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FSonicSmith
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JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

I generally agree with and like and enjoy your writing JA (apologies in advance for addressing you directly). But besides being a bit self congratulatory and rambling and unfocused, your commment that "90% of music is crap" doesn't sit well with me at all. Let me tell you a couple of short stories. A few weeks back a buddy of mine and I drove from my hometown of Columbus OH to Newport KY to see Alejandro Escovedo. Alejandro's music is revered/respected by a great number of far more successful musicians and his work and musicianship speaks for itself and yet while he has done alright, he (IMO) has never come close to gaining the audience and attention and commercial success he "deserves". Of course, how anyone can use the word "deserve" when it comes to music and commercial success is a philosophical debate in it's own right. On the way to the show I played Midlake's two releases "The Trials of Van Occupanther" and "The Courage of Others". My buddy, a musician in a local band that primarily plays Alt-Country declared Midlake to be "Prog-Rock Crap". To quote Tom Gillette, I smiled my evil smile. Maybe. But maybe if my friend listened ten more times and let it soak in he would feel quite differently. Probably even. One more quick story. Last Friday I saw OH native Tim Easton at a small venue here in Columbus. Here again is an amazing musician with friends like Steve Earle and Lucinda who can draw maybe seventy five fans at $10 a ticket on a Friday night leaving me to scratch my head to the point of drawing blood. Like Alejandro, he is "deserving" of far more radio play and commercial success in return for the amazing shows he gives to his diehard fans. My point is that no John, 90% of music out there is fantastic amazing soul-redeeming art that fails to find an adequate audience. I would agree however that 90% of the top 20 in just about every genre is total crap, but that accounts for maybe one half of one percent of all music.

Drtrey3
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

I have to agree with Fred (or the person using the late great Sonic's name), though I think I would be closer to 60% of music being great. Commercial music is like a party political candidate, it is over polished and promoted. The appearance is pushed over the content, the demographics over the soul. So commercial pop music, yeah 90% is about right.

At the same time, I am quite comfortable with music being an idiosyncratic joy. I don't like American rap but I like Jamaican toasting and I am really OK with that. The old country is happening while much of the current stuff does not work for me. Who told Madonna she could sing? Not me.

I think the important thing is how the music we love affects us and making that connection better through better hardware brings us together.

Trey

Elk
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

In my experience there is a good deal of wonderful music and a lot of junk.

However I probably hear less than 1% that is out there. Thus I can't hazard a guess as to the overall global ratio of good to bad.

I do know there is a lot of great music that I will never hear.

O'Shag
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

Hold on a mo.... I think I get what JA is saying. Lets take for example the late '70s and '80s which I think was a time of a lot of creativity. One could count on hearing a lot of new music that was not so much your typical prepackaged overproduced stuff but something that really appeals. OK so there is a lot of great stuff out there hidden under the floorboards but its irrelevant in this context because most will not get to hear it. Intuitively I would think JA was referring to commercially released new work from new artists. We have to assume that record producers sift through a lot of potential talent and pick the best that they believe will be a viable long-term proposition to appeal to the buyers. Conversely, it may be a case of the label's desire to increase revenues therefore lovwering the bar in terms of quality. In this context, I'd have to agree with JA. Most of the new stuff that is commercially released doesn't impress at all. Even the hip hop style genre and definitely R&B have - overall - gone downhill IMO. Now they horribly over-produce stuff with voice machines and such..yuch!

Jim Tavegia
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

Elk,

I agree as there is alot of bad music, but that is the price we pay for easy delivery these days. The problem is how to wade through it all and who has the spare time to do it? Not me.

I will generally take some recommendations and if given a link will listen and often it is not worth the effort, but once in a while there is magic. I generally will follow Phile writer's recommendations and track them down for a listen off Amazon if available. Following Amazon's new releases can also help.

JA probably has better taste them me so his 90% figure may be right, but for me, 70% is probably not too far off. Like Elk, I know there is great music I will never be aware of. That is sad.

Buddha
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

The 90% idea seems fair, to me.

The hazey filter of time is pretty good at removing the crap we look back on, making things seems to have a higher percentage of gems to paste.

Same goes for books, maybe even wine...in fact, 90% crap may be overly generous!

Think back to the heyday of vinyl. Remember the ad with "Two out of every three turntables sold in the world are BSR?"

Put that together with Zenith, Magnavox, etc...I bet it surpasses 90% crap.

Take a random trip through a well stocked CD store, if any still exist, and the 90% likely shows up again.

Or, try My Space or You Tube and wade through 1,000 random mucis hits and then see if more than 100 stay with you.

How about a trip through a Barnes and Noble or Borders. Stroll their aisles and you should easily surpass 90% crap. And that's the stuff that got published!

Lastly, try a random search of websites, if that's possible, I bet it's close to 98% crap! Take out the porn and maybe it would only be 95% crap, but still....

I'll take JA's side here.

(No offense to anyone.)

Satch
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

You might be missing the point here, Jim, "JA probably has better taste them me so his 90% figure may be right, but for me, .....". Each of us gets to decide what he thinks is crap, better taste, whatever that might mean, has nothing to do with it.

Apart from that, I'm also inclined to go with the 90% - maybe more. And I'm willing to bet there's not a very good correlation between my list of crap and JA's. Ain't what individual freedom we have left great.

RGibran
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

Elk
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"


Quote:
The hazey filter of time is pretty good at removing the crap we look back on, making things seems to have a higher percentage of gems to paste.


Time itself can also be an effective filter.

I suspect relatively little truly bad classical music survives as no one bothered to keep it or to make a copy.

Now everything survives.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

I'm am sure that 90% of the artists think we are "deffective" for not going GA GA over THEIR music. Oh, wait it is Lady GAGA. I knew I was missing something. Maybe if you had to start off with the new name of "Hubcap" or "Blivit Pin" that we should just KNOW something great is about to be thrust upon us! There should be hundreds of winner on American Idol not just the top one or two. But that is what makes the first few weeks entertaining for America. I just can't stand to bare the pain.

David_L
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

Considering the majority of people on this forum are middle to late aged white males, then our opinion is only that, an opinion from a specific age group. That being said, I also enjoy new music as long as it isn't rap,most country and opera The rest of the world likes what they like and more power to them. Now if you meant how it's recorded and produced then it's a different mater since the "Loudness Wars" has resulted in badly compressed music.

Jim Tavegia
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

So, I go into BestBuy in Atlanta to pick up the new Mary Chapin Carpenter cd being the retail supporter that I am, and what do I find, nearly 3 rows of rap and not a single MCC CD of any era.

At the end cap with NEW RELEASES there is not one thing I might even consider buying. I am old and passed by. I tried to spend my money, but could not.

Just bought it online through an amazon retailer for $8.99 + $2.98 shipping. Done, done, and done!

David_L
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"


Quote:
So, I go into BestBuy in Atlanta to pick up the new Mary Chapin Carpenter cd being the retail supporter that I am, and what do I find, nearly 3 rows of rap and not a single MCC CD of any era.

At the end cap with NEW RELEASES there is not one thing I might even consider buying. I am old and passed by. I tried to spend my money, but could not.

Just bought it online through an amazon retailer for $8.99 + $2.98 shipping. Done, done, and done!

That's how life serves you up when you age lol It's a young person's world and money talks.

Buddha
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

On the plus side...

I decided I'd check out Best Buy here and also no MCP; but, they did have the new David Lindley & Jackson Browne disc, the new LCD Sound System, and Broken Bells.

So, it could be worse.

However, they also didn't have the new Merle Haggard, but maybe it isn't really out yet.

Interestingly, I had to really dig in order to find a copy of the LCD disc...if someone were not spending some time specifically rooting around for that disc, there would be no such thing as an impulse buy.

Editor
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"


Quote:

Quote:
So, I go into BestBuy in Atlanta to pick up the new Mary Chapin Carpenter cd being the retail supporter that I am, and what do I find, nearly 3 rows of rap and not a single MCC CD of any era.

At the end cap with NEW RELEASES there is not one thing I might even consider buying. I am old and passed by. I tried to spend my money, but could not.

That's how life serves you up when you age lol It's a young person's world and money talks.

The paradox is that , despite the record industry acting as though people under 20 are their primary customers, most CDs are bought by people older than that. So in this case, money doesn't talk loud enough. (It is fair to point out that while the total sales volume is high, most of the titles bought by older purchasers are way down the "long tail," so sales of each title are relatively small compared with a big hit.)

Just got the new Mary Chapin Carpenter CD but haven't had a chance to listen to it yet.

John Atkinson
Editor, Stereophile

dbowker
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"


Quote:
Considering the majority of people on this forum are middle to late aged white males, then our opinion is only that, an opinion from a specific age group. That being said, I also enjoy new music as long as it isn't rap,most country and opera The rest of the world likes what they like and more power to them. Now if you meant how it's recorded and produced then it's a different mater since the "Loudness Wars" has resulted in badly compressed music.

OK- Sure I'm 42, but I find more good new music out there all the time than I even have the time or money to listen to.

And for the record (heh) I thought 90% of what was out there for music and movies when I was 15 too. It's never changed really, but I've just learned to deal with it.

Buddha
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

Top Ten for the week of May 23, 1970:

1) Guess Who, American Woman

2) Ides of March, Vehicle

3) Tyron Davis, Turn back the Hands of Time

4) Ray Stevens, Everything is Beautiful

5) Simon and Garfunkel, Cecilia

6) The Beatles, Let it Be

7) The Moments, Love on a Two Way Street

8) CCR, Up Around the Bend

9) Jackson 5, ABC

10) The Marmalade, Reflections of My Life.

In the past year, I have spun only Let it Be.

________________

Number 70-79 for the entire year of 1971:

71. Chirpy Chirpy Cheep Cheep, Mac and Katie Kissoon
72. (Where Do I Begin) Love Story, Andy Williams
73. Wild World, Cat Stevens
74. When You're Hot, You're Hot, Jerry Reed
75. Funky Nassau, Beginning Of The End
76. If Not For You, Olivia Newton-John
77. Groove Me, King Floyd
78. Watching Scotty Grow, Bobby Goldsboro
79. Woodstock, Matthews' Southern Comfort

In the past year, I have spun none of those.

lwhitefl
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

IMO it's bad enough that so many music albums are badly recorded and/or mixed; but most of the pop/rock genre is processed to death with over dubbing and over emphasis making it artificial and boring.

ObamasIpod
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

Maybe each individual only enjoys 10 percent of whats out there. Your ten percent, may be different then someone else's ten percent, vis a versa and a couple of etc's.

I personally get a kick out of some of the old, (70's) Club disco on Big 45's. Not the standard radio disco. Most of these were done on a low budget and borrowed some of the seedier not known starving for thier next meal, rent payment or in some cases, fix, musicians of the day. The small recording studio probably kept the signal path short, the final copy being 12 inch vinyl turning at 45rpm has merit! (Elcaset Visions). Bob Cutillo and Eddie Dee's at Harvey Sound (NYC-45st), could hypnotize ya with those 8 minute, 12 inch, 45rpm jaunts of the time.

And yes, I stand by Stereo Review when I need info. EX: I have found 3 reviews online for the Jolida 202 vac-amp. All three mention the wonderfull sound when they hooked up thier turntable. The 202 does not have a Turntable pre-amp and none of the articles mention hooking up an outboard preamp....go figure. Once again thank you for years of reliability....and dont discount anybody's ten percent!
DJ

ObamasIpod
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"


Quote:
Top Ten for the week of May 23, 1970:

In the past year, I have spun only Let it Be.

Maybe ya need to cue up "Sly's Sex Machine", or Rare Earth's album version of "Get Ready"!

Poor Audiophile
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

"And yes, I stand by Stereo Review when I need info. EX: I have found 3 reviews online for the Jolida 202 vac-amp. All three mention the wonderfull sound when they hooked up thier turntable."

Really? Amazing! Which issues were they? Maybe I have them as I have a fair collection of S.R. It was ok for what it did.
BTW, cool website! Do you own a Challenger? Sweet rides, but I don't know about the one w/ an AMC paint scheme.

Freako
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

What is crap and what is not is a question of taste, but it seems many people have the same overall taste measured in percentages. Even though they don't all like the same music. On my shelves there's probably 50% crap if any of you guys were to determine it, and I could perhaps say the same about your music.

Given that 90% of all published music is mainstream pop, I do tend to agree. Most of it is surely crap.

Grosse Fatigue
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Re: JA's "As We See It"; "90% of music is crap"

90% is indeed crap
It seems to me, too, that the 20-30-40 years old generations don't know what good music is, and that is the reason why this forum is not taking off since those are the ones posting here
They grew up listening to crap, talk about cassette crap revival and nonsense..
They don't care about audio
The world the way we knew it was gone after Yves St Laurent last collection
After YSL le deluge
You may as well shut down this forum
It is DOA to use some one else's expression

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