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Author Topic: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.  (Read 20592 times)

RMoore

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #45 on: December 20, 2005, 06:19:56 am »

kraster wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 09:58

 
Or the converse, that aspiring artists should be allowed develop their own unique artistic vision without having somebody elses artistic process imposed upon them.




I recall reading a sci-fi story about kids that were raised in isolation with no contact with other humans or music in order to be free and do their uncontaminated thing on some strange instrument while the 'fans' watched in rapture, hiding in the bushes like birdwatchers,



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electrical

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #46 on: December 20, 2005, 08:02:21 am »

RKrizman wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 02:34


The real argument that is being put forward is that aspiring artists are immune to mentoring or improvement.

No. My point is that there is no external barometer for "improvement." Each band has its own ambitions and expectations, and they should be allowed to have them, unfettered and un-marshalled by an external know-it-all. It doesn't matter if you like the results or not. It's not yours to pass judgement on. That is for the band to decide for themselves, and share with their audience an audience you have no right to expect to be part of.

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Sorry grasshopper, but when you can snatch the pebble from my hand...

Sensei, I take it you can tell when something is good and bad, always? Truly you are very wise.

I am not so wise. I am man enough to admit that I may not understand why a band does what they do, or even if they have achieved it when they have. If I expect to make such judgements in the heat of battle, I will get them wrong as often as right, from the perspective of the band. I think it is extraodinarily presumptuous to think that anyone outside the band can understand their motives and their art better than they can themselves. It is close to preposterous to me.

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I mean, why even bother going to a professional studio.

So that the recording can be done with as little damage to the ideas as possible. This is a truly difficult task, and it takes a lot of experience in many different circumstances to be able to do it reliably. That's why.

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The crude utterance on your home Digital Performance rig should have just as much validity, and will suffer even less from any possible interference from some outside recording engineer who is not in the band.

An engineer's job is to manage the technical side of the recording, with as little interference as possible. Anyone who thinks this is trivial (or easy, for that matter), has not been trying very hard, or has not been paying attention. In a professional environment, the acoustics and recording can be managed so as to be flattering to the band and free from the compromises inherent in semi-professional environments. That's why professional studios are needed.
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electrical

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #47 on: December 20, 2005, 08:11:23 am »

pipelineaudio wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 03:52

You could even say setting bias levels on your tape recorder would be Forcing decisions on the band.

You could say that, but you would be speaking in absurdities.

Setting the bias on a machine has only the slightest aesthetic consideration, and different styles of music may require slightly different approaches to avoid doing harm to them, but it remains a very small distinction. I'm not talking aobut very small distinctions. I'm talking about engineers or producers taking charge of sessions in obvious, demonstrably disruptive ways. You can make reductio-ad-absurdem arguments if it makes you feel better, but we all know I'm not talking about tiny subtleties. I'm talking aobut the obvious presumption that some recording people have that they know best, and that the band should do as they say. That's not subtle, and it's un-subtly creepy to me.

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How far should we go with this hands offishness?

How about we start with letting the band have their way? How about we start with not telling them we think they ought to play their music differently, or present it differently, or change it in ways large and small to suit the engineer. That's a good start.
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bjornson

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #48 on: December 20, 2005, 10:18:56 am »

First, yes.... most music in the 80's was embarrassing.[/quote]
Not the music I listened to, it wasn't. Boy, what a terriffic era of music! Naked Raygun, Killdozer, Sonic Youth, Die Kreuzen, the Effigies, the Appliances, Head of David, Trouble Funk, the Big Boys, the Dicks, Glenn Branca, the Birthday Party, Whitehouse, the Wipers, the Minutemen, the Ex, the Embarrassment, the Blackouts, the Membranes, Your Food, D.A.F, Pere Ubu, PiL, Squirrelbait, Slint... I can't really think of a more un-categorizable, more productive period. The Eighties (not that you'd know it from the hot 100) were an incredible era.


As a (very small) studio owner and venue operator in Lansing MI during this period, I have to agree with Steve. Add the Necros, the Offenders, the Fix and my cult fav. Doc Dart and the Crucif*cks to that list. College radio was booming with local talent and kids were coming to the shows in droves. Black Flag and the Circle Jerks playing in my freakin college co-op basement. Hell the first Big Black 7" is one of the reasons I started doing this!!! We all just laughed at mainstream rock for an entire decade... errr I guess i'm still chuckleing.
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Ron Steele

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #49 on: December 20, 2005, 12:40:29 pm »

So my guess would be,

that the difference of opinions here arise from,

the "college co-op basement" music, which is kind of an activist and rebellious mentality,

and the "mainstream" music mentality.

There is certainly no valid reason to diss or discourage the approach and methods taken to create either genre, and one has absolutely nothing in common with the other to begin with.

Look at it this way, you could have the Chicago symphony perform Bach conducted by a conductor who has a strict constructionist approach, and you could have a completely different conductor direct the Chicago symphony with a clearly different interpretation.

Who is to say either way was wrong?

Any view on art is subjective and personal. It's ok to have a different point of view or opinion, but how is telling others that you think their views, opinions and methods are invalid and insulting a proper reaction?


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electrical

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #50 on: December 20, 2005, 02:27:41 pm »

Ron Steele wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 12:40


that the difference of opinions here arise from,

the "college co-op basement" music, which is kind of an activist and rebellious mentality,

If by that you mean punk rock and independent music, you're on to something. Punk rock is the reason I'm involved in music at all. After that came the enormous worldwide panorama of the independent music scene, from which has sprung virtually all music of interest in the last 25 years (pace Willie Nelson). Some of it has even been wildly commercially successful, if that's your bag. It has changed more lives than Wang Chung and their ilk, that's for goddamn sure.

Punk rock and the independent music scene have together been more important than any other cultural influences since the birth of electric music. (If you want to get into this as a seperate discussion, wade on in. I'll take on all y'all.)

Quote:

and the "mainstream" music mentality.

There is definitely such a mentality, and I definitely do not understand it.

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There is certainly no valid reason to diss or discourage the approach and methods taken to create either genre, and one has absolutely nothing in common with the other to begin with.


Well, here in the independent world, we think the bands (who are laying their lives' work on the line here) should be given special deference and consideration because they are the engine for the whole process. They pay for everything, and without them, I would have nothing to record and the stores would have nothing to sell.

How is that inapplicable to your "mainstream?" Why would that not work there? Do they use a different kind of money in that world? Do people not have enough smarts to decide their own fates? Are you suggesting that all those people are artless, malleable and stupid?

Quote:

It's ok to have a different point of view or opinion, but how is telling others that you think their views, opinions and methods are invalid and insulting a proper reaction?

It's a lot like characterizing an enormous body of work as
Quote:

"college co-op basement" music

or dismissing an era you completely misunderstood by saying
Quote:

most music in the 80's was embarrassing

or basically admitting you aren't up to speed on this argument by saying
Quote:

I don't know of many earth shattering self-produced bands or artists that took the world by storm

As you noted above,
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It's ok to have a different point of view or opinion

And I do.
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Nicolas Adie

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #51 on: December 20, 2005, 02:34:30 pm »

Ron Steele wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 17:40

It's ok to have a different point of view or opinion, but how is telling others that you think their views, opinions and methods are invalid and insulting a proper reaction?



Isn't this pretty much the same as telling a band that they should change aspects of their music? It seems very much like it to me.

Also, disagreeing with someone and then letting them know why you disagree isn't insulting. I'd say it's good manners.
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Fibes

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #52 on: December 20, 2005, 03:28:47 pm »

As an Indy guy, what Steve says rings true with that realm. Punk Rock and indy are what i understand too and i'm surprised how closely blues, bluegrass and jazz stuff works with that same mindset.

Then we get to pop music and "new country" and you have an entirely different ballgame. A different sport if you will...

These things can not be discussed interchangably. Nope, not at all. It's the differences between the Dallas Cowboy Cheerleaders and the Buffalo Bills Cheerleaders, Indian poker and texas hold 'em...

One is about art and reality and the other is about sales and hyper-reality; mix the two and you get shit soup.
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Ron Steele

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #53 on: December 20, 2005, 04:33:42 pm »

Quote:

 It has changed more lives than Wang Chung and their ilk, that's for goddamn sure.

Punk rock and the independent music scene have together been more important than any other cultural influences since the birth of electric music.


Really........?

How so and for who?

Punk rock was a relevant movement, but so were the Who, Beatles, Rolling stones and Led Zeppilin,  so how is it relevant to the fact that most of the people that embraced punk our driving BMW's and mini-vans now. And the off-springs of these people listen to bands like the strokes, vines, white-stripes and jet and even Britney Spears because they love it all.  These kids don't need 80's punk music to change their lives because they have their own and they don't discriminate between any kind of music.


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There is definitely such a mentality, and I definitely do not understand it.



So why are you so against something you don't understand?


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Well, here in the independent world, we think the bands (who are laying their lives' work on the line here) should be given special deference and consideration because they are the engine for the whole process. They pay for everything, and without them, I would have nothing to record and the stores would have nothing to sell.


A lot of people throw themselves on the pavement everyday and deserve credit and consideration for their work and efforts for the same reasons. You make it sound like you and the bands you record are the only ones in the recording industry.............that work hard.



Quote:

How is that inapplicable to your "mainstream?" Why would that not work there? Do they use a different kind of money in that world? Do people not have enough smarts to decide their own fates? Are you suggesting that all those people are artless, malleable and stupid?


No they are not stupid, and they have and can made..... decisions... for themselves. But your suggesting that they are stupid and misinformed if they ask for help in the creative process.


Quote:



It's a lot like characterizing an enormous body of work as

or dismissing an era you completely misunderstood by saying

basically admitting you aren't up to speed on this argument by saying


I didn't care then to much, so why should I care now?

Let's not forget Beethoven and the Beatles [along with George "Martian"] came along well before the Ramones and naked raygun. At the very least, they owe something to the music and artists that came before them where art is concerned.

And it might be safe to say you owe something to our recording predecessor's.

After all, there efforts, and pioneering work determined the very technology you use today and it was well before punk rock arrived on the scene.
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xonlocust

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #54 on: December 20, 2005, 05:15:26 pm »

Ron Steele wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 15:33

 These kids don't need 80's punk music to change their lives because they have their own and they don't discriminate between any kind of music.



quick interjection - it'd be horribly presumptous and silly to put my band on the scale of the birthday party et al - but many of these 80s bands hugely influenced me and my peers and informed how our bands work.  there are kids worldwide who are buying my record.  it's certainly not 50 cent quantities by ANY stretch of the imagination - but there's a discourse, and myself and my peers didn't take that as a qualifier in how we wanted to work - or what was important to us.  

i got into killdozer, which got me into the jesus lizard which got me into the birthday party etc etc etc.  

Ron Steele

 
Really........?

How so and for who?



i guess i'm saying as one young dude in a band (in your backyard no less) that some kids and critics like, this sort of stuff is very relevant. it's also very relevant to the people's floors i've slept on worldwide. what is "thier own" is the great catalog of independent/underground music from the 70s to today.  

Ron Steele

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #55 on: December 20, 2005, 05:46:41 pm »

Quote:

i guess i'm saying as one young dude in a band (in your backyard no less) that some kids and critics like, this sort of stuff is very relevant. it's also very relevant to the people's floors i've slept on worldwide. what is "thier own" is the great catalog of independent/underground music from the 70s to today.


Nick, no where have I characterized punk rock or independent/underground music as an invalid or irrelevant source of influence.

When Elvis and the Beatles first arrived they were considered the punk rock of the day. It has always been more of an attitude then anything else, but while the look and sound of it changes, the rebellious attitude does not. and that is what makes it
independent/underground music.

Hell, for all practical purposes, the soul music of the early 60's was punk to. It was considered taboo by white society and there for was very underground.

If anything, soul music was way more relevant, influential and important to a cultural movement then punk ever was, because it set the tone for something alternative to exist, and eventually it became acceptable in a buttoned up, conservative and narrow-minded society.

It's something to consider.

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RKrizman

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #56 on: December 20, 2005, 05:59:37 pm »

kraster wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 03:58

Or the converse, that aspiring artists should be allowed develop their own unique artistic vision without having somebody elses artistic process imposed upon them.




If you're going to say that any scenario is artistically valid, then certainly a scenario with a band and a meddlesome producer is also valid.  It will have it's own artistic integrity.  In other words, the band just gets bigger.

-R
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Ron Steele

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #57 on: December 20, 2005, 06:00:57 pm »

Nick, I checked out the newback site and wathced " booze olympics".

Very cool stuff.

What's interesting is that I actually prefer today's "independent/underground" music. It's an exceptionally refreshing approach, with even more attitude, twists and melody from past years. That is, at least for my taste's.

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electrical

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #58 on: December 20, 2005, 06:05:23 pm »

Ron Steele wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 16:33

Quote:

 It has changed more lives than Wang Chung and their ilk, that's for goddamn sure.

Punk rock and the independent music scene have together been more important than any other cultural influences since the birth of electric music.


Really........?

How so and for who?

First, I'll post a poll, and we'll get some more opinions, then I'll go chapter-and-verse on you.


Quote:

So why are you so against something you don't understand?

I am against it because it seems so fundamentally wrong to me. What I don't understand is why this isn't the case with everyone involved in it. I have my speculations regarding inflated self-image, greed, hunger for power, status and control, but they are just speculations.

Quote:

A lot of people throw themselves on the pavement everyday and deserve credit and consideration for their work and efforts for the same reasons. You make it sound like you and the bands you record are the only ones in the recording industry.............that work hard.

Hard work isn't the issue. Crack dealers work hard. My point is that presuming the authority to "work" on someone else's art in a significant way is intrusive. That said, I don't care how hard someone works at an endeavor I don't respect.
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RKrizman

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Re: Steve's Lecture at MTSU.
« Reply #59 on: December 20, 2005, 06:08:48 pm »

electrical wrote on Tue, 20 December 2005 08:11


How about we start with letting the band have their way? How about we start with not telling them we think they ought to play their music differently, or present it differently, or change it in ways large and small to suit the engineer. That's a good start.



I'm totally with you there.  

-R
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