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Thread: am i a snob?

  1. #1
    jumping on eggshells sp88's Avatar
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    am i a snob?

    being an ex-muso, i tend to hold pretty strong views about the validity of "fake" artists, or those put together by a manipulative management team (insert picture of simon cowell or chancellor palpatine here)

    you all know the kind of thing i mean: that singer or vocal group crooning their way through that catchy but forgettable song (written by 7 people you've never heard of, tho not the cat actually singing it), with their perfect hair (styled by a team of hairdressers) and perfect clothes (designed and picked out by a host of dressers), accompanied by a slick little dance routine (choreographed by a behind the scenes groover). with the whole effect designed to appeal to the blandest cross section of teens and pre-teens who have been thus trained to reach for the off button the moment anything vaguely original or unformulaic or lasting comes over the airwaves

    people like one direction, the spice girls, beyoncé, rihanna, virtually the whole cast of pop idol (or geographical variants), et cetera

    the kind of artists that act merely as a crucible for people who have the actual creative talent (however slight) to distil their communal juices into something saleable



    that being said .......

    i'm constantly wondering how these acts compare with those in the acting profession - actors are forever repeating lines written by another's hand, in outfits designed by production teams, moving to marks designated by directors - vessels in a very similar way to those singers

    yet, we laud actors and marvel at the subtleties and nuances of their art



    so, are there any fundamental differences to these 2 spheres? - do created boy/girl musician types deserve more respect?

    in short, am i guilty of being a musical snob when it comes to this divide, or lack of?
    "i know enough to know what's instantly forgettable"

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    Quote Originally Posted by sp88 View Post

    yet, we laud actors and marvel at the subtleties and nuances of their art



    so, are there any fundamental differences to these 2 spheres? - do created boy/girl musician types deserve more respect?

    in short, am i guilty of being a musical snob when it comes to this divide, or lack of?
    I don't think you are being a snob, I think both acting and music as art forms have suffered at the hands of executive desicion makers who want to turn them into consumer products. The similarities you note just show how acting is moving along the same self destructive path that music has.
    There have always been manufactured artisits in music (The Monkeys etc.) and acting has always relied on the quality of their writers work.
    In my view the problem with music today is that as soon as a really fresh new band or artist is discovered, the execs milk the cow dry in the same two ways. Firstly they rush out to find or manufacture as many clone artists as they can (Flood the market while it sells), secondly they stunt the development of the original artist (Just do another song/album that sounds exactly the same as the last one, we know that will sell). When the formula stops selling, they drop that artist like a bad habit and move on to the next big thing.

    Acting is moving in the same direction is some ways, schools who teach the same methods so that most actors deliver similar performances, over reliance on sequals and re-makes (just do the same thing as last time) and one bad box office performance spelling the end of a career.

    I feel more positive about grass roots music though, my wife and I have always gone to see local live music and for a few years, the "Pop Idol", "X-Factor" phase, led to us watching glorified karaoke singers (a few who's equipment was actually a karaoke machine) thinking they were about to make it big. For the last two years we have started to see the return of guitar bands or the solo artist with a guitar or a keyboard who compose and perform their own material. It's not always to my taste and not always very good but it is the true spirit of music and I definitely respect that.

    So in my view you are no snob, just someone who remembers music as it used to be, recognises the flaws with music as it is now and hopes for better things to come.
    Last edited by Arbiec; 01-10-2019 at 12:14 PM.

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    Small addition to the last post.

    A depressing fact I learned recently is that we are doomed to thinking that new music is not as good as when we were younger.
    A sign of getting older is that our ears lose the abilty to hear certain frequencies (usually the very high and/or very low frequencies). A consequence of this is that for us oldies, new music seems a lot flatter and featureless than it was when we were listening to the great music of our teens and twenties.
    Another quirk of the brain is that for the music we became familiar with when we were young with perfect hearing, our brain remembers the frequencies that we can no longer hear and when we listen to a familiar song, it fills in the blanks from memory so that we still think it sounds as good as it ever did.

    So no matter how much we try to keep up with new music we will more and more find ourselves thinking that music was "better" in our day and by the time we retire we will not be able to understand how the young whippersnappers can call their rubbish music at all.

    Getting old sucks!

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    Super Moderator Misrule's Avatar
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    I've been thinking about this and wonder if the comparison between "manufactured" singers and actors is valid. Possibly not.

    Most musical performers (of all genres) play/sing music written by others. Frank Sinatra, and all his generation; every opera singer; all orchestras; etc, etc. Their talent is in the technique, interpretation, sound, and so on.
    Equally, most actors are saying words written by others, in stories invented by others and directed by someone. Their talent is also in the technique, interpretation, etc.
    The combination of inventor/creator as well as performer is not that common. Mozart did it; Beethoven didn't (except on piano); Wagner couldn't have, neither could Verdi. Shakespeare might have (don't know); Agatha Christie did not perform in The Mousetrap. You get my drift.

    The manufactured groups that you so dislike are sometimes musically competent. I've heard Boyzone sing acapello in harmony on a radio show (they were actually very good). Some couldn't even play their instruments (allegedly) when they started. You don't need to be a snob to have less respect for that kind of musical production. You just have refined taste. Which is totally compatible with liking actors and acting.

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    Diva wildwest08's Avatar
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    do not know much personally about both Music and Film

    my only comment is that in earlier years, Movie Studios did have what they
    called "Contract Players", and took the time to groom them, give them small
    parts to see how they will do

    but this again was strictly controlled at least initially by the Studio Heads







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    jumping on eggshells sp88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misrule View Post
    ..... Beethoven didn't (except on piano) ..... Shakespeare might have (don't know) .....
    to be fair to ludwig, it was probably difficult to be a part of it once his hearing had started to go - the famous story about the 1st performance of the glorious 9th springs to mind - beethoven sat on the side of the stage, watching somebody else conduct the orchestra, and having to be physically spun around at the end of the performance because he was unaware of the audience just behind him rising to their feet and applauding

    as for shakey, he most certainly did act quite competently - 2 of his most involved supposed roles were as the ghost of hamlet's father and the blinded gloucester in lear, both reasonably major parts - in his salad days, wigglestick would have been thought of as an actor 1st, playwright 2nd
    "i know enough to know what's instantly forgettable"

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    jumping on eggshells sp88's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Misrule View Post
    I've heard Boyzone sing acapello in harmony on a radio show (they were actually very good).
    competence isn't at issue for the most part - i'm just wondering whether there was a music coach listening in to make sure they'd followed his/her arrangement correctly

    it could be said to be akin to the paint earning the big bucks for appearing on a van gogh canvas

    "i know enough to know what's instantly forgettable"

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    Super Moderator Misrule's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sp88 View Post
    competence isn't at issue for the most part - i'm just wondering whether there was a music coach listening in to make sure they'd followed his/her arrangement correctly

    it could be said to be akin to the paint earning the big bucks for appearing on a van gogh canvas

    In this instance, no. There was no coach. It was uncsheduled, unrehearsed and was just following the conversation in an interview on their home town radio station. That's what made it impressive - they could actually sing; and do it very well.

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