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improbus
07-28-2008, 09:06 AM
What are your "rules" for the music you like?
Here are some of mine:

1) It must be original, not just a copycat band with a sound that I've heard in a hundred different places.
2) I will not listen to a band that you need to be under the influence of some foreign substance to understand or enjoy (Phish, The Doors)
3) Ignore music critics: They almost always love a bands first album and then their second album either sounds "too much like the first" or "not enough like the first".
4) "Hit the note and move on" I don't care for jam bands (see rule #2)
5) I could care less about "selling out" If I were in band and someone said, "I will give you $40,000 to play your song on a commercial." I would sign my name on the line as fast as humanly possible.
6) Any song with the "sparkles/shooting star" sound at the beginning is out.
7) Any song that abuses to slide guitar is out.
8) Any singer that overdoes the "twang" is out. It is a simple ploy that anyone can use to hide vocal weaknesses.
9) Any song with a preset dance that comes with it (especially when the dance instructions are in the song)
10) Any Paul McCartney song written and performed without John Lennon.

macro
07-28-2008, 09:42 AM
You have covered most of my thoughts, so I'm not sure I can add much. But I will elaborate on your first point and agree that good songs are original. I cannot stand to hear a song that trots out the same tired lyrics (or sound) that have been beaten to death. A few years ago, Brooks and Dunn, who I'm none too fond of anyway, had a HUGE hit with a song that consisted of these lyrics:



I'm still hurtin' from the last time
You walked on this heart of mine
I can't find much to believe in
You let me down so many times
Heaven knows how I love you
But I'm tired of holding on
You better kiss me
'Cause your gonna miss me when I'm gone

Not much chance we're gonna make it
If I'm the only one who's trying
You know I'm running out of reasons
And we're running out of time
Someday, girl, you're gonna wake up
And wonder what went wrong
You better kiss me
'Cause your gonna miss me when I'm gone

You're good at going through the motions
All I hear are alibis
Not I get this empty feeling
When I look into your eyes
I don't see a love light shining
I don't know what's going on
You better kiss me
'Cause your gonna miss me when I'm gone

Have not countless middle school songwriters penned those same lyrics for their garage bands over the years?

I appreciate music of all genres (classical, Dixieland, Bluegrass, doo wop, surf, hair metal, modern rock, rap, country...it doesn't matter) as long as the music and the lyrics are original. That doesn't mean that I routinely listen to music from all genres, but I appreciate it.

nate
07-28-2008, 10:52 AM
I thought this was going to be about counterpoint as utilized by the masters...like Gerry Mulligan.

I don't really have any rules. Music elicits an emotional response. That response is either favorable or unfavorable.

IslandRed
07-28-2008, 12:51 PM
You have covered most of my thoughts, so I'm not sure I can add much. But I will elaborate on your first point and agree that good songs are original. I cannot stand to hear a song that trots out the same tired lyrics (or sound) that have been beaten to death.

I generally agree, but there are degrees of original. Let's be honest, if you're trying to write a song about love or relationships, it's pretty much impossible not to trod on hard-packed lyrical ground. (Also known as the "just because I haven't heard it doesn't mean it hasn't been done" rule.) All I ask is that a song not immediately strike me as a ripoff of another one.

The same rule kind of applies regarding the non-vocals -- I don't require the genre to be re-invented, just don't rip off someone else's melodies or riffs.

I like rock and country and oldies and many one-off variations thereof. Don't much care for the typical pop of today, or hip-hop or rap, and on the country side there's only so much twang I like. I'm getting into more of what is loosely called "Americana." I also like stuff that has a breezy beach sound to it, which somehow survived my living in a beach town listening to every clown with a guitar singing Jimmy Buffett.

Bottom line, I listen to music that makes me feel better. If I don't like the sound or if the lyrics are too much of a downer, I'll pass.

Johnny Footstool
07-28-2008, 12:51 PM
1) Most, if not all, of the music must be produced by the actual band members playing actual musical instruments. Samples are allowed, but only as supplements to the actual playing of the music (Soul Coughing is the primary example).

2) Someone in the band must play a guitar. Not just a bass, but an actual guitar.

3) The lyrics must contain clever, interesting, and stimulating thoughts and ideas. Songs about going to Da Club or getting one's groove on are not allowed, except ironically.

4) I must be able to sing the song while I'm driving in my car. Or at least, I must be able to WANT to sing the song.

RedsManRick
07-28-2008, 01:00 PM
I have to be able to understand the words. Whether its the mumbling of Bob Dylan, the screaming of Metallica, slang drenched rap, or just the lazy diction of Springsteen, if I can't understand what's being sung, I'm not going to be interested. I know that the pronunciation is part of the feel of the song, but if I'm spending all my energy deciphering the words, I'm not thinking about the music itself or the meaning of the words being said.

macro
07-28-2008, 02:21 PM
I generally agree, but there are degrees of original. Let's be honest, if you're trying to write a song about love or relationships, it's pretty much impossible not to trod on hard-packed lyrical ground.


But, there is a difference between something like "I love that girl with all my heart" and these lyrics, from three different songs:


"She laughs at my dreams but I dream about her laughter."
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
"I took your stuff and put it in the basement, when I found out what the smile on your face meant."
All four songs are about relationships, but the latter three find a new, creative way to say it.

TRIVIA: What groups recorded the songs whose lyrics are referenced in the bulleted list above? (No Google searches! :D )

RedsManRick
07-28-2008, 02:24 PM
But, there is a difference between something like "I love that girl with all my heart" and these lyrics, from three different songs:


"She laughs at my dreams but I dream about her laughter."
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."
"I took your stuff and put it in the basement, when I found out what the smile on your face meant."
All four songs are about relationships, but the latter three find a new, creative way to say it.

TRIVIA: What groups recorded the songs whose lyrics are referenced in the bulleted list above? (No Google searches! :D )

#2 is from Closing Time by Semisonic

Roy Tucker
07-28-2008, 03:14 PM
If it's got a good beat and you can dance to it.

dougdirt
07-28-2008, 03:15 PM
My Music Theory:

Make my ears happy. Its really that simple for me.

*BaseClogger*
07-28-2008, 03:45 PM
Does it have guitar? Bass? Percussion? Does it sound good to me? OK, then I like it. I don't really care if I can understand the lyrics because I just listen to the music. The lyrics supplement the music IMO...

BuckU
07-28-2008, 04:23 PM
#2 is from Closing Time by Semisonic

#3 is from Third Eye Blind...Losing a Whole Year

919191
07-28-2008, 04:37 PM
Basically it has to be fun to listen to, and I prefer live recordings to studio recordings. I'm happy with just one guy/gal playing a guitar and singing, like the guy in the pic to the left.

IslandRed
07-28-2008, 06:36 PM
"Every new beginning comes from some other beginning's end."

I guess it goes back to what we're considering "original." That line isn't stolen from anyone else, so in that sense, it's original; the thought behind it isn't original at all, so in that sense it's on that well-trod ground I talked about. But it certainly gets my thumbs-up as a good lyric, it's nifty and it doesn't sound like it was ripped off from some other song.

improbus
07-28-2008, 07:21 PM
When I say that I am interested in something original, I am referring much more to the music itself than the lyrics. Lyrics are very rarely truly original, because the themes of music are somewhat universal.

OSUmed2010
07-28-2008, 10:26 PM
I thought this was going to be about counterpoint as utilized by the masters...like Gerry Mulligan.

I don't really have any rules. Music elicits an emotional response. That response is either favorable or unfavorable.

I was expecting an entirely different conversation as well. I was hoping all that theory I studied could be put to use.

But as far as music appreciation goes, I pretty much agree. The emotional response from music is the most important. I enjoy the analysis from an academic standpoint, and sometimes it will further my understanding and enjoyment. But in the end, if it evokes a response, it works.

Betterread
07-28-2008, 10:54 PM
If art(in this case music) is man's imitation of nature, then music is a mixed mathematical science that concerns the origins, attributes and distinctions of sound.

Glenn Gould said that "The purpose of art is not the release of a momentary ejection of adrenaline but rather the gradual, lifelong construction of a state of wonder and serenity".

RedsFan75
07-28-2008, 11:08 PM
Saw the title and came in looking for maybe a discussion on using Dorian mode versus using Ionian.

:D

Rojo
07-28-2008, 11:18 PM
Most songs with "night" in the title suck.

macro
07-29-2008, 02:02 AM
Okay, nice job on getting two of the three, guys. I'll go ahead and reveal that the first one is from "Just The Girl" by The Click Five (2005). It's not exactly destined to be a classic, I don't guess, but I loved that line.

Johnny Footstool
07-29-2008, 12:00 PM
Most songs with "night" in the title suck.

However, *bands* with the word "night" in the title effing ROCK!

http://www.youthlarge.com/dan/music305.jpg

Ltlabner
07-29-2008, 01:02 PM
I don't really have any rules. Music elicits an emotional response. That response is either favorable or unfavorable.

Has a good beat and I can dance to it. That's about where I fall. Either the song speaks to me, or it doesn't.

will5979
07-29-2008, 02:39 PM
Has fit in the following categories...Hard Rock, Classic Rock, Southern Rock, Heavy Metal, Glam Metal, oldies rock, limited amount of country, etc. I just love Rock music, e.g. Van Halen, Crue, GNR, Ozzy, Sabbath, Pink Floyd, Poison, Pantera, Kiss, Hendrix, Megadeth, Aerosmith, ZZ Top, Kid Rock, Skynyrd, BadCo, Bocephus,etc.

Don't like rap, r&b, pop, or bubblegum.

registerthis
07-29-2008, 03:19 PM
Saw the title and came in looking for maybe a discussion on using Dorian mode versus using Ionian.

:D

I once read an essay on the use of the tritone in music. The tritone being, of course, the only musical interval banned by the Catholic Church.

nate
07-30-2008, 08:18 AM
I once read an essay on the use of the tritone in music. The tritone being, of course, the only musical interval banned by the Catholic Church.

Playing a tritone is like asking Satan to babysit your kids.

improbus
07-30-2008, 09:41 AM
I need to add an amendment to my rules

11) Any song/artist that my wife likes is out.

SunDeck
08-02-2008, 11:12 AM
Rules? Hard to say, but I'll take a stab at a few:

1) I favor less produced over more produced. Unless it's someone like Stevie Wonder.
2) I can't stand it when people try to make their voice into some kind of musical affectation, Jason Mraz, Christina Aguilera, being exhibits A&B.
3) If it involves Jerry Garcia, I'll give it a listen. Unless its "space".
4) With apologies to Bela Fleck, the banjo just doesn't cut it as a jazz instrument for me.
5) With apologies to Chris Thile, Bela Fleck comes closer to turning the banjo into a jazz instrument than the Punch Brothers do at turning an essentially bluegrass band into a jazz band. So that rule would be that bands should use their instruments and their musicians wisely.
6) Norman Blake forever, Slash never.
7) Musicians should not push the "clever" envelope. Ornette Coleman? I can't listen to five minutes of that man playing, no matter how brilliant his music is supposed to be.
8) A five piece jazz ensemble beats a full big band arrangement every time. That is probably because of rule #1 for me.
9) Despite rule #8, I'll take a CD full of big band jazz standards over a million Ornette Coleman five piece arrangements.
10) Female singers may not try to sound like children, Jewel being exhibit A. Male singers may not try to sound like they are passing a stone, the guy from Creed being exhibit B.

MWM
08-02-2008, 11:23 AM
I'm pretty much in the "I like whatever I like when I hear it" camp. But there are a couple of things I just can't listen to. One is screaming instead of singing. I love a great voice, but it doesn't have to be great for me to enjoy it. But you at least have to sing. The screamers is what ruined me for most of the heavier types of rock.

Second is that that I have to be able to hear a pitch from the music. Some music has the guitar distortion so strong that it sounds like someone just banging on a guitar as opposed to actually playing a note or chord.

I'm a melody guy. If you don't really have a melody, it doesn't really sond like music to me.

Dom Heffner
08-02-2008, 01:13 PM
1) No remakes. With few exceptions, the original sounds better. And it reeks of, "I can't make it on my own, so let me try a song you already know..." The remake of "Jessie's Girl" was on of the most unneccessary recordings ever.

2) Melody

3) I need lyrics that I can't see coming. If I hear a song where I know the words before I even hear it, you've lost me. For example, fill in these blanks:

"You have my heart you have my _______."

"I think of you all day and all ______."

I realize there are no new sentences but cliches tell me you can't write lyrics.

3) No excessive wailing with the voice. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't flex all day, so don't screech every note.

4) In concert, I don't want to listen to extensive guitar/drum solos. It may give everyone a chance to rest, but it's dreadful for the audience.

MWM
08-02-2008, 10:22 PM
Another thing I can't stand is too much repetition. If a song repeats the same couple of bars over and over again with different words, I can't get through the whole song.

There's some new song that is being played tirelessly that fits this description right now. It's some song aout singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long. Most of the entire song is the same 2 bars over and over again. And these two bars are a grand total of 3 notes with the exact same rhythm. There's nothing to the song at all. I have no idea who it is, but if they're making a lot of money off of it, I'd love to be a song writer for that guy.

cincyinco
08-03-2008, 04:50 AM
).

2) Someone in the band must play a guitar. Not just a bass, but an actual guitar.

I used to think the same thing but a band jcalled Keane has challenged that notion, at least for me. Clever 3 piece british pop band with brilliant and witty lyricism. No guitar and no bass. Just a singer, drummer, and pianist.
Even if you're not a pop music fan, check em out. Surprised at how complete and whole their sound is.

The Baumer
08-03-2008, 07:06 AM
1) I like it.

RichRed
08-03-2008, 09:10 AM
I used to think the same thing but a band jcalled Keane has challenged that notion, at least for me. Clever 3 piece british pop band with brilliant and witty lyricism. No guitar and no bass. Just a singer, drummer, and pianist.
Even if you're not a pop music fan, check em out. Surprised at how complete and whole their sound is.

I agree about Keane. Their lyrics can be a bit too "woe is me" at times, but I like them a lot.

westofyou
08-03-2008, 11:03 AM
I thought this was going to be about counterpoint as utilized by the masters...like Gerry Mulligan.

I don't really have any rules. Music elicits an emotional response. That response is either favorable or unfavorable.

I have one rule.

Avoid John Cage.

DTCromer
08-03-2008, 12:02 PM
If I see someone at a concert wearing plaid shorts, flip flops, collared shirt (probably flopped), and singing with all of his hippie fraternity brothers, then you won't catch me listening to it.

If the song is played on 1 radio station more than twice a day, then I won't listen to it.

SunDeck
08-04-2008, 06:39 PM
If I see someone at a concert wearing plaid shorts, flip flops, collared shirt (probably flopped), and singing with all of his hippie fraternity brothers, then you won't catch me listening to it.

If the song is played on 1 radio station more than twice a day, then I won't listen to it.

How do you keep track?

gm
08-04-2008, 07:31 PM
OK everybody get your melodic dictation books out...

(it's been a long road since Music Theory 101/102 back in '79)

My theory on music is that I'd rather be playing it than listening to somebody else play it

(But when I do listen...let's just say I've been in a "celtic" mood lately. John Doan is from Oregon and he and his musicians only play on 19th century instruments, for example...)

It beats listening to Red's FSN pbp on TV...

Johnny Footstool
08-05-2008, 03:03 PM
I used to think the same thing but a band jcalled Keane has challenged that notion, at least for me. Clever 3 piece british pop band with brilliant and witty lyricism. No guitar and no bass. Just a singer, drummer, and pianist.
Even if you're not a pop music fan, check em out. Surprised at how complete and whole their sound is.

I've never heard of Keane, but they appear to be a little like Ben Folds Five. I liked Ben Folds Five, and I own their first album, but the lack of guitar kept me from becoming a real fan.

Johnny Footstool
08-05-2008, 03:05 PM
If I see someone at a concert wearing plaid shorts, flip flops, collared shirt (probably flopped), and singing with all of his hippie fraternity brothers, then you won't catch me listening to it.

If the song is played on 1 radio station more than twice a day, then I won't listen to it.

I used to have a similar philosophy, but I realized it was more important to simply like what I like and stop worrying about who else likes it.

OldRightHander
08-05-2008, 06:01 PM
I used to have a similar philosophy, but I realized it was more important to simply like what I like and stop worrying about who else likes it.

Amen. I either like a song or I don't like it. How many other people like it has nothing to do with my decision to like it.

I am so sick of the attitude that if you don't like obscure stuff you don't have "taste." I like a lot of obscure music, but not because it's obscure.

FlightRick
08-05-2008, 06:16 PM
There's some new song that is being played tirelessly that fits this description right now. It's some song aout singing Sweet Home Alabama all summer long. Most of the entire song is the same 2 bars over and over again. And these two bars are a grand total of 3 notes with the exact same rhythm. There's nothing to the song at all. I have no idea who it is, but if they're making a lot of money off of it, I'd love to be a song writer for that guy.

It's Kid Rock. And though he's come far since his days as a rap-rocker being pigeon-holed with that no-talent ****** Fred Durst, I'm pretty sure the song you're talking about is (purposely) cut from the same cloth that some rap is, in the sense that the two bars you're talking about being repeated are two bars from the actual "Sweet Home Alabama."

It's just that instead of being sampled, they are repeated and re-interpreted throughout the song. In fact, I think I remember an interview where Mr. Rock said his intention with that song was not just to pay homage to Skynyrd, but also to show the versatility and ubiquitousness (note: Kid Rock did not use the word "ubiquitous," but you know what I mean) of that one simple progression throughout rock music history.

And in that regard, I declare: "Success!"...

Then again, I long ago came to the conclusion that sometimes "originality" is really over-rated, especially when it's originality for originality's sake, and not because it -- you know? -- ROCKS. People need to learn to cope with the fact that they're probably not as clever as they think, and that the vast majority of good ideas have already been had at this point in history.... the best you can do is reshape those good ideas in a way that's meaningful to you, and still accessible to an audience, otherwise, it's all just masturbation.

This viewpoint is born of one too many times being in a band with some wanker who insisted on putting his guitar in some weird tuning or inventing new "chords" or somesuch nonsense, and then getting on stage with the confidence that we were being "unique" while simultaneously being confronted with an audience reaction that clearly indicates WHY those ideas had never before, in the history of music, been had. Meantime, in other bands with players no more instrumentally talented than Kurt Cobain or with songwriting aspirations more theoretically-complex than AC/DC, we get nice reactions and people who see us going onto the internet to write about what a great time they had and how seeing us totally put them in the mood to throw empty whiskey bottles at moving cars.

Music's about what makes you happy, I think. In my experience, I've had the good fortune to develop part of me that realizes my happiness is a function of other's happiness, so put me down as being completely ammenable to Kid Rock or anything else that gets you in the toe-tappin' or fist-pumpin' part of your anatomy... simple and crowd pleasing ain't necessarily anything to be ashamed of.


Rick

OldRightHander
08-05-2008, 06:27 PM
Many classical composers were always borrowing ideas from one another. Now many years later they're called geniuses or great composers, while in reality they were producing what was the pop music of their day. Of course, it can be argued that the quality of their pop music was a bit better than what we have today, but that's a different point.

Johnny Footstool
08-06-2008, 09:42 AM
That Kid Rock song also samples Warren Zevon's "Werewolves of London."

registerthis
08-06-2008, 09:46 AM
I have one rule.

Avoid John Cage.

But 4:33 is a classic tune.

improbus
08-06-2008, 09:57 AM
Being original doesn't mean that you can't borrow. Every musician does it to some degree. No musical piece is truly original, but I hate formula music. Record companies are notorious for this. They find a band that people like, such as Pearl Jam and Nirvana in the early '90's, and then they find as many bands that kind of sound like them and market the heck out them. So you end up listening to Bush and Silverchair and a bunch of other obnoxious stuff. They did it with the hair bands, they did it with Southern Rock, they do it with Hip Hop, and they will always do it.