big hand and the small hand are really close. You know, 11:58:30. :mrgreen:

Cover band drummer, 65-75. Many influences, and some conspicuously missing (Led Zeppelin, Doors, Neil Diamond, Disco...). Wait, I tell a lie. The band that played Oahu military club circuit DID cover Neil. We had a trombone!

Another Oahu band played warmup for the Doobie Brothers, July 1974.

Wanna start a group? The commute would be a dog, but Neil Young went all the way from Winnipeg to LA and that sure worked.

The 'age thing' most likely an artifact of how grungy it is to like anything your parents do. That Bing Crosley (sic) makes me hurl. OTOH, my first 78 was Dinah Shore's Buttons & Bows. We're talking before cars had fins. (google 58 desoto)

There's music and there's noise. Music starts somewhere and goes somewhere, in some semblance of orderly fashion. We haven't had that spirit here since nineteen sixty nine. And I haven't bought anything "current" since Hotel California. Bleeve the last thing I paid for, was the MPG of Holiday Road by Lindsey Buckingham. Before that, the 45 of Louisiana Man by Rusty & Doug.

So, yeah.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jan Wed 24, 2018 5:44 pm 
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I discovered that music and psychology go together and I'll explain what I mean by that. Please pardon me if (as ever) I tend to go on and on about The Beatles - their fame always fascinated me. Anyway, I'm pretty certain The Beatles never would have become a massive cultural phenomenon without Brian Epstein. Basically the band had to be marketed and had to be "processed" and they needed someone astute enough behind them to know how music works in the social context. In the very early sixties, we're talking clean-cut bands in suits with girl appeal.
From 1963 to 1965, I think The Beatles were forced to stay within the boundaries of the social norms of the time. The fans would be working-class people who liked a catchy, simple tune with a decent beat. Plus, girl appeal. And for the guys the famous mop-top hair cuts.
Here is my punch-line: By 1966, the whole situation changed dramatically. Popular music and a far higher level of popular culture resonated together. People suddenly embraced music as a huge social, political force. It was even connected to the Flower Children movement, psychedelic, peace movements, T.M. and everybody exploring creativity. The Beatles were free to ditch the suits and ties, ditch the "boy loves girl" songs and wear lots of colours, grow beards, experiment with far-out music and just become very inventive. Brian Wilson jumped on the scene with Pet Sounds. The Stones went psychedelic (but failed). Jefferson Airplane and Jimmy Hendrix performed at Woodstock. No doubt about it - music was a huge, massive cultural and social force and everybody was resonating at the same high frequency.
My point about psychology and music is you need various ingredients to produce great music. I think there's the union of cultural movements and music so the musicians become leaders of various trends. Then the fans need to be connected to the whole thing and demanding bigger and better things and new sounds. I think vinyl was a big factor too because you would go out and buy those albums and even pin the covers up on walls. It also allowed The Beach Boys to try and get the upper hand on The Beatles or The Stones to try and beat Sgt Pepper. I figure buying actual vinyl albums was really good for music, plus the chart system.
We do not have this kind of thing today - not even close. Personally, I would rate it as follows:

(1) 1966 - 1969 = an absolute peak of musical creativity in popular culture.

(2) 1971 - 1974 - an almost stagnant period where the big bands had left the stage.

(3) 1975 - 1979 - a far better period with the arrival of disco, funk and punk.

(4) 1980 - 1989 - a great time for the synth and New Wave sound and some pretty decent songwriters still around.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 3:12 am 
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Like you, I see the Beatles at the peak, so yeah that would be 1969.
Listen to 'Hey Bulldog' sometime. John pounds out the piano part, Paul picks it up on the bass, creates a rocking bass riff, George does a screaming parody of that riff, and Ringo is flawlessly on the beat as always.
The lyrics didn't need to make any sense at all, because fans created all kinds of meaning to the words.
They were four very creative musicians, and yes, they got some good support from Brian Epstein, who got them some gigs and eased Pete Best out from behind the drums, and of course the genius George Martin.
Anyway, thanks for mentioning the Fab Four. I've never owned a Beatles album, as the radio play was all I ever needed. Kookoo Kachoo!

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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 3:47 am 
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I'll be 76 in April.

Beatles music is fantastically creative... YES.
I grew up in thr 40s,50s so I have all that wonderful big-band and pop music in my blood... and then the early days of rock/doo wop back in 1952 there was a pioneer group called the Five Keys...
.. and they were on the early cusp of doo wop and rock N Roll.
I was right there in the middle of it all ... I went to an early live concert in 1956 where Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers were one of the main acts.

EDIT:
I just found info on-line about that concert from way back in 1956:
"On January 10, 1956, the history of the rock 'n' roll vocal groups and the direction of American music took a new turn and changed the landscape of pop culture forever. Gee Records #1002 was released featuring Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers recording of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" ...

"In March as "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" heads for the top of the charts, the group appears at New Brunswick High School in New Jersey with dj Danny "Cat Man" Stiles along with The Belvederes and Big Mike Gordon."


ref: http://doo-wop.blogg.org/teenagers-fran ... -c26502532


I remember hearing Earth Angel by the Penguins when it was first hitting the air in 1954 when I was 12.
Then Elvis and all the great early rock'n rollers ... Chuck Berry, Fats Domino ... on and on.
I was buying 45rpms every week of all the new hits from Little Anthony and the Imperials: "tears on my pillow" etc.
All the great girl groups too...
Then early 60s and more great creative stuff until and after the Beatles and after.

But now... I seem to love mostly the 1950s jazz/pop music. American standards.
Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, etc etc.

So I almost don't ever hear anything new anymore (that I care to hear ) on the air but noise. Nothing you can hum to or whistle to the next day... no lyrics you can remember. Just looud boring heavy metal noise or rap junk.

But just recently I have been fortunate to hear a few new things that sound good and have a "hook" and some new twists on older stuff.

Just the other day I heard a song that's been out a while maybe a year... that my ears were "glued" to for some warm fuzzy reason:
"You look Perfect Tonight" ...Ed Sheeran
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Vv-BfVoq4g
I knew it would be on everyones list as their wedding song... it brings tears to my eyes for some reason too. But i'm a romantic old bastard!
Last year:
John Legend " All of me loves all of you"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=450p7goxZqg

and Haley Reinheardt's twist on the old Elvis tune .... Just great !!!!!
"Can't help falling in love with you"
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PZeU7S2xKpA

So I have hope that REAL music may come back again.

Al

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Last edited by Pbpix on Feb Sat 10, 2018 11:11 pm, edited 3 times in total.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Feb Fri 09, 2018 5:04 am 
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Pbpix wrote:

But now... I seem to love mostly the 1950s jazz/pop music. American standards.
Tony Bennett, Sarah Vaughn, Ella Fitzgerald, Dinah Washington, Billie Holiday, etc etc.


Right now, I'm listening to "Sentimental Journey" by the Ames Bros & Les Brown, and before that was "What A Difference A Day Makes" By Dinah Washington. Received by my Grace Digital Internet Radio, tuned to Got Radio Forever Fifties, and broadcast throughout the house from my SSTrans. I listen from the time I get up until I retire, except when watching the news or whatever on TV.
IDK if the station is available on a regular PC or not, but they play nothing but pop music that was out from 1950 to 1962.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Feb Sat 10, 2018 11:03 pm 
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EDIT:
I'm so surprised ...(anything can be found on the internet) lol
..I just found info on-line about that very early rock concert (I mentioned in my post above)...from way back in 1956:
"On January 10, 1956, the history of the rock 'n' roll vocal groups and the direction of American music took a new turn and changed the landscape of pop culture forever. Gee Records #1002 was released featuring Frankie Lymon & The Teenagers recording of "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" ...

"In March as "Why Do Fools Fall In Love" heads for the top of the charts, the group appears at New Brunswick High School in New Jersey with dj Danny "Cat Man" Stiles along with The Belvederes and Big Mike Gordon."

ref:
http://doo-wop.blogg.org/teenagers-fran ... -c26502532

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To be a man, Be a non-conformist, Nothing's sacred as the integrity of your own mind.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Feb Sun 11, 2018 4:00 pm 
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ACDC - Whole Lotta Rosie 1977
Watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=E1PfIX-GQPk

:) Greg.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Mar Thu 29, 2018 9:30 pm 
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Just discovered this thread and must chime in. I too am a musician and have run bands most of my life. I have a 17 piece orchestra with two singers and play the classic "big band" material from the original scores. It is an age thing and people tend to relate to the music they heard when in high school. A great music arranger I know who has done charts for everyone from Tex Beneke to Lady Gaga (He did the duet albums with Tony Bennett) told me that popular music changes almost completely every ten years. It also has a 20 year "nostalgia" cycle. I have found his comments to be generally true and it helps keep it in perspective.

My own take: It has to get better because it cannot get worse... and how many times have we all said that?


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jul Sun 22, 2018 8:58 pm 
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I was flattered. Almost the only person I dared allow hear me sing commented it sounded like Mccartney. Well, it was meant to sound like Mccartney. I wrote this song with a 1950s Rock and Roll beat called Let's Dance The Night Away and I wanted it to sound like a Mccartney track. Anyway I grew up on The Beatles and Rolling Stones. Here is the big point: The Beatles and Stones were not virtuosos. Yet they grasped that with a couple of guitars, a beat and bass guitar and strong vocal amplification, you could get great music. Someone mentioned Hey Bulldog. Well the riff is dead simple as is Birthday. It's a long way off Moonlight Sonata on piano but good music can be simple. Even more so Satisfaction - a legendary but simple riff. From those guys I learned if you like music just go out and do it. As to vocals The Beatles got good doing live gigs in Hamburg. I bet in the beginning audiences used to jeer and throw stuff at them. Of course Mccartney does have really great vocal ability but I think he worked at it.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jul Mon 23, 2018 12:53 am 
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I have to disagree with the idea that those who have a dig at modern pop are motivated by age. This lets the stagnancy of modern pop off the hook (and undeservedly so). There are major differences between modern pop and what was done during (and before) my generation. First point: Bands in the sixties experimented a lot and didn't simply copy a set trend. Pet Sounds for example was totally new (and risky). Psychedelic was changing all the time with revolutionary artists like Hendrix. Even though The Beatles hopped on the psychedelic wagon, they just kept changing the music (Abbey Road). Next point: Very unlike today, the market didn't dictate what tje musician should do. OK, I grant The Beatles were forced to initially wear suits and groom an image and you had marketed bands like The Monkees. However today producers use fabricated bands based purely on what sells. That alone stops groups from doing anything radical or cultural be it tape played backwards or Indian sitar. For non musicians (the market) to dictate to artists literally kills creativity.
That leads to the next point: The market is neither fussy nor demands excellence. Music is simply not important to the people I meet daily. At the moment social media and soccer are what matters. For the music lovers who survive I notice they are digging back to the eighties mostly. Let's recall how massive pop and rock used to be. People usef to actually fight at Stones concerts and whole movements were led by rock personalities. Such as flower power to the shorter lived punk or new wave. And so far as I know here in the UK there are simply no rock or pop band to even compare to The Police or even Sex Pistols. I have personally seen a few decent heavy metal bands locally but although they play well it all sounds the same.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jul Mon 23, 2018 3:43 am 
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I'm sure there are some very good bands that deserve recognition, but are buried in the scramble to be popular.
Canadian band Gordon Downey and Tragically Hip for example.
The music video business changed how bands became popular.

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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jul Mon 23, 2018 5:41 pm 
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westcoastjohn wrote:
I'm sure there are some very good bands that deserve recognition, but are buried in the scramble to be popular.
Canadian band Gordon Downey and Tragically Hip for example.
The music video business changed how bands became popular.


The decline of pop and rock culture is hard to believe and maybe hard to explain how it came to be.

Sure, I agree with you there could still be some very good music to be found but the problem is it's not going to become popular.

Let's take that old topic - The Beatles offspring:

Touring the USA from time to time we see James McCartney the son of former Beatle Paul. In his own right, James is a talented musician. To his credit, he is writing his own kind of music the way he wants to. Yet the poor guy suffers frequent frustration when interviewers simply dismiss his albums and ask him to talk about The Beatles. His dad, of course, has been very supportive and (I wish I had had Macca as a vocal coach!). Anyway, the point is whereas Paul had been performing and writing at a time when rock groups had huge followings and produced vinyl albums, James has to function in a very divided and unusual environment. He struggles to get decent interviewers who actually know how to raise questions about music writing and performance.

Julian Lennon was clearly very talented and was singling just like his dad. However, after some hits back in the 1980's he dropped being a musician.

Sean Lennon was pretty sharp. He very soon realised mainstream was a waste of time and became an Indie musician.

Clearly the offspring always have had talent but what an act to have to follow: Gone are the days where women went bananas and screamed at rock musicians with long hair. Gone are the days where people would leave a shop with a large vinyl album of their favourite band and stick posters on the wall. Gone are the days when a major paper would printe a headline like "Would You Let Your daughter Date A Rolling Stone?"

The reason I sympathise is I too try to write my own music. I will experiment with all sorts of sounds but clearly these weird sounds and retro thinking would make no impact on the current industry. People more often than not want simple, eye-candy pretend boy bands or X Factor contestants.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jul Mon 23, 2018 7:43 pm 
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Maybe true, I wouldn't know living here in my private dome.
No, there is no more Beatlemania, and if you look at touring, the big bands that fill stadiums seem to be the old-timers. That includes the 1980's, but not many from the 1990's can draw that huge of a crowd, I don't think.

I will say this, young people today are familiar with many decades of music, going right back to the 1960's. Go to a wedding, and see what people like to dance to, or ask for a DJ's play list.
We were asked to pick tunes before the music started, so I put the Dirt Band 'Fishin' in the Dark' because the groom's parents liked that tune. Kids in their 20's jumped up to dance to the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band. :lol:
Village People's YMCA had dancers forming the letters and yelling the chorus. Some tunes I didn't recognize had a New Country sound, people danced the night away, good title, BTW. Hope you get airplay somehow.

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Burl Ives, RIP, oldtimer.
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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jul Mon 23, 2018 11:50 pm 
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My guess is some States in America may very well be airing a lot of country. Here what you hear on the street is terrible but I have noticed DJs are digging back to the eighties. Anyway to move on: To make your own music the golden rule is to dig out your own sound. I liked what Brian Wilson once said: harmony and melody. To my mind the really big artists of yesterday knew how to create harmony and melody. I mean, check out Lennon's ballads before he was doing his more psychedellic rock material. The Stones could make a decent ballad too (Lady Jane). The most modern pop artist I admire was Green Gartside from Wales and he got briefly big in the eighties with.a band called Scritti Politti. Oh, and I've seen Judie Tzuke in concert (Stay With Me Till Dawn). Anyway sometimes I will just experiment with lots of arpeggio chords or I may pick out bits from famous melodies and so on. What I find harder is to actually finish a whole song and I dislike making up lyrics. I try to sometimes create harmony and melody. Something where the chords flow and sound nice. However I am phobic about vocals and singing. I am terrified of being heard singing because you can't know how you sound to others. Basically I just have to make recordings and experiment by changing the key or maybe the song. What's weird is I make tracks recorded on a mobile phone. The phone will be close to the synth with about 5 tracks all layered and I will just sing into it. Funnily enough I once read George Martin would change audio characteristics if it sounded bad on.a transistor radio. He realised in real life tracks would be heard by people who had small radio sets. So I find if you use certain harmonics you can get a reasonable recording on a mobile phone.


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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jul Mon 23, 2018 11:57 pm 
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10.7Megahertz wrote:
Here what you hear on the street is terrible

Where is "here"?

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 Post subject: Re: I'm A Musician Too
PostPosted: Jul Tue 24, 2018 12:38 am 
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Part of England where the Rolling Stones performed maybe 1964. I was just reading something that struck me. It stated children in schools have become reluctant to sing for fear of ridicule. And XFactor was blamed. You know, when I watched that show I thought at the time how negative it was. Rather than just tell the contestant he (or she) needed to work on vocals, you get images of judges pulling faces and sort of ridiculing the performer. I thought that was just a bad vibe all around. From my own.investigation I find we can all sing. Some of us may not have a great ear so may need an actual coach to iron out the rusty bits. However pretty much the majority of everyday people can learn to sing reasonably OK. I have made many recordings where I sounded terrible but if you calmly analyse what's wrong there are ways to improve. Such as go up an octave or try a different key. However what XFactor does is take a very negative stance and not be constructive. So children are learning to avoid negativity by not singing at all. Also I don't know how it is in the USA but where I am you hardly ever see people singing to.a guitar. Maybe the odd busker.


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