Pretentious music, musicians and fans

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Geezee » 11 Oct 2018, 11:43

Jimbo wrote:Least pretentious: Richard Thompson.

Now work your way up the ladder of pretension.


you've got to be joking - anyone who "curates" a festival and writes an "oratorio" is 100% pretentious. and all that fake english modesty. pff.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby injuredbird! » 11 Oct 2018, 12:48

pretentious music is both bad and good-like any other type of music
but at least attempts to try push artistically forward
its an easy word to contain the artist in whatever strictures the listener feels comfortable with
im all for the follies- and their are lots of them-that pretentious brings
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Re: Pretentious music

Postby Hightea » 11 Oct 2018, 14:37

bobzilla77 wrote:
That was always the cliche about prog groups, proggers and prog itself. OH SHIT YOU CAN'T LIKE THAT STUFF IT IS PRETENTIOUS.

Pretending to be what? Interested in classical music and the possibilities of funny time signatures and dynamics? Maybe it needs to be allowed that people liked that stuff and weren't just pretending to do so. They liked their music big, grandiose and complex, and stuck to those principles.


Bingo! And its not just with prog. Anybody who calls something pretentious better have some facts about the musician. Otherwise its just a silly opinion. Just because you don't like a certain musician or their style doesn't make it pretentious.

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Re: Pretentious music

Postby Hightea » 11 Oct 2018, 14:55

bobzilla77 wrote:
That was always the cliche about prog groups, proggers and prog itself. OH SHIT YOU CAN'T LIKE THAT STUFF IT IS PRETENTIOUS.

Pretending to be what? Interested in classical music and the possibilities of funny time signatures and dynamics? Maybe it needs to be allowed that people liked that stuff and weren't just pretending to do so. They liked their music big, grandiose and complex, and stuck to those principles.


Bingo! And its not just with prog. Anybody who calls something pretentious better have some facts about the musician. Otherwise its just a silly opinion. Just because you don't like a certain musician or their style doesn't make it pretentious.

How about this pretentious?

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Twang » 11 Oct 2018, 15:04

What is Springsteen pretentious about? Does he have to still be a blue-collar guy to write songs for blue-collar people?

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Goat Boy » 11 Oct 2018, 15:33

There was definitely an affectation to prog which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself mind but I think that's undeniable. Young men attempting to combine the sophistication of classical with rock when the whole point of rock (and roll) is that is was a relatively crude egalitarian expression that captured the desires and dreams and very souls of teenagers and young people in the 2nd half of the 20th century. To introduce this element in the form of increasingly difficult time signatures, grandiose concepts and unreplicable muso tendencies was a direct attempt to create something that decisively broke away from the african american roots of the music and, in doing so, eventually of course from the audience itself. This is why punk happened because the music was so disconnected from the average record buying fan in the street they had no or little connection to the performers anymore. Are we seriously going to pretend the endless solo and circle jerkery was not designed to superficially impress with its gaseous self-importance?
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 11 Oct 2018, 15:53

'gaseous self-importance' - wonderful
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Twang » 11 Oct 2018, 16:04

I object to your last sentence, but, disregarding it, what's wrong with any of what you wrote before it?

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Re: Pretentious music

Postby bobzilla77 » 11 Oct 2018, 16:15

Moleskin wrote:
bobzilla77 wrote:
Darkness_Fish wrote:As an alternative, isn't Bruce Springsteen more pretentious? A multi-millionaire touring in stadia all over the world, giving it his blue-collar working class man of the people schtick?


I like the idea, if only as an alternative to the idea that bands like ELP, Genesis and Pink Floyd were pretentious.

That was always the cliche about prog groups, proggers and prog itself. OH SHIT YOU CAN'T LIKE THAT STUFF IT IS PRETENTIOUS.

Pretending to be what? Interested in classical music and the possibilities of funny time signatures and dynamics? Maybe it needs to be allowed that people liked that stuff and weren't just pretending to do so. They liked their music big, grandiose and complex, and stuck to those principles.

I remember Pat Todd from the Lazy Cowgirls drinking too much Diet Coke and going on and on about Johnny Cougar one night, how he remembered him from Indiana in the seventies, that guy hated everyone in his small town and split for the big city at his first opportunity. Mister God Damn Pink Houses was all Mister Hollywood back in those days, you can ask anybody who knew him. Now he writes about all that stuff, oh I'm in my little farm town sweetie eating my chili dawg, and people just EAT IT UP, like it's his biggest thing is being Mister Small Town America right? That shit is just so fucking PHONY! FUCK THAT GUY!

I found out later, my roomates had put up a picture of Johnny Cougar on the wall just to antagonize Pat.

Yeah. On the list of supposed Men Of The People who are waaaaaay more pretentious than Emerson Lake and Palmer and Yes combined, I second Bruce Springsteen and submit John Cougar Mellencamp.



You don't think maybe Mellencamp changed his mind?


I guess, it's possible that going Hollywood when he was young, dumb and fulla cum made him appreciate the simple pleasures as he became a mature man.

But sometimes it's fun not to give those people the benefit of the doubt.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Goat Boy » 11 Oct 2018, 16:17

Twang wrote:I object to your last sentence, but, disregarding it, what's wrong with any of what you wrote before it?


Whether it's right or wrong is beside the point. I am not completely prog averse myself but to suggest it wasn't pretentious is a bit odd to me.

I suspect for some people, especially latecomers who weren't there at the time its pretentiousness is undoubtedly a selling point.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby bobzilla77 » 11 Oct 2018, 16:24

Goat Boy wrote:There was definitely an affectation to prog which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself mind but I think that's undeniable. Young men attempting to combine the sophistication of classical with rock when the whole point of rock (and roll) is that is was a relatively crude egalitarian expression that captured the desires and dreams and very souls of teenagers and young people in the 2nd half of the 20th century. To introduce this element in the form of increasingly difficult time signatures, grandiose concepts and unreplicable muso tendencies was a direct attempt to create something that decisively broke away from the african american roots of the music and, in doing so, eventually of course from the audience itself. This is why punk happened because the music was so disconnected from the average record buying fan in the street they had no or little connection to the performers anymore. Are we seriously going to pretend the endless solo and circle jerkery was not designed to superficially impress with its gaseous self-importance?



If you like that stuff, you don't hear it as gaseous self-importance though. That's just the technique required to play that music. If you don't like it, that's probably ALL you hear in it, "look at me look at me!"

I think that's just another aspect of music appreciation poking through in rock culture. I don't think it's pretentious for young people to be interested in Beethoven and Mahler, nor to try and have a go in that space.

Some people might be going "Oh this is serious European culture, much better than just silly pop toons." Maybe that's kind of a snooty way to think about your own taste in music but that's different from pretension I think. Are they not allowed to like that stuff? Do they have to prefer silly pop toons if they have a soul?
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Twang » 11 Oct 2018, 16:24

Goat Boy wrote:Whether it's right or wrong is beside the point. I am not completely prog averse myself but to suggest it wasn't pretentious is a bit odd to me.


Sorry, I meant wrong in terms of "entering into pretentious territory", or something like that. Why are they affecting instead of just modifying something that exists to suit their tastes more.

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 11 Oct 2018, 16:27

'pretentious' isn't always a bad thing

I mean - again - it's all in how you define it. People striving for something that's beyond them in terms of skill/composition? good thing, often. Something that's silly and patience-testing? often a bad thing
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Goat Boy » 11 Oct 2018, 16:52

bobzilla77 wrote:
Goat Boy wrote:There was definitely an affectation to prog which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself mind but I think that's undeniable. Young men attempting to combine the sophistication of classical with rock when the whole point of rock (and roll) is that is was a relatively crude egalitarian expression that captured the desires and dreams and very souls of teenagers and young people in the 2nd half of the 20th century. To introduce this element in the form of increasingly difficult time signatures, grandiose concepts and unreplicable muso tendencies was a direct attempt to create something that decisively broke away from the african american roots of the music and, in doing so, eventually of course from the audience itself. This is why punk happened because the music was so disconnected from the average record buying fan in the street they had no or little connection to the performers anymore. Are we seriously going to pretend the endless solo and circle jerkery was not designed to superficially impress with its gaseous self-importance?



If you like that stuff, you don't hear it as gaseous self-importance though. That's just the technique required to play that music. If you don't like it, that's probably ALL you hear in it, "look at me look at me!"

I think that's just another aspect of music appreciation poking through in rock culture. I don't think it's pretentious for young people to be interested in Beethoven and Mahler, nor to try and have a go in that space.

Some people might be going "Oh this is serious European culture, much better than just silly pop toons." Maybe that's kind of a snooty way to think about your own taste in music but that's different from pretension I think. Are they not allowed to like that stuff? Do they have to prefer silly pop toons if they have a soul?


But you can like it and hear it that way too. I certainly do. It is silly sometimes but it's also a specific moment in rock history when artists could get away with this sorta thing and still sell records. Part of its appeal - to modern listeners at least - is this indulgent, kitsch pretentiousness I think. This doesn't always bother me by the way because I like a bit of kitsch hence why I can sometimes tolerate this nonsense. Lyrically too there is fantastic pretentiousness at work. Look at Gabriel man. Some of this shit is ripe. Carpet Crawlers? I like the song but, sheesh. You don't think there is a strong whiff of the self important young man/artist about this stuff? Do you not think they look back at this shit and recognise this quality themselves and, maybe, wince? I strongly suspect they do which is why some have no desire to revisit it. It's like when you write shit when you are younger and there is a tendency to use florid, over the top language and endless alliterations and metaphors and so on just to impress. I'd liken it to that.

As others have said though, this is not always a bad thing but when it is bad it can be terrible but to deny it exists in prog just seems a bit weird to me as its fundamental to its appeal to a degree.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Hightea » 11 Oct 2018, 17:30

Goat Boy wrote:There was definitely an affectation to prog which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself mind but I think that's undeniable. Young men attempting to combine the sophistication of classical with rock when the whole point of rock (and roll) is that is was a relatively crude egalitarian expression that captured the desires and dreams and very souls of teenagers and young people in the 2nd half of the 20th century. To introduce this element in the form of increasingly difficult time signatures, grandiose concepts and unreplicable muso tendencies was a direct attempt to create something that decisively broke away from the african american roots of the music and, in doing so, eventually of course from the audience itself. This is why punk happened because the music was so disconnected from the average record buying fan in the street they had no or little connection to the performers anymore. Are we seriously going to pretend the endless solo and circle jerkery was not designed to superficially impress with its gaseous self-importance?

Yeah yeah we get it prog is pretentious. Big fucking deal so is many other forms of rock. This idea that prog is the most pretentious rock music ever is BS and why its always the first thing brought up in these arguments almost makes it comical.

Where is this holy bible that rock is only african american roots in music? That is what made rock interesting it broke away from this idea 100's of times. Punk is a break away also. By the way, Punk didn't start because of excess it was well on its way in the 60's and progressed into the 70's punk. You make it sound like punk bands were listening to prog, no they weren't they were listening to their influences like the Stooges.

Why is prog always brought up when it comes to excess solos? 60's and 70's are full of excess solos (Led Zep, jam and southern rock bands, santana etc). The excess solo still exists today so did punk fail?

Punk is also full of pretentious acts - the whole look at me I'm cool attitude, jumping around on stage, being derogatory to the fans, stating they were rebels when most of them weren't. The fans ate it up but its no different than prog and why punk for the most part died out of the main stream also. I might even consider a lot of those acts as more phony then prog musicians who were at least thinking they were making interesting music.

How about the modern live shows and all its excess. Million dollar stage setups, bands made up by record executives, thousand dollar dresses, multiple dress changes, back stage diva requests. should we blame prog for this too? Hell how about we claim auto-tune came about because the masses got sick of all the punk bands singing out of tune and now with auto-tune anyone can sing.

I get it a lot of prog isn't for the average fan but it still had a big audience and influenced bands of many genre that still are around today. Actually part of what we like with some new bands is the fact they took influences and techniques from punk and prog let alone several other genre. I wish more would blend one of the biggest problems with rock today is musicians listening to stupid rock critics and record executives about what they should and should play. gladly the better bands ignore this and make what they want to make.

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby sloopjohnc » 11 Oct 2018, 17:34

Goat Boy wrote:There was definitely an affectation to prog which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself mind but I think that's undeniable. Young men attempting to combine the sophistication of classical with rock when the whole point of rock (and roll) is that is was a relatively crude egalitarian expression that captured the desires and dreams and very souls of teenagers and young people in the 2nd half of the 20th century. To introduce this element in the form of increasingly difficult time signatures, grandiose concepts and unreplicable muso tendencies was a direct attempt to create something that decisively broke away from the african american roots of the music and, in doing so, eventually of course from the audience itself. This is why punk happened because the music was so disconnected from the average record buying fan in the street they had no or little connection to the performers anymore. Are we seriously going to pretend the endless solo and circle jerkery was not designed to superficially impress with its gaseous self-importance?


:lol:

I think you just described Quaco in a nutshell.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Goat Boy » 11 Oct 2018, 18:10

Hightea wrote:
Goat Boy wrote:There was definitely an affectation to prog which is not necessarily a bad thing in itself mind but I think that's undeniable. Young men attempting to combine the sophistication of classical with rock when the whole point of rock (and roll) is that is was a relatively crude egalitarian expression that captured the desires and dreams and very souls of teenagers and young people in the 2nd half of the 20th century. To introduce this element in the form of increasingly difficult time signatures, grandiose concepts and unreplicable muso tendencies was a direct attempt to create something that decisively broke away from the african american roots of the music and, in doing so, eventually of course from the audience itself. This is why punk happened because the music was so disconnected from the average record buying fan in the street they had no or little connection to the performers anymore. Are we seriously going to pretend the endless solo and circle jerkery was not designed to superficially impress with its gaseous self-importance?

Yeah yeah we get it prog is pretentious. Big fucking deal so is many other forms of rock. This idea that prog is the most pretentious rock music ever is BS and why its always the first thing brought up in these arguments almost makes it comical.

Where is this holy bible that rock is only african american roots in music? That is what made rock interesting it broke away from this idea 100's of times. Punk is a break away also. By the way, Punk didn't start because of excess it was well on its way in the 60's and progressed into the 70's punk. You make it sound like punk bands were listening to prog, no they weren't they were listening to their influences like the Stooges.

Why is prog always brought up when it comes to excess solos? 60's and 70's are full of excess solos (Led Zep, jam and southern rock bands, santana etc). The excess solo still exists today so did punk fail?

Punk is also full of pretentious acts - the whole look at me I'm cool attitude, jumping around on stage, being derogatory to the fans, stating they were rebels when most of them weren't. The fans ate it up but its no different than prog and why punk for the most part died out of the main stream also. I might even consider a lot of those acts as more phony then prog musicians who were at least thinking they were making interesting music.

How about the modern live shows and all its excess. Million dollar stage setups, bands made up by record executives, thousand dollar dresses, multiple dress changes, back stage diva requests. should we blame prog for this too? Hell how about we claim auto-tune came about because the masses got sick of all the punk bands singing out of tune and now with auto-tune anyone can sing.

I get it a lot of prog isn't for the average fan but it still had a big audience and influenced bands of many genre that still are around today. Actually part of what we like with some new bands is the fact they took influences and techniques from punk and prog let alone several other genre. I wish more would blend one of the biggest problems with rock today is musicians listening to stupid rock critics and record executives about what they should and should play. gladly the better bands ignore this and make what they want to make.


Not only is it the most pretentious, its fans are clearly the most sensitive too.

Well, maybe there's a reason it's the first thing people bring up, you know? Its crimes are obvious and plentiful. And sure other genres have pretentious acts - the Clash's faux rebel pose absolutely grates - but musically and lyrically I think prog took it over the top and they are not really comparable. Occasionally I like this about it, its defiant Otherness, but I tend to dig it more in small doses. Even its big hitters are, er, problematic to say the least. It's maybe fitting that prog heavyweights Yes had an album called Close To The Edge you know. I think they absolutely went over it but at least it shows some self awareness.

I mentioned african american music to emphasise rock n rolls roots, that's all, not just musically but culturally (music to dance to, the importance of the 45, the promise that anybody could get up on stage and do this shit) which is why I linked punks rise to prog and the disconnection that had occured between Artist and Public more generally. Musically punks antecedents go back further of course, to garage rock and the Stooges and 50s rock n roll and so on but I think prog was probably the final straw that precipitated the punk revolution. It was the kick up the arse, the wake up call some needed. Popular culture needs to reflect its times and therefore the audience who are living through them. Clearly progs escapist emphasis on fantasy was not good enough. It said nothing to them about their lives. I don't really understand your points about punk to be honest but the notion that it was somehow "no different" is a funny, myopic one but whatever.

The excessive solos of the likes of Zep etc that you mention are tedious, my least favourite element of that band (30 minute versions of No Quarter? Fuck off). I have no time for shite like Santana or The Allman Brothers and clearly punk was also a reaction against that too.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby sloopjohnc » 11 Oct 2018, 18:27

I think this is an interesting conversation.

Do people think prog artists were trying to "elevate" rock music beyond its beginnings. I straddle the fence myself about it being pseudo-intellectual vs. a truly intellectual musical response.

I also like Dougie's comments about rock extending the blues from a three or four minute song to 14 minute songs. I would think the musicians who tread that water would say they were expanding on the art form. I would say they're diluting the impact of the originals.

And with the '70s cup coming up, at a certain point I was really into that stuff as a teenager when those forms were rampant.

I was going to use the analogy of a short story vs. a novel, but I don't think the two different art forms can be compared.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby SWIMMING POOL HARRINGTON » 11 Oct 2018, 18:35

sloopjohnc wrote:I think this is an interesting conversation.

Do people think prog artists were trying to "elevate" rock music beyond its beginnings. I straddle the fence myself about it being pseudo-intellectual vs. a truly intellectual musical response.


What is 'a truly intellectual musical response'?

How can art be 'intellectual'?
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby sloopjohnc » 11 Oct 2018, 18:36

HEN wrote:
sloopjohnc wrote:I think this is an interesting conversation.

Do people think prog artists were trying to "elevate" rock music beyond its beginnings. I straddle the fence myself about it being pseudo-intellectual vs. a truly intellectual musical response.


What is 'a truly intellectual musical response'?

How can art be 'intellectual'?


You don't think compositional choices, in whatever art form, is intellectual?

It's not all emotional.

But let me explain as best I can. When someone only knows three chords, their compositional range is limited and is probably more emotional in composition. When they have a pallete of more colors, or musical knowledge, choices become more intellectual as well as emotional.

Picasso was trained as a fine artist and was an excellent illustrator and painter. At some point, he chose an emotional response, but he still knew what he was doing as far as composition and color.
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