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OldRightHander
10-29-2007, 01:54 PM
Something has kind of bothered me for a few years now, not a major bother, but it still irks me sometimes. I have seen it on here to a degree, and also in workplaces I used to find myself in before I started driving. It's this idea that liking the more obscure is a sign of better taste, or the idea that liking the popular thing is somehow a sign of unrefined taste or at the least something to be ashamed of.

You see it a lot when people are discussing music. My tastes can run into the obscure, but that's mainly from a style preference than anything else, but there are times while channel flipping on the radio that I will hear a popular song and think, "That sounds pretty good." Now I will never try to compare the musical quality of a pop song with something like Handel, but both have their rightful place and can be enjoyed. I might be off base a bit, but it just seems that in most musical discussions, there is almost this unwritten rule that anything mainstream is off limits. Don't get me wrong though. I will be the first to admit that most of the mainstream music is garbage, but there still seems to be a group of people who will despise anything mainstream just because it's mainstream, not necessarily because of the quality or lack thereof.

I notice it as well is some of the literary circles I find myself in at times. Everyone seems to be reading only obscure out of the way authors or books and if you admit to reading, much less enjoying, something that might have been a bestseller, you're frowned upon. You had better not go on some of these sites and mention authors such as Clancy and Cussler unless you want to be laughed out of the virtual room by those who would never stoop low enough to read such fluff.

If you were to come to my house and look at my bookshelf, you will see some volumes there that could be considered fine literature, a few non fiction books that are geared toward a more educated crowd, but you will also see a decent collection of rather popular novels that I am not ashamed to admit I enjoy. Sometimes you read for enlightenment, sometimes for enjoyment. Sometimes you listen to something that makes you thing, sometimes you just want to tap your feet and not think that much.

I guess that the same things could be said about movies, tv programming, and any other medium out there that can be used for education or entertainment. There are some who will consider their tastes more refined than others because they stay away from the popular fluff and only partake in the finer offerings. What I see too much of though is an attitude that seems to boil down to obscurity=good taste, popularity=bad taste. That attitude just bugs me a bit. Anyone else?

vaticanplum
10-29-2007, 02:02 PM
I notice it as well is some of the literary circles I find myself in at times. Everyone seems to be reading only obscure out of the way authors or books and if you admit to reading, much less enjoying, something that might have been a bestseller, you're frowned upon. You had better not go on some of these sites and mention authors such as Clancy and Cussler unless you want to be laughed out of the virtual room by those who would never stoop low enough to read such fluff.

Who laughs at you? Why do you listen to them?

Taste is taste, there's no accounting for it. I'm sure there are things that have a perceived "cool" above others. What's cool is taste too. Like what you like and don't apologize for it or worry what other people think. I think Mariah Carey's first album is a work of unheralded genius. That's my taste (but I'm also empirically right about that).

Ltlabner
10-29-2007, 02:22 PM
There are always going to be some folks who's first gut-responce to anything enjoyed on a popular level is to express distain. It's an insecurity and ham-fisted attempt to be smarter than everyone else in the room.

Plenty of people with "refined" tastes can enjoy more popular items and usually they have a knack of picking out the best of the popular trends. Those people I respect tremendously. I like people who can find beauty anywhere...regardless of popularity or classification.

It's the folks who go out of their way to make sure you know they find popular things distastefull, while looking down their nose at any movie, book, or song more than 10 people have heard of, that I find useless.

And it doesn't have to be the arts. I enjoy target shooting. Some folks feal that if you don't use XYZ rifle, ABC scopes and LMNOP ammo you are just a complete rube. It's all rather silly.

Falls City Beer
10-29-2007, 02:25 PM
Obscurity has no bearing on quality. Jaws is one of the top 5 greatest movies ever made, while I can name hundreds of little unheard-of foreign/indie films I'd just as soon flush down the toilet. Though there are legitimate reasons for liking certain things over others. While there are no hard and fast rules for taste, it's not "everything is equally good if I say so." There are criteria for judgment.

SeeinRed
10-29-2007, 02:56 PM
The view in many circles, especially involving music is that anybody can listen to popular music. Just turn on the radio and you hear it. It is music made to appeal to large groups of people. There are a lot of artists with little to no abilities to play or write music. Their image and sometimes voice are what they use to make money. Not their song writing ability or artistic vision. Many of them have their music written for them. They simply supply their looks or popularity to sell the music. Yes, some of it is catchy. You can dance to it. but most of it is done by computer. Even some of the voices are enhanced by computer. I wish I knew where the video is now, but there is a video where they show how taking a good looking girl, writing a completely teen oreinted, stupid song written by a pop song writer, computer enhanced voice recording (the girl couldn't sing in tune for the life of her), and making it sound "catchy," You get people to like it. These people were even asked about artist who sing "stupid" songs and they were very opinionated against them. Somebody else had to see this video.

Now, that doesn't mean that if you like some popular music that you have bad taste. Some people only care that music sounds "catchy" or they can dance to it, or whatever. I like artists who write their own music. I like meaningful lyrics that have to be interpreted by the listener. I like emotion not only in the sound, but also the lyrics. I don't like excessive cursing, or songs that artists claim to have significant meaning that are clearly not symbolic of anything, songs about it being hard to be rich, or artist complaining about people who claim it is hard to be rich, songs that act like its cool to abuse drugs, songs that talk about emotional pain but really say nothing about what causes pain, songs that just talk about why they want to have sex with a girl/guy or how much they like girls/guys, songs about how they are so hot/popular/cool/hip/bad/rich/etc. that everyone wants to be them or with them, songs that include the word promiscuous even though many people didn't know what that meant before the stupid song, songs that have no meaning but people don't care and sing them anyway (see Fergie, Gwen Stephani), songs in which artist say their name repetedly.....

Now, there are exceptions to every rule, but those are a few of my pet peaves with music. I also hate people who act like they know music and tell everyone they have bad taste in music. My taste in music is my taste in music. Nobody has my exact same tastes. Just because you might like popular music doesn't mean you are "unenlightened" or don't understand music. You understand what music is to you. I might tease people about their taste, but in no way would I ever tell you that you are wrong. Music is about enjoyment.

Roy Tucker
10-29-2007, 03:10 PM
Tastes great, less filling.

I like to mix it up. I like some popular stuff in books, movies, TV, etc. And I like to get all brainy and find some esoteric and hidden gems. Just like I enjoy a good hot dog, a great steak, hot french fries, and Veau Poele a la Matignon.

The real trick is to get something both popular and excellent, like the aforementioned Jaw and the Harry Potter books. That is license for printing your own money.

vaticanplum
10-29-2007, 03:12 PM
"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission first." - Eleanor Roosevelt

gonelong
10-29-2007, 03:16 PM
There are some who will consider their tastes more refined than others because they stay away from the popular fluff and only partake in the finer offerings.

Avoid these people, they are ******-bags. :)

Enjoy what you enjoy with apology.

GL

Johnny Footstool
10-29-2007, 03:21 PM
Journey rocks! And I'm not sorry.

SeeinRed
10-29-2007, 03:35 PM
Journey rocks! And I'm not sorry.

I'm sorry for you ;)

OldRightHander
10-29-2007, 03:47 PM
Tastes great, less filling.

I like to mix it up. I like some popular stuff in books, movies, TV, etc. And I like to get all brainy and find some esoteric and hidden gems. Just like I enjoy a good hot dog, a great steak, hot french fries, and Veau Poele a la Matignon.

The real trick is to get something both popular and excellent, like the aforementioned Jaw and the Harry Potter books. That is license for printing your own money.

I think you just summed it up pretty well. In all truth, I really don't care for most pop music, but I find some of the attitudes toward anyone who does a bit annoying. Occasionally I will hear something that will get my attention. The way I see it, anything that comes out of the pop genre and has some quality to it could almost qualify as one of those hidden gems.

Rojo
10-29-2007, 03:50 PM
"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission first." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Good Lord, that was the first thing that popped in my head.

Anyhow, music is tougher than, say, movies or books because its appeal is so hard-wired. One thing I've noticed is a bias among the high-fidelity set for harmonies or even good vocals. Its not "authentic", if the vocalist is gravelly. For years this worked against the Beach Boys before people started to get past this.

There are other biases: guitar vs. keyboard, produced vs. garagey, attractive vs. ugly.

I'm convinced that you could take a lot of music, change the vocals and appeal to a whole different demographic.

Ltlabner
10-29-2007, 04:01 PM
There are a lot of artists with little to no abilities to play or write music. Their image and sometimes voice are what they use to make money. Not their song writing ability or artistic vision. Many of them have their music written for them.

There are plenty of artisits who don't write their own music, and who's voice is their instrument. Elvis, for example, had most of his music written for him, IIRC. He may not be your cup of tea, but I think most people recognize that his ability to entertain people with his voice and style (dispite translating someone elses music) is worthy of appreciation.

Johnny Footstool
10-29-2007, 04:03 PM
I'm sorry for you ;)

Any Way You Want It, SeeinRed.

OldRightHander
10-29-2007, 04:07 PM
There are plenty of artisits who don't write their own music, and who's voice is their instrument. Elvis, for example, had most of his music written for him, IIRC. He may not be your cup of tea, but I think most people recognize that his ability to entertain people with his voice and style (dispite translating someone elses music) is worthy of appreciation.

A lot of Classical performers would fall under this category, brilliant musicians performing for the most part something someone else wrote. I think it's important to recognize writing for what it is, a talent that stands on its own. Someone people can write well and not sing a lick and others can sing like angels and can't write. The inability to do one doesn't diminish the talent a person has at the other. There are a few Bob Dylan songs that sounded better recorded by other people.

KronoRed
10-29-2007, 04:11 PM
The most ridiculous thing I've ever heard was someone I knew making a list of 10 Cd's he would take to a desert island, turns out he'd only actually HEARD a handful of them, the others were chosen because certain people he knew didn't like them so he knew they must be great :help:

People should like what they want to like and a merry take a hike to those who argue :D

SeeinRed
10-29-2007, 04:32 PM
There are plenty of artisits who don't write their own music, and who's voice is their instrument. Elvis, for example, had most of his music written for him, IIRC. He may not be your cup of tea, but I think most people recognize that his ability to entertain people with his voice and style (dispite translating someone elses music) is worthy of appreciation.

I think that today Elvis would be a lot like some of these pop stars. He probably would be just another star in todays world, not nearly the icon he was. That is just the nature of the beast with the way music is today. I'm not saying that that is bad, it is just something that, like you say, isn't my cup of tea. I appreciate all performers. It takes talent to perform. To some of them it is acting. Acting is a talent. Voices are an instrument, but instuments aren't the only reason I listen to music. I like artists who write and play music that is at least partly their creation. For instance, I hate cover songs for the most part. They may sound better than the original, but the cover songs loose the original emotion IMO. There was inspiration behind the first song. The second song may have inspiration, but if that inspiration can't be put in their own words, I don't want to hear it. Just one of my quirks.

Also, most of these artists that you and OldRightHander speak of that play songs that have been written have the artistic vision that I would argue some of todays pop stars don't. Its comparing apples and oranges to me.

WebScorpion
10-29-2007, 05:25 PM
I agree that I see this love of obscurity for obscurity's sake in movies, music, and/or books. In fact, I see it everywhere...in all the little niche groups, wine connoisseurs, beer fans, dog lovers, cigar aficianados, even Trekkies. I think it's just a misinterpretation of the true appreciation of things...they equate knowledge of obscure minutiae with appreciation of the thing itself. It's not really that annoying until you couple it with an overly competitive outlook and then you get the "I am a bigger snarfblat fan because I know more about snarfblats than you do" attitude. This usually rubs me the wrong way and I try to avoid these types of people...because I am obviously better than them. ;) <----- Sarcasm indicator

TeamCasey
10-29-2007, 05:48 PM
<======== likes 50's and 70's pop music.

Big Stephen King fan too. :)

WMR
10-29-2007, 05:56 PM
"Nobody can make you feel inferior without your permission first." - Eleanor Roosevelt

Quit trying to usurp RBA's gig! ;) :laugh:

Betterread
10-29-2007, 07:19 PM
Something has kind of bothered me for a few years now, not a major bother, but it still irks me sometimes. I have seen it on here to a degree, and also in workplaces I used to find myself in before I started driving. It's this idea that liking the more obscure is a sign of better taste, or the idea that liking the popular thing is somehow a sign of unrefined taste or at the least something to be ashamed of.

You see it a lot when people are discussing music. My tastes can run into the obscure, but that's mainly from a style preference than anything else, but there are times while channel flipping on the radio that I will hear a popular song and think, "That sounds pretty good." Now I will never try to compare the musical quality of a pop song with something like Handel, but both have their rightful place and can be enjoyed. I might be off base a bit, but it just seems that in most musical discussions, there is almost this unwritten rule that anything mainstream is off limits. Don't get me wrong though. I will be the first to admit that most of the mainstream music is garbage, but there still seems to be a group of people who will despise anything mainstream just because it's mainstream, not necessarily because of the quality or lack thereof.

I notice it as well is some of the literary circles I find myself in at times. Everyone seems to be reading only obscure out of the way authors or books and if you admit to reading, much less enjoying, something that might have been a bestseller, you're frowned upon. You had better not go on some of these sites and mention authors such as Clancy and Cussler unless you want to be laughed out of the virtual room by those who would never stoop low enough to read such fluff.

If you were to come to my house and look at my bookshelf, you will see some volumes there that could be considered fine literature, a few non fiction books that are geared toward a more educated crowd, but you will also see a decent collection of rather popular novels that I am not ashamed to admit I enjoy. Sometimes you read for enlightenment, sometimes for enjoyment. Sometimes you listen to something that makes you thing, sometimes you just want to tap your feet and not think that much.

I guess that the same things could be said about movies, tv programming, and any other medium out there that can be used for education or entertainment. There are some who will consider their tastes more refined than others because they stay away from the popular fluff and only partake in the finer offerings. What I see too much of though is an attitude that seems to boil down to obscurity=good taste, popularity=bad taste. That attitude just bugs me a bit. Anyone else?
But if you like popular things, isn't your taste vindicated? I don't understand your annoyance. If other people's cultural tastes don't conform to popular culture, doesn't that prove the insufficiency of their taste? Pop culture, as the dominant culture, must be the most viable culture.

TeamCasey
10-29-2007, 07:39 PM
People just don't admit they like pop music and bestsellers. :)

I bet you'd be surprised at what people could sing along too. ;)

M2
10-29-2007, 07:56 PM
I like some books and music that are legitimately good. The artistry is right there for anyone who cares to pay attention. There's some other books and music that are in the "great art" category that I can't stand.

I also like some books and music that I know are complete crap from an artistic standpoint. I'm cool with that. The mass market churns out out generic, if pleasing, stuff. That's its function. It means things sell based on mass appeal, which often demands that lowest common denominators be found. People aren't looking to be challenged most of the time. They want something predictable, some disposable entertainment. There's nothing wrong with that.

It means basic works with a good hook catch the popular imagination, while other, more challenging works, languish in obscurity. For instance, "Motherless Brooklyn" is a better book than "The Da Vinci Code". I'm not being a snob about that, it just is. Both are compulsive page turners. Both attempt to put some new twists into forumulaic genres (seedy New York and the international whodunit). Yet when you get down to the execution, Dan Brown writes incredibly basic sentences. He came up with a nifty premise and delivered it for a mass audience. He's rich for it and good for him. Meanwhile, Jonathan Lethem created a true original in the character of Lionel Essrog, a young Town Car driver with Tourette's out to solve the mystery of who murdered his boss. Brown wrote and incredibly popular novel. Lethem wrote an incredibly popular novel among the literary "in" crowd. The world makes space for both.

wheels
10-29-2007, 08:01 PM
My favorite song in 1997 was "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls" by TLC.

I still get flack for it to this day. Probably because I force everyone I know to listen to it at my house when they come over. "This is one of the greatest R&B songs EVER!" usually accompanies it.

I also am a huge Hall and Oats fan. Girls love Hall and Oats.

I think most people like some of everything. It's just getting them to admit to what they listen to when nobody is around that is the hard part. I learn a ton about myself and my musical tastes when I go on a long road trip with someone. Singing along to "Shine Sweet Freedom" or something with a good friend is almost as priceless as life itself.

vaticanplum
10-29-2007, 08:19 PM
Quit trying to usurp RBA's gig! ;) :laugh:

Poor man. Poor man's RBA.

I don't think that quotes holds up in all contexts. Racism, for example, makes a pretty good case for any certain group of people to feel inferior, and when it's backed up by action, then it is downright criminal (though it's a criminal act being prosecuted, not the bringing on of an inferiority complex). (I just finished watching Law and Order.) But anywho, I'm just always perplexed when people become upset about others criticizing their taste. The validation of taste comes in the very definition of it. Taste is valid because it's yours, not because someone else says it's valid. The only way I think taste can be invalidated is if it's not genuine, if it exists to like something because you think it should.

Now, there are entirely separate arguments about what is actually good, and this is more what M2 is talking about. This is usually an argument involving tastes backed up by facts, and to me an opinion backed up by fact is always stronger than opinion alone. In any given art form there is generally a set of technical criteria -- dramatic structure, technical composition, whatever. It doesn't mean that a strong piece of music or literature has to have those criteria -- some are very strong precisely because they deviate from them, but there's often at least an awareness of them. But not always. And people devote their entire lives to dissecting this kind of stuff, it can be tremendously fun. That's also why critical reviews are often in synch with each other, and why they often jive with the opinions of "experts" in any given field: if critics are doing their jobs correctly, they're judging something by a set of standard criteria that has probably been studied and is somewhat uniform. I suppose a good critic is able to use all those criteria and then step back and see what the whole entity of something made him feel. But it should never be based on what he feels alone. If that were the case, everyone'd be a critic. If someone's paid to give an opinion on something, he should know why it's good or bad, not just why he liked or didn't like it. Art has rules too.

So if this is what you're referring to, ORH, if people are interested in hearing you defend your taste because they really want to hear why you like something, I recommend giving it a shot. It's likely not personal and you'll likely discover something about why you like something that may make you appreciate it even more. But if they're not interested in reasons, if you truly feel like you're being "laughed at" because what you like isn't "cool", then heed Eleanor Roosevelt and don't even bother. That clearly has nothing to do with you and everything to do with them seeking unfounded validation in their own tastes (which, again, cannot be validated by anything but their own existence). Time is so precious, it's totally beyond my comprehension why anyone would waste his time propping up someone else who doesn't deserve it. I have wasted enough time on that in ridiculous relationships, thank you. My tastes deserve better.

KittyDuran
10-29-2007, 08:46 PM
Journey rocks! And I'm not sorry.I've like Duran Duran since 1981 and have not backed down. I love to tell a story of going into Musicland for a Duran Duran single but decided to get some other music as well. Well I put the DD CD single on top of my bundle (which included Led Zep's box set and the Beatles Anthology #2). The clerk took a look at the Duran CD and stated "I can't believe anyone would buy this". :p: I calmly took all the music and put it back on the shelves and walked out the door (never to return). I did eventually get all the music except for the Beatles Anthology #2... I do have #1 and #3 tho'.

KittyDuran
10-29-2007, 09:01 PM
Oh, I just thought of something else! A lot of this "taste" involves your hard earned money - is it wise to spend it on someone else's taste?

IslandRed
10-29-2007, 09:05 PM
I agree that I see this love of obscurity for obscurity's sake in movies, music, and/or books. In fact, I see it everywhere...in all the little niche groups, wine connoisseurs, beer fans, dog lovers, cigar aficianados, even Trekkies. I think it's just a misinterpretation of the true appreciation of things...they equate knowledge of obscure minutiae with appreciation of the thing itself. It's not really that annoying until you couple it with an overly competitive outlook and then you get the "I am a bigger snarfblat fan because I know more about snarfblats than you do" attitude. This usually rubs me the wrong way and I try to avoid these types of people...because I am obviously better than them. ;) <----- Sarcasm indicator

Several years ago, George Will (I think) wrote a column about how, with '80s-style conspicuous consumption having gone out of style, people had simply transferred their snobbery to smaller things.

But for most people, I don't think it's really about snobbery. There are certain things in life where people seem to want to fit in with the crowd and certain things where people want to stand out. By emphasizing what we like that's not what everyone else seems to like, we feel like we stand out more. Not a problem so long as we're being honest about it and not defining our likes based on what we think will impress others.

M2
10-29-2007, 09:14 PM
My favorite Journey story, which I'm sure I've told here before, but I'm telling it again, involves music snobbery.

I was at a record store in the winter of 1981 and there were two 17ish girls working at the place with a early 20ish manager who was trying to impress them (no doubt keeping the conversation well away from the fact that he surely lived with his parents). John Cougar had just scored the top two songs in the nation with "Hurts So Good" and "Jack and Diane", which Casey Kasem is informing us all as America's Top 40 plays over the store sound system.

The manager then pipes up that he never thought he'd live to see the day that John Cougar had the top two songs in the nation. Why couldn't someone with some real talent have done it? Someone like Journey.

That's where I broke out into hysterical laughter. Just started pointing at him and laughing, occasionally stopping for breath and to exclaim "Journey!" Then I'd laugh some more. My sides hurt I was laughing so hard.

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2007, 01:02 AM
My favorite song in 1997 was "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls" by TLC.

I still get flack for it to this day. Probably because I force everyone I know to listen to it at my house when they come over. "This is one of the greatest R&B songs EVER!" usually accompanies it.

I also am a huge Hall and Oats fan. Girls love Hall and Oats.

I think most people like some of everything. It's just getting them to admit to what they listen to when nobody is around that is the hard part. I learn a ton about myself and my musical tastes when I go on a long road trip with someone. Singing along to "Shine Sweet Freedom" or something with a good friend is almost as priceless as life itself.

Didn't you criticize me for liking "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World?

Your credibility is now shot.


My favorite Journey story, which I'm sure I've told here before, but I'm telling it again, involves music snobbery.

I was at a record store in the winter of 1981 and there were two 17ish girls working at the place with a early 20ish manager who was trying to impress them (no doubt keeping the conversation well away from the fact that he surely lived with his parents). John Cougar had just scored the top two songs in the nation with "Hurts So Good" and "Jack and Diane", which Casey Kasem is informing us all as America's Top 40 plays over the store sound system.

The manager then pipes up that he never thought he'd live to see the day that John Cougar had the top two songs in the nation. Why couldn't someone with some real talent have done it? Someone like Journey.

That's where I broke out into hysterical laughter. Just started pointing at him and laughing, occasionally stopping for breath and to exclaim "Journey!" Then I'd laugh some more. My sides hurt I was laughing so hard.

I recently saw a bright red Porsche 944 with the personalized license plate "JRNYFAN".

kaldaniels
10-30-2007, 01:52 AM
What's all the racket in this thread about? Can't everyone keep it down a little bit...I'm trying to listen to some Nickelback right now!!!

:D:D:D

SteelSD
10-30-2007, 02:08 AM
Snobbery. Hate it.

On work outings for management, I tend to order vodka martinis (Stoli, if avalable). Up. Stirred rather than shaken (James Bond was a wuss). No olives. I like a good vodka martini and it's got a kick. But, I always get a look from some guy who proceeds to order a Samuel Adams because he saw it ordered in a commercial by a guy who wore a suit. Dude looks at me like I'm a snob and then orders what might be the ultimate snob beer. Yeah. Good one.

Music. My wife does an incredible job of identifying future hits from obscure bands. As a historical marker, this is a woman who had to special order No Doubt's breakthrough album at a local On Cue because no one had ever heard of them. She suggests bands to co-workers pretty consistently and they look at her like she's some kind of music snob. The she sees them chair-dancing to the same tune she recommended two months earlier.

FYI- The Fratellis. She had me listening to them many moons ago.

Movies. I like "Intacto" (and everyone should). The Russian "Night Watch" is at least a cult classic and one of the best Sci-Fi/Fantasy films made in the last 20 years. The sequel "Day Watch" is also an excellent flick. There's a lot of good stuff being made outside the US, but mention it and you're a movie "snob".

Gaming. Don't even get me started on the current war between X-Box 360 and PS3 fanboys. Personally, I don't care who likes what. I just want folks to have fun. But I also play Magic the Gathering and that's a game with a caste system like no other. I've been pretty successful at that game and hold two State championships and multiple top 8 tourney finishes as well as solid PTQ and Regional finishes.

A couple years ago I played in a Grand Prix tourney in Minneapolis and was simply flabbergasted by the elitism shown by the Pro Tour players I had the misfortune to meet. One guy faced off against me in a match and very loudly declared that he had just flown in from a professional poker tournament in Las Vegas. Wow. Awesome. I wonder why he lost that match. During the next match, my Pro Tour opponent stalled the game at every opportunity when we were playing under a time limit and then got verbally abusive after he lost the 2nd game of a three-game match with only five minutes left. The "judge" (and I use that term loosely) did nothing to stop the jerk from continuing this "Pro Tour" player's verbal assault after I had to shuffle and then re-shuffle my deck. Then I tried to talk to a guy named Josh Ravitz (he's google-enabled) at the concession stand. He looked at me as if I were nobody and didn't even acknowledge me. Thanks Pro Tour snob. That's the way to be a gaming ambassador, you schmuck.

Car snobs. Hey, I drive a Ford Taurus right now. It has a 24-valve V6 Duratec engine under the hood and a crystal-clear sweet sound system that'll blow your ears out at a volume setting of 6 (and it's a "stock" system). It's incredibly safe and I drive about 4 miles a day to work round-trip. When you drive up next to me with your sports car or over-produced Escalade, you shouldn't actually assume you'll blow me off that line.

And I could go on...

M2
10-30-2007, 02:22 AM
Didn't you criticize me for liking "The Middle" by Jimmy Eat World

I'll confess, while I wasn't so high on "The Middle", I kind of like "Bleed American" and "Get It Faster".

pedro
10-30-2007, 02:43 AM
Journey rocks! And I'm not sorry.

Right on Johnny.

pedro
10-30-2007, 02:46 AM
My favorite song in 1997 was "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls" by TLC.

I still get flack for it to this day. Probably because I force everyone I know to listen to it at my house when they come over. "This is one of the greatest R&B songs EVER!" usually accompanies it.

I also am a huge Hall and Oats fan. Girls love Hall and Oats.

I think most people like some of everything. It's just getting them to admit to what they listen to when nobody is around that is the hard part. I learn a ton about myself and my musical tastes when I go on a long road trip with someone. Singing along to "Shine Sweet Freedom" or something with a good friend is almost as priceless as life itself.

right on to you too wheels. i like me some tlc and hall and oates.

KronoRed
10-30-2007, 03:04 AM
My favorite song in 1997 was "Don't Go Chasing Waterfalls" by TLC.


That's one of the few songs that will make me cry.

I'm serious :cool:

WMR
10-30-2007, 04:34 AM
That's one of the few songs that will make me cry.

I'm serious :cool:

Awwwwwwwwwwwwwwwww ;)

RedsBaron
10-30-2007, 07:49 AM
Car snobs. Hey, I drive a Ford Taurus right now. It has a 24-valve V6 Duratec engine under the hood and a crystal-clear sweet sound system that'll blow your ears out at a volume setting of 6 (and it's a "stock" system). It's incredibly safe and I drive about 4 miles a day to work round-trip. When you drive up next to me with your sports car or over-produced Escalade, you shouldn't actually assume you'll blow me off that line.



There is almost an infinite variety of car snobs, including those who proudly proclaim that they don't drive and who look down their noses at all cars.
I am fortunate enough to have a 1992 Corvette, which really isn't that expensive a car, but is a real blast to drive. Corvette guys can have some snobbery, but Porsche guys look down their noses at Corvette owners. I suppose that Ferrari owners look down their noses at Porsche fans (I don't know that for sure, as my circle of friends doesn't include any Ferrari fans).

nate
10-30-2007, 10:20 AM
My Dad has a great line on all issues of taste:

"Its the kind of thing you like if you like that kind of thing."

Another effective device is when someone asserts their opinion, mentally prefix / suffix the words "to me" on their declarations.

For example:

"Chunky peanut-butter sucks (to me.)"

or

"(To me,) Damone is a loudmouth."

RichRed
10-30-2007, 10:49 AM
Singing along to "Shine Sweet Freedom" or something with a good friend is almost as priceless as life itself.

LOVE that song. Let's hear it for 80s movie soundtracks.

MrCinatit
10-30-2007, 11:00 AM
I admit to having an eclectic musical taste.
Working nights, I have burned many CDs to listen to (kinda like Molina's Boogie Nights character - think mixed tapes on disc).
My coworkers are, purely and simple, country music fans. To them, my taste is laughable.
A couple of nights ago, I had a track consisting of (in this order) The Clash, George Jones, Melt Banana, Run-DMC, Flying Burrito Brothers, L7, Sonic Youth, Pink Floyd, Wolfmother and the Rolling Stones.


Drove them freaking crazy.


BTW: Wise words, nate. Every time I start hearing the grief, I simply say I don't find country music that appealing. Seems to work.

M2
10-30-2007, 11:10 AM
"(To me,) Damone is a loudmouth."

Hey, you just don't know Damone.

registerthis
10-30-2007, 11:17 AM
A lot of Classical performers would fall under this category, brilliant musicians performing for the most part something someone else wrote.

Classical isn't really a fair comparison with pop music though, it exists in such a different sphere. Besides, with a few exceptions, people are more familiar with the composers and conducters of a piece than the musician(s) playing it. Most people would have scant trouble listing ten famous classical composers, but you'd be hard pressed to name one member of the London Philharmonic, the Boston Pops, the National Symphony, etc.

Jazz is another genre that has a great number of musicians playing a rather limited catalog of songs penned by "masters". And here, again, people are generally more familiar with the composers and band leaders than they are the individual musicians who play them.

I guess for me, I differentiate between an artist who is an entertainer (Britney Spears, Elvis) and an artist who is a musician/songwriter (the vast majority of my music collection). I like a few "entertainers", but my own musical tastes lean heavily towards those who write and/or perform their own music. It is more genuine to me. It doesn't mean there isn't room for entertainers in the artistic world, but more often than not they're just not my cup of tea.

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2007, 05:56 PM
I guess for me, I differentiate between an artist who is an entertainer (Britney Spears, Elvis) and an artist who is a musician/songwriter (the vast majority of my music collection). I like a few "entertainers", but my own musical tastes lean heavily towards those who write and/or perform their own music. It is more genuine to me. It doesn't mean there isn't room for entertainers in the artistic world, but more often than not they're just not my cup of tea.

I agree. I have a greater appreciation for people who can write their own songs and play their own instruments than for "voices" who just sing something someone else wrote.

The absence of musical talent is one of the reasons I don't like rap.


Hey, you just don't know Damone.

Maybe they do know Damone pretty well.

WMR
10-30-2007, 05:57 PM
Johnny was the only one who loved the Sopranos ending. :laugh:

Johnny Footstool
10-30-2007, 06:00 PM
Johnny was the only one who loved the Sopranos ending. :laugh:

I tell you, I nearly peed my pants when Carmella walked into the diner and those piano chords kicked in.

WMR
10-30-2007, 06:07 PM
Just for you, Johnny: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rnT7nYbCSvM

vaticanplum
10-30-2007, 09:41 PM
I agree. I have a greater appreciation for people who can write their own songs and play their own instruments than for "voices" who just sing something someone else wrote.

Appreciation is one thing, but I agree with reg that there's a place -- I would say a NEED -- for these "entertainers". That Sinatra guy did ok. I daresay the world wouldn't be the same without him, in fact, and that can't be said for a whole lot of songwriters.


The absence of musical talent is one of the reasons I don't like rap.

Define music :) Melody? Chord progressions? Creativity? Sonic quality? Tone? I find certain rap incredibly musical.

Falls City Beer
10-30-2007, 09:54 PM
I find certain rap incredibly musical.

I feel no guilt in saying that "Wipe Me Down" is Art with a capital "Sexy."

deltachi8
10-30-2007, 11:37 PM
I likes what i like when I likes it. best way I can put it with the little brain that I have.

westofyou
11-01-2007, 11:29 AM
http://joeposnanski.com/JoeBlog/

Why Bruce Matters (to me in Japan)
November 1st, 2007


Funny thing, I’m pretty sure I had never heard of Bruce Springsteen before “Born in the USA” came out. In fact, I think the first time I became aware of Springsteen was when he did the “Dancing in the Dark” video, and pulled the oh-so-excellent-looking Courtney Cox on the stage. And then next time I noticed him was was when he did the “Glory Days” video, and I still cannot stand that song. Speedball, indeed.

Hey, there was no Springsteen where I lived. I grew up in a sheltered AM Radio home with Connie Francis and Bobby Vinton records playing — to me, as a kid, the epicenter of music hip was the Leif Garrett record that I got for free at Burger King (“Everybody go surfin’!”) and the Vickie Sue Robinson appearance on Bandstand. Turn the beat around. Love to hear percussion.

I think it was my ghastly musical upbringing that shaped my philosophy about music, which is this: You just like what you like. I am, as is probably apparent from this blog, an unbearable pop-culture snob about most things. I cannot imagine a scenario where I could be friends with anyone who loves the movie “Patch Adams” or religiously watches “According to Jim” (no offense to Jim Belushi, if you are reading) or holds a monthly poker game that tilts towards deuces, sevens and one-eyed jacks. I really am a jerk, actually.

But that snobbishness ends with music. I think music (as Elvis said during the Sun Sessions) either moves you or it doesn’t. And that comes from someplace beyond choices, something involuntary, the color of your eyes. I might prefer not to like George Michael. I might feel embarrassed that “Voulez Vous” makes me so happy. But this is what I am.

Put in a negative way way: I may personally think that Billy Joel music sucks, but this does not prevent me from being best friends with a guy who can sing every song, word for word, off the Streetlife Serenade album (it also does not make me think any less of the cool and hot Sarah Silverman that she has the gruesome “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” on her iTunes playlist. Hey, Bottle of Red, Bottle of White, whatever makes you happy Sarah). I may personally rather listen to passing garbage trucks than Jethro Tull, but when a friend of mine went to see them in concert recently (yeah, recently), I did not stop returning her calls.

(I will admit that going to a Jethro Tull concert in 2007 does push my liberal music sensibilities to the edge. Seriously, how old are those guys by now? Jethro Tull recorded “Locomotive Breath” when locomotives were America’s No. 1 transportation option. And that song sucked then too.)

All of this is a way to offer my theory that while you may learn to appreciate music, loving it comes from someplace else. I appreciate Charlie Parker. I love Prince. I appreciate Mozart. I love Madonna. I appreciate the Beatles. I love Feist. I have Wilco and Arcade Fire on my iPod. I listen to Keane and David Gray instead. I suspect old Nirvana is better than old Pearl Jam, but I like Pearl Jam more. I appreciate young Sinatra and skinny Elvis, but I love cuckoo old Frank Sinatra and cape-wearing In the Ghetto Elvis. These aren’t choices I would necessarily make, if they were choices.

And I love Bruce Springsteen. I know a lot has been written about Springsteen, good and bad, about his politics and his growth and depth as a musician and his place in American music and a whole lot of other things that frankly are way beyond me. But what I’m trying to get across here is that none of that means much to me. I appreciate that Springsteen. But I love the Springsteen whose music has made me feel stuff at different times in my life, stuff that, technically, is nowhere to be found in any of of the songs.

I didn’t hear “Born to Run” — the album — until I was in college. And, like countless other kids, I listened to it over and over and over again, even though none of the songs really spoke to me, not literally. I don’t know anything about cars or the backstreets of the big city, and I haven’t really been around too many people like Eddie or the Magic Rat or the barefoot girl sitting on the hood of a Dodge (drinking warm beer in the soft summer rain). I still have absolutely no idea what Tenth Avenue Freeze Out is supposed to be about. I guess Bad Scooter was searching for his groove.

But it doesn’t matter, not to me. There was something electric in the music, something I NEEDED to hear at that moment in my life, something I still love to hear, something about wanting to bust out and make a name for yourself and just be heard, man. I was like most of my friends, I had this nameless ambition to do something, be something, but also this overriding suspicion that I was going to live a half life with a dead-end, John Cusack, “I don’t want to sell anything bought or processed, or buy anything sold or processed, or process anything sold, bought or processed, or repair anything …” kind of job. Bruce shouted down that fear. We’re gonna get to the place where we really wanna go and then we’ll walk in the sun.

M2
11-01-2007, 11:52 AM
I know a guy who walks around with a chip on his shoulder over the fact that his wedding band wouldn't play "Locomotive Breath".

westofyou
11-01-2007, 12:06 PM
I know a guy who walks around with a chip on his shoulder over the fact that his wedding band wouldn't play "Locomotive Breath".

Wow... Crossed Eyed Mary I could understand, but Locomotive Breath?

Roy Tucker
11-01-2007, 12:18 PM
Free Bird!

Roy Tucker
11-01-2007, 12:27 PM
Generally speaking, I think my tastes have broadened as I've gotten older.

There are always the music that was around during critical stages in your life that are imprinted (or seared) into one's being. And you naturally gravitate back to that stuff ("Whippin' Post! Bruuuuucceee) when scanning the FM/XM/iPod dial.

But there is a whole lot of music that you listen to over the years and say "hmmmm, you know, I think there is something here". And you listen to it more, be it Charlie Parker, Doc Watson, or Mozart and learn to a.) like it, and b.) appreciate the music form. My biggest problem any more is I like too much stuff. XM has been a godsend.

And that goes for most art forms, be it PBS TV, sculpting, 18th century Flemish painters, action thriller books, rap (my God, yes, rap), modern day poetry, speed metal, or whatever.

I've been blessed with a lively mind and blessed to have access to a broad and varied content stream (for wont of a better term) and there is just a whole bunch of stuff I like. I don't have enough time to listen to, read, watch, and *do* all the things I want.

registerthis
11-01-2007, 12:28 PM
My band used to do a cover medley that included "Immigrant Song", "Billy Jean" and "Ain't Talkin 'Bout Love". When I was feeling particularly adept, I'd throw in a little bit of YYZ.

It was badass, I tell ya.

No, really.

Johnny Footstool
11-01-2007, 12:30 PM
Appreciation is one thing, but I agree with reg that there's a place -- I would say a NEED -- for these "entertainers". That Sinatra guy did ok. I daresay the world wouldn't be the same without him, in fact, and that can't be said for a whole lot of songwriters.

Define music :) Melody? Chord progressions? Creativity? Sonic quality? Tone? I find certain rap incredibly musical.

Musical talent is ability to sing and/or play an instrument. That's a pretty broad definition.

Saying poetry over a sampled beat doesn't meet that definition.

I'm not saying rappers aren't talented -- they have a great deal of talent. But they don't sing and don't usually play an instrument. They're entertainers -- artist, even -- but not musicians.

dabvu2498
11-01-2007, 12:32 PM
Best cover I've ever heard a country band do was of Destiny's Child's "Say My Name." True story. That was meant to be a country song.

Johnny Footstool
11-01-2007, 12:34 PM
Best cover I've ever heard a country band do was of Destiny's Child's "Say My Name." True story. That was meant to be a country song.

You should hear my band's punk/metal rendition of Air Supply's "All Out of Love".

M2
11-01-2007, 12:46 PM
Wow... Crossed Eyed Mary I could understand, but Locomotive Breath?

Actually, I don't think you can dance to "Cross-Eyed Mary". Literally. It's got a screwy time signature. You'd have to pull out some acid drop moves.

With "Locomotive Breath" at least you can do the fist pump-head bob thing. That wouldn't be dancing per se, but it would be organized.

Though I wouldn't want to watch the grandparents dance to either one.

HumnHilghtFreel
11-01-2007, 01:04 PM
Musical talent is ability to sing and/or play an instrument. That's a pretty broad definition.

Saying poetry over a sampled beat doesn't meet that definition.

I'm not saying rappers aren't talented -- they have a great deal of talent. But they don't sing and don't usually play an instrument. They're entertainers -- artist, even -- but not musicians.

http://youtube.com/watch?v=sFb9UqELX8w

I love The Roots a lot more than most "rap groups" simply for the fact that they play their own instruments and typically aren't overproduced.

vaticanplum
11-01-2007, 01:20 PM
Musical talent is ability to sing and/or play an instrument. That's a pretty broad definition.

Saying poetry over a sampled beat doesn't meet that definition.

I'm not saying rappers aren't talented -- they have a great deal of talent. But they don't sing and don't usually play an instrument. They're entertainers -- artist, even -- but not musicians.

Well, to play the devil's advocate, "sing" has a pretty broad definition too. A lot of what constitutes a person's singing ability is personal taste too.

I would still say music has a broader definition for me than it does for you. Which is what still keeps it in the "taste" category to a degree.

SunDeck
11-01-2007, 01:35 PM
I think the issue is not whether people purposefully gravitate towards the obscure, or whether they like what is popular, or whether there is some value inherent in those choices. Rather, I believe it is right to be annoyed about how people use those choices.

For instance, someone may have an in depth interest in film. This interest makes them no better or worse than anyone else. However, I have been annoyed to no end by people who believe a conversation about film really is a competition to see who knows more about the subject. On the other hand, I have had wonderful conversations with people who know comparatively little about film, yet who really like to talk about the movies they like. What is the difference? Usually the person who creates the more enjoyable conversation has as much or even more interest in the other person's opinions and experiences, thereby using the conversation to validate the other person, to draw them out and to establish a rapport. To put it simply, they are a good conversationalist. The other person, the one who annoys me, despite having a lot of knowledge that I would enjoy exploring, is a blow hard, a know-it-all, who is more content to hear himself speak than to participate in a conversation.

It's pretty simple. Nobody really cares what anyone else likes, but everyone wants to impress other people. Unfortunately, some people confuse the two so that they believe more people will be impressed by them if what they like (or what they know) is more impressive.

M2
11-01-2007, 02:12 PM
Musical talent is ability to sing and/or play an instrument. That's a pretty broad definition.

Saying poetry over a sampled beat doesn't meet that definition.

I'm not saying rappers aren't talented -- they have a great deal of talent. But they don't sing and don't usually play an instrument. They're entertainers -- artist, even -- but not musicians.

I'll take Chuck D's voice over Steve Perry's any day of the week. Nelly, Ludacris, Queen Latifah, they've all got their own distinctive vocal styles. They're not talking. Rap songs have got choruses and vocal bridges and runs and everything you'd find in a pop song. I'm no huge rap fan, but I recognize that it's lyrical content (something that's akin what your standard travelling bard would have done in the Middle Ages).

On the musician end of things, I'd like it if more bands in that genre played instruments, but I understand why they don't. It's a lot easier to pay for two turntables and microphone than it is for a guitar, bass, drum set, keyboard and amps. Go back to doo wop or Motown and what you mostly had was acts that used their voices to musical effect. Rap isn't anything new in that regard and I'd argue that the production of the music in the background, while not your standard instrumentation, takes more than a fair amount of musical talent.

Falls City Beer
11-01-2007, 04:32 PM
Rap isn't anything new in that regard and I'd argue that the production of the music in the background, while not your standard instrumentation, takes more than a fair amount of musical talent.

Some rhythm tracks on rap albums are flat-out byzantine in their complexity. Though, unfortunately, those tend to be awfully rare. Similarly, truly gifted free-stylers are rare.

Most hip-hop goofs hit the 4/4 button on their TR-808s, and chant, "Gimme some uh dat Tootsie Roll!" Sub-juvenile garbage.

Rap right now is flooded with crap. If that makes me sound like grandpa, so be it. There just ain't that much holding it together in the skill department.

M2
11-01-2007, 05:29 PM
Some rhythm tracks on rap albums are flat-out byzantine in their complexity. Though, unfortunately, those tend to be awfully rare. Similarly, truly gifted free-stylers are rare.

Most hip-hop goofs hit the 4/4 button on their TR-808s, and chant, "Gimme some uh dat Tootsie Roll!" Sub-juvenile garbage.

Rap right now is flooded with crap. If that makes me sound like grandpa, so be it. There just ain't that much holding it together in the skill department.

That's the same with any genre though - country, pop, metal, punk. You've got the vast majority of acts following the formula and a small number doing something original. I don't listen to enough rap to know who's breaking new ground at the moment, which gets back to the obscurity part of this thread. Those who do pay close attention could steer me toward the good stuff if I were so inclined to seek it out and, in general, I'm glad there's folks to do the sorting and show us at times there's something worth hearing in what at times feels like an ocean of mass market crap.

Falls City Beer
11-01-2007, 05:42 PM
That's the same with any genre though - country, pop, metal, punk. You've got the vast majority of acts following the formula and a small number doing something original. I don't listen to enough rap to know who's breaking new ground at the moment, which gets back to the obscurity part of this thread. Those who do pay close attention could steer me toward the good stuff if I were so inclined to seek it out and, in general, I'm glad there's folks to do the sorting and show us at times there's something worth hearing in what at times feels like an ocean of mass market crap.

I feel comfortable saying there are far more original works being created in rock right now.

And the "rap underground" right now is basically non-existent. The thing is that pretty much all the good rap that ever existed, the Dre-produced stuff, Tupac, Snoop, some Biggie, was huge--rap is pretty much designed NOT to be underground. There's no cachet in rap anonymity.

Go listen to this generation's leading lights: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Diplomats, all that Dirty South nonsense. Pretty much all glitz crap. The genre needs a new zeitgeist, badly.

M2
11-01-2007, 06:50 PM
I feel comfortable saying there are far more original works being created in rock right now.

And the "rap underground" right now is basically non-existent. The thing is that pretty much all the good rap that ever existed, the Dre-produced stuff, Tupac, Snoop, some Biggie, was huge--rap is pretty much designed NOT to be underground. There's no cachet in rap anonymity.

Go listen to this generation's leading lights: Lil Wayne, Kanye West, Diplomats, all that Dirty South nonsense. Pretty much all glitz crap. The genre needs a new zeitgeist, badly.

I don't pay enough attention to know how much original stuff is being created in rap these days.

That said, I know there's some real good French and Arabic stuff (MC Solaar and Salah Edin) coming from overseas. The Streets came out of Birmingham, England. Perhaps what rap needs is something like a British Invasion. My wife maintains that it hip hop works a lot better in French because the language has a more lyrical flow.

I'm told Boston's got an underground rap scene, don't know much more than that, just that it's there and supposedly it's backbeats are all coming from Danger Mouse wannabes. Providence has got Sage Francis, who did the hysterical Dance Monkey.

I was up at the Francophone music festival in Montreal two years ago and there were a number of decent or better hip hop acts, most doing crazy fusion stuff, lots of actual instrument playing involved.

Point being, there's more out there than the mass market stuff (which I find every bit of bereft of talent as you do).