On the dumbing down of modern culture

Discussion in 'Jams, Audio & Video Performances' started by Freejazz-SG, Dec 14, 2017.

  1. Freejazz-SG

    Freejazz-SG Active Member

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    Recently a French journalist sent a manuscript to 20 publishing companies, to see if the manuscript could be accepted. But, it was not his own manuscript, instead he sent 15 pages of a book written by the Nobel prize winner Claude Simon, well known for a difficult and controversial style in writing. 16 publishers did not accept the manuscript, the others didn´t even answer. The journalist took the result as a sign that publishers don´t want anything that looks difficult anymore, a general cultural dumbing down in society, due to stronger commercial interests in everything produced.
    IMHO: This is also something that can be seen in music, as soon people hear something strange and unfamiliar, they tend to turn it off, which in the long run must mean that nothing new will ever be recorded.
    That is a very sad development, and therefore I post a clip from my band GuitCussion, where I play a Godin Artisan, and the other guitarist plays a Ovation Breadwinner into a digital unit. We have two drummers, the clip is called Black Market, and has a strange "Indian" avantgarde vibe, that probably will sound strange to most people.

    Black Market:
    http://fandalism.com/stefanthorpenberg/dZEN
     
  2. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    1:Multiple studies done with various methods and metrics indicate that human intelligence has slipped by about 20 IQ points since 1917. It may be that too much access to "information" via literacy, the internet, etc. has made us lazy, relying on other peoples' work instead of using our native reasoning ability. It may also be that our definition and understanding of intelligence is outdated.
    2:I play a style my jazz trio bandmates have dubbed,"Tibetan surf music." It incorporates the styles such as classical, blues, jazz, Appalchian, French and Irish folk music and psychedelic rock that I have spent the last 52 years exploring. I hope that it sounds both "native" and "exotic" to my listeners. I think that today's audiences are more open to new "styles" and instrumentation than previous generations. Just my twopence and halfpenny for inflation.
     
  3. Freejazz-SG

    Freejazz-SG Active Member

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    Your band would be very interesting to hear. Why have I not heard it already? Well, your´e not played on radio or TV. When I was young they sometimes played Hendrix on radio, and in the -80s Laurie Anderson´s Superman was a hit in England. Impossible today.
    But I´m not talking only about Music, but culture in general. Publishing companies release tons of criminal stories and cook books, but as mentioned, controversial things are not published. It has not so much to do with formal intelligence, it´s more peoples general approach to life, I guess?
     
  4. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Because the readers buy them. That's what keeps the publisher is in business.


    1. Looking for Alaska, by John Green
    2. Fifty Shades of Grey, by E. L. James
    3. I Am Jazz, by Jessica Herthel and Jazz Jennings
    4. Beyond Magenta: Transgender Teens Speak Out, by Susan Kuklin
    5. The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time, by Mark Haddon
    6. Fun Home, by Alison Bechdel
    7. Habibi, by Craig Thompson

    8. Nasreen’s Secret School: A True Story from Afghanistan, by Jeanette Winter

    9. Two Boys Kissing, by David Levithan
    While I will not comment on the profundity of each selection, they are most certainly controversial.(at least in the USofA.)
     
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  5. Freejazz-SG

    Freejazz-SG Active Member

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    Some of those books seems to be controversial only in Alabama. In the rest of the World they are middle of the road.
     
  6. Plan Zero

    Plan Zero Active Member

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    Well the book will be dead in a few generations if not sooner so no need to worry. And historically society is never welcoming to new styles until someone says they're interesting.
     
  7. LDS

    LDS Member

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    Idiocracy. Humor turned prophecy...

    [​IMG]
     
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  8. DrBGood

    DrBGood Well-Known Member

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    Jazz has always been and will always be a difficult genre to propagate, even more so with free jazz. People in general have to have some kind of melody line to be able to remember or/and hum, thus endorse and buy. Even when minds were openly blown, in the hippie era, King Crimson could incorporate some of Fripp's ramblings, because they made it part of an album. His solo work never really took off.

    But every month brought some challenging music. First time I heard Fragile from Yes, I had to listen to it a few times before I could grab what was going on. Gentle Giant, more than a few times. But they had melodies, complicated melodies, but still. Today we hear those Super Groups as part of the soup bowl of Progressive music, but when they came out, one by one, they were "out there".
     
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2017
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  9. rotorhead

    rotorhead Well-Known Member

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    While I do love progressive music and enjoy challenging my brain and heart, there's still a certain magic to the simplicity of a good old Ramones song :)
     
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  10. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    Ecclesiastes 1:9 We fancy ourselves as inventors of novelty, but we merely rearrange the blocks cut aeons ago by our precursors.
    Except for Jeff Beck.
     
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  11. pedecamp

    pedecamp Active Member

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    I take this result as a sign that 100% of the publishers don't want anything to do with bull$h!t submittals.
     
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  12. SG standard

    SG standard Well-Known Member

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    I do like reading books, but I was listening to a podcast by an author the other day - most of his podcasts are in the form of discussions, although some are solo - and he mentioned how different the audience sizes are. I can't recall the exact numbers, but despite being on best seller lists, his podcast audience size will pass any of his book sales within a day or so. This is why he's become so committed to podcasts. Now, when you factor in the amount of time it takes to write and publish a book, compared to the preparation to have an interesting and wide ranging discussion, it's easy to see how rapidly things are likely to change.

    But I still like books....
     
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  13. sazista

    sazista Active Member

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    I like the tune. Nice work. Is that an SG? You will have to say yes . How was this recorded?
     
  14. Biddlin

    Biddlin Well-Known Member

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    It had a tune? Whistle it.:cool:
    Seriously, to each his own. I find it reminiscent of my basement studio jams from 1972 after tea with Mr. Owsley.
     
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  15. Kerry Brown

    Kerry Brown Well-Known Member

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    I read an interesting blog yesterday about where modern pop music is going. I can't find it now to post the link. In essence it says that for the past few hundred years western music has always resolved to a I or V chord. Music has been about building tension then resolving it. With jazz it may be an alternate to a I or V but at it's core it always resolves. Our ears are used to that. With some of the top pop songs today there is no resolution. The music wanders but never ends up on the I or V. Not sure I agree but it was an interesting read. If I find it I'll post the link.
     
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  16. Bad Penguin

    Bad Penguin Active Member

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    This was something I was thinking about today. I musically grew up in the 70's. I hung with all older people, so while my peers were listening to Kiss, Skynard, Zepplin, I was hooked on Genesis (Gabriel Genesis NOT Phil's later Disney version.) Gentle Giant, Renaissance, Nektar, King Crimson, Frank Zappa, and my idol, Bill Nelson of Be Bop Deluxe. And all of these bands had something seriously lacking from todays music: Artistry.

    I think Artistry ended sometime in the late 80's early 90's, with Vai and Stach being possibly that last of the creative players. There have been some killer players since, don't get me wrong, but how many can truly be called creative? I don't think playing an 9 string, tuned down to H, and going "chunka chunka chunka squeeeeeel" qualifies here.

    Has anyone taken up the wit and artistry of Zappa since he passed? Or the melodic fluidity of Garcia? Or even the snarky commentary of Lou Reed? If someone has, they won't get radio play.
     
  17. Dale

    Dale Active Member

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    Or the publishers knew it was plagiarism as presented and didn't want to deal with it.
     
  18. LDS

    LDS Member

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    Have you listened to Animals As Leaders?
     
  19. Freejazz-SG

    Freejazz-SG Active Member

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    Sorry for not answering, have been away for a while.
    Anyway, it´s interesting to read the thread. It seems that there are at least two views that are seen. One that says there is a dumbing down, and another that says there are more strange culture coming out today compared to before.

    Hm, it looks in some way like the debate about the growing fatness in society, where some people eat crap food and become extremely fat, BUT there is also another trend where some (fewer) people excercise more and are extremely careful with their food - they are actuallt becoming slimmer for every day. Seems to be the same with culture?
     
  20. Freejazz-SG

    Freejazz-SG Active Member

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    Oh... now I saw Sazista´s comment and question. No it´s not an SG in the first clip. It´s a Godin Artisan ST-1 with Dimarzio Area pickups. The clip is improvised and recorded "live" in the studio, with 2 guitarists and 2 drummers. I use a Fender Blues Deville with a Boss OD3, the mic is an ordinary Shure SM57.

    Since this is the member performance section at EverythingSG, I post a clip where I actually play my old Les Paul SG 1961. I use the same amp and pedal, and only the neck pickup, which is a PAF with short magnet. The tune is somewhat funny. It comes from an idea of one of the drummers. He wanted us to play without an "1" in the rythm, so it starts anarchistic. After a while I go on playing my old Les Paul SG over it all. The result reminded me of the sound of migrating birds in the autumn, so we called it Windfalls - it can be heard at our first CD "Blue Congo" (where I play that SG on all tunes except the first).

    GuitCussion: Windfalls;
    http://fandalism.com/stefanthorpenberg/dHSO
     
    Last edited: Feb 8, 2018

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