Pretentious music, musicians and fans

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Ghost of Harry Smith
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Ghost of Harry Smith » 12 Oct 2018, 01:59

The Modernist wrote:
HEN wrote:Time, he's waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me, boys
Time, he flexes like a whore
Falls wanking to the floor
His trick is you and me, boy
Time, in quaaludes and red wine
Demanding Billy Dolls
And other friends of mine
Take your time
The sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain
Incestuous and vain
And many other last names
Oh, well, I look at my watch, it say nine twenty-five
And I think "oh God, I'm still alive"


Often the pretentiousness of Bowie is part of the appeal for me, that's where it becomes quite a complex matter as pretension is not always pejorative.


Yup me too. That quote from 'Time' has wilful OTT pretensions that announce themselves in a camp and humorous way, it's like Bowie's letting you in on the joke of the whole thing rather than saying "ooh-look-aren't-i-the-serious-artist". I think he does that regularly.

Much more so than, for instance, Scott Walker. I mean Walker is the very definition of the pretentious artist isn't he? That's obvious and yet I still love much of what he does.

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI » 12 Oct 2018, 02:13

Ghost of Harry Smith wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
HEN wrote:Time, he's waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me, boys
Time, he flexes like a whore
Falls wanking to the floor
His trick is you and me, boy
Time, in quaaludes and red wine
Demanding Billy Dolls
And other friends of mine
Take your time
The sniper in the brain, regurgitating drain
Incestuous and vain
And many other last names
Oh, well, I look at my watch, it say nine twenty-five
And I think "oh God, I'm still alive"


Often the pretentiousness of Bowie is part of the appeal for me, that's where it becomes quite a complex matter as pretension is not always pejorative.


Yup me too. That quote from 'Time' has wilful OTT pretensions that announce themselves in a camp and humorous way, it's like Bowie's letting you in on the joke of the whole thing rather than saying "ooh-look-aren't-i-the-serious-artist". I think he does that regularly.


I don't get that at all!
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Ghost of Harry Smith » 12 Oct 2018, 02:42

Well I can understand why you wouldn't agree, as Bowie is sometimes po-faced and overearnest in his artistry too, and who can tell the difference sometimes? Can it be both?

I give some of his florid cabaret stuff like 'Time' and his take on 'Alabama Song' a leave pass even if it is not the stuff I often play, it kind of reminds me of musical theatre that's self-aware of its own sense of camp and theatrics. I don't like musical theatre but I can see there's a lot of fun and humour going on in there, it's not just serious capital-A-artistry.

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Jimbo » 12 Oct 2018, 03:00

Time, he's waiting in the wings
He speaks of senseless things
His script is you and me, boys
Time, he flexes like a whore

vs

Who were you thinking of
When we were making love
Last night (Doug Sahm)

Why settle for jibberish vs an actual life lesson told with wit and economy?
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby GoogaMooga » 12 Oct 2018, 03:02

Time is unforgettable:

"falls wanking to the floor" - WOW!!
1966 and all that

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby The Modernist » 12 Oct 2018, 07:36

HEN wrote:
Ghost of Harry Smith wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
Often the pretentiousness of Bowie is part of the appeal for me, that's where it becomes quite a complex matter as pretension is not always pejorative.


Yup me too. That quote from 'Time' has wilful OTT pretensions that announce themselves in a camp and humorous way, it's like Bowie's letting you in on the joke of the whole thing rather than saying "ooh-look-aren't-i-the-serious-artist". I think he does that regularly.


I don't get that at all!



I do. It can be so over the top that it feels playful rather than completely serious

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Darkness_Fish » 12 Oct 2018, 09:22

Goat Boy wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
The Modernist wrote: There was a track Darkness Fish picked in the 90s cup that I found pretentious, I'll see if I can find it..


It was this. This is pretentious in all the worst ways possible for me..




:lol:

Just...why?

Why's that pretentious? I find that as funny as fuck.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby The Modernist » 12 Oct 2018, 09:26

The silly voice, the ridiculous lyrics. The painful attempts to sound scary...

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Darkness_Fish » 12 Oct 2018, 09:31

The Modernist wrote:The silly voice, the ridiculous lyrics. The painful attempts to sound scary...

Trying to sound scary? I'm not getting that at all. It's just an over the top performance with some real nonsense lyrics and a repeated funky bassline loop. Is being silly pretentious now? I would've thought that's the opposite of pretension, you can't say that they're making a claim to grand art in any way.
Like fast-moving clouds casting shadows against a hillside, the melody-loop shuddered with a sense of the sublime, the awful unknowable majesty of the world.

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Deebank » 12 Oct 2018, 09:34

Goat Boy wrote:I think I need to listen to Parklife for a whole week just to recover


Hmm Parklife you say...

Essex-born, middle class boy Albarn reads Martin Amis's slumming it with the cockernee plebs 'classic' London Fields and writes a meaningless lyric apeing the character Keith Talent.

Pretentious? Mais oui!
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Goat Boy » 12 Oct 2018, 09:36

I meant the album. It was a reference to comments DF had made about Blur that’s all
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby never/ever » 12 Oct 2018, 09:37

How about this then- Gainsbourgh always dabbled in both sides of good taste so is this pretentious or just simply vulgar?

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Deebank » 12 Oct 2018, 09:51

Goat Boy wrote:I meant the album. It was a reference to comments DF had made about Blur that’s all


Fair enough. I suppose my point is that whatever artist (artist! You see!) you're looking at, you only have to scratch the surface to find pretensions. Some can get away with it - I'd argue Mark E Smith can, usually - others not so much.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI » 12 Oct 2018, 09:57

The Modernist wrote:
HEN wrote:
Ghost of Harry Smith wrote:
Yup me too. That quote from 'Time' has wilful OTT pretensions that announce themselves in a camp and humorous way, it's like Bowie's letting you in on the joke of the whole thing rather than saying "ooh-look-aren't-i-the-serious-artist". I think he does that regularly.


I don't get that at all!



I do. It can be so over the top that it feels playful rather than completely serious


I didn't mean that I didn't understand his comment, I meant that I didn't get the same thing from the song that he (and you) do. It's out and out pretentious.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Geezee » 12 Oct 2018, 11:21

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?


but did punk do anything to "reconnect" music to the average record buying fan, or just connect to a different (and quite niche) audience? is the idea that iggy pop or john lydon or johnny ramone are not pretentious?
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI » 12 Oct 2018, 11:24

The idea that prog is pretentious and punk is anything but is as old as the hills. It's difficult to argue against, really, regardless of your definition of the word.
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby fange » 12 Oct 2018, 11:30

Here's a question i've been pondering today in relation to this topic - would you say the VU were pretentious?
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby The Modernist » 12 Oct 2018, 11:31

Geezee 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?


but did punk do anything to "reconnect" music to the average record buying fan, or just connect to a different (and quite niche) audience? is the idea that iggy pop or john lydon or johnny ramone are not pretentious?


I think the point with punk was it was a participatory culture, it was the DIY "anyone can do it" aspect that rallied so many into getting involved. Music culture in the mid 70s had been missing that.
In answer to your second question. I guess how pretentious you find them depends on how convincing or exciting as performers you find them, some people might look at them and think they're just a bunch of exhibitionists!

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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Geezee » 12 Oct 2018, 11:34

double post
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Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Geezee » 12 Oct 2018, 11:35

HEN wrote:The idea that prog is pretentious and punk is anything but is as old as the hills. It's difficult to argue against, really, regardless of your definition of the word.


I don't think anyone has a unique definition of the word. But as with almost anything, there is a value judgement associated with it which affects not the definition but its application. Lou Reed is pretentious but I love his music. I hate Lou Reed because he is so pretentious. This song is pretentious. No it's not.
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