Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Do talk back
User avatar
Charlie O.
Posts: 37695
Joined: 21 Jul 2003, 19:53
Location: In-A-Badda-La-Wadda, bay-beh

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Charlie O. » 07 Jul 2017, 18:57

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:You could point to a lot of forks in the road that got us to this place. The moment when Dylan and the Beatles convinced every artist after them that they could (and should) write their own songs was the flash point. This had the effect of A) lowering the collective standards around what a good song was, B) forced most professional songwriters out of the business, C) made the remaining pro songwriters more desperate and less willing to take chances, and D) brought on the era of "studio soundscaping" to largely hide the lack of songs.

There's no shortage of songs/records that seem to back up your version of history; there's also no shortage of terrific songs written by musicians/singers who wouldn't have thought of writing their own songs had the Beatles/Dylan not done it, and no shortage of uninspired hackwork by the Brill Building guys and their ilk. This development may have changed "the collective standards around what a good song was," but that was something that was in constant flux even before The Beatles. (I doubt that the Gershwin Brothers would have recognized Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman as peers, for example.)

And "forced most professional songwriters out of the business"? Name three. As far as I can tell most of those people kept right on writin', and getting their songs recorded, and often getting them and on the radio/charts. For every Beatles, there were probably four or five Hermans Hermits's who were happy for whatever help they good get.

And "made the remaining pro songwriters more desperate and less willing to take chances"? Again... how much less desperate and MORE willing to take chances were they pre-Beatles/Dylan? The likes of Goffin/King, Mann/Weil, Barry/Greenwich, Greenfield/Sedaka etc. (not to forget their Brit counterparts) were very, very competitive; even with a Number 1 record on the charts, they'd be worrying too much about the next one to fully enjoy their success. I don't see how their lives (and livelihoods) changed all that dramatically with the advent of new competition, other than possibly making them step up their game. Certainly at least two of those songwriting teams I mentioned got more ambitious with their work, not less.
Image

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22263
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 07 Jul 2017, 19:03

The last thing on earth I want to do is to cast aspersions on soundscaping in and of itself.

But I'll argue that there is a difference between the soundscaping of the first and second generation pop artists and the soundscapes of those who came after.

Near as I can tell, the difference is that the earlier folks still largely conceived of music as something you play live. All of the above records were made as enhancements to the thing that happened in front of an audience. All of the values of a performing musician still permeate those records.

Now you see Pink or Katy Perry and it's like a broadway show. They are finding ways to stage the record. It's a whole other thing.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22263
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 07 Jul 2017, 19:12

Charlie,

You are looking primarily at the winners. The big name songwriters did fine. The hundreds of other professional songwriters ended up writing jingles.

And sure - there were always hacks. Even before the Beatles and Dylan. But the whole atmosphere changed. You didn't have professional songwriters like PF Sloan churning out songs like Eve Of Destruction in the 80s and beyond. There was no market for it. Instead you learned how to write "hits." Trust me - I was kicking around as a songwriter in those days. I can't tell you how many times someone tried to drag me to a workshop to be told that England Dan & John Ford Coley's "I'd Really Live to See You Tonight" was a holy grail because it got to the hook in the first 20 seconds.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

User avatar
Bride Of Sea Of Tunes
Posts: 17196
Joined: 17 Oct 2010, 14:10
Location: The Nether World

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Bride Of Sea Of Tunes » 07 Jul 2017, 19:22

About sheer luck and accidental things and crossroads -

somehow Johnny Rotten drew attention to Culture's album Two Sevens Clash; way back then. At around the same time, Augustus Pablo's 'King Tubby Meets The Rockers Uptown' 45 became a cult hit. Junior Murvin's Police & Thieves went on to be a success in the UK too (was that in the context of riots in London?).

In my memory, quite suddenly the punk explosion and the fast growing attention to roots reggae and dub were a synchronous thing, and an enormously fruitful breeding territory for many, many musical epiphanies yet to come.

Could it be that the limitations of radio and paper magazines, the sheer openness and eagerness of youngsters to anything strange and new, plus sheer coincidence contributed to what I now look back upon as almost boundless creativity, concentrated in only a few years?

Digitization and the availability of everything with a mouse click seem to have eliminated spatial and temporal limits. Maybe these also led to de-synchronization of the mental lives of people, and to more loneliness as a result.

You used to wait for the next installment of your favourite TV series, e.g. The Prisoner, with anticipation, and you saw it together with your friends, in the broadest sense. Whether you were at home alone, with your parents, with your friends: the experience was at the same time slot. You talked about it the day after, full of impressions.

A ritual. Like observing rest on Sundays. Like going to church. Like buying the new NME issue.

You had to wait.

Nowadays people watch Game of Thrones whenever it suits them. One part at a time. Or in binge form. In the middle of the night. Or in broad daylight.

You must watch out for disclosing spoilers to others. Communication gets impaired.

Somehow, our lives became less and less alike, over the past decade(s). We got more isolated.

I think this is one of the many themes that Mark Fisher addressed in his books, e.g. Ghosts Of My Life, The Weird And The Eerie, and Capitalist Realism.
The invisible and the non-existing very much look alike.

User avatar
take5_d_shorterer
Posts: 5573
Joined: 22 Sep 2003, 23:09
Location: photo. by Andor Kertesz, Hung.

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby take5_d_shorterer » 07 Jul 2017, 19:35

Charlie O. wrote:I doubt that the Gershwin Brothers would have recognized Doc Pomus & Mort Shuman as peers, for example.)


I know the point you're making, Charlie, but I would also point out that Gershwin (George at least) had his ears wide open. He was looking for material wherever he could find it: klezmer, blues, Schillinger, Schoenberg. I don't think he felt that he was "above" other songwriters.

Porgy and Bess is considered a classic now, but it was a risky move to make at that time (more risky than Showboat), both because of its format--opera--and because of its subject matter, which I think is really a deliberate attempt to work within folk forms. This couldn't have been the work of someone who wanted to seal himself off from others.

In fact, you might make the argument that the riskiest part of Porgy and Bess is trying to put next to each other "high" and "low" art. In general, I think the work and its songs are still misread and misunderstood. Almost no one plays the right chord changes to "Summertime", and this is a matter of total disregard. People don't even know the correct changes so they can't tell that they are messing up and turning the piece into a generic minor blues onto which you can slap any chord substitutions you want.

That's not what the piece is about. The original changes are nuanced and quite sophisticated, sort of like Ellington. I think there is an ideological point that Gershwin was making by using those chords.

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22263
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 07 Jul 2017, 19:58

Quaco wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:I don't know if people forgot how to write songs. I think they just stopped valuing them.

You could point to a lot of forks in the road that got us to this place. The moment when Dylan and the Beatles convinced every artist after them that they could (and should) write their own songs was the flash point. This had the effect of A) lowering the collective standards around what a good song was, B) forced most professional songwriters out of the business, C) made the remaining pro songwriters more desperate and less willing to take chances, and D) brought on the era of "studio soundscaping" to largely hide the lack of songs.

From there you pass through psychedelia (extreme soundscaping), disco (professionalized soundscaping that emphasizes beat over song craft), punk (seemingly a return to songs, but in truth it put delivery style front and center above the song), and hip hop (All beats and collage. No more need for melody or really songs at all).

Now the technology has rendered everyone a potential singular auteur. All of these developments (and many that I've glossed over) were heralded as progress in their moment. But none of them really made music better. They've just accumulated to make music less crucial to our culture.

The reason I think they forgot is that every so often an artist comes along who really tries to do it the old-fashioned way -- it's clear they are really trying to write great songs in the old vein (Lemon Twigs, The Shins, etc.), and I still don't buy it. There's something wrong somehow. And there's better hooks in bands like Pink Floyd or The Doors, neither of which being what you'd call "classic songwriting" bands.

I do agree with your points above though. I think the proximity in time to showtune songwriting is a big one. I think people who are interested in classic songwriting -- influence check: Nilsson, Beatles, C. King, Beach Boys -- think they are doing it, but mostly aren't. Just my opinionated opinion though.


I share your opinionated opinion.

Part of it just comes down to numbers. You probably needed thousands of songwriters truly steeped in Tin Pan Alley to produce one great one. Now we've got a handful of them, so a lot of the guys getting credit for their good intentions are probably like the guys who wrote "Do the Freddy" back in the day.

Then you get to the issue of all of the bad influences in the musical bloodstream since. You can steep yourself in all of the good stuff till the end of time, but you can't undo all of the other shitty musical influences that have also come along since. They're there.

Finally- as with the bottle of Blue Nun...it's easy to think that working around the form of the thing is the same as creating the thing itself. All the well meaning modern guys who love this shit understand the chord professions to use as signifiers, and know when to lay on a pad of background vocals. But the great songwriters weren't thinking that way. They were recreating a thing. They were just creating, and the sounds they went to were natural to them. That context will never exist again.

I do think it's possible to carry all of these influences and not come off as a well-intentioned weak substitution. But it's not easy. Theoretically it involves learning that stuff as if it's second nature - then largely forgetting about it.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

Bent Fabric
Posts: 1835
Joined: 22 Jul 2014, 21:38

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Bent Fabric » 07 Jul 2017, 23:12

I'm largely enjoying the sort of 500% hypothetical and theoretical areas that we've collectively digressed into (what I might call "several bald men AGREEING over a comb").

With the full understanding that no one wants their lives or their music to be "staged" in any way, there are some basic truisms that I respond to.

DTFB wrote:I do think it's possible to carry all of these influences and not come off as a well-intentioned weak substitution. But it's not easy. Theoretically it involves learning that stuff as if it's second nature - then largely forgetting about it.


Yeah - I like the idea that the shit you know/understand is (as a useful element in expressing one's self/communicating with the world) no more than some secondary, subconscious aid in the pursuit of ultimately far more essential, elemental and vital goals.

The issue of "people who can play 'Norwegian Wood'" (let's just use this specific metric as a generic control group) - I've heard wonderful, magical music made by both people who can and can't play it. I'd be annoyed to get stuck on a certain type of gig with someone who couldn't play it (or see someone like...Coldplay smugly and chest thumpingly covering it in a "We clearly can't play it" kind of way), but...Robert Wyatt may be as big a musical hero to me as anyone I could name and there's not even a whiff of "but does he know 'Norwegian Wood''?" within a mile of my admiration.

I don't personally believe that "an education" (as we're defining it) is essential to reaching out and moving another person. All those ancient punk and garage bands I love so dearly - so many of them seem to just kind of "exist". Similarly, the likes of Syd Barrett and Marc Bolan...they come from somewhere, for sure, we know a little bit about their fetishes and influences, but - in the main, I just kind of appreciate their "instincts". God - with a certain strength of "instinct" you could rule the world.

But, yeah, all that said - I'm pretty happy to have whatever radio I have playing in the back of my subconscious mind. I have no doubt that I rely on it a ton. Maybe some crucial good choice I made once - in the service of a very "me" musical decision - may very well have been made possible by my having absorbed some Stevie Wonder song decades ago.

I guess you always want people to "be themselves." Both the ones you love and the ones you hate. If an artist posses some fundamental flaw that just kills my soul, "good influences" probably aren't going to change that...there are some big, long-running stadium acts who probably carry as big a torch for the Who or Hendrix/George Clinton/Sly Stone - respectively - as anyone ever could, but how could that even matter in such a dire context?

So...yeah, here I am saying all of this shit about what's in your soul being somehow "the center of WHY", but the whole "know it so well that you forget it completely" thing of resources Davey mentions is deeply valid. If you've ever seen someone (and not necessarily deliberately) "Play Coltrane as if you were the Shaggs/Play the Shaggs as if you were Coltrane", it's an exciting place to be.

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22263
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 08 Jul 2017, 00:02

The thing is...in the history of bands/musicians trying to play Norwegian Wood, there's only one that wasn't trying to play Norwegian Wood. They were just trying to get a thing across.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

User avatar
toomanyhatz
Power-mad king of the WCC
Posts: 25727
Joined: 07 Apr 2005, 00:01
Location: Just east of where Charlie Parker went to do some relaxin'

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby toomanyhatz » 08 Jul 2017, 00:16

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:The thing is...in the history of bands/musicians trying to play Norwegian Wood, there's only one that wasn't trying to play Norwegian Wood. They were just trying to get a thing across.


Mostly true, though I would argue that Cornershop was trying to return it to its Indian roots (whether that's a worthy cause, or was done successfully, is of course a matter of opinion), and (to use another example) the Carpenters weren't just trying to do "Ticket to Ride" but rather trying (and I would argue, succeeding in) to find something in it that made it a Carpenters song, something other than what the Beatles found in the creation of it. There are lots of examples, though of course for every one of those you could point to a hundred examples of "I'm covering this song to show off what good taste I have" or "see how well I can duplicate what was done 40 years ago?"

Not being argumentative, just pointing out that there's a whole mentality at work here, and it's complex. It MOSTLY breaks down to the song, but it doesn't completely. Maybe it's about what I think of as 'vision', though it sounds pretentious to say it.
The Great Defector wrote:I still stand by if other people are doing as opposition or its just an everyday day thing, doesn't mean you have to or should do. Work away like, I'm just get your problem.


1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 45733
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Quaco » 08 Jul 2017, 00:23

Bent Fabric wrote:
DTFB wrote:I do think it's possible to carry all of these influences and not come off as a well-intentioned weak substitution. But it's not easy. Theoretically it involves learning that stuff as if it's second nature - then largely forgetting about it.


Yeah - I like the idea that the shit you know/understand is (as a useful element in expressing one's self/communicating with the world) no more than some secondary, subconscious aid in the pursuit of ultimately far more essential, elemental and vital goals.

As take5 knows, 35 years ago, I would want to sound exactly like any number of my heroes. Alas, I could never quite make it -- voice wrong/too low, not strong enough in any one area, too impatient to deconstruct/reconstruct it -- but it's ended up being a blessing. Even if I go into a song trying to recreate something specific, with so many things going into my ears in the intervening years plus those aforementioned tendencies, it always ends up going into another area anyway. As different parts are added, other influences pop up, and you get an amalgamation that sounds vaguely original. I can try to mimic someone else's sound if parody is necessary at a certain point, but not as a sincere thing. These choices come naturally -- as second nature, as we're referring to it. That's just my personal experience. Not sure what to say about "the world" based on it. Interestingly, Bent Fabric/Loveless's music seems different to me -- it's more of its own thing through and through, rather than an amalgamation. Or maybe somehow he just hides the influences better.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 45733
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Quaco » 08 Jul 2017, 00:33

toomanyhatz wrote:the Carpenters weren't just trying to do "Ticket to Ride" but rather trying (and I would argue, succeeding in) to find something in it that made it a Carpenters song, something other than what the Beatles found in the creation of it.

In their case, they added actual musical material that wasn't in the original. This is part of why their version doesn't just read as a second-generation copy of the original. That's also part of it -- the Ian MacDonald argument -- that as music became more democratic, as it was handed to 'the people', it became rarer to find people who could work on more complex levels. We've all seen comparisons about the number of words and chords in a typical chart hit in 1966 compared to 2016, and complexity doesn't necessarily confer quality -- now or then -- but a tendency toward simplicity means that people just can't rise to the challenge if they get an inkling that they might want to. 'It would be cool if it went kind of soft and muzaky for the bridge' ... well what does that mean if you cant arrange vocals? 'How about sort of a Queen thing?' ... you need to know how to harmonize guitars. People will have less at their disposal.

I dunno.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22263
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 08 Jul 2017, 00:57

toomanyhatz wrote:
Davey the Fat Boy wrote:The thing is...in the history of bands/musicians trying to play Norwegian Wood, there's only one that wasn't trying to play Norwegian Wood. They were just trying to get a thing across.


Mostly true, though I would argue that Cornershop was trying to return it to its Indian roots (whether that's a worthy cause, or was done successfully, is of course a matter of opinion), and (to use another example) the Carpenters weren't just trying to do "Ticket to Ride" but rather trying (and I would argue, succeeding in) to find something in it that made it a Carpenters song, something other than what the Beatles found in the creation of it. There are lots of examples, though of course for every one of those you could point to a hundred examples of "I'm covering this song to show off what good taste I have" or "see how well I can duplicate what was done 40 years ago?"

Not being argumentative, just pointing out that there's a whole mentality at work here, and it's complex. It MOSTLY breaks down to the song, but it doesn't completely. Maybe it's about what I think of as 'vision', though it sounds pretentious to say it.


I'm not saying that cover versions can't be great. But the intention is still somewhat relative to the material at hand. At best, you use the song as a springboard.

That's different than having a feeling about loneliness and trying to express it somehow. There's a once-removed quality to playing a song that says what you want to say about loneliness...and maybe even finding a way to make it sound more lonely. At some level, you are still traveling with a map.

There's a lot of unapologetically great music in the "once-removed" bin. The problem is that too many times through the copy machine just makes the picture blurry.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

User avatar
toomanyhatz
Power-mad king of the WCC
Posts: 25727
Joined: 07 Apr 2005, 00:01
Location: Just east of where Charlie Parker went to do some relaxin'

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby toomanyhatz » 08 Jul 2017, 01:04

Davey the Fat Boy wrote:There's a lot of unapologetically great music in the "once-removed" bin. The problem is that too many times through the copy machine just makes the picture blurry.


I like this a lot, and see your point. Though I guess what I'm saying is more like a drawing of a photograph or something. Or a road map being followed, but studied for route options. Choose the sloppy metaphor of your choice. :D

And when you start getting into 'copies of copies' it CAN start getting delightfully unpredictable again. As always, it depends more on what the creator actually brings to it, regardless of their intentions.

I guess the bottom line gets back to the earlier point that the totem isn't the inspiration. Hard to identify precisely, but we know it when we hear it.
The Great Defector wrote:I still stand by if other people are doing as opposition or its just an everyday day thing, doesn't mean you have to or should do. Work away like, I'm just get your problem.


1959 1963 1965 1981 1988 2017?

User avatar
Davey the Fat Boy
Posts: 22263
Joined: 05 Jan 2006, 02:55
Location: Applebees

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Davey the Fat Boy » 08 Jul 2017, 01:11

There are no rules.

But in the aggregate...something's happened. Not sure "progress" is the best word for it.
Marginal BCB contributor since 2006

Image

Bent Fabric
Posts: 1835
Joined: 22 Jul 2014, 21:38

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Bent Fabric » 08 Jul 2017, 01:31

To Quaco's point(s):

One of my favorite anecdotal descriptions of '"the failed copy begetting the inspired original" (as valid as anything, I think) is the story of either Tommy Boyce or Bobby Hart hearing the last 5 or 10 seconds of "Paperback Writer" on the car radio (as it premiered in Los Angeles) and reverse engineering their own as-yet-unwritten song - "Last Train to Clarksville" - based on what that fragment had led them to believe the body of "PW" would have sounded like.

Now - you only get one chance to do this. At some point, you will know precisely what "Paperback Writer" sounds like, and you won't be able to unknow it.

And, perhaps we can say that there is something inorganic about such a ridiculous and convoluted process (granted, for an assignment in which "sub-Beatles" was the sort of explicit directive, it's almost too good to be true...like finding a million dollar bill in the couch), but...a) "Clarksville" is surely a fucking classic, no?, and b) isn't there something to "the folk process" in its purest form that is a bit like the childhood game "telephone" - getting your interpretation or telling of a thing "wrong" enough" that it becomes something significantly different?

"Concealing an influence" might be less accurate than "a person doing their best ultimately drawing the wrong thing from memory". Probably doesn't sound like a promising event, but...surely fruitful on occasion.

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 45733
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Quaco » 08 Jul 2017, 01:47

'Last Train to Clarksville' is an interesting case because they imbued it with, to my ears, a bit more musical content than 'Paperback Writer' had. Maybe this was because they hadn't fully heard/digested 'PW'; maybe it was because the melody/direction ended up calling for it; or maybe because they were innately musical and just wanted to add more stuff (choruses in different keys, bridges). But again, it's a case where they've added a significant amount of material to an original template, rather than just trying to recapture a great song and no more.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bent Fabric
Posts: 1835
Joined: 22 Jul 2014, 21:38

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Bent Fabric » 08 Jul 2017, 02:26

toomanyhatz wrote:...the Carpenters weren't just trying to do "Ticket to Ride" but rather trying (and I would argue, succeeding in) to find something in it that made it a Carpenters song, something other than what the Beatles found in the creation of it ...


Neither making nor illustrating a point here (though, I would say that "vision" isn't even remotely an inappropriate word in this case), but...man, that period of the Carpenters' greatest artistic and commercial success is interesting because there's really not a lot of original or self composed material at the center of it. Their 10 or 20 best or best loved songs are nearly all "covers", and yet they pull this off spectacularly without (remotely) being Quiet Riot or the Ventures or Me First and the Gimme Gimmes or Blue Swede.

I mean, but they AREN'T "covers", though, are they?

"Superstar", "We've Only Just Begun", "Rainy Days and Mondays", "For All We Know", "Hurting Each Other", "(They Long to Be) Close To You", "Ticket to Ride" (that one blows my mind if only for the successful reinvention of DEEPLY well known source material) - to my way of thinking, they became masterpieces when the Carps got a hold of them ("Ticket.." obviously already a very different type of masterpiece), and in nearly every case I want the Carps (definitive, to my mind) versions and no other.

Also, the thing is, none of them SOUND like cover versions - it's just like you hear a bar of music and "Carpenters!"

Now, maybe that would have been a less anomalous scenario only 10 or 20 years earlier (Elvis, Etta James), but these weren't really even works for hire or wares purchased from a salesman, these were plucked specifically from the ether for their relevant potential (even "Begun", fleshed out/finished for the Carpenters, was a bank commercial heard on television and tracked down specifically on the basis of its apparent potential).

Along with Love "getting the chords wrong" to "My Little Red Book" (the sanctioned version sounds really inferior to my ears), this seems like yet another sort of hole in the fabric of the traditional music making/compositional narrative

User avatar
Quaco
F R double E
Posts: 45733
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 19:41

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Quaco » 08 Jul 2017, 02:41

Are we calling them The Carps now? Just want to make sure I'm with it!
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

Bent Fabric
Posts: 1835
Joined: 22 Jul 2014, 21:38

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Bent Fabric » 08 Jul 2017, 02:50

I think it would probably be pointless unless you were referring to them with a certain regularity.

Certainly, if you were having extensive woodworking done, you could really save yourself a lot of time.

Bent Fabric
Posts: 1835
Joined: 22 Jul 2014, 21:38

Re: Fleeing from the past/racing towards the future

Postby Bent Fabric » 09 Jul 2017, 20:25

Bent Fabric wrote:"let's document these dead ends before they vanish forever!"


"Transition rock" 1978-83:

I want to do my best here with this, because it seems like such a beautiful, long lost/long gone piece of evolutionary mutation (like some ancient period where the fish or bird was deformed for a hundred years or so that we don't even know about).

Image

A friend of mine posted the above on social media recently (along with a whole series of "Who WERE they?" band ads from ancient music magazines).

THIS one, specifically, jarred my memory in a huge way as sort of "US Festival/Pat Benatar era" gold.

Now, I don't even know if this sort of thing was relevant anywhere but in the United States (the only sort of UK analogue I can think of is something like the Stranglers - a bunch of old hairies who sort of fought their way into "the new guard"), but there was something that happened alongside Blondie, DEVO, the Knack, the Clash AND Meatloaf which was a sort of (to put it super generically) subspecies of "hopeful chancers dimly aware that a new decade was dawning" and an attendant codified attempt to board the express train to next week.

Those of you who have watched Cheech and Chong's Up In Smoke (1978) a hundred or so times will remember the "Rock Fight" sequence - a Battle of the Bands at the Roxy in which a host of sort of phony baloney affected new wave bands with names like Loogy Clap and Punk Nation or (my personal favorites) the Puke compete for a recording contract (evidently the Germs were thrown off the set/banned/etc.).





Anyhow - this seems like a good template for the type of carpet bagging, careerist, opportunist "new waver" who might appear to have come at it from some not entirely organic place.

I absolutely think of the likes of Missing Persons or Berlin as a real prominent "Shit - WE can do THAT!" version of this particular phenomenon, but I feel like there were millions who perhaps resembled the band in the photograph above - female fronted, alternately sleeveless, striped and/or skinny tied/jacketed....maybe some attempted/affected Debbie Harry/Lene Lovich damage in the vocals...but somehow a bit of incompleteness in the overall costuming - an unfortunate AOR hard rock damage in the music/sound, guys with moustaches or John Oates/Neil Schon styled perms.

Similarly, Scandal, Quarterflash, Nick Gilder, the Romantics and Loverboy all seemed to ride a certain fine line of fairly "trad. arr." bargain bin rock moves but heavily colored by a certain "It's the 80s, people!!!" affect.

Is there a Nuggets for this stuff?

Paging Quaco/Bob Lee/hatz/Davey/bix - people possibly a few years older than me who remember the sort of second tier of Go Gos era Los Angeles area local music. I'm sure every town had 'em - our New Orleans resident new wave band were called The Cold (nice, concise, reactionary, modern sounding name). And I believe we also produced the Red Rockers (of "China" fame).

MAYBE I dreamed all of this?
Last edited by Bent Fabric on 10 Jul 2017, 16:03, edited 1 time in total.