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The talent level of todays so called "Pro" touring

Discussion in 'Studio Lounge' started by yellowrobin, Nov 27, 2005.

  1. yellowrobin

    yellowrobin Guest

    As a frequent observer on recording org and a musician for over 30 years I have seen and heard a bit in my time, I have opened shows for major acts and have recorded and played with some.
    I usually don’t do or say things like I am about too , but.....

    I just returned from a show where my son opened for a so called "National Touring Act", I will not mention the name of the band, (for the sake of their embarrassment), they were an emo-punk band signed with Victory records. I almost feel sorry for them in a way. Anyway, what I want to be on record saying is: The lowering of the threshold of talent in today’s music is ridiculous
    Some of you may say “you are too old”.... well to you I say read whats on my button on the left, I am open to all types of music, I can recognize talent when I hear it or see it ...and this group of young guys had very little...
    Yes they arrived in a big expensive touring bus; they had mesa boogie amps, stagehands, and groupies but that’s about all they had.
    Any local beginner with a few years of practice could match this group, a year on your guitar, and a couple of chords later, singing not necessary. Just yell and scream presto… you are a. Rock Star
    All I can say is, being brought up on the likes of "Steely Dan", "The Allman Brothers", Jazz, Blues, Rock and such, if today’s "young skulls of mush" are going to be subjected to this very low talent, where anyone can be a star after a year on your instrument I think it will take a long time for the standard to be brought back up to at least “ a respectable level”.
     
  2. Twine

    Twine Guest

    I know what you mean, I'm not saying I'm anything special and I know thats not what your saying but I took my daughter to see a band recently I already knew I didn't really care for their music from hearing them on the radio but I'm wanting to teach her how to play so I thought it might get her interested. I was able to sit through about three songs and I had to leave. I honestly believe that if my daughter could sit still long enough to be taught how to play guitar she could play as good they could.
     
  3. headchem

    headchem Guest

    I think being a national touring act has a lot more to do with your marketing these days, than your skill. If the band can build a fanbase by urinating in the ears of its audience, they will be successful. They will be doubly successful once they have that fanbase, if they then cover a popular oldie-but-goodie song. The more I learn about the whole music business and the business of being a famous musician (note: it's all business) the more it all just seems like smoke and mirrors. A sort of Olympic wrestling vs. "Professional Wrestling." So, yes, I agree that the quality of famous musicians is degrading.
     
  4. psibyrion

    psibyrion Guest

    times they are achangin

    lol you never know, what people will like, and why they like it... except your peer group makes music that you enjoy, and sometimes people outside the circle have no idea about the particulars of why or how something becomes popular...

    and sometimes its all about the circle,

    sometimes its about being cool,

    but its almost never about the talent or proficiency,

    but whatever

    as I become an "old head" I can still appreciate

    I refuse to be old and sour, whining about things I cannot control.

    Its possible the band in question uses a quiver of sounds and ideas with which you are not familiar. They dont teach screaming at Julliard, but is screaming a valid form of expression? Is it easy to scream consistently ngiht after night and stay healthy?

    Maybe the band you refer to has no talent, I dont know I wasnt there. But I do know that the world today is vastly different than 30 years ago.
     
  5. yellowrobin

    yellowrobin Guest

    I am not at all whining, I just think it is just time for me to call it like it is, even if I am not important .We hear about problems with the music business all the time, well I think this could be a huge problem with the industry, or maybe we are just seeing the "bottom of the barrel" of the music biz in our lifetime...
     
  6. yellowrobin

    yellowrobin Guest

    ……and isn’t it true if you lower your threshold on anything in life, things will begin to deteriorate, if you lower it on who your kids hang with' or who your daughter goes out with, or who drives your car, or even if you lower it too much on your L-2, things will begin to fall apart... thus the music industry.
     
  7. pr0gr4m

    pr0gr4m Well-Known Member

    WHAT BAND? What does it hurt by saying the band's name? Let us know so that we can listen too and have an intelligent discussion about it.

    You say that "The lowering of the threshold of talent in today’s music is ridiculous".

    You can't just blurt out a blanket statement like that. Sure, in emo-punk, there may not be..but that type of music doesn't call for virtuosos either. There are lots of talented musicians in todays music. The situation is either that people (and by people I mean mostly youths) like that sort of music or record companies aren't pushing out more diverse it to the public.

    There has always been simple music. Bubblegum pop for instance. It's been around for ever and it's pretty basic. Anyone who knows 3-4 chords can play it. Punk...OLD punk from the mid 70's. Very simple. And actually the roots of the music you are talking about. The difference is that it's never been so popular as it is today. Well, excluding early Beatles and their ilk.

    I believe that today's popular music is a bit more basic and when there is one good tune or sound or song out there, it's cloned to death by other bands and record companies and played to death by radio stations. But there is good music out there. You may not hear it on your local 100,000 watt radio station and you may not find the CD in Wal-mart. But it is out there...you just need to work a little harder to find it.
     
  8. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    I would guess either Taking Back Sunday or Hawthorne Heights. Although I don't think I've ever heard either band. http://www.victoryrecords.com

    Slash once said he had a policy of either seeing a band live, or listening to a live recording before he bought any of their studio albums. This filtered out a lot of studio-magic crap. Not a bad policy.
     
  9. headchem

    headchem Guest

    I recant my previous opinion: the quality of music may be degrading, but it's probably more that the public's standards for music is moving towards the lowest common denominator. I'd bet "real" painters dispised Andy Warhol for his lack of "talent," but (sadly?) it's the audience that determines what is artistically good, and what is artistically bad.

    Public standards for music are becoming less complex, in general. However, more attention may be payed to finding those simple hooks, or simple beats. Hip-hop is an example of very simple music (I'm excluding lyrical content for this example). A hip-hop song is often 3 minutes of the exact same beat over and over again. Musically it's simple to an extreme. I know hip-hop artists, though, that spend a lot of time perfecting these simple beats beause they know the lowest common denominator is music, regardless of how clever their lyrics are.

    Now, I've never been a fan of emo / punk. Everyone I know who is educated in music are not fans of emo / punk. I don't know any classical composers who'll listen to 50 Cent's latest album for inspiration. I'd guess there's a division between the intellectual elite of music, and the public that likes a type of music and doesn't know why. Deep and complex songs just don't sell these days. The 40 songs played on pop radio all day long are great examples. Now, I'm not very old, so I don't know how it was in the good ole days when pop radio had deep and complex songs played by talented artists, but I know simple music sells.
     
  10. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    Genius. Thanks for the new sig.
     
  11. headchem

    headchem Guest

    I got that phrase "urinating in the ears of its audience" from a documentary on Phish. That was apparently a line used in a reviewer's description of their music.

    In response to Slash's policy of not buying a studio album before hearing the live version - I disagree. There are so many exceptions. Dave Matthews Band seem to sell more live CDs than studio CDs because the energy and talent translates better in a live setting. I'm biased because I'm a studio musician, but I have no problem enjoying a track with production magic even when I know the band could never play it live. If you'll download the songs in my signature, you'll hear my problem of not being able to hire an orchestral, 4 drummers, 2 synth players, guitars, choir etc... I appreciate a talented producer more than I appreciate a talented musician. Talented musicians are easy to like, but someone who can take a turd and polish it until you actually like it - that's talent. Of course talent in both musician and producer is best, but, good production is more difficult in my opinion. This is why famous producers are often paid more than their famous artists (for just the studio music production part).
     
  12. yellowrobin

    yellowrobin Guest

    McCheese is on it .

    pr0gr4m ,I cant have an intelligent discussion about it, there is nothing more I can say about it, other than
    I was there ,
    I left ,
    and my ears were pissed on (LOL).
     
  13. mark_van_j

    mark_van_j Active Member

    I feel your pain. So far I have only seen one band that has blown me away live, and I am not afraid to say which one. Nine Inch Nails. I was not a fan until I saw them in Vienna. I recently saw them again here in Montreal, and they blew me away. Sound was amazing, and the performances were TIGHT.

    Unfortunately, I can't really think of any other band that really impressed me on stage.
     
  14. McCheese

    McCheese Well-Known Member

    I agree with you, I think the point Slash was making was that there are so many bands that suck some serious ass, and plain can't hack it live, but use the tools in the studio (hyper-edited solos, auto-tune) to cover this fact up.

    I once made the mistake of accompanying friends to a Dashboard Confessional concert, because they said I'd like it, and the ticket was free. I've heard dying animals stay in tune to each other better than that band. Apparently their CD's sound much better.

    Using the studio as a tool of creativity is far different than using it to cover up the fact that you flat out suck.
     
  15. headchem

    headchem Guest

    See, I like Dashboard's studio music... I've never seen them live, but it doesn't bother me that may sound like a herd of dinosaurs sinking in tar pits. :) If that's the case, their producer deserves a "well done mate!"
     
  16. I happened to see Oprah the other day when Micheal Jordan was on (don't have cable so there wasn't much choice). Anyway, he brought up a point that basketball players get payed for having talent. He then went on to complain that the recent trend is to pay players based on their potential, rather than actual, talent and thereby degrading the qualtiy of the NBA. The same thing is happening in music I think...Bands are allowed to flounder around a bit until they write something a promoter can hock to the masses or flop around too much and fade away.

    There exists multiple theories that could explain why the talent of today's bands
    has (supposedly) degraded.

    I been into music for almost 20 years and I can't remember a time that the talent and/or quality of music of "today" wasn't less than that of "yesterday". In fact, it's all part of a psychological phenomenon called romanticizing the past, where things of the past are considered better than the present. It appears that Micheal Jordan has already fell for this one...

    The American society seems to be pushing a get-rich-quick mentality: spam/pyramid schemes, the stock market, reality TV, real estate, etc. It appears only natural that it has added music to the list of opportunities.

    You can also think of it in percentages in that there could be a specific percentage of bands that have real talent and that everyone else does not. If that percentage was small and the total number of bands increased significantly (which I am prone to believe), then there would appear to be more talentless musicians out there--even though the number of talented musicians had actually increased.

    People like things because they are new or different. It does not matter if it's good or not, and I do not believe there's a way to change that.

    I personally don't think the overall talent/quality of musicians has changed much. The ability to record at home is available and more affordable now (the quality of these recordings has been debated). More people are trying their hand at music, and many of them suck , but somebody is still promoting them. I say don't be jealous of somebody because they made out like a bandit because of circumstance (the right time, knew the right people, etc)...That's life...Look for music you like and listen to it...or make your own...

    I've gotten to the point where I listen to bands that suck only because I feel intense emotional response to a small part of the music. Slayer's a good example: their lyrics are horrible, the solos suck (but are inhumanly fast), and most of the riffs suck, but they are so great at writing breakdowns and half-time sections in their songs that make me want to jump up and bounce off the walls. So I put up with 75% crap in order to get release like no other band seems consistently capable of. There a Skinny Puppy song on their album "The Process" that I really hate, but has a 5-second section of synth in it that makes me believe that life does not end after death. I listen to that song often, but not because it's 100% enjoying...
     
  17. hueseph

    hueseph Well-Known Member

    The unfortunate truth is that there is little for the recording industry to push. If you listen to some of the "talent" out there you begin to realize that there is such a lack of it. Take a browse through soundclick or dmusic or any of the other music sites. It's amazing what people are willing to pawn off as music. Even more amazing that some of these people believe they have something good.

    On the other hand the recording industry is about making money and that means capitalizing on what is already a cash crop. That is why there was an era of Pearljamians, Nirvanians and today MNMites and *choke* Nicklebackies.

    Even in the 50's and 60's the industry was intent on capitalizing on the Beatles popularity. ( Monkeys anyone? ). It wasn't until the late 60's-early 70's that musicians started to really diversify. Even then, how many people thought "Horse With No Name" was Neil Young?

    Now with the general lack of musicianship and the popularity of simple music and electronically generated music, what is there to push?

    Don't get me wrong. I think there is still a lot of good music out there. It just isn't popular. That's always the way it's been. The majority of people want to be pacified, entertained. They don't want the music to make them think. They don't want to think. They live in an American Bandstand world. "It's got a great beat and you can dance to it".
     
  18. Joshtruction

    Joshtruction Guest

    All I can say about this is IF YOU DO NOT LIKE IT DON'T SIT HERE AND COMPLAIN. THAT DOES NOTHING!!!! GET OFF YOUR ASS AND MAKE A DIFFERENCE.
     
  19. headchem

    headchem Guest

    Thank you for contributing to our complaints. Sitting on your ass and typing that post has helped make a difference. Merry Christmas!
     
  20. Joshtruction

    Joshtruction Guest

    I don't know what you are talking about but thats definitly not complaint, it's actually a direct order.
     

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