Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Do talk back
User avatar
Goat Boy
Bogarting the joint
Posts: 32470
Joined: 20 Mar 2007, 12:11
Location: In the perfumed garden

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Goat Boy » 10 Oct 2018, 15:40

Oh gawd you guys are so kewl!!!
Griff wrote:The notion that Jeremy Corbyn, a lifelong vocal proponent of antisemitism, would stand in front of an antisemitic mural and commend it is utterly preposterous.


Copehead wrote:we have lost touch with anything normal

User avatar
Count Machuki
BCB Cup Champion 2013
Posts: 38276
Joined: 11 Jun 2005, 15:28
Location: ~84 bpm

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Count Machuki » 10 Oct 2018, 15:44

Rock music is still pretty rinky-dink in the pretension stakes compared to jazz and (especially) classical music. Hoo boy.
Let U be the set of all united sets, K be the set of the kids and D be the set of things divided.
Then it follows that ∀ k ∈ K: K ∈ U ⇒ k ∉ D

User avatar
The Modernist
2018 BCB Cup Champ!
Posts: 12289
Joined: 13 Apr 2014, 20:42

Re: Pretentious music

Postby The Modernist » 10 Oct 2018, 16:01

Darkness_Fish wrote:I guess that's where you and I differ. Or more aptly, just one of the many places where you and I differ. I think an artist should feel free to release and record whatever they wish, I don't think necessarily trying to target yourself at an audience's expectations is a good thing.


I don't think it is either, but it can get to to the other extreme, to a point where it's showing a kind of contempt for the audience. I can't think of anything good that came from that in contemporary art, maybe you could find examples in 19th century art and early 20th century art (Dadaism and so on) because shocking the bourgeoisie back then was so easy and had more of a political point to it.

User avatar
Hightea
Posts: 1352
Joined: 16 Apr 2015, 02:18
Location: NY state

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Hightea » 10 Oct 2018, 16:28

Yo La Tengo pretentious :lol:
Either all bands are pretentious or none are. It's not like Yo La start the show off by saying they are the greatest musicians in the world that would be pretentious. They just play music they want to play (okay maybe just one or two of them make that decision but they can quit the band anytime).

In my mind almost no music is pretentious it typically falls into genre that don't have big followings(or the general population doesn't get) or at least in rock bands that add too much jazz, classical or avant-garde experimental to their sound. However, you find die-hard fans of many so called pretentious bands thus eliminating the word pretentious from the band. If a band enjoys the music they play and record then how would it be pretentious? It's not like they are making music they don't like and don't bring in the old argument of they are just playing complex arrangements to show off. We could give you endless arguments of blues rock, pop bands, punk and indie bands that all show off.

blues rock is one form of rock not the only form of rock. Pop rock is not the only thing that matters. What matters is that someone else like it and the musicians like playing it.

So last night we were in a sea of young girls jumping around all night at Florence + the Machine (although even Florence is touring with a jazz band- Kamasi Washington who played two songs with Florence) but tonight we will be in a sea of old farts listening to what Jimbo would find very pretentious: Soft Machine(fusion era)



then tomorrow we will go to see the indie pretentious route with Spiritualized


User avatar
driftin
Posts: 814
Joined: 15 Feb 2011, 03:23

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby driftin » 10 Oct 2018, 16:36

Goat Boy wrote:Oh gawd you guys are so kewl!!!

Thank you very much, your praise really means so much to a pretentious guy like me.

User avatar
Count Machuki
BCB Cup Champion 2013
Posts: 38276
Joined: 11 Jun 2005, 15:28
Location: ~84 bpm

Re: Pretentious music

Postby Count Machuki » 10 Oct 2018, 16:41

Jimbo wrote:
I see how my "smarmy twats" is uncalled for but if you like YLT, douzo, keep it, own it, see them live and endure.


I'm guilty of it, too, but I always feel really pretentious when I drop foreign language words into English conversation.
Let U be the set of all united sets, K be the set of the kids and D be the set of things divided.
Then it follows that ∀ k ∈ K: K ∈ U ⇒ k ∉ D

User avatar
PENK
Midnight to Six Man
Posts: 34730
Joined: 07 Aug 2004, 20:12
Location: Stockholm

Re: Pretentious music

Postby PENK » 10 Oct 2018, 21:01

The Modernist wrote:
Darkness_Fish wrote:But I'd have to argue that Nurse with Wound have released some of the least pretentious 'arty' music of any underground stalwart. The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion for example, with its collages of easy listening tracks, comedy songs, and silly noises. A Sucked Orange with track titles that describe the actual sound of the record. He quite often just wanted to make fun sounds. Or, quite often, just described exactly what he did to make the sounds - that's as unpretentious as you can get: "Here's an album where I waved my hand over the top of some guitar pedals wired together"..


See I probably might label something like that pretentious because it seems to assume that stupid gestures deserve to be released on record, but thinking properly about the term it's probably more accurately described as incredibly self-indulgent. It reminds me of when Lennon and Yoko did all those sound albums about their lives, I never liked that naval-gazing side of him. Its just very unattractive in any artist I think.


I think for me it's simply a band - and the same goes for an author, or painter, or whatever - claiming artistic significance they palpably do not have.

There is a lot of aimless twaddle out there but a lot of it is inoffensive noodling by some guy in his bedroom who is just playing with sound and is pleasantly surprised that Darkness Fish mails him asking for more, and really bloody surprised that The Wire have selected a dictaphone recording he dropped in the school staffroom as their number 3 album of the year. It's the situations Toby mentions, where said nerdy chap lets it go to his head and starts thinking he's the new Eno or Stockhausen, where things get seriously pretentious.
Copehead wrote:I have met Gruff Rhys - although he claimed he wasn't and that he couldn't speak Welsh, as I spoke to him in Welsh, but it was him lying bastard.

User avatar
THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI
hounds people off the board
Posts: 18578
Joined: 24 Apr 2007, 23:21
Location: bit reliant on prawns

Re: Pretentious music

Postby THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI » 10 Oct 2018, 21:08

PENK wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
Darkness_Fish wrote:But I'd have to argue that Nurse with Wound have released some of the least pretentious 'arty' music of any underground stalwart. The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion for example, with its collages of easy listening tracks, comedy songs, and silly noises. A Sucked Orange with track titles that describe the actual sound of the record. He quite often just wanted to make fun sounds. Or, quite often, just described exactly what he did to make the sounds - that's as unpretentious as you can get: "Here's an album where I waved my hand over the top of some guitar pedals wired together"..


See I probably might label something like that pretentious because it seems to assume that stupid gestures deserve to be released on record, but thinking properly about the term it's probably more accurately described as incredibly self-indulgent. It reminds me of when Lennon and Yoko did all those sound albums about their lives, I never liked that naval-gazing side of him. Its just very unattractive in any artist I think.


I think for me it's simply a band - and the same goes for an author, or painter, or whatever - claiming artistic significance they palpably do not have.



see - there's this 'claim' thing again

it's not that I necessarily disagree with you, but I don't know how anyone can 'claim artistic significance' through the music they make
GoogaMooga wrote:I've been GoogaMooga everywhere since I went online in 2005. There are copycats on the web incl a Brooklyn Food Festival, who have even adopted my camel case "M".

User avatar
THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI
hounds people off the board
Posts: 18578
Joined: 24 Apr 2007, 23:21
Location: bit reliant on prawns

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby THE SMOOTH SOUL STYLINGS OF SUMPTUOUS SI » 10 Oct 2018, 21:12

I'd say it's pretentious when artists do something which has very little or no artistic validity (yes I know that's subjective, but hang on...) - for example a single note that is sustained for several minutes, or a load of white noise, and through their onstage demeanour, they indicate that this has worth. You know, it's all in the face, the manner. Self-importance.

Maybe this isn't really so much different to what was outlined above.

I just don't know why people are sidestepping the meaning of the word so much. It's like one of those old Brasseye episodes when, instead of asking Chris Morris what the fuck he's talking about, all those celebs jump in to talk about it anyway 'cos they like the sound of their own voices :)
GoogaMooga wrote:I've been GoogaMooga everywhere since I went online in 2005. There are copycats on the web incl a Brooklyn Food Festival, who have even adopted my camel case "M".

User avatar
Wally Bingbang
Long Player
Posts: 39981
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 23:20
Location: 1220 on your AM dial

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Wally Bingbang » 10 Oct 2018, 21:35

HEN wrote:I'd say it's pretentious when artists do something which has very little or no artistic validity (yes I know that's subjective, but hang on...) - for example a single note that is sustained for several minutes, or a load of white noise, and through their onstage demeanour, they indicate that this has worth. You know, it's all in the face, the manner. Self-importance.



Quite. Everybody talking about "out there" artists and the like seem - to me at least - to be way off the mark. When I think about pretentious musical acts I think of yer Mumfords, yer Kings of Leon, or really any band these days that gets incredibly popular incredibly fast. Those are the fucking posers and the fakers.
If you've got nothing to do, don't do it here.

User avatar
The Modernist
2018 BCB Cup Champ!
Posts: 12289
Joined: 13 Apr 2014, 20:42

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby The Modernist » 10 Oct 2018, 22:00

Why? Simply for being successful?

User avatar
pig bodine
Posts: 694
Joined: 22 Jul 2014, 16:39
Location: Upper Baboonasshole

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby pig bodine » 10 Oct 2018, 23:28

Living in Hoboken for the second half of the 80’s and first half of the 90’s, I saw Yo La Tengo as much as any band if the era. At worst, they’re “record collector rock” a genre that also includes Sonic Youth and Primal Scream and the blatant influences of their music smothers any sort of enjoyment you may get from it, but at their best (and I like them quite a lot more than the other two) they made some of the best rock of the era—damning with faint praise, since this was around the time rock died IMO, but Painful and I Can Hear Two Hearts...are two albums I can still enjoy, whereas the majority of rock music bores the shit out of me. Ira Kaplan seemed like a decent guy the one time I met him, and he genuinely loves music. I’d say he was one of the least pretentious musicians of the entire alternative/indie scene.

User avatar
algroth
Posts: 5249
Joined: 04 Apr 2010, 03:12

Re: Pretentious music

Postby algroth » 11 Oct 2018, 00:32

PENK wrote:
The Modernist wrote:
Darkness_Fish wrote:But I'd have to argue that Nurse with Wound have released some of the least pretentious 'arty' music of any underground stalwart. The Sylvie and Babs Hi-Fi Companion for example, with its collages of easy listening tracks, comedy songs, and silly noises. A Sucked Orange with track titles that describe the actual sound of the record. He quite often just wanted to make fun sounds. Or, quite often, just described exactly what he did to make the sounds - that's as unpretentious as you can get: "Here's an album where I waved my hand over the top of some guitar pedals wired together"..


See I probably might label something like that pretentious because it seems to assume that stupid gestures deserve to be released on record, but thinking properly about the term it's probably more accurately described as incredibly self-indulgent. It reminds me of when Lennon and Yoko did all those sound albums about their lives, I never liked that naval-gazing side of him. Its just very unattractive in any artist I think.


I think for me it's simply a band - and the same goes for an author, or painter, or whatever - claiming artistic significance they palpably do not have.

There is a lot of aimless twaddle out there but a lot of it is inoffensive noodling by some guy in his bedroom who is just playing with sound and is pleasantly surprised that Darkness Fish mails him asking for more, and really bloody surprised that The Wire have selected a dictaphone recording he dropped in the school staffroom as their number 3 album of the year. It's the situations Toby mentions, where said nerdy chap lets it go to his head and starts thinking he's the new Eno or Stockhausen, where things get seriously pretentious.


I agree with this, actually, though I also agree with HEN's response too. Thing I would add, though, is that I think there's a difference between being pretentious and overreaching due to your ambitions: in the case of that one artist who may actually want to be the new Eno or Stockhausen, I don't think failing at that objective makes that artist or their music pretentious; and yet the issue is that it can often be intepreted that way either because the music works on lofty concepts or because the artist themselves speak about their intentions in such fashion or whatnot, regardless of whether they're aware they haven't found that degree of success yet. As HEN says, there's then the matter of how the *music* can claim such significance and that's a very dicey read to make of any one piece or artist unless there's some extremely obvious way in which either is assuming to be way more than they are - see "The Artist Formerly Known As Kanye West's" usual ego-stroking as a case in point. So, if Yo La Tengo does an opening to one of their concerts consisting of fifteen minutes of white noise or whatever, how do you determine if that is made so as to say something, or to engage its audience through means of spectacle or evoking any particular feeling, or because the band simply throught it sounded pretty neat, or because the band was using that noise to somehow legitimize its position as an 'experimental act' or whatever? That's why I avoid using the term myself to refer to music - also because I just think it's a really lazy descriptor that hardly says anything specific about the music or artist in question.
Last edited by algroth on 11 Oct 2018, 00:46, edited 4 times in total.

User avatar
Wally Bingbang
Long Player
Posts: 39981
Joined: 16 Jul 2003, 23:20
Location: 1220 on your AM dial

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Wally Bingbang » 11 Oct 2018, 00:36

The Modernist wrote:Why? Simply for being successful?


No. It's because most modern bands that get successful do so because of PR, not because of quality songwriting, and when they find their ascendancy slowing or backsliding they get desperate to recreate that initial buzz but are generally too stupid to realise that they had no talent to begin with. That's when they rely on pretense.
If you've got nothing to do, don't do it here.

User avatar
bobzilla77
Posts: 15883
Joined: 23 Jun 2006, 02:56
Location: Dilute! Dilute! OK!

Re: Pretentious music

Postby bobzilla77 » 11 Oct 2018, 06:02

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.
Jimbo wrote:I guess I am over Graham Nash's politics. Hopelessly naive by the standards I've molded for myself these days.

User avatar
bobzilla77
Posts: 15883
Joined: 23 Jun 2006, 02:56
Location: Dilute! Dilute! OK!

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby bobzilla77 » 11 Oct 2018, 06:22

Wally Bingbang wrote:
The Modernist wrote:Why? Simply for being successful?


No. It's because most modern bands that get successful do so because of PR, not because of quality songwriting,..




I don't know how you define "quality" but there are all kinds of bands that get signed, that the label would LOVE to sell a million copies, and they just don't. This despite having the best PR agents in the business, the same ones that broke all the other major stars. You can't buy enough PR to force that to happen.
Jimbo wrote:I guess I am over Graham Nash's politics. Hopelessly naive by the standards I've molded for myself these days.

User avatar
Moleskin
Posts: 14556
Joined: 18 Feb 2004, 12:38
Location: We began to notice that we could be free, And we moved together to the West.

Re: Pretentious music

Postby Moleskin » 11 Oct 2018, 07:42

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?
@hewsim
-the artist formerly known as comrade moleskin-
-the unforgettable waldo jeffers-

Jug Band Music
my own music

User avatar
Geezee
Posts: 12333
Joined: 24 Jul 2003, 10:14
Location: Where joy divides into vision

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Geezee » 11 Oct 2018, 10:31

HEN wrote:I'd say it's pretentious when artists do something which has very little or no artistic validity (yes I know that's subjective, but hang on...) - for example a single note that is sustained for several minutes, or a load of white noise, and through their onstage demeanour, they indicate that this has worth. You know, it's all in the face, the manner. Self-importance.


The late Glenn Branca made a career out of this - but you'd be hard-pressed to find a more down2earth and lovely guy in rock. And the music he made - which he dared to call :o :o :o :o "symphonies" (I mean my gawwwd :roll: :roll: :roll: ) - to me at least are pretty incredible.
Smilies are ON
Flash is OFF
Url is ON

User avatar
Geezee
Posts: 12333
Joined: 24 Jul 2003, 10:14
Location: Where joy divides into vision

Re: Pretentious music

Postby Geezee » 11 Oct 2018, 10:34

Darkness_Fish wrote:
The Modernist wrote:it's probably more accurately described as incredibly self-indulgent. It reminds me of when Lennon and Yoko did all those sound albums about their lives, I never liked that naval-gazing side of him. Its just very unattractive in any artist I think.

I guess that's where you and I differ. Or more aptly, just one of the many places where you and I differ. I think an artist should feel free to release and record whatever they wish, I don't think necessarily trying to target yourself at an audience's expectations is a good thing. I mean, I'm not defending Lennon here (and I don't have a knee-jerk hatred of him, as I do with McCartney's rancid output), as I don't have a good working knowledge of his records. But you could argue that Yoko has always been more self-indulgent, and she's always been more interesting to me. Some would say that Lennon disappointed millions of his record buying fans, but does he really have any kind of obligation to keep them happy, and retread familiar ground?

It's the end-product that matters, really, isn't it? The method, or theme, or rationale behind the work can be anything. And if the artist is happy with it, they have a reason to release it. Then we sit down, listen to it, dance to it, see what kind of immediate gut-wrenching emotional impact it has, let it shape our lives, and say B.


Who is more pretentious - Yoko Ono or John Lennon?
Who cares?
Smilies are ON
Flash is OFF
Url is ON

User avatar
Jimbo
Posts: 15467
Joined: 26 Dec 2009, 21:22

Re: Pretentious music, musicians and fans

Postby Jimbo » 11 Oct 2018, 11:35

Least pretentious: Richard Thompson.

Now work your way up the ladder of pretension.
Some say the glass is half-empty others half-full. I say. "Lemme see that glass!"