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It’s a paradox of the internet providing access and exposure to the vastness of human knowledge and art. And the fact that as a social creature we need validation and the internet and anonymity of it can bring out the worst in us.
And I suggest some empathy and willingness to stop typing......and listen to music
I agree with your sentiment. I come here to read about music and gear, and yes, that is a sort of escape. I don't participate in Facebook or any other non-audio forums because I have no interest in the fray.
You're right. We are truly fortunate to have this wonderful technology at our fingertips.
Yeah, as mean as this place sometimes gets, I still find it enjoyable as heck. The zeal of those who indulge in this hobby gives the joint infectious energy. We really love the stuff. More importantly, we love what the stuff does -- magically materializing talented artists into our homes. The size of some the posters' pocketbooks adds a decided loopiness to the site, but what the hey. Indeed, some of us (not me, of course) have bags of money but we truly don't flaunt it...except perhaps on this site. After all, we're not driving our components around town or wearing them around our necks (call the chiropractor!). They're secreted within our residences. Sure, sometimes the bass bleeds through the walls but so does the bass from a cheap boom box.
I agree, we should be grateful for all the music available to us at the push of a button -- and I am. I love exploring my music collection and I also enjoy fiddling with the system from time to time -- a footer here, a slab under the speakers, etc, sharing tweaks can be fun. Takes the mind off other things and is eminently enjoyable.
I have always loved music, whether live or recorded. It's a marvelous creation by the human species. But music ain't everything. We all live on a single large rock with limited resources and the competition for those resources can get very, very vicious. For all its beauty music cannot change that. It's can be hard not to despair. As a species are we going to let the most greedy, most vicious, most power hungry and the most hate-filled amongst us triumph? All over the world guitars are gently weeping.
I am completely addicted to music it fills most hours of my day and helps keep me sane. I also enjoy the equipment that makes it possible. That's why I joined this site over 20 years ago and I've been fairly dismayed at the turn it's taken the last 5 years or so. I hope we can get back to discussing music and gear amicably and little else.
I wrote this a few weeks ago. it is still true
Audiogon Discussion Forum
I do not see this as a hobby. for me it is a lifestyle. I have enjoyed music and bought my 1st record at about 8 yrs old. (62 yrs ago) I play music, (drums & vocals) as well and have since early teens.There is another Biblical scripture that is more bothersome than the one you put forth. Often attributed to Abe Lincoln, it was actually Jesus who said, " And if a kingdom is divided against itself, that kingdom cannot stand."
A few weeks ago, I was reading another thread about rap music. There were a number of folks who were dismissive, even derogative, of this genre of music. It was said that rap is not ’real’ music, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I wish these folks can see how rap is becoming the universal language for people around the world, especially those trying to survive in tough environments and circumstances. And it’s not just limited to the United States. Whether it’s Dharavi (Asia’s largest slum in Mumbai, India) or a tough neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, rap music cuts across languages, cultures, and geographic boundaries. It has become the musical language of choice to express not just frustration and angst, but also aspirations and hopes of a better life, a better world.
Of course, the same can be said about jazz, rock ’n roll, and classical music. You don’t need to speak the language, or even understand the background/history (though it certainly adds to the enjoyment) to appreciate music.
Music is truly the only language that connects and binds humanity more than anything else in this world. Thank you for starting this topic.
When I see violent behavior it is a valuable warning sign to avoid the gear that the behaviorally challenged individuals use and own, as their audio gear did nothing to help them out of their misery, or maybe made their imbalance even worse.
The true worth of a good stereo system is that it helps to maintain inner peace and harmony.
When the world went into lockdown last year, I started working 7-12s and I can just now see the light at the end of the tunnel. I have always loved music, my parent’s house was always filled with great music. I have always had a radio, boombox, stereo, Diskman, mp3 player, phone and earbuds etc. A coworker once told me "when I look at you I can see the music playing in your head" frankly one of the nicer things anyone ever said to me. Starting last December, I put together a Modest system Elac B6.2, PS Audio Sprout 100, Rega Planar 2, an old Infinity sub with a new Dayton 100w plate amp, and a Sony 5 disk DVD player. Started buying LPs for the first time, and it sounds pretty good (you have to push the Elacs to wake them up) but sounds good. Then upgraded the Carbon to a Nagaoka MP 110, Then added a Mani and tweaked with it, sounds better. Going to buy a Schiit Freya +, and Modius to Feed the sprout (then plan on replacing it with a Vidar) and intend to replace the Elacs with Martin Logan ESLs (and toss another Vidar in if needed) it should sound very nice at that point. but this meandering tale is to say that with all the craziness, sickness, deaths of people I know (I never dreamed I would be so surrounded by this damn disease) Music is one of the main physical thing I can do to de stress whether it is with a phone and buds, Listening to Diana Krall, spin on the TT, or just having a thumb drive playing in the car while my wife and I have a picnic watching the water go by. Music is sanity. Music is life.
I find heavy metal to be crude, noisy, and headache inducing. But I will never belittle it or proclaim that it is 'not' music. It brings joy and meaning to lots of music lovers, so who am I to pass judgment, or make bold proclamations like people make about rap music all the time. To each his own :)
Here in Oregon's glorious southwest, between two beautiful mountain ranges, working long hours, at night, in a saw mill. I come home around midnight in a tiny nowhere town to a chilled air and a yummy glass of Pendleton rye, with an ache to sit and breathe something melodic. Maybe some London Grammar maybe some Zero 7. Probably both. Could be a bit of Santana or Megadeth or Infectious Grooves. Then Oysterhead plays for a spell. Holy crap it is now Incubus playing, followed by Sade, Caro Emerald, Miles Davis, Larkin/Poe and Janiva Magness. All of it was glorious and somehow invigorating and soothing at the same time. Music and the search for all of it's glorious iterations brings me peace, solace, and joy. Thanks to you who have shared your valuable time in this search with me.
"The human ego is always seeking ways to justify its agenda"
My ego is at ease while listening to music so this is a non-starter for me. In fact, I'm often humbled while listening to great musicians & what they are able to create.
Since we all process music differently, please expand upon your statement if you would.
I was reflecting on the frictions that arise here and on other forums and how they are often less about the topic at hand and more about unconsci-ous ego-driven impulses, such as "the need to feel or be seen as right", "the need to feel be seen as smarter", etc. We are all susceptible to this but being aware of when we are being triggered/engaged in defending an idealized view of ourselves certainly helps in such circumstances. If we're aware of how it feels to be caught up in such states, we can rein in the drive to "prove" a point-- a drive that often involves "proving the other guy is wrong".
Perhaps my earlier post will make more sense, now. I hope so.
I invite you to consider the possibility that to say "Rap is not music" is not necessarily a put-down.
There are differing definitions of "music".
The one I go by requires that three aspects be present (listed in no specific order): rhythm, melody and harmony.
Rap has rhythm but very little or no melody or harmony. What is most apprent is the language. Therefore, I'd define it as a spoken-word art, much more akin to poetry than music.
I love many African-American musical genres-- most of my listening is to Jazz and when it comes to guitar-playing, one of my favorites to play has always been Blues. I also read poetry and have spent many years trying to write it. So it's not that I don't appreciate or respect African-influenced music or the art of stringing words together.
I simply don't happen to find Rap aesthetically appealing or engaging.
I don't care for New Country, Metal, Prog, Contemporary R&B or Smooth Jazz, either.
And, the fact that these other genres DO fit my definition of music, has, in actuality very little, if anything, to do with my dislike for them. The same is true of Rap. I don't dislike it "because it's not music" -- it simply doesn't appeal to me.
Now, I'm not denying that the statement "Rap is not music" is often used as a criticism. It is, and the same thing has been said of Bebop, Early Rock 'N Roll, Free Jazz and other genres.
I'm simply offering another angle.
I'm not here to fight. I'd ideally like this to be a place where people with differing viewpoints can learn about the viewpoints of others rather than immediately getting triggered into conflict about who is "right". When it comes to aesthetics, you can try to prove that mustard is the right thing to put on a hot dog, not ketchup, but good luck coming up with a definitive argument. It's very subjective.
....and, excellent comments about rap/music also. I agree in every count and have expressed the same sentiment several times here.
Re “frictions that arise”: I also agree, but would temper that sentiment with the idea that it is not always inappropriate to know and be confident in being right on a particular topic or issue. Being confident in being right is not necessarily driven by “the need to be right”. Relativism is appropriate only up to certain point. How we deal with and treat each other is the key.
Thought I'd drop a comment here, as I thought you would appreciate it. A neighbor had a BBQ yesterday. One of those "should have been at the right place" kind of talents.
He had a good friend over- drummer Harold Brown-original member of War with Eric Burdon.
Not very familiar with the band ,and just familiar with their radio hits from the 70's, I quickly realized I'm a step closer to R&R history.
Harold was the LAST dude to jam with Jimi before his untimely passing. He had some VERY fascinating stories that went from Big Mama Thornton to a gig he was supposed to be doing with Tupac Shakur.
A very fortunate, genuine guy who experienced the scene as it was once was. Also shared a bit about the even more interesting scene that was going on in SoCal at the time. Discovered he grew up in Long Beach, attended the same H.S. as myself.
He is now just enjoying his life and appears relatively healthy.
It really is a small world. A former co worker was a schoolmate with Mick in England. Now I've come close as I'll ever get to the legends.
I made sure I shook his hand with a VERY firm grip and with the other a handful of shoulder.
If the situation would have permitted, I would have invited him over for a listen and asked endless questions about his experiences.
Great story @tablejockey! If I had been at the Bar-B-Q, Harold and I would have been discussing Earl Palmer, the New Orleans drummer whom I and others credit with creating Rock ’n Roll drumming (okay, D.J. Fontana deserves some credit too ;-).
I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that Harold had gone to Chadney’s Restaurant in Burbank in the 1990’s to hear Earl’s jazz band, as I and many other drummers did. Living, breathing Rock ’n’ Roll history, right there in front of me onstage. It was surreal!
I took an old friend of mine from San Jose (now making a living playing bass in Los Straitjackets, his first instrument was drums) to hear Earl, and he later brought him in to his studio (16-track analog) to record with a Rockabilly singer he was producing. Earl had not received a demo tape of the material, just came to the session "cold". All three songs, first takes, perfect.
"Re: “frictions that arise”: I also agree, but would temper that sentiment with the idea that it is not always inappropriate to know and be confident in being right on a particular topic or issue. Being confident in being right is not necessarily driven by “the need to be right”. Relativism is appropriate only up to certain point. How we deal with and treat each other is the key.
You make excellent points.
I certainly didn't mean to imply that "the need to be right" is always operating in every case-- only that it's one factor that, acting as an uncoscious driver of behavior, has the capacity to lead to unneccessary friction-- or, as you might put it-- to people not "treating each other" well.
Music, for me, is by far the best artform that exists.
Nothing surpasses it for: variety, depth and range of emotion, and its ability to be appreciated after so many 'viewings'.
Movies, TV, visual art, plays, etc, can all be great, but even the best of them can only be viewed a limited number of times before they become too well known to be fully enjoyed after a certain point.
But I've lost track of how many times I've listened to music by: Chic Corea, Stravinsky, King Crimson, Univers Zero, Magma, Elliott Carter, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, and an uncountable list of others, and they still reveal new subtleties each time I listen.
There were a number of folks who were dismissive, even derogative, of this genre of music. It was said that rap is not ’real’ music, whatever that’s supposed to mean. I wish these folks can see how rap is becoming the universal language for people around the world, especially those trying to survive in tough environments and circumstances. And it’s not just limited to the United States. Whether it’s Dharavi (Asia’s largest slum in Mumbai, India) or a tough neighborhood in Rio de Janeiro, rap music cuts across languages, cultures, and geographic boundaries. It has become the musical language of choice to express not just frustration and angst, but also aspirations and hopes of a better life, a better world.
I can fully appreciate it for these above attributes. Giving voice to so many people that have not historically had one, is a noble attribute.
But I do not judge music on that level. Music for me to enjoy music, it has to have certain attributes, the most important being: very high level of musicianship, musical complexity, wide and deep ranges of emotion conveyed, (usually) long form, with a lot of changes.
Unfortunately for me, Rap has none of those things. It is usually played by mediocre musicians, it is musically simple (basic melodies, simple time signatures, simple chord structures, etc). And those are the main reasons I do not like it.
As others have said, Rap for me is much closer to spoken word art forms, than musical ones. And since I am not really a fan of spoken word art forms, I am not the best judge on its merits in that regard. I can only judge it on its musical merits, and for me, it fails on that level.