Author Topic: Musical opinions that you just don't understand  (Read 5167 times)

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« on: October 02, 2020, 10:05:41 AM »
Not from any sense of malice, or YOU'RE WRONG! fixed mindset, but just opinions that baffle you.

For example - I had a music teacher at school who absolutely hated the sound of fingers sliding up and down the strings of a guitar and would bemoan that this "awful sound" was all over (partially ruining his enjoyment of) Segovia and Bream recordings what-have-you.

I used to argue with him whenever this baffling proposition was mooted, as I thought (and still do) that the finger slidey noise is part and parcel of the sound of a guitar. Plus it's a sound I rather enjoy. Like hearing a squeaky bass drum pedal.

I think Zappa falls into this category, too. I find his popularity utterly mystifying.


Cuellar

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #1 on: October 02, 2020, 10:10:05 AM »
Didn't Zappa have little pickups or mics or something built into the neck of his guitar to INCREASE the handling noise on his guitar? Did I read that or did I dream it.

Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #2 on: October 02, 2020, 12:15:10 PM »
My mate used to go out with a girl who refused to listen to any music that featured female vocals, also my own mother claims to hate jazz because there's "far too many notes".

the

Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #3 on: October 02, 2020, 12:24:02 PM »
For example - I had a music teacher at school who absolutely hated the sound of fingers sliding up and down the strings of a guitar and would bemoan that this "awful sound" was all over (partially ruining his enjoyment of) Segovia and Bream recordings what-have-you.

You should've followed him around with a little General MIDI keyboard, torturing him with 121 Guitar Fret Noise. Maybe even dubbing it onto some of his favourite records

NoSleep

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #4 on: October 02, 2020, 12:25:23 PM »
For example - I had a music teacher at school who absolutely hated the sound of fingers sliding up and down the strings of a guitar and would bemoan that this "awful sound" was all over (partially ruining his enjoyment of) Segovia and Bream recordings what-have-you.

I used to argue with him whenever this baffling proposition was mooted, as I thought (and still do) that the finger slidey noise is part and parcel of the sound of a guitar. Plus it's a sound I rather enjoy. Like hearing a squeaky bass drum pedal.

I would think it's generally a comment on how an instrument is recorded rather than the performance. All those creaks and squeaks would not dominate the sound of something like a classical guitar if you're naturally seated at a distance away from the player. But if the instrument is close miked in a recording, it's the equivalent of you listening to the instrument right up next to it or having your ear right next to the fingerboard; it isn't a natural sound.

Quote
I think Zappa falls into this category, too.

What category?

Quote
I find his popularity utterly mystifying.

Do you mean you fall into this category?
« Last Edit: October 02, 2020, 01:20:28 PM by NoSleep »

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #5 on: October 02, 2020, 12:34:11 PM »
I would think it's generally a comment on how an instrument is recorded rather than the performance. All those creaks and squeaks would not naturally dominate the sound of something like a classical guitar if you're naturally seated at a distance away from the player. But if the instrument is close miked in a recording, it's the equivalent of you listening to the instrument right up next to it or having you ear right next to the fingerboard; it isn't a natural sound.
Also depends on the strings. On a freshly strung steel-string acoustic, especially with heavier strings, the squeaks of fingers moving up the strings can resonate quite heavily.

NoSleep

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #6 on: October 02, 2020, 12:35:35 PM »
I don't think Segovia played steel strung.

Claude the Racecar Driving Rockstar Super Sleuth

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #7 on: October 02, 2020, 12:36:49 PM »
Politeness has prevented me from posting this in the dedicated thread, but I don't get the big deal about the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince. I will freely admit that I have only listened to the big hits - including those he wrote for other artists - and they're fine. I'm sure it was thrilling to see him fellate his microphone onstage, too. All this deification, though...


The Mollusk

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2020, 12:48:18 PM »
I think Zappa falls into this category, too. I find his popularity utterly mystifying.

Dangerous ground you're treading there, Spidey. I can see this thread very quickly descending into "popular artists you don't like" territory, and the inevitable subsequent replies of "Ah but have you tried listening to this song in particular though?" Nightmare zone.

Egyptian Feast

  • Nice girls don't wear cha-cha heels
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2020, 12:48:57 PM »
My mate used to go out with a girl who refused to listen to any music that featured female vocals.

I had an ex like that. She changed from being a Britpop kid to a total jazz snob almost overnight and still couldn't stand female vocalists in any genre. I could never get my head around that. My sister always said she didn't like them either, though she at least had the first Kylie album.

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2020, 01:04:01 PM »
Dangerous ground you're treading there, Spidey. I can see this thread very quickly descending into "popular artists you don't like" territory, and the inevitable subsequent replies of "Ah but have you tried listening to this song in particular though?" Nightmare zone.

Good point. Cheerfully withdrawn.

The Mollusk

  • We whipped 'em, didn't we?
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2020, 01:19:18 PM »
Good point. Cheerfully withdrawn.

We object to you referring to Zappa's discography as a "urine-soaked hellhole" when you could have said "pee pee-soaked heckhole".

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #12 on: October 02, 2020, 02:44:35 PM »
I don't think Segovia played steel strung.
Well yes, but I was widening the discussion to 'guitars in general'.

icehaven

  • Marmalade's reared it's head in every course
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #13 on: October 02, 2020, 02:51:46 PM »
My mate used to go out with a girl who refused to listen to any music that featured female vocals,

I had an ex like that. She changed from being a Britpop kid to a total jazz snob almost overnight and still couldn't stand female vocalists in any genre. I could never get my head around that. My sister always said she didn't like them either, though she at least had the first Kylie album.

I used to be exactly the same! And I've genuinely never worked out why. I was fine with them when I was a child listening to 80s pop (also Kylie) but as I got into my teens and got massively into indie/rock in the 90s and early 2000s, with a few noteable exceptions (Portishead, Garbage) I didn't really like any bands with female singers in at all (not that that were exactly millions about anyway). If I heard of a new female fronted band I'd automatically think "I won't like them then" and if friends played me something they were enthused about that had female vocals* I'd invariably say "I'd probably like it if they had a male singer." To this day I have no idea why, if it was some subconscious internalised misogyny, maybe the music press at the time always making an issue out of women being in bands bringing out the contrarian in me, or if I just didn't like the timbre of most female singing for some unknown reason.
It might partly be because I have always (and will always) hate hate hate that overwrought, 28 octaves, belting-it-out type singing which is indicative of someone having a great, powerful voice but to me sounds fucking dreadful, and women sing like that way more than men do. Not typically in the kind of music I liked though so who knows. Maybe it's Alanis Morrissette's fault.
That's really interesting to hear of other women with the same aversion, wonder if anyone's ever done a study? Are there many men out there who don't like male vocals?

Weirdly I've always really liked very androgynous voices, if you can't tell if it's a man or woman singing then I'm sold.




*I once remember a friend playing me Ani Di Franco and my main objection to it was that I just didn't like female vocals. Unbelievable and quite, quite wrong that that's what I singled out as being wrong with her.

NoSleep

  • This is your Uncle Jim speaking
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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #14 on: October 02, 2020, 03:08:08 PM »
Well yes, but I was widening the discussion to 'guitars in general'.

Squeaky steel strings is par for the course.

shagatha crustie

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #15 on: October 02, 2020, 03:30:22 PM »
Politeness has prevented me from posting this in the dedicated thread, but...

What kind of CaBber are you?? Barge in the thread to sneer at the idiots worshipping their sacred cow immediately.

Lemming

  • Better a "lapdog to a slip of a girl" than a.. GIT
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #16 on: October 02, 2020, 04:10:42 PM »
The finger slidey noise makes my spine tense up and my entire back erupt with chills. It's fucking horrible. It's like nails down a chalkboard, except the actual sound of nails down a chalkboard never bothered me.

My dad used to play acoustic really badly when I was a kid and the resulting racket generally upset me, but the fucking finger slidey bit was the icing on the dogturd cake. Horrific.

Speaking of my dad, he has a musical opinion I just don't understand, which is that music ended in about 1975. You can show him a song and, before anything else, he'll ask the year it was recorded. If the answer is anything later than 1975, he'll call it shit (sometimes slightly more politely than that) and start talking about one of the 10~ bands that existed pre-1975 which form virtually his whole musical world. Baffling. What makes this extra weird is that he'll very occasionally latch onto a more recent song and get really into it, but it's always something completely random with no apparent connection to the type of music he almost exclusively likes. Recently Missing by Everything But The Girl came on the radio and he thought it was fantastic, but any attempts to introduce him to any of the countless virtually-identical bands/songs from the same genre and same era are met with derision. NO LOGIC BEHIND IT

Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #17 on: October 02, 2020, 04:23:18 PM »
Politeness has prevented me from posting this in the dedicated thread, but I don't get the big deal about the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince. I will freely admit that I have only listened to the big hits - including those he wrote for other artists - and they're fine. I'm sure it was thrilling to see him fellate his microphone onstage, too. All this deification, though...



Carly Rae Jepsen gets a lot of praise around here (and from friends at work). The way they go on about her, you'd think she churns out glorious bangers in the vein of Prince and early Madonna, but what you hear is bog-standard 21st century pop.

The Mollusk

  • We whipped 'em, didn't we?
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #18 on: October 02, 2020, 05:28:05 PM »

Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #19 on: October 02, 2020, 05:50:45 PM »
I have musical opinions that 99.9% of gays just don't understand.

The Mollusk

  • We whipped 'em, didn't we?
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #20 on: October 02, 2020, 06:05:37 PM »
My point was that

I can see this thread very quickly descending into "popular artists you don't like" territory, and the inevitable subsequent replies of "Ah but have you tried listening to this song in particular though?" Nightmare zone.

pigamus

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #21 on: October 02, 2020, 06:10:43 PM »
Just hating pop music in general really.

Sebastian Cobb

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #22 on: October 02, 2020, 06:11:42 PM »
I knew some guitary types who didn't like and were snobby about overtly electronic music but went and saw prince which is quite electronic. I suppose it's snobbishness about their own abilities and giving prince a pass for being a proper polymath. Oh maybe I do sort of understand it after all.

pigamus

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #23 on: October 02, 2020, 06:18:28 PM »
I think there's a story on here somewhere about someone naming their favourite Elvis Costello album and the other bloke being disgusted because it was a "pop album"- something like that anyway. That mentality I can't understand.

Brundle-Fly

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #24 on: October 02, 2020, 06:25:40 PM »
I think there's a story on here somewhere about someone naming their favourite Elvis Costello album and the other bloke being disgusted because it was a "pop album"- something like that anyway. That mentality I can't understand.

Ah yes, the dismissal of accessibility to a wider audience is my biggest bugbear with music snobs. The crossover album is always their 'jump the shark' album. Which is fine. I get it. I often like the earlier stuff too but when an artist believes they have finessed their songwriting skill and gets a number one, that should also be applauded because 99 times out of a 100, it's capturing lightning in a bottle.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #25 on: October 02, 2020, 07:27:27 PM »
On the whole I don't really get genre-oriented listening. There are certainly styles and sounds that I tend to listen to more of, but for me it's first and foremost about the songwriting. The amount of times people have suggested I listen to something because "it sounds like [something else I like]" and then are totally surprised when I don't enjoy it, even when I explain it's because the songs just don't do anything for me. Or how I don't really like too much indie-pop but love the first few Belle and Sebastian albums, because Stuart Murdoch's songwriting is quite beautiful, with rich songs full of lovely chord changes and big wandering melodies, as opposed to the more naive child-like three-or-four notes songwriting that a lot of indie-pop seems to feature. But I'd just get "but you don't like this type of music". There are certain types of songwriting that appeal to me more than others - certain kinds of melodies and chord changes seem to feature more commonly in particular genres - but my music collection is full of oddities that don't "fit", because I simply happen to like the songs.

But there are plenty of people whose taste seems to rely entirely on very specific aesthetics, I met someone last year who said "I'll listen to anything as long as it's guitar-based", as if one instrument is the most important cornerstone of music. There are people who hate any music with vocals in. Some people require a political leaning or important social context to even consider listening to something. I don't really understand any of these.

purlieu

  • Gertrude Stein said that's enough.
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #26 on: October 02, 2020, 07:33:28 PM »
Ah yes, the dismissal of accessibility to a wider audience is my biggest bugbear with music snobs. The crossover album is always their 'jump the shark' album.
The most annoying thing is when this really is the case, where the crossover album is the point where the actual material takes a nosedive. I've had people tell me I only dislike later Biffy Clyro because I was being a snob and couldn't accept they had a bigger audience, when the truth was they stopped making interesting music with unusual but enjoyable tunes, strange arrangements and such and started writing exceptionally bland, forgettable pop-rock at exactly the same time they found fame. Or finding Guided by Voices' '00s material less enjoyable than their '90s stuff - yes, the lo-fi sound was a big part of what I like about the 'classic' albums, but if those last four or five albums before their first breakup had more than three or four good songs on them I'd very happily enjoy them.

But it can be hard to criticise these changes because you're often seen as being wilfully contrary in your taste. I know some people are like that, but it's totally alien to me. I've long since abandoned any pretence of having some sort of critically bulletproof taste; Coldplay's fourth album is in my all-time top 20. I like and dislike things based entirely on my enjoyment of the music, and it's always annoying to be told I don't.

Dr Rock

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #27 on: October 02, 2020, 08:13:42 PM »
Politeness has prevented me from posting this in the dedicated thread, but I don't get the big deal about the artist formerly known as the artist formerly known as Prince. I will freely admit that I have only listened to the big hits

Many artists I decided I didn't care for based on their biggest hits. They're not fresh, you've always known them. This was me and The Beatles for ages. I think a lot of people feel this about Elvis because they think they know his best  - ie most well-known songs- and decided he doesn't do much for them. It's the underplayed stuff you find when you buy a non-greatest hits album when you may start to fall in love.

SpiderChrist

  • "the law of averages says you'll survive"
Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #28 on: October 02, 2020, 08:52:23 PM »
Many artists I decided I didn't care for based on their biggest hits. They're not fresh, you've always known them. This was me and The Beatles for ages. I think a lot of people feel this about Elvis because they think they know his best  - ie most well-known songs- and decided he doesn't do much for them. It's the underplayed stuff you find when you buy a non-greatest hits album when you may start to fall in love.

Exactly. I didn't know much Elvis and then recently saw the HBO documentary The Searcher, which focuses almost solely on him as a musician instead of a film star, teen idol, junkie, whatever.


Since watching that, I've now started checking out the 68 Comeback Special and the Vegas stuff, and I'm seeing/hearing all of it in a new light.

Ballad of Ballard Berkley

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Re: Musical opinions that you just don't understand
« Reply #29 on: October 02, 2020, 10:17:47 PM »
Exactly. I didn't know much Elvis and then recently saw the HBO documentary The Searcher, which focuses almost solely on him as a musician instead of a film star, teen idol, junkie, whatever.

Since watching that, I've now started checking out the 68 Comeback Special and the Vegas stuff, and I'm seeing/hearing all of it in a new light.

The Searcher is an excellent documentary. As SpiderChrist says, it's a must for anyone interested in finding out more about Elvis the artiste. Dr Rock, you're absolutely right, Elvis isn't best-served by a standard Best Of compilation. He recorded so much stuff, in a wide variety of styles, which I guess, a la Prince, can be quite daunting for a newcomer. That's understandable, but it's worth the effort. 

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