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Music Criticism Has Degenerated Into Lifestyle Reporting


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[h=1][/h]FROM THE DAILY BEAST: (TED GIOIA)

 

In the new paradigm, artists generate coverage by their clothes, hook-ups, and run-ins with the law. What happened to the music?

Imagine, for a moment, football commentators who refuse to explain formations and plays. Or a TV cooking show that never mentions the ingredients. Or an expert on cars who refuses to look under the hood of an automobile.

I’ve just spent a very depressing afternoon looking through the leading music periodicals. And what did I learn? Pretty much what I expected. I found out what the chart-topping musicians are wearing (or, in many instances, not wearing). I got updates on their love life, and learned whose marriages are on the rocks. I read updates on the legal proceedings of the rich and famous. I got insights into the food preferences and travel routines of megastars. And I read some reviews of albums, and got told by “‘critics” (I use that term loosely) that they were “badass,” “hot,” “sexy,” “tripped-out,” and “freaky.”

 

These examples may sound implausible, perhaps ridiculous. But something comparable is happening in the field of music journalism. One can read through a stack of music magazines and never find any in-depth discussion of music. Technical knowledge of the art form has disappeared from its discourse. In short, music criticism has turned into lifestyle reporting.

 

The full article is very interesting and can be found at the DailyBeast. com

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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[h=1][/h]FROM THE DAILY BEAST: (TED GIOIA)

 

In the new paradigm, artists generate coverage by their clothes, hook-ups, and run-ins with the law. What happened to the music?

Imagine, for a moment, football commentators who refuse to explain formations and plays. Or a TV cooking show that never mentions the ingredients. Or an expert on cars who refuses to look under the hood of an automobile.

I’ve just spent a very depressing afternoon looking through the leading music periodicals. And what did I learn? Pretty much what I expected. I found out what the chart-topping musicians are wearing (or, in many instances, not wearing). I got updates on their love life, and learned whose marriages are on the rocks. I read updates on the legal proceedings of the rich and famous. I got insights into the food preferences and travel routines of megastars. And I read some reviews of albums, and got told by “‘critics” (I use that term loosely) that they were “badass,” “hot,” “sexy,” “tripped-out,” and “freaky.”

 

These examples may sound implausible, perhaps ridiculous. But something comparable is happening in the field of music journalism. One can read through a stack of music magazines and never find any in-depth discussion of music. Technical knowledge of the art form has disappeared from its discourse. In short, music criticism has turned into lifestyle reporting.

 

The full article is very interesting and can be found at the DailyBeast. com

 

Thanks for the heads up on the article. Also thanks for steering me to the site.

It is just one more example of the dumbing down of American culture which has taken hits left and right especially in the last 10-20 years.

David

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What music? Do people listen to Beyonce, Timberlake or Spears, or do they watch them?

What happened to the music?

Forrest:

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[h=1][/h]FROM THE DAILY BEAST: (TED GIOIA)

 

In the new paradigm, artists generate coverage by their clothes, hook-ups, and run-ins with the law. What happened to the music?

Imagine, for a moment, football commentators who refuse to explain formations and plays. Or a TV cooking show that never mentions the ingredients. Or an expert on cars who refuses to look under the hood of an automobile.

I’ve just spent a very depressing afternoon looking through the leading music periodicals. And what did I learn? Pretty much what I expected. I found out what the chart-topping musicians are wearing (or, in many instances, not wearing). I got updates on their love life, and learned whose marriages are on the rocks. I read updates on the legal proceedings of the rich and famous. I got insights into the food preferences and travel routines of megastars. And I read some reviews of albums, and got told by “‘critics” (I use that term loosely) that they were “badass,” “hot,” “sexy,” “tripped-out,” and “freaky.”

 

These examples may sound implausible, perhaps ridiculous. But something comparable is happening in the field of music journalism. One can read through a stack of music magazines and never find any in-depth discussion of music. Technical knowledge of the art form has disappeared from its discourse. In short, music criticism has turned into lifestyle reporting.

 

The full article is very interesting and can be found at the DailyBeast. com

 

The media, ain't it great.. Celebrities doing drugs, stealing, buying and wrecking exotic cars, fighting, sex, divorce, spousal abuse and the media seems to keep on defending them. News and Entertainment Media, pretty much support their financial life's blood.

The Truth Is Out There

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Criticism of classical music remains focused on the music for the most part so far, though last year the magazines could not resist dropping quite a few line on the noisy split between a very well known tenor/soprano couple.

 

It figures that Mojo is UK publication!

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It is just one more example of the dumbing down of American culture which has taken hits left and right especially in the last 10-20 years.

 

This is not a recent phenomenon. We Americans have been distinguishing ourselves as a culture of superficiality for many many years, both at home and abroad. Fortunately, there are enough of us pursuing quality and diversity to sustain some fine alternatives to the mainstream pap that sustains so many of our fellow citizens. Turn to Classical Music Magazine, Down Beat, Living Blues etc for more musically oriented journalism. I'm not sure how the Beast defines "leading". It must have something to do with circulation, as it clearly doesn't relate to quality.

 

Sages like Packard and Mencken try and try again to warn us, but most people are reading less scholarly stuff.

 

Quotation-H-L-Mencken-funny-Meetville-Quotes-88853.jpg (died 55 years ago)

 

pack.gif (published 1959)

 

ugly_am.jpg(published 1958)

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I was never a big NBC news fan but their segment years ago on the "Fleecing of America" was spot on.. Fleecing of America and the Tom Brokaw segment Why America Gets Fleeced : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education like government-funded projects that went wrong: $34 million for a global airpark in North Carolina; $85 million for a useless dam in Tennessee; sports stadiums around the country built with tax-exempt bonds; $2.4 billion that can’t be accounted for in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

 

Regarding music what happened to music, Harry Goldsmith long time promoter noted what happened to the "rock" in a article in 2012

 

But does he miss that past, epic rock scene? “I honestly don’t think it exists any more,” he replies immediately. “I spent 40 years promoting big concerts all over the world and I got bored with it, to be frank ... I do miss the energy of concerts but it’s not about energy any more, it’s about money. It’s not about ideas or creativity, it’s all about how to squeeze profit out of music and bands. When I first started, I was happy as long as I had enough cash to pay the rent. My theory always was, if I created something good, the money would follow. But it wasn’t just about profit.”

 

He describes this as a “culture of not sticking your neck out”, and thinks Britain’s music industry as a whole has forgotten how to take risks. It has become “bland and tame”. The obvious X-Factor-isation of pop is partly to blame, though he also thinks kids simply don’t understand what hard work is any more. “Every so often an Arctic Monkeys will come out of nowhere but it’s too rare and there doesn’t seem to be any stimulus to create genuinely new acts. They give up too easily these days, or the media discard them after a very brief 15 minutes of fame ... You have to put the spadework in; stardom doesn’t come from one or two appearances on the telly, you have to keep at it, for years and years, and not just in this country but all over the world.

 

“There’s no reason why Adele, for example, shouldn’t have a shelf-life but it will rely entirely on her character, whether she’s prepared to put in the work. And how shrewd her management is.”

Harvey Goldsmith: what's wrong with the music industry - London Life - Life & Style - London Evening Standard

The Truth Is Out There

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The Public's capacity and span of attention for music, film, the different facets of the news is being manipulated by the very entities who own the conduit for delivery. All the news that is Fit to print may now refer to point size. Life imitates Art. I think Art imitates life. Love, appreciation of Music, Art, Architecture, Movies have all been reduced to an accountant's, a Rating's perspective.

 

The 4th Estate is selling the News now with teasers. It is not subtle. It does not matter what one's politics are just look for the mirror that reflects back the filters of one's views. Bad news predominates because it sells better than good. Our purchase criteria is monitored with an emphasis on entertainment than reliable information. Add The Hidden Persuaders to Vance Packard's perspectives. Beyoncé, Cyrus, Thicke (whose wife has separated from him in part for his vulgarity on stage, Half-tine spectaculars. Bread and circus. Let them eat cake.

 

The media has been bought up by the powerful and the wealthy allowed to own conglomerates with seemingly no real anti-trust prevention safeguards (engendering anti-trust in We The People about news reportage with an agenda) the days of Woodstein are (so) over. The Public has been calculated to have an attention span for blurb content leaving out all the particulars. Salient facts are ignored or not reported. Voyeurism has replaced accurate, content based fair reporting to show rather than to inform fairly.

 

I was very impressed with the questions Chris Connacker asked Neil Young, specifically about being a business man and the Loudness wars. Neil Young's answer put me on pause rather than play. I have already committed to an LE NY PP the same day that Kickstarter kicked. Neil Young's response, I am not a business man just the mascot, the hood ornament may have been intentionally and understatement, or is Neil Young the ambitious candidate who runs for office based on his platform, then discovers that the Others who control de facto the music business may let Neil Young promote but it will actualized as the Others in control who Neil Young acknowledges make the decisions promise better deliver the same. I heard the same in Neil Young's response to Chris about Loudness Volume compression as an art form. What I heard does not equate to what I hoping for.

 

If music criticism has indeed degenerated into lifestyle reporting, one can not just look at the tail or just the ears of just the trunk to see the whole Elephant. Our lifestyles are influenced by economics, politics, the weather, the enormous investment in selling what sells.

 

How does Neil Young, the mascot, hood ornament, Limited Edition PonoPlayer accomplish his stated, worthy goals and thus turn the criticism in the direction that compels the decision makers to show another perspective to the lifestyles which they promote in the first place?

 

I welcome any changes for the better. David had his slingshot. I got, well, will have my PonoPlayer. Hope Goliath changes his tune, tone, timbre. Or the more things change, the more they remain the same.

 

I also clapped enthusiastically as a child watching the play Peter Pan (with Mary Martin) when asked if I believed in Tinker Bell to keep her alive. I still do.

 

Enjoy the music,

Richard

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and, when you think about most of the popular music today, you have to wonder what kind of analysis the author is expecting. How much knowledge of music theory or even music history does one need to discuss Taylor Swift, Adele, Bieber, Beyonce etc. Even stuff like Radiohead and all of its whinging progeny of tedium and sorrow isn't particularly interesting from a technical stand point. Granted, I don't listen to much popular music, but what I hear, whether enjoyable or not, isn't particularly complex or interesting.

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Moosbrugger (QUOTE) Even stuff like Radiohead and all of its whinging progeny of tedium and sorrow isn't particularly interesting from a technical stand point. (QUOTE)

 

 

What? I can not believe that anyone would dis Radiohead. This is beyond the pale. This is equal to AUDIO-ELF's carping about Neil Young.

 

Philistine! Blasphemy, there is exceptional technical context to Radiohead's music.

 

I remain, shocked and saddened.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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and, when you think about most of the popular music today, you have to wonder what kind of analysis the author is expecting. How much knowledge of music theory or even music history does one need to discuss Taylor Swift, Adele, Bieber, Beyonce etc. Even stuff like Radiohead and all of its whinging progeny of tedium and sorrow isn't particularly interesting from a technical stand point. Granted, I don't listen to much popular music, but what I hear, whether enjoyable or not, isn't particularly complex or interesting.

 

And to think that popular music used to be so interesting.

 

"She loves you yeah, yeah, yeah."

"Come on baby now, twist and shout."

David

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:)

I've tried to like them. Almost everyone I know loves them. I just can't stand listening to that piece crying for 45 minutes.

 

 

 

Well I guess some people like happy music and some people like whinging progeny of tedium and sorrow and soggy white bread crying.

 

I forgive you. Moosb.

In any dispute the intensity of feeling is inversely proportional to the value of the issues at stake ~ Sayre's Law

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In the new paradigm, artists generate coverage by their clothes, hook-ups, and run-ins with the law. What happened to the music?

Imagine, for a moment, football commentators who refuse to explain formations and plays. Or a TV cooking show that never mentions the ingredients. Or an expert on cars who refuses to look under the hood of an automobile.

 

Hmmmmmm.....

 

Imagine a TV cooking show that is all about yelling at people and getting them to cry.

Imagine a TV Car Show that is all about badmouthing cars that no-one can afford or racing super cars against planes and powerboats.

 

Imagine a TV Science Show where everything must end by being blown up.

 

 

I leave TV to the ignorant masses and yet even I can name all those shows.

Most people are mindless sheep, and that includes consumers of music

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Hmmmmmm.....

 

Imagine a TV cooking show that is all about yelling at people and getting them to cry.

Imagine a TV Car Show that is all about badmouthing cars that no-one can afford or racing super cars against planes and powerboats.

 

Imagine a TV Science Show where everything must end by being blown up.

 

 

I leave TV to the ignorant masses and yet even I can name all those shows.

Most people are mindless sheep, and that includes consumers of music

 

No need to imagine, all those that you mention occur each week including the mindless sheep that you noted.

The Truth Is Out There

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Can't say I ever spent much time reading music mags. I don't see what is described as being much different than ever actually. I also wouldn't call such things musical criticism as fanboy reporting.

 

Now as to Radiohead, not a big fan, but I do dig some of their songs. Just not as much as the band that sang about Shiny Happy People or a group named after a spy plane or quite a few others for that matter.

 

As for mindless sheep, sometimes I fit that and happily so. Some intense deep meaningful music moves me, and some fluffy, simple tunes just make me feel happy for no reason. What more need it do?

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I was never a big NBC news fan but their segment years ago on the "Fleecing of America" was spot on.. Fleecing of America and the Tom Brokaw segment Why America Gets Fleeced : The Freeman : Foundation for Economic Education like government-funded projects that went wrong: $34 million for a global airpark in North Carolina; $85 million for a useless dam in Tennessee; sports stadiums around the country built with tax-exempt bonds; $2.4 billion that can’t be accounted for in the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

 

Regarding music what happened to music, Harry Goldsmith long time promoter noted what happened to the "rock" in a article in 2012

 

Harvey Goldsmith: what's wrong with the music industry - London Life - Life & Style - London Evening Standard

 

I do laugh my rear end off when "Pro Athletes" are resting themselves for the playoffs when they are getting millions to play. To think that most if not all of the stadium/arena is being subsidized by the tax payer so the owner can make 100s of millions as do the athletes is the ultimate joke. So IF the taxpayer didn't pay the billion for American Airlines arena how much would LeBron, etc get paid??

 

The taxpayer are willingly and overtly subsidizing the biggest scam in professional sports. I do laugh at it

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I do laugh my rear end off when "Pro Athletes" are resting themselves for the playoffs when they are getting millions to play. To think that most if not all of the stadium/arena is being subsidized by the tax payer so the owner can make 100s of millions as do the athletes is the ultimate joke. So IF the taxpayer didn't pay the billion for American Airlines arena how much would LeBron, etc get paid??

 

The taxpayer are willingly and overtly subsidizing the biggest scam in professional sports. I do laugh at it

 

 

I think the biggest tax scam in sports is that the NFL is tax exempt as it is classified as a non-profit.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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I think the biggest tax scam in sports is that the NFL is tax exempt as it is classified as a non-profit.

 

I never heard that. Are you kidding me??

 

That is like CA giving tax breaks to Hollywood to get them to stay in CA and tax the crap out of everyone else while Hollywood calls for "income equality for all" of course while still filming out of the country in locations that give them even bigger tax breaks

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Moosbrugger (QUOTE) Even stuff like Radiohead and all of its whinging progeny of tedium and sorrow isn't particularly interesting from a technical stand point. (QUOTE)

 

 

What? I can not believe that anyone would dis Radiohead. This is beyond the pale. This is equal to AUDIO-ELF's carping about Neil Young.

 

Philistine! Blasphemy, there is exceptional technical context to Radiohead's music.

 

I remain, shocked and saddened.

 

 

All that is left is for someone to speak ill of The Dead.

 

Meanwhile, I am really impressed that Courtney Love found that airplane.

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I never heard that. Are you kidding me??

 

That is like CA giving tax breaks to Hollywood to get them to stay in CA and tax the crap out of everyone else while Hollywood calls for "income equality for all" of course while still filming out of the country in locations that give them even bigger tax breaks

 

Not kidding. Strange, but true. For 50 years or so.

 

The Real Super Bowl Question: Should The NFL Be A Nonprofit? - Forbes

 

How the NFL Fleeces Taxpayers - Gregg Easterbrook - The Atlantic

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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All that is left is for someone to speak ill of The Dead.

 

Meanwhile, I am really impressed that Courtney Love found that airplane.

 

So I am not the only one to notice Ms Love's accomplishment.

 

Previously I thought her best performance was in People vs Flynt

in the role of Althea Flynt.

And always keep in mind: Cognitive biases, like seeing optical illusions are a sign of a normally functioning brain. We all have them, it’s nothing to be ashamed about, but it is something that affects our objective evaluation of reality. 

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