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Subject: ""Indie" in 2012 = ?" Previous topic | Next topic
good5
Member since Feb 25th 2010
174 posts
Tue Sep-18-12 03:09 PM

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""Indie" in 2012 = ?"


  

          

What does it actually mean these days?

It started as "independent", a term to describe groups that were unsigned. From there it got looser to describe new/obscure groups (even if they were on a label). The "indie" scene grew into an exclusive club of hipsters that appreciated all things ironic.

These days, the "indie" scene is mainstream (which is ironic in itself) and groups like Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear are given labels like "indie-folk". Can somebody explain what makes them "indie"? They don't get a lot of radio play (but they are both pretty popular regardless). Is their music ironic (seems to come from a genuine enough place to me)? Do they not value musicianship/quality of singing (seems like they do)? Mumford and Sons make radio oriented folk, but these days, even they are also lumped in with "indie-folk".

I used to think that the "indie" label was given to groups when Pitchfork (the eye of the indie storm) gave them a favorable review, regardless of the strengths or weaknesses of the music itself, but that no longer applies. Now it just seems like a convenient label today's music snobs (the OG "indie" people?) use to dismiss new music. The term means everything and nothing.



  

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Topic Outline
Subject Author Message Date ID
RE: "Indie" in 2012 = ?
Sep 18th 2012
1
RE: "Indie" in 2012 = ?
Sep 18th 2012
2
Indie the ''genre'' never really meant independent whatever...
Sep 18th 2012
3
RE: Indie the ''genre'' never really meant independent whatever...
Sep 22nd 2012
33
i don't know, but
Sep 18th 2012
4
RE: "Indie" in 2012 = ?
Sep 18th 2012
5
welcome to the boards. Stay a while.
Sep 18th 2012
6
we need to change our lens
Sep 19th 2012
8
I don't agree with this:
Sep 19th 2012
9
RE: we need to change our lens
Sep 19th 2012
10
      good posts, and i join in welcoming you to the boards
Sep 19th 2012
14
           Do you really believe that?
Sep 19th 2012
15
                what i believe even more is that people aren't genres
Sep 20th 2012
17
                     RE: what i believe even more is that people aren't genres
Sep 20th 2012
20
                     Of course people aren't genres...
Sep 20th 2012
21
                          RE: Of course people aren't genres...
Sep 20th 2012
22
                               And you really think people do that?
Sep 20th 2012
24
                               RE: And you really think people do that?
Sep 20th 2012
26
                                    RE: And you really think people do that?
Sep 20th 2012
28
                                         RE: And you really think people do that?
Sep 20th 2012
29
                                              ...
Sep 20th 2012
30
                               genres are definitely real
Sep 20th 2012
25
                               RE: genres are definitely real
Sep 20th 2012
27
                               RE: Of course people aren't genres...
Sep 22nd 2012
34
                                    RE: Of course people aren't genres...
Sep 22nd 2012
35
when did jazz dominate the pop sound?
Sep 20th 2012
18
      RE: when did jazz dominate the pop sound?
Sep 20th 2012
19
      1920s-50s
Sep 20th 2012
23
           RE: 1920s-50s
Sep 22nd 2012
36
in terms of how average people use it, it feels like the new college roc...
Sep 18th 2012
7
I love you, Indie.
Sep 19th 2012
11
me and gb, bff.
Sep 19th 2012
12
Have you suffered a stroke?
Sep 19th 2012
13
      just a key stroke
Sep 22nd 2012
32
-HERE IN LIE SPOILERS-
Sep 19th 2012
16
Marketing Termenology
Sep 20th 2012
31

howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39915 posts
Tue Sep-18-12 03:15 PM

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1. "RE: "Indie" in 2012 = ?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

>What does it actually mean these days?
>
>It started as "independent", a term to describe groups that
>were unsigned.

disagreed... artists on indie labels, labels not considered one of the "majors"... and then people further excluded "indie" labels and artists distributed by majors


>The "indie"
>scene grew into an exclusive club of hipsters that appreciated
>all things ironic.

so like the dadaists?


>The term means everything and nothing.

end poast

  

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good5
Member since Feb 25th 2010
174 posts
Tue Sep-18-12 03:20 PM

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2. "RE: "Indie" in 2012 = ?"
In response to Reply # 1


  

          


>disagreed... artists on indie labels, labels not considered
>one of the "majors"... and then people further excluded
>"indie" labels and artists distributed by majors
>
>

You're right. Either way, there was an objective meaning initially.

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
9763 posts
Tue Sep-18-12 04:35 PM

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3. "Indie the ''genre'' never really meant independent whatever..."
In response to Reply # 0


          

You could talk about indie-labels and independent music. However, Hip-Hop, dance music, a lot of metal, most jazz after the 60's-70's not to mention blues, folk (NOT indie-folk), "world music¤", a lot of country outside of the nashville-trends etc. never really got the "indie" tag despite primarily being put out on independent labels.

I'd say it has its roots in the DIY aspects of the punk-scene and the music that followed in its wake which was stuff like post-punk, No Wave, New Wave, post-hardcore, noise rock, 80's jangle or psych revival, college-rock/"alternative" etc. The distinction between indie and alternative came when bands with stereotypical "indie"-sounds in the context of the 80's (think REM, Replacements, Husker Du, Pixies etc.) started toget signed to major labels. Then they were obviously not "indie" anymore but their music still sounded different from the mainstream music-trends of the time (=80's). Hence:alternative.

Anyway, ''indie'' as a genre-tag has pretty much always meant this type of stuff. The problem, just as with alternative in the 90's, is that the name became inappropriate. I mean, what are you an alternative to when your music is the sound of mainstream rock? And how can you be indie on a major label? It's static genre-definitions with dynamic names...

  

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G_The_SP
Member since Dec 12th 2005
2413 posts
Sat Sep-22-12 12:50 PM

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33. "RE: Indie the ''genre'' never really meant independent whatever..."
In response to Reply # 3


  

          

Perfectly explained.

~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~
http://soundcloud.com/griff-x
http://atribecalledx.com
http://twitter.com/IamGriffX

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
4151 posts
Tue Sep-18-12 04:41 PM

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4. "i don't know, but "
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

listen to this:
http://www.mixcloud.com/_loudnoises_/loudnoises-podcast-27/

  

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d_emme
Member since Sep 18th 2012
8 posts
Tue Sep-18-12 08:23 PM

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5. "RE: "Indie" in 2012 = ?"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

This is my first post on the forum so, Hello Everyone!

This is a very interesting topic to me. Recently I have been researching modern music genres. Where they came from, and what influences they have. What makes something a certain genre or sound? I have decided that a true genre has a period and a style. It usually comes from a cultural need mixed with an innovation. When the cultural need is filled, or a new technological innovation is made, a new genre is born. A person who really enjoyed the older sound gets sad when things change. They say things like "why can't they just make *fill in the blank* like they used to." Well they can't, because the world has changed, and music changed with it. There is no going back. You can try to recreate a previous sound, but it will always be "retro." I am basically saying that genres have an "expiration date."

Exactly when a sound expires is unknown to me, but I am still researching. I think it's very closely related to that sound going "pop." If you look through history there is a cycle; first there is a totally new sound noone has heard before. It is creative, unique, and progressive. It is so good everyone wants it. Then they dumb it down, make it for everyone, and it becomes pop. All genres; jazz, folk, rock and roll, Soul, R&B, Rock, Hip Hop, etc. Have at one point been totally creative, and at another point dominated the "pop" sound.

But your question was about indie.

I agree with Jakob, "I'd say it has its roots in the DIY aspects of the punk-scene and the music that followed in its wake which was stuff like post-punk, No Wave, New Wave, post-hardcore, noise rock, 80's jangle or psych revival, college-rock/"alternative" etc.

That is the sound, and the culture I think of when I hear the word "indie." You say that these days the indie scene is mainstream. This makes me think that indie has made its way into the cycle of pop. It is sad, but it was inevitable. I think once a genre hits that point, there is no going back. Any new music that is created after it never sounds the same, and the good sub-genres of it deserve a new name.

  

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lonesome_d
Charter member
30436 posts
Tue Sep-18-12 10:07 PM

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6. "welcome to the boards. Stay a while."
In response to Reply # 5


          


>Exactly when a sound expires is unknown to me, but I am still
>researching. I think it's very closely related to that sound
>going "pop." If you look through history there is a cycle;
>first there is a totally new sound noone has heard before. It
>is creative, unique, and progressive. It is so good everyone
>wants it. Then they dumb it down, make it for everyone, and
>it becomes pop. All genres; jazz, folk, rock and roll, Soul,
>R&B, Rock, Hip Hop, etc. Have at one point been totally
>creative, and at another point dominated the "pop" sound.

A poster made a similar point in the current 'indie folk' post.

>I agree with Jakob,

Generally a good tactic!

>That is the sound, and the culture I think of when I hear the
>word "indie." You say that these days the indie scene is
>mainstream. This makes me think that indie has made its way
>into the cycle of pop. It is sad, but it was inevitable.

Just wanted to point out that this isn't the first go-round 'indie' has had with 'pop' - see the bands Jakob referenced. Or do comparative listens to, say, Camper Van Beethoven, Meat Puppets or fIREHOSE on their independent- versus major-label releases...

-------
so I'm in a band now:
album ---> http://greenwoodburns.bandcamp.com/releases
Soundcloud ---> http://soundcloud.com/greenwood-burns

my own stuff -->http://soundcloud.com/lonesomedstringband

avy by buckshot_defunct

  

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thebigfunk
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9786 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 06:12 AM

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8. "we need to change our lens"
In response to Reply # 5


          

>If you look through history there is a cycle;
>first there is a totally new sound noone has heard before. It
>is creative, unique, and progressive. It is so good everyone
>wants it. Then they dumb it down, make it for everyone, and
>it becomes pop. All genres; jazz, folk, rock and roll, Soul,
>R&B, Rock, Hip Hop, etc. Have at one point been totally
>creative, and at another point dominated the "pop" sound.

Or rather, I believe we should change our lens...

I think you're basically right with the idea of a cycle, except that we really don't need to think of the popularizing of a genre as its "dumbing down" ... I think it suggests that there is some sort of genre-purity to begin with, genre police that set the rules for a sound when that's just not true. Genres are imposed frameworks, they do not possess an inherent absolute coherence. They are collections of discrete elements that, when taken together, may be identified as this or that - but those elements are never guaranteed to be always present all of the time, or to section themselves off from other elements.

The better way to look at it, I think, is that genres move from a point of density, where its various components are frequently gathered together as a defining identity, to a less tight, less coherent state, where elements are swapped and paired with new ideas and combined with other dominant sounds.

The number of bands listed in the indie folk thread (my own contribution included) suggests how folk can mean any number of things today that have very little to do with any original conception of the genre (if such a conception can be pointed to). There will always be purists that mourn that transition, but they are, as you say, clinging to relatively unrealistic standards that no longer reflect a given place and time.

>Any new music that is created after it never sounds the same,
>and the good sub-genres of it deserve a new name.

I don't think they should be called "sub-genres" though. They can be, depending on how closely they sit to their "parent" sound, but why should we let the parent sound dictate the sound of those who emulate but expand or explore?

From what exposure I've had to earlier "indie" groups and labels, I really don't feel like it can be pinned to a sound - as a result, I really wouldn't consider it anything like a genre. It seems like it was more an indicator of its relative position to mainstream radio and culture, more a characterization of how the music is produced/distributed than who is doing the creation and execution. But its lack of identity made it all the easier to co-opt for profit on (or near) the majors.

-thebigfunk

~ i could still snort you under the table ~

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
9763 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 07:48 AM

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9. "I don't agree with this:"
In response to Reply # 8
Wed Sep-19-12 07:48 AM by Jakob Hellberg

          

>There will always be purists that mourn that transition,
>but they are, as you say, clinging to relatively unrealistic
>standards that no longer reflect a given place and time.
>

When is there a need to redefine-as opposed to expand (big principal difference to me; an expansion still comes from within, a redefinition is primarily necessary when "outside" elements that are often even mutually exclusive to the aesthetics of the original are brought in) the definition of a genre? I would say such a thing is necessary when a bunch of artists associated with a genre concurrently move towards a different, new sound. Examples would be the changes in sound in soul between the 60's and 70's or funk throughout the 70's. There's no need to come up with new genre-names in those cases since the prominent examples of earlier definitions all moved on.

However, this "new" generation of "indie-folk" is not like that at all and neither is most nu-metal or a bunch of other things.

If a genre is nothing but an imposed framework-which I agree with-what exactly is the point of redefining it? And what does genre-polices have to do with anything? It's a common mistake to believe that purists don't want innovation and blah-blah; being purist simply mean that your framework for what constitutes a certain genre is more rigid, it has nothing to do with musical narrow-mindedness. Believing it does actually implies that a genre is more than an imposed framework IMO...

  

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d_emme
Member since Sep 18th 2012
8 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 12:04 PM

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10. "RE: we need to change our lens"
In response to Reply # 8


  

          

>I think you're basically right with the idea of a cycle,
>except that we really don't need to think of the popularizing
>of a genre as its "dumbing down" ... I think it suggests that
>there is some sort of genre-purity to begin with, genre police
>that set the rules for a sound when that's just not true.

I agree my statement was incorrect. Popularizing music does not dumb it down. But dumbing down music usually popularizes it. I am not talking in absolutes. Of course there is the great song here or there that is popular and amazing. But in general, popular music is simple, catchy, and predictable. It is not a secret, in many interviews artists will say things like "After my first album, I had to learn to write songs in verse-hook-verse-bridge-format." I am not saying that is necessarily bad, but it is true.

>Genres are imposed frameworks, they do not possess an inherent
>absolute coherence. They are collections of discrete elements
>that, when taken together, may be identified as this or that -
>but those elements are never guaranteed to be always present
>all of the time, or to section themselves off from other
>elements.

I do not agree with this statement. There is an inherent quality that is necessary when a genre is created. like I said in my first post, it is usually a cultural need. It is usually voice with a specific message that needs to be heard. Hip Hop is an excellent example. You can pin point it to a specific neighborhood. The innovation
(among others) was using records as instruments. The culture is defined by rapping, DJing, Break dancing, and graffiti art. The message was about poor kids in the projects, needing their voice to be heard, using art to express the pains in their lives. I am not saying that all of these things need to be present in hip hop. I am saying that when they are all gone, it is no longer tied to its roots, and in my opinion when music is no longer tied to its roots everything after it is either "retro" or something creative all over again that should get a new name.

Looking at it this way creates no need for "genre police." It just is what it is until it's gone. And its gone when it is no longer tied to its roots.

>I don't think they should be called "sub-genres" though. They
>can be, depending on how closely they sit to their "parent"
>sound, but why should we let the parent sound dictate the
>sound of those who emulate but expand or explore?

I agree, I don't really like to call them "sub-genres" either, but I didn't know of any other way to make the point.

>From what exposure I've had to earlier "indie" groups and
>labels, I really don't feel like it can be pinned to a sound -
>as a result, I really wouldn't consider it anything like a
>genre. It seems like it was more an indicator of its relative
>position to mainstream radio and culture, more a
>characterization of how the music is produced/distributed than
>who is doing the creation and execution.

This is a great summary of what Indie really means. I would agree that it is not a genre at all. Some people could still argue for the "indie" sound, and they could be right that there is a sound that isn't really definable by another word, but that's just the fault of the choice of words.

I think a lot of this confusion would be avoided if we weren't so careless about choosing genre names. Indie - means independent and it doesn't. Independent from what? Any kind of sound can be independent. Alternative? Alternative to what? When your alternative becomes the mainstream what is it alternative to? Neo Soul. Neo means new, so is all new soul neo soul, or does neo soul have to have soul chords with the rhodes sound, funky hip hop influenced drums, and a smooth vocalist to qualify? It's all way too confusing.

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39915 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 07:35 PM

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14. "good posts, and i join in welcoming you to the boards"
In response to Reply # 10


  

          

the poster BSharp convinced me years ago that genres don't exist... it took me a while, but eventually i agreed. i still use them as descriptors so people know what i'm talking about, but i prefer to look at (listen to) music for what it is, not what category it's subjectively placed under.

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
9763 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 11:31 PM

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15. "Do you really believe that?"
In response to Reply # 14


          

To some listeners, that may be true but what about the artists? I'd argue that most artists have more eclectic tastes than what their music suggests. So what is stopping them from putting all kinds of stuff on their records? Whether it is the "industry", their fans, their own insecurities, the want to make a "cohesive" statement, whatever, most (=practically all) artists are clearly working within boundaries that, more often than not, fit genre conventions...

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39915 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 06:13 AM

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17. "what i believe even more is that people aren't genres"
In response to Reply # 15


  

          

meaning if someone makes mostly or even exclusively to that point music that fits into a certain genre (which is just a fluid concept, as this thread well illustrates), that doesn't make them personally that genre or everything they will ever do that genre. so if suddenly a rock band makes a polka song, it's not rock just because their other music is (perceived as) rock. hypothetically, the lack of "purity" in the polka song isn't because it's bringing the rock genre into it but because those particular musicians are bringing themselves, their skills, and their musical interests into what is considered the (more rigidly defined) polka form. to that end, one mustn't get so hung up on the idea of a genre. i think artists perform the music they want to make and others to hear, not genre exercises despite how perfectly it might fit into a preconceived, widely established understanding of the genre. so i would rather listen to what is actually going on in the music than check off a list of what should be found according to the supposed genre.

  

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d_emme
Member since Sep 18th 2012
8 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 09:13 AM

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20. "RE: what i believe even more is that people aren't genres"
In response to Reply # 17


  

          

I agree that people aren't genres. I use my "cycle of pop" to mostly help me discern music history. As far as what people are currently doing, I think its great to create from every influence. I am a songwriter, and I have no clue what genre they would put me in at a record store.

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
9763 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 09:17 AM

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21. "Of course people aren't genres..."
In response to Reply # 17
Thu Sep-20-12 09:17 AM by Jakob Hellberg

          

However, this isn't about the people or even their musical backgrounds and skills etc.. It's about the classification of the *outcome* (=the music) of those factors and the boundaries it exists within. Do you acknowledge that such boundaries do exist? How then does the genres not exist when they are in fact defined by said boundaries?

And what's the difference/conflict between listening to what's going on in the music and checking off a list of what should be found in the supposed genre? You do the former when your'e listening and then use the information you gathered doing the former to do the latter in the context of a discussion about the relevant genre, it's not hard work...

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39915 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 09:28 AM

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22. "RE: Of course people aren't genres..."
In response to Reply # 21


  

          

>Do you acknowledge that such boundaries do
>exist?

they are imposed by people but aren't real like a microphone is a real object. people can ignore the boundaries people place on them or indeed they place on themselves.


>How then does the genres not exist when they are in
>fact defined by said boundaries?

because they are completely subjective. you yourself don't consider certain music "true" representatives of a said genre, which is a case in point of how little genres really mean. they are helpful to an extent but are just concepts, some looser than others.


>And what's the difference/conflict between listening to what's
>going on in the music and checking off a list of what should
>be found in the supposed genre? You do the former when your'e
>listening and then use the information you gathered doing the
>former to do the latter in the context of a discussion about
>the relevant genre, it's not hard work...

there's a difference between bringing with you your experience and knowledge in music (and everything else, but i digress) and expecting music to fit specific criteria of a genre and then being disappointed when it doesn't.

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
9763 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 09:44 AM

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24. "And you really think people do that?"
In response to Reply # 22
Thu Sep-20-12 09:46 AM by Jakob Hellberg

          

>there's a difference between bringing with you your experience
>and knowledge in music (and everything else, but i digress)
>and expecting music to fit specific criteria of a genre and
>then being disappointed when it doesn't.

Just like you believe musicians make the type of music they want, I believe that people *want* to hear music they think is good. It's awfully presumptious and even a bit condescending to always talk about "those" music-fans who listen to/dismiss/dislike/like/whatever music for the "wrong" reasons.

If someone say "This shit ain't real hip-hop, it sucks!", that statement IMO means that that person have certain sonic expectations for Hip-Hop that the piece of music fails to reach.

I guess you think it's wrong to have that but what if those sonic expectations contribute to the concept of *quality* in the Hip-Hop genre for said person? Is that wrong?

And what if he/she says "It's not real hip-hop but it's great". Does it really matter at all then?



>>How then does the genres not exist when they are in
>>fact defined by said boundaries?
>
>because they are completely subjective. you yourself don't
>consider certain music "true" representatives of a said genre,
>which is a case in point of how little genres really mean.

If you are talking about debating whether artist A is genre X or Y, then yes, that is meaningless. However, so is practically all music-discussion if viewed like that. Personally, I find these types of discussions FAR more intteresting than discussions about quality which is TRULY subjective. With genre-definitions, there is at least SOME shared consensus which makes the different perceptions and definitions from various people quite interesting IMO. It's not a favorite subject but I find it fun...

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39915 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 09:59 AM

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26. "RE: And you really think people do that?"
In response to Reply # 24


  

          

>Just like you believe musicians make the type of music they
>want, I believe that people *want* to hear music they think is
>good.

what is this, clash of the obvious?


>It's awfully presumptious and even a bit condescending
>to always talk about "those" music-fans who listen
>to/dismiss/dislike/like/whatever music for the "wrong"
>reasons.

i'll bee dat


>If someone say "This shit ain't real hip-hop, it sucks!",
>that statement IMO means that that person have certain sonic
>expectations for Hip-Hop that the piece of music fails to
>reach.
>
>I guess you think it's wrong to have that but what if those
>sonic expectations contribute to the concept of *quality* in
>the Hip-Hop genre for said person? Is that wrong?

you're not doing much to sway me in my view that genre concepts differ from person to person. to answer your question, no, i don't think it's wrong, people can listen to music however they please, but just because someone says a song "sucks" because it's not hip-hop enough *to that person* doesn't mean the song failed and doesn't live up to the supposed "real hip-hop" standard, which wildly differs depending on who you ask.

what the listener is really bringing is what they like and don't like to hear. you can assign that to genre if you want, but i think it's clear everyone has their own understanding of a genre.


>With genre-definitions, there is at least SOME
>shared consensus which makes the different perceptions and
>definitions from various people quite interesting IMO. It's
>not a favorite subject but I find it fun...

i agree, but i'm opposed to treating genre like it's objective and rigid when it isn't at all. furthermore, the more i listen, the less use i have for genre overall. i think some people genre themselves right out of enjoying something.

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
9763 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 10:29 AM

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28. "RE: And you really think people do that?"
In response to Reply # 26


          

>>If someone say "This shit ain't real hip-hop, it sucks!",
>>that statement IMO means that that person have certain sonic
>>expectations for Hip-Hop that the piece of music fails to
>>reach.
>>
>>I guess you think it's wrong to have that but what if those
>>sonic expectations contribute to the concept of *quality* in
>>the Hip-Hop genre for said person? Is that wrong?
>
>you're not doing much to sway me in my view that genre
>concepts differ from person to person.

There are lots of things where the concepts differ from person to person. That the concepts differ from person to person has nothing to do with those things relevancy or existance IMO... If a lot of people-including the artists themselves-believe that genre (=a form of classification) X exist and they all have different definitions, the very fact that some vague (and the vagueness is up for debate, it's really only for some fringe-acts where the definition becomes a problem) idea of what it constitute even exist is enough for me.

to answer your
>question, no, i don't think it's wrong, people can listen to
>music however they please, but just because someone says a
>song "sucks" because it's not hip-hop enough *to that person*
>doesn't mean the song failed and doesn't live up to the
>supposed "real hip-hop" standard, which wildly differs
>depending on who you ask.

But if he/she said "it's not catchy enough", would that be OK? If the person is looking for catchiness (more abstract of a concept than genre IMO), that's a perfectly valid criticism that may be interesting to hear for other people looking for catchiness, regardless of how their definitions might vary.

Same for people looking for "real" Hip-Hop (and yes, I don't think the concept of "real" Hip-Hop is that vague; when people say that, I have an idea of what they mean and I suspect at least most people here on OKP do too, regardless of whether we agree about the definition or not)


>what the listener is really bringing is what they like and
>don't like to hear. you can assign that to genre if you want,
>but i think it's clear everyone has their own understanding of
>a genre.

Yes. However, if you consider how many people that stick to music in a few genres and even use the genre-classifications themselves to describe what they are listening to, I find the concept very real, regardless of its vagueness.


>i agree, but i'm opposed to treating genre like it's objective
>and rigid when it isn't at all. furthermore, the more i
>listen, the less use i have for genre overall. i think some
>people genre themselves right out of enjoying something.

I know people who only listen to one genre that are more openminded to certain musical concepts (heard across genres) than people who listen to "everything". If you chose to limit yourself to your perception of a genre (=generally a set of sonic attributes, most genres are more "wide" than people give them credit for) on one hand or only music that's sad or funky or esoteric or whatever on the other, does it really matter? In the first case, what we are looking for fits into a perceived genre, in the latter, it could be described/classified in a different way. So what?

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
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Thu Sep-20-12 10:42 AM

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29. "RE: And you really think people do that?"
In response to Reply # 28


  

          

>There are lots of things where the concepts differ from person
>to person. That the concepts differ from person to person has
>nothing to do with those things relevancy or existance IMO...
>If a lot of people-including the artists themselves-believe
>that genre (=a form of classification) X exist and they all
>have different definitions, the very fact that some vague (and
>the vagueness is up for debate, it's really only for some
>fringe-acts where the definition becomes a problem) idea of
>what it constitute even exist is enough for me.

fair enough. it's really just semantical. i consider genres to have a "working definition" where to a certain extent people understand what each other mean, but it can fall apart depending on how far you attempt to take it.


>But if he/she said "it's not catchy enough", would that be OK?
>If the person is looking for catchiness (more abstract of a
>concept than genre IMO), that's a perfectly valid criticism
>that may be interesting to hear for other people looking for
>catchiness, regardless of how their definitions might vary.

i like to hear what people consider catchy (and not). catchiness, like genre, has common traits, and people have studied what makes a song catchy, but it's subjective, too. to me, catchiness is more "real" than genre because it's implicit that catchiness, like accessibility, does vary, whereas genre is presented as solid and uniform when it really isn't.


>Same for people looking for "real" Hip-Hop (and yes, I don't
>think the concept of "real" Hip-Hop is that vague; when people
>say that, I have an idea of what they mean and I suspect at
>least most people here on OKP do too, regardless of whether we
>agree about the definition or not)

80s, 90s, 00s, east, west, south, and a lot more variables can influence what is "real hip-hop" to a given person. it depends on your own identity and background. there is a lot of similarity/overlap, but i don't think it's completely cut and dry as a concept.


>Yes. However, if you consider how many people that stick to
>music in a few genres and even use the genre-classifications
>themselves to describe what they are listening to, I find the
>concept very real, regardless of its vagueness.

it's something that becomes "real" through use, but if you really break it down, it doesn't hold up all the time.


>does it really matter?

>So what?

exactly. why get hung up on genre, just get out of music whatever you get out of it.

  

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Jakob Hellberg
Member since Apr 18th 2005
9763 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 10:48 AM

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30. "..."
In response to Reply # 29
Thu Sep-20-12 10:49 AM by Jakob Hellberg

          

>exactly. why get hung up on genre, just get out of music
>whatever you get out of it.

It's a classification dude, nothing else. If I say that I don't think Melvins make "real" metal (or even metal at all), it's because I have an idea of what "real" metal (and metal) sound like which doesn't really fit the Melvins. It has nothing to do with my appreciation of Melvins best stuff which was in fact better than the large majority of "real" metal (and metal period). Again, a classification.

  

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d_emme
Member since Sep 18th 2012
8 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 09:45 AM

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25. "genres are definitely real"
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

Genres have become so convoluted over the years that people are now exhausted with trying to follow them and figure them out. But they weren't always that way. If you look at history, genres are not made-up boundaries that people impose on you. They come from real life people, real life experiences, and they make a movement. They come from a group of people that are mostly influenced by what they are doing in a certain place and time.

In a time before internet, radio, tv, and even the phonograph people were mostly influenced by their own surroundings, after the phonograph more influences start seeping in, and even more with the radio. Now everyone has access to anything and as a result we are influenced by everything. So in that sense you can say that there are no longer genres.

But saying that genres don't mean anything is pretty disrespectful to the people created a new sound and a cultural movement. People who's entire lives revolved around the culture of a musical experience. That's some pretty real shit.

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39915 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 10:08 AM

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27. "RE: genres are definitely real"
In response to Reply # 25
Thu Sep-20-12 10:08 AM by howisya

  

          

>Genres have become so convoluted over the years that people
>are now exhausted with trying to follow them and figure them
>out. But they weren't always that way. If you look at history,
>genres are not made-up boundaries that people impose on you.
>They come from real life people, real life experiences, and
>they make a movement. They come from a group of people that
>are mostly influenced by what they are doing in a certain
>place and time.
>
>In a time before internet, radio, tv, and even the phonograph
>people were mostly influenced by their own surroundings, after
>the phonograph more influences start seeping in, and even more
>with the radio. Now everyone has access to anything and as a
>result we are influenced by everything. So in that sense you
>can say that there are no longer genres.

i agree with the sentiment but would instead say that there was more agreement between people on genre. the more you add on, be it from what jakob calls "outside influences" or just technical innovation and trying different things from within, the more convoluted it gets. nonetheless, it's always just an idea, always conceptual, always subjective, always an attempt to evaluate art. everything came from something and leads to something else.


>But saying that genres don't mean anything is pretty
>disrespectful to the people created a new sound and a cultural
>movement. People who's entire lives revolved around the
>culture of a musical experience. That's some pretty real shit.

i really don't think the average musician or songwriter, let alone an innovator, aspires to be put into a box (genre). there's fitting into a scene and adhering to musical forms, but i don't consider that to be the same thing as genre.

  

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G_The_SP
Member since Dec 12th 2005
2413 posts
Sat Sep-22-12 01:18 PM

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34. "RE: Of course people aren't genres..."
In response to Reply # 22


  

          

I'm sorry, but this going off into new age territory. There are distinct characteristics and traits that defines a genre. You're welcome to interpret however you want, but the complexity of the genre system will still be there. Stylistic variation and evolution is a clear indicator for what differentiate one flavor of music from another. But at the same time, artists can be more fluid with crossing genres (ie: Andre 3000- THE LOVE BELOW, Nina Simone's career). It still doesn't erase the fact that there is a genre system established that the artists themselves rely on.

~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~
http://soundcloud.com/griff-x
http://atribecalledx.com
http://twitter.com/IamGriffX

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39915 posts
Sat Sep-22-12 01:23 PM

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35. "RE: Of course people aren't genres..."
In response to Reply # 34


  

          

>I'm sorry

apology accepted

  

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crossdamon
Member since Oct 02nd 2008
1000 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 08:11 AM

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18. "when did jazz dominate the pop sound?"
In response to Reply # 5


  

          


_________________________________

  

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d_emme
Member since Sep 18th 2012
8 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 09:09 AM

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19. "RE: when did jazz dominate the pop sound?"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

Frank Sinatra is credited as the very first pop star.

http://www.guardian.co.uk/music/2011/jun/11/frank-sinatra-pop-star

Nearly all of his hits are covers of earlier jazz musicians songs. His music sounds very jazzy to modern people like us, but in 1945 it was straight up pop.

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
4151 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 09:37 AM

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23. "1920s-50s"
In response to Reply # 18


  

          

  

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G_The_SP
Member since Dec 12th 2005
2413 posts
Sat Sep-22-12 01:30 PM

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36. "RE: 1920s-50s"
In response to Reply # 23


  

          

Jazz's popularity stretched into the '60s too.

~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~* * *~
http://soundcloud.com/griff-x
http://atribecalledx.com
http://twitter.com/IamGriffX

  

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Nodima
Member since Jul 30th 2008
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Tue Sep-18-12 10:22 PM

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7. "in terms of how average people use it, it feels like the new college roc..."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

I've never liked calling something "indie pop"; just call it pop rock or chamber pop or folk pop or however you want to call it, but don't use a lame term like "indie"; that really doesn't mean anything outside of the month or year it's released in.

But it's useful as a catchall for college students of the 80s and early 90s that still like to listen to "non mainstream" music but would feel slighted if they were calling the music they like "college rock", as though it's not for them.

~~~~~~~~~
"This is the streets, and I am the trap." © Jay Bilas

http://www.last.fm/user/NodimaChee
http://www.popmatters.com/pm/archive/contributor/517
http://rateyourmusic.com/list/Nodima/run_that_shit__nodimas_hip_hop_handbook

  

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Ghetto Black
Member since Dec 24th 2004
10172 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 01:19 PM

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11. "I love you, Indie."
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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ninjitsu
Member since Oct 07th 2011
4151 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 01:25 PM

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12. "me and gb, bff."
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

  

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ZipZapZopZoup
Member since May 09th 2005
1784 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 03:02 PM

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13. "Have you suffered a stroke?"
In response to Reply # 11


  

          

  

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howisya
Member since Nov 09th 2002
39915 posts
Sat Sep-22-12 12:39 PM

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32. "just a key stroke"
In response to Reply # 13


  

          

  

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david bammer
Member since Jun 20th 2010
4467 posts
Wed Sep-19-12 11:35 PM

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16. "-HERE IN LIE SPOILERS-"
In response to Reply # 0
Wed Sep-19-12 11:37 PM by david bammer

  

          

-SPOILERS-

pop music w/ a little talent, a lot of emphasis on style & little to no mainstream exposure.

-/END OF SPOILERS-

we now return you to your regularly scheduled post/replies.

  

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cyrus
Charter member
1006 posts
Thu Sep-20-12 05:22 PM

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31. "Marketing Termenology"
In response to Reply # 0


  

          

  

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