Saturday, July 10, 2010

Jazz, Rhythm & Jews: Free Your Market and Your Ass Will Follow

It's music Saturday. I'm pretty sure no one has written about this subject from the angle I'd like to explore, although it's possible.

We all know that American music is our greatest contribution to world art, and that when we say Cosmo-American music, we might as well say African American music. There's also country music, which is related more to certain European folk styles. But country music never conquered the world in the way other American forms did, including rock, jazz, rhythm & blues, soul, and various sub-genres.

Awhile back I read what currently stands as the best biography of the Beatles, in which the author makes the point that in England in the early 1960s, there were only four record companies, including EMI, with whom they eventually signed, but just barely. Part of the fascination of the Beatles' story is the incredible confluence of luck, timing and unique personalities that made it all come together, whereas in hindsight it all seems so inevitable: how could such talented people not succeed in the music business?

But that's exactly the point: in socialist England the music business couldn't have been more different than in America, where there were also a few major labels, e.g., Columbia and RCA, but dozens, if not hundreds, of independents. And virtually all of the most innovative music in America -- including jazz, rock, and blues -- came from the independent labels that initially catered to tiny but underserved audiences -- often the owner himself, who just wanted to hear the kind of music he loved.

In the UK, as is the case in any top-down, command economy, the system was run by elites at the top. Therefore, the music business was very much a supply side enterprise: elites decided who they would sign and what they wanted you to hear. If they didn't hear any potential in the Beatles, then too bad for you. At the time the Beatles auditioned for George Martin at EMI, they had already been rejected by the other three, so if Martin hadn't taken a chance on them, that would have been it.

But in America it was different. Because of our free market, anyone could start a record company and record anyone they wanted. Plus, in England there were only a handful of radio stations, and again, elites dictated what could be heard on them. Even when they finally began mixing in some rock in the 1960s, it often wasn't what the people wanted to hear. Thus the emergence of Pirate Radio in the UK, whereby the Forbidden Music was broadcast from ships in international waters. Socialism always creates black markets, and this is a perfect instance.

Of particular interest is that in America, nearly all of the legendary independents were owned by Jews, to such an extent that no one would have ever heard most of this timeless music if not for the Jewish businessmen who made it possible to hear it.

It's really quite astounding when you start to compile a list of the great Jewish-owned independent labels. For example, for any connoisseur of modern jazz, the name Blue Note has a kind of magical mystique. It might be my choice for the greatest American label. It was started on a shoestring in 1939 by a German Jewish emigré, Alfred Lion (later joined by his childhood friend and partner, Francis Wolff: Lion and Wolff. Heh). And although it cranked out classic after classic, for most of its existence it barely broke even. Every once in awhile they would produce a surprise "hit" that would rescue the company from financial collapse. And a "hit" in jazz is very different from what we think of as a hit in popular music, by an order of magnitude, but at least it produced enough revenue to keep going.

In Bob's vaunted record collection, I am quite sure that I have more Blue Notes than any other label. In fact, I would be embarrassed to count how many, but I'm sure it's well over 100, probably over 200. Which is another critical point: there is no other label that produced as many great albums. Usually, in any kind of popular music, there are a couple of hits on an album, surrounded by a lot of dreck. But in the case of Blue Note, there are hundreds of albums that are great from start to finish by truly innovative artists whose names you probably wouldn't recognize unless you are Jack. (I might add that they also produced beautifully artistic album covers, often featuring the great photography of Francis Wolff. A number of his photos hang on my walls.)

All of the other great jazz labels were owned by Jews: for example, Riverside by Orrin Keepnews, Prestige by Bob Weinstock, Contemporary by Lester Koenig, Verve by Norman Granz, Commodore by Milt Gabler (who I think was Billy Crystal's uncle. UPDATE: confirmed: Billy Crystal Presents: The Milt Gabler Story -- listen to the samples and check out the incredible diversity).

It's the same with blues. By far the greatest blues label was Chess Records, started by Leonard Chess in 1947. It was the home of such legends as Muddy Waters, Howlin' Wolf, Sonny Boy Williamson, Little Walter, and Etta James, but it also spawned such rock & roll founders as Chuck Berry and Bo Diddley. Truly: no Jews, no blues. And no blues, no Stones, just for starters (nor Yardbirds, Animals, Eric Clapton, Fleetwood Mac, and all the other British groups that were influenced by Chess).

In fact, in the beginning, the only goal of the Rolling Stones was to imitate their heroes and make records that sounded like they came from Chess (they actually had several recording sessions at the Chess studios in Chicago in '64-'65). In one of their early television appearances, they only agreed to perform on condition that Howlin' Wolf would be on the program, just so they could hear him. The idea of the menacing Wolf performing before a bunch of teenagers is positively surreal, but here it is. Notice how innocent and enthusiastic the Stones appeared; note also the size of Wolf's hands. Someone once said that shaking hands with him was like placing your hand in a catcher's mitt:



There's a film based on the story of Chess, called Cadillac Records. I have no idea if it's any good, but here is Beyonce as Etta James, singing her classic At Last. Not as good as the original, but pretty impressive:



The greatest soul and R & B label was Atlantic, which was founded in 1947 by Ahmet Ertegün (who was actually Turkish) and Herb Abramson, later joined by another Jewish partner in 1953, Jerry Wexler. The roster of Atlantic artists is mind-boggling: Ray Charles (when he was truly great, i.e., the 1950s), Aretha Franklin, Wilson Pickett, the Drifters, Big Joe Turner. They also distributed and sometimes produced Stax artists such as Otis Redding, Booker T & the MGs, Sam & Dave, and many others.

Another important label was Specialty, owned by Art Rupe (Goldberg), and home of Little Richard and the early Sam Cooke. Or how about King Records, owned by Syd Nathan? If their only artist were James Brown, that would be enough to cement their legend.

So, the question is, why the Jews? I just so happen to be reading a fascinating little book called Capitalism and the Jews, which, although it doesn't get into their entreprenurial success in the music business, does try to explain why Jews are so extraordinarily good at capitalism. Unfortunately, we're almost out of time, but one of the points Muller makes is that Jewish success at capitalism is one of the strongest arguments against the left, because they prove that it is cultural values that determine success, not "greed," or luck, or "privilege" (one could say the same of Asian Americans, Cubans, and Armenians). This helps to explain the anti-Semitism of the left, because hatred of capitalism is usually tied in with hatred of Jews.

But Muller has another chapter on the curious phenomenon of Jewish leftists. Why would so many Jews perversely embrace the left when capitalism has been so good to them (and vice versa)? Like I said, out of time. To be continued.

47 Comments:

Blogger Rick said...

Great post, Bob. As Walt might say, this place is educational! And something about being fast.

7/10/2010 08:54:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

I'll add that it reminds me of one critical reason I read, forgot where, was how we won the revolution. Or rather why England lost -- elites given military leadership positions when they hadn't "earned" their way there. When you compare each other's Navys especially.. someone like John Paul Jones..

7/10/2010 08:59:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

Sorry to sidetrack. These things happen.

Carry on..

7/10/2010 09:01:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Rick:

Your point is well taken. One of the major reasons for American military success is the freedom given to commanders the field, whereas in any kind of tyranny, they're afraid to make a decision and then be second-guessed by the king or dictator.

7/10/2010 09:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I remember recently reading how this really had an impact on the war with imperial Japan...

7/10/2010 09:11:00 AM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Cadillac Records" is on Netflix Instant. It's got a pretty high rating.

7/10/2010 09:16:00 AM  
Blogger julie said...

Re. The success of Jews under capitalism, it's one of those root causes the Left never wants to investigate. If they did, they'd have to concede that there is a behavioral basis both for success and for failure.

7/10/2010 09:21:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

But ironically, it's something Jews themselves would prefer not to publicize, because they would rather fly under the radar of anti-Semites who attribute their success to nefarious factors.... To even say that Jews are good at capitalism is to confirm a negative stereotype in the minds of Jew haters.

7/10/2010 09:27:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Which is why it has become such a "sensitive subject," when it shouldn't be. Another instance of how political correctness forbids certain discussions.

It's like the Seinfeld episode in which Jerry says "I love Asian women!" Elaine says, "that's so racist!," but Jerry says "how can it be racist? I said I love them."

7/10/2010 09:30:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

there's one main problem with your Jews & blacks [& everyone else]:
they after our wimmins!

along these paranoia can be funny lines,
Did everyone see R Crumb's hilariously non-pc strips
imagining takeovers by each group?
formerly online i think someone complained...

o this is a great find!!

2 guys on the right would kill themselves over a bad record deal!

7/10/2010 09:58:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Badfinger, one of the classic Power Pop groups, along with the Raspberries.

7/10/2010 10:05:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Speaking of which, don't you just love You Tube?

Their recent reunion album is great, by the way.

7/10/2010 10:08:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Another power pop favorite. Amazingly, he's playing all the instruments.

7/10/2010 10:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Here again, playing all the instruments and doing all the singing. Note how much it sounds like a lost Motown recording.

7/10/2010 10:15:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

YouTube is indeed a cultural treasure of heretofore unimagined value. Just try to imagine how one would go about locating some of those wonderful old video/audio clips 25 years ago? It could be done, given a lot of time and money, but few people would even attempt it.

It is disheartening (yet also understandable) that the major labels are now systematically tearing YouTube apart. This is another one of those issues that I am conflicted over. On the one hand I must have respect for IP rights (especially given that I make my living primarily from software), on the other hand a universal free public domain archive of American (and world) music is of undeniable value to our very souls.

I was reminded of this conflict when Bob mentioned his record collection (you should publish a catalog some time!) and it made me think of Paul Mawhinney. Paul amassed was is reckoned to be the world's largest record collection. Thousands of his early American records have never been digitized. It is depressing that (last I heard) he's been unable to sell it, even for a relatively paltry $2-3M. (Where the hell is a Sergei Brin when you need him?).

YouTube sadly redacted the video of Paul's collection, presumably because there was copyrighted music in the background. An excerpt remains intact.

7/10/2010 10:41:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Good news: I only have 138 Blue Notes, although many of them have more than one album per disc. But it's not quite as sick as I thought.

7/10/2010 10:48:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

Speaking of Blue Note...just picked up a recording of a jazz trumpeter in the Miles Davis mold who is...brace yourself...FRENCH! And I like it, so far...it's definitely a hybrid type of music. The basic groove is NOT swing-oriented...at all.

Also picked up King Crimson's Beat and Discipline...which I hadn't heard in a LONG time. SO GOOD.

Finally got "The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East"...last weeks thread intrigued me to look deeper into Duane Allman as a connection between modal jazz and rock/southern boogie guitar playing. Haven't put that on yet.

7/10/2010 10:54:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Oh my. The Allman Brothers at Fillmore East is the greatest live rock album ever. Notice the way Duane's solo dramatically builds and builds in Elizabeth Reed.... that's pacing -- unlike so many contemporary players who just wail from the first note.

Note also that fat bass, and the way the two drummers are so locked into each other...

7/10/2010 11:00:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

I like today's post...it's an interesting part of the whole equation of the rise of Cosmo-American music. This is what all my lefty musician friends don't quite get. They see capitalism solely as the ENEMY. Rather than the means to offer people their music in a *mutually* beneficial way.

I have one such songwriter friend who has a bumper sticker on his guitar case "it can't only be about the money". As if that were in question!? Musicians give up economic security (in most cases) in order to follow this passion. There is this faux-nobility in thinking that way. How about it being about the money...some of the time?

I struggled with for a long time, but I don't anymore. I've spent a lot of time, like everybody else who intends to be good at what hey do, working to hone my musical and expressive skills. If this is of value to someone why would they think that money devalues that? I need to live too!! And how about even potentially thrive?!

Capitalism has allowed all of us to hear and preserve so much music...more than we could ever listen to in a lifetime. THIS IS GOOD! And of course there's pap out there...to think there wouldn't be is foolish in the extreme.

Though I find it telling that these same songwriters/bandleaders who are socialists when there is little or no money, turn into a caricature of the capitalist in no time at all when there is cash around.

So it goes. But a lot of food for thought in the equation-- Jewish capitalists + American music = World Art.

7/10/2010 11:06:00 AM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Capitalism -- or more accurately the record industry specifically -- is struggling over the digital revolution. The ultimate answer still isn't in sight, but one thing is certain: the big labels have so far blown it big time when it comes to moving to a business model which works in a world where the MP3 is king (regrettably from an audiophile standpoint).

At least in the case of music there is a potential model along the lines of: make all recordings free on the web. Revenue comes from concerts, merchandising, etc. (Movies don't have that option).

7/10/2010 11:12:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jack:

Seriously, the free market loves me almost as much as my family, anticipating my needs and desires, fulfilling them promptly and efficiently, instantaneously linking me to people who have stuff I want. What more could a guy ask for?

7/10/2010 11:19:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I mean, Rhino records has always been there for me...

7/10/2010 11:20:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

NB-

Yes, I agree that the leading model for music at this point is giving it away.

But live music is a pretty rough way to bring in money for musicians. It definitely seems to favor music that is danceable. Mid-sized venues seem to be dying out in a lot of smaller sized cities which leaves only the coffee house tip jar gig and the much bigger 500-700 person venues. To make it worthwhile you have to be able to bring in a LOT of people willing to drink a LOT of alcohol. To do that usually requires dancing.

Most bigger cities can sustain jazz clubs and specialty venues on a smaller scale.

But honestly one of the biggest drawback for musicians is just the sheer number of musicians out there trying to make a go of it. There is just a glut of musicians. Competition is FIERCE! But the competition is to who can put on the best dance party (don't get me wrong that can often be a very good thing). Live music itself is trying to sort out how to keep a vibrant and wide-range of styles alive and well.

But it may not be possible for the vast majority of us musicians. Don't quit your day job!! And accept that this is the choice we've made and enjoy every minute of it!!

And if as a musician one can keeping inch closer towards the Beauty of O in the process...well, to me, that's worth the price of admission right there. Of course I still expect to be paid! :)

7/10/2010 11:22:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

GB-

I heartily agree. That's why I strongly disagree with my lefty music friends who bemoan the tragedy of all the crappy music out there (with the unspoken assumption that *their* music should be beloved instead! OH, THE INJUSTICE!).

But I've said it before-- we are living in a **musical golden age** and that is almost *entirely* due to capitalism providing us with the music we love!

Maybe they hate capitalism because it is a reminder of sorts that maybe people aren't buying what they are selling? Which means they might not be as good as they want to think...

Now, how did the left get to be the "Reality-based" side of things?

7/10/2010 11:29:00 AM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I think the days of "rock royalty" are over, which is a good thing. It was just a brief historical aberration, so now we can get back to the norm of the working musician, as opposed to musician as some kind of god.

7/10/2010 11:33:00 AM  
Blogger Jack said...

speaking of which! off to rehearsal!!

7/10/2010 11:39:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

sweet song---tasty licks [clarence white]

another of GC's songs got me weeping this morn...'My Marie'

7/10/2010 02:41:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I have long felt we've entered, what might be called the "post-Promethean" musical aesthetic. (Or maybe it's just my preferred aesthetic).

Rock in particular tended towards the Promethean over the course of its history. We could all easily create a list of such artist who basically *define* "classic rock"--and the electric guitar has been the primary vehicle of this aesthetic e.g. Hendrix comes to mind as the Archetypal Rock Prometheus.

The defining characteristic I believe might be described as a strong tendency towards "gigantism". Beethoven might be seen as the founder of Promethean Music in the West and with it a whole slew of Romantic notions of what music is and what purpose it serves--expression, often irrational and passionate, of the ego.

Perhaps Coltrane, who tended towards gigantism...but his defining philosophy was to get beyond expressing his ego but as an expression of The Divine. I think, in that sense, he may be the beginning of a new archetype even if he himself was never really "post-promethean" in the sense I am groping towards.

The free jazz scene, specifically in the 1970's Loft Jazz scene was the "logical" conclusion to the Promethean trajectory of Jazz. Instead of being commited to a seeming atonal chaos, artists started bringing in everything and anything that struck them at the moment. I picked up this tendency in college through the work of AACM, The Art Ensemble of Chicago, and particularly Composer/Improvisor John Zorn.

To me one of the clearest example of a post-promethean musician is Bill Frisell (who I saw play with Zorn way back when). His playing--which is firmly rooted in Jazz and which covers a wide range of different styles of music has moved towards something more intimate and based in smaller, less gigantic, gestures. But he does so, it seems to me, on the *other* side of the Promethean.

I get the feeling with John Zorn's music is that John Zorn's music is pretty much all about John Zorn (I've had friends who've known him and the stories they tell confirm it). But my feeling with Frisell is that his priority is to serve the *music* and his ego is secondary if it comes up at all. Frisell's biggest "fault" to me is that, at times, his playing can sometimes be so completely unobtrusive as to be border on invisible. But that is not the core of his playing.

I play mostly as an accompanist with singer-songwriters--both as duos and in bands...so in that sense the promethean impulse is alive and well, no need to worry about that! And certainly the competitive pressures are clearly inclining many musicians to greater and greater flights of narcissism and self-involvement.

But there is a counter-trend I think towards something else...I'd like to think so anyway.

7/10/2010 02:43:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/10/2010 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

This comment has been removed by the author.

7/10/2010 02:45:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

"Truly: no Jews, no blues."

'It's Freedom baby!' and ... all that Jazz....


wv:thesses
No, no, that was the minotaur, you're probably thinking of Orpheus.

7/10/2010 03:07:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

Jack said "Rock in particular tended towards the Promethean over the course of its history. We could all easily create a list of such artist who basically *define* "classic rock"--and the electric guitar has been the primary vehicle of this aesthetic"

Rock was the perfect vehicle for it. I don't think Beethoven could have squeezed himself into it, but can you imagine Lord Byron with an electric guitar?

If he was "mad, bad and dangerous to know" with a pen alone, imagine if he had amps that went up to 11!

7/10/2010 03:12:00 PM  
Blogger Rick said...

"Speaking of which, don't you just love You Tube?"

I can't get this one to play. Anybody else?

7/10/2010 03:13:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Jack:

I totally relate to what you say about the Promethean aspect of music. There is no question that for the baby boom generation, rock stars were the gods of our dopey culture. Don't you hate it when they refer to Bill Clinton as a rock star!, or Michelle Obama as a rock star!?

I think part of it stems from the fact that popular music seemed to be on an ever-heightening course from 1925 to 1970 or so, with constant innovation, pushing the envelope, new forms. I was just a kid, but I certainly remember how each new Beatles single seemed to top the last one in terms of creativity. At the time, there was no reason to think the innovation wouldn't go on forever.

I think I'm still susceptible to the Promethean thing. On my walls I have big framed photos of Coltrane, Rollins, Blakey, Mingus, Ray Charles, and others. It's almost as if giants walked the earth in those days, whereas now we have only men.

7/10/2010 03:56:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

I should add that in my case it's certainly not related to nostalgia, since I didn't even start listening to jazz until the early '90s...

7/10/2010 04:06:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

Van-

I think you are absolutely right in that the Beethoven is too big to be contained by Rock n Roll. I don't know a whole lot about Byron, but he looks to be the better choice:

"Byron's notability rests not only on his writings but also on his life, which featured aristocratic excesses, huge debts, numerous love affairs, and self-imposed exile."

Jim Morrison anyone?

But I think the Beethoven *Mythos* has been an archetype underlying Rock music--or at least it was for me. My senior yearbook quote was from Beethoven "There is no rule which cannot be broken for the sake of greater beauty" Which could very well be the motto for the Promethean outlook!

Once one admits that there are *no rules* at all as long as someone thinks it's "beautiful" (which becomes "merely subjective i.e. anything goes) well we can definitely get ourselves into some serious predicaments...aesthetic and otherwise. Yes?

Surprisingly someone just gave me Schuon's "Art from the Sacred to the Profane" and a book entitled The Power of Limits: Proportional Harmonies in Nature, Art, and Architecture.

But trying to tell most people that Beauty is O-bjective isn't likely to make much sense to them.

7/10/2010 04:15:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

GB-

Oh, don't get me wrong...the Titans did walk the Earth as far as I'm concerned and my list of the greats definitely overlaps with yours.

I'm not sure just yet what the post-promethean ethos really means just yet. I am tempted to put it in Wilberian terms and say that it transcends and includes the promethean...but that would seem to be be the promethean impulse as well.

I mean how many musicians can truly say that they have "transcended and included" Coltrane for example. It's laughable. Not to say a lot of us have tried to absorb the territory he explored--but it will be a rare bird (no pun intended!) who will be able to do that.

Arvo Part is another exemplar of the post-promethean in that he started out as a 12-tone Atonal composer and ended up somewhere else entirely. Could he have gotten there without all that went before him?

I wouldn't call it a return to the anonymous artisan worker--because the giants did show us that something else is possible. As one composer put it "We needn't try to express ourselves, because it can hardly be avoided" which probably could only "assumed" in a post-romantic world.

Help me out here!!

7/10/2010 04:28:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

"Don't you hate it when they refer to Bill Clinton as a rock star!, or Michelle Obama as a rock star!?"

In fact I do. It's absurd! I even wince when they call famous actors or musicians "*STARS*" as if they had some Cosmic aspect to them that us "little people" wouldn't understand. I know it's just a figure of speech, and maybe I'm being cranky about it...but it seems to belittle those who have achieved some measure of truly transcendent expression.

7/10/2010 04:34:00 PM  
Blogger Gagdad Bob said...

Perhaps post-Promethean would also be more post-egoic, so to speak. I think of someone like Van Morrison, who not only didn't get caught up in the whole rock star thing, but detests it. Plus, his music is always consciously aiming at transcendence, his and the audience's.

When I accidentally catch some contemporary music on TV, it seems that the performers are just overflowing with a kind of desperate narcissism. Everything they do draws attention to themselves, and not to the music. I think a lot of this has to do with a regression in parenting over the past 30-40 years, so that people crave fame and celebrity like never before, in order to make up for the lack inside. I prefer performers who just stand there, and yet, command your attention. That's real charisma.

7/10/2010 04:50:00 PM  
Blogger Jack said...

I like post-egoic. And maybe it makes some kind of developmental sense. The difference between the prometheans and narcissians is that of much contemporary music is pre-egoic and is clearly a regression--musically and otherwise. The Prometheans seemed, in spite of whatever issues the had personally, to be expressing a coherent musical ego and was a movement forward.

Jim Morrison seems to be a precursor of the narcissians. Someone like Mick Jagger seemed to straddle that line. I worked with a songwriter who's motto was "follow what you feel" which always sent a shiver up my spine. But it is a consequence, I think, of the post-romantic rock n roll ethos.

7/10/2010 05:04:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

On my visit with Mike, a former road manager for Led Zep, among others. What a listening setup! 8 tons of sand and lots of other structural features designed to replicate a recording studio (walls not perpendicular etc). Bryston amps, and a bunch of custom stuff installed by Klipsh. I've always wanted Klipshorns -- really hard to get that big, live sound from most audiophile stuff.

Several musicians here tonight messing around. 50-60 year old session guys who look like the guitar has sort of grown around them. Also an 18 year old incredible female bass player.

7/10/2010 08:40:00 PM  
Blogger Northern Bandit said...

Apparently these guys do stuff with Warren Haynes now and then. Something to do with Gov't Mule.

Jack: lots of great thought-provoking posts from you here today.

Well, back to the party.

7/10/2010 08:47:00 PM  
Blogger black hole said...

Music is best utilized as a tool for subversion.

Undermine and demoralize the prevailing culture; that is the purpose.

Today we use Emo to weaken mean by making them into cream-puffs.

All part of the plan.....

7/10/2010 09:56:00 PM  
Blogger Van said...

And now for something completely different... I indulged in two favorites from completely different ends of the spectrum tonight, "You've got mail" and "The Searchers".

My 17 yr old came in towards the end of the Searchers, and kind of chuckled at one of the younger actor dramatically reacting to an outrage "It's so exaggerated..." he said.
"What is?"
"Their acting, it's all 'yearghhh!', exaggerated."
"Why do you suppose they did?"
"I dunno, draw attention I suppose, all emotional..."
"Yep, over what? What was he emotional about?"
"Well, the idea of him intending to kill the girl that was taken...."
"Is that something that makes sense you have strong reactions to? Something worthy of reacting strongly?"
"Yeah... but it's all... 'yearghhh!' and leaping up... it's just no one would do that."
"But that you'd react is good, right?" nod, "a good person should have reacted strongly to the thought, right?"
"Yeahhh" He knew I had something in mind.
"The comedies you see, or 'That 70's show'... when they deliver their lines, react to something... those normal everyday reactions?"
"... no..."
"They draw your attention to any type of responses and behaviors?"
"...yep..."
"Good types of behavior? Sensible? The rights kind of behavior?", head shake, "...no... usually something done behind the backs of each other, lying about something... sleeping with the other's girlfriend... do they help you to feel outraged over their behavior... or kind of make you feel... good... about it in a way?"
"But it's funny.... (sigh) good, sorta"
"So they both use exaggeration, but one you notice, and one you don't notice so much, one focuses on an understandable, even proper response, people at their best, outrage at an evil. The other draws a relaxing, pleasant, 'funny' response to people at their worst, reveling in their weaknesses and failings. That seem about the gist of it?"
"I suppose so."
"They're both using the same techniques to get a response in you, to focus you on some behavior and they want some sort of response from you, from within you. They seem like they're trying to build the same sort of 'you' within you?"
"Suppose not..."
"They are always trying to build something within you... person would be foolish not to notice and pay attention to what someone you don't even know, is trying to build within them, wouldn't they?"
"Yep."
"Yep."

BTW bh, he wrote a song about emo's, always gets requested when they play, makes fun, mocks & skewers the emo's. Big hit around here. Even among the emo's.

wv:everso
Yep.

7/10/2010 11:54:00 PM  
Blogger USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Excellent post, Bob!
Thanks for the musical edumacation.

When I was a kid in HS playing the trumpet and flugelhorn I was listening to a lot of Maynard Ferguson (his Birdland arrangement is still my favorite) and Chuck Mangione.
Not to mention Chick Corea, Miles Davis, Dizzy Gillespie, Herbie Hancock, Satchmo, and lots of big bands such as Count Basie, Glenn Miller, Nenny Goodman, etc.
All were influential on the type of jazz I listened to and played, from big band swing to the (then) contemporary.

Alas, I never got to hear much of John Coltrane or Thelonius Monk until recently on a tv documentary. I definitely wanna hear more of those guys in the future.

NB-
I concur, Jack knows Diddly. It's great getting all this background with a metaphysical lick. :^)

7/11/2010 12:24:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

crumb's fall 2010 new yorker cover
w/ holder & bolden


emo?
+ punk-grunge

7/11/2010 03:19:00 AM  
Blogger ge said...

just discovered a 'promethean' ROCK TRIO

7/11/2010 04:15:00 AM  

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