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Old May 21 2013, 01:22 AM   #61
Gary7
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

There isn't one cultural standard that is all encompassing. You'll find "trash" and "treasure" depending upon where you look and what perspective you have. Kanye West is adored by many, enough to make him fabulously wealthy. Same for many other rap artists. I can't relate to it. I find the music mostly offensive and sometimes degenerate. Compared to some classic rock legends, Kanye looks like an amateur. But then, the people that like Kanye are bound to think classical music is crap and "old people's music."


I have to admit that at times I feel like our "average" cultural standard has slipped, by the proliferation of explicit sexual overtones in almost everything we see today. Nothing appears to be sacred. What it is, is the degree of attention garnered in a particular corner of culture. Thankfully this does not represent the rest of society. Yet...

Looking at classical music is an interesting indication of things. The reduction in musical departments in schools plus cultural factors have produced fewer people who appreciate classical music, relative to earlier times. Read THIS for more info. Seems like Europe has more active cultural outlets for classical music than in the USA. Anyway, it's a certain refinement involved that is lost in simpler musical forms. It's a real shame, as it seems likely that classical music will become a real obscurity in the coming decades, unless something changes. If it does vanish, that will be a serious loss to a true cultural treasure.
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Old May 21 2013, 04:10 AM   #62
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

RoJoHen wrote: View Post
This actually reminds me of a friend I have. He and I are the same age, and he is the biggest music snob I've ever met. He refuses to listen to anything mainstream because he "studied music" and has a better understanding of it than normal people. He'd rather sit down and analyze the rhyme and meter of a song and appreciate the mathematics of the notes. I just want something with a catchy beat than I can sing along to.

I played some songs on the jukebox the other night, and he immediately judged me. He couldn't believe I actually liked the songs I was playing. I said, "I like them because they're fun." He replied, "Sure, they're fun, but they're not good."
Heh. My sweetie was a fusion drummer and guitar player--the kind of musician that rock fans would approach & say, "You play really well, for a jazz guy" and jazz fans would approach & say, "You play really well, for a rock guy." He was so good that none other than John McLaughlin commended his skills.

I once expressed to him my frustration with not having a music background & therefore not being able to say *why* I liked something. His response? "I don't care why you like it, I just care that you like it." He loved playing live.

Contrast a friend of his who was even better a guitarist than sweetie was. He is totally frustrated with the lack of musical knowledge the masses possess. As a result, he sits in his apartment creating tapestries of sound that a select few (his 600 You Tube followers) will ever hear. It's his thing, and more power to him, but I think he's missing the point of the joy of music.
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Old May 21 2013, 04:54 AM   #63
teya
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

teacake wrote: View Post
Triskelion wrote: View Post

You bring up some good points, Gov Kodos. I read today where more people are dissatisfied with ill-fitting clothes off the rack, and there is a resurgence of custom clothing design. When you look at the increasing quality of factory production - for example, the cheap replication of handcrafted lace of certain European villages - those long-evolving skills threaten to die out with the older cultures. I have met many people who shrug at that.

They don't know the difference.

They don't know the difference.

That is the problem.

Not that culture "should" be preserved. But that monumental shifts have been occurring in the last few decades that are changing the global economy in ways no one fully understands. (Sorry if this offends the "smart" set).
You know this has been happening since the industrial revolution and alongside it happening people of all ages rediscover and explore old craft skills?

We no longer need those skills to clothe ourselves. Thanks to the efficiency of factories our children no longer go cold because we have no money to buy blankets and they no longer get ill because the couple items they have to wear are germ infested. They no longer have to stay home from school because we can't afford shoes for every one of them, fine made leather shoes hand crafted like all shoes used to be. That was reality not too long ago in the slums of big cities in europe and america.

And despite no longer needing beautiful lace or fine leather shoes or hand spun and woven blankets there has been a never disappearing culture of those who love to learn these old skills and recreate them. Knitting is huge now for instance, but much more specialized things such as hand tooled woodwork are also pursued.

You are wrong that no one understands. People do understand and value old skills and crafts, MANY people have devoted themselves to preserving these skills and teaching others. But people also understand that cheap mass produced goods have inestimably improved the quality of life of those without money.
*applause*

There is a huge resurgence in artisanal crafts, & much of that has been fueled by the internet. On my home turf, this has expanded economic opportunity for a rural community that is, by its own admission, "3 hours from everything." Cheeses and jams and yarn and micro-brews and organic pasta sauces and maple candy and goat-milk soap--there is a growing realization in rural America that pairing old skills with contemporary marketing will save a whole bunch of tiny communities, one small business at a time.

And much of this is fueled by a growing population of do-it-yourselfers. Ravelry is the TrekBBS for fiber people, launched in 2007 and has now has 3 million members world-wide. Young people are the driving force, both in taking traditional skills and creatively adapting them, and in pushing us grannies to expand our own vision.

We are in a golden era for needlework and it is worldwide. There is *art* being made out of fiber all over the world, and the internet is facilitating and driving innovation and creativity and mad, mad, mad skills.

Of course,this is frequently overlooked by the art establishment.
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Old May 21 2013, 06:00 AM   #64
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

teacake wrote: View Post
RoJoHen wrote: View Post

I played some songs on the jukebox the other night, and he immediately judged me. He couldn't believe I actually liked the songs I was playing. I said, "I like them because they're fun." He replied, "Sure, they're fun, but they're not good."
My least favorite comment on music! People (with pleasure, it seems) wipe out whole genres with that line.

Yeah, I've often experienced that myself. I've gotten weird looks and people saying, "wtf is this crap?" Just because it's so outside their comfort zone about what they're used to. It's disappointing to hear that, especially with bands that you're big fans of. It's sometimes good to go out and expand those boundaries. Funnily enough, I've often introduced some American friends to some of my favourite Canadian bands, and it's that kind of reaction I've gotten, because it's just so different to what they're used to. This is mostly due to cultural differences in music.
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Old May 21 2013, 11:09 AM   #65
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

RJDiogenes wrote: View Post
Exactly (not that those kinds of artists can't be entertaining), which is what is exciting about modern opportunities for independent creators. How are you making out with your stuff? Also, do you have any other recommendations (I'll look for the Battles)?
Oh, hah well you know I am tremendously slack when it comes to recording things. I love the songwriting process, and I do it constantly. I'm always writing new material and refining things I have been playing, but I am terrible at getting them down because I find the process of recording to be so tedious.

So I write stuff, and spend months refining it and adding little inflections in etc until I can play it just the way I want, then I get bored of it and move onto a new one. So of the probably hundreds of songs I have written in the last decade alone, I have recorded precisely one. And I can remember, at the current count, three.

Most of them are down and buried somewhere in the thousands of hours of live recordings of my jam sessions with friends that my drummer friend insists on keeping, it's just a question of digging them out when I finally get round to recording again, they'll come right back to me when I try to play them. And I plan to buy a standalone 8 track machine instead of recording on my computer, because I am told it's much much easier. I'll keep you posted.

As far as recommendations go, i'll pass on one from Australis I got a few months back which has frankly blown me away, called Black Country Communion, a band featuring the blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and members of Deep Purple and Dream Theater. Really good stuff, if you are into classic rock.
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Old May 22 2013, 01:16 AM   #66
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

I would say cultural standards have expanded.
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Old May 22 2013, 03:00 AM   #67
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

It is a mixed bag. Of course popular culture is full of hitherto unknown crap and of course kids who play with their smartphone all day will not develop decent reading skills ... but then again Western societies are also becoming more civilized, at least interior violence is in decline, and people are more informed on many things than in previous times.
So yeah, I am neither buying the conservative whining about the "good old days" nor the naive pseudo-progressive story about inevitable progress and history being a libear upward trend.
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Old May 22 2013, 08:05 AM   #68
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

This is the sort of question that can only be answered at a certain time in a certain place.

Midnight in Paris, in case you're wondering.
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Old May 22 2013, 08:17 AM   #69
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Davros wrote: View Post
I would say cultural standards have expanded.
Agreed. Thank god.
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Old May 22 2013, 12:00 PM   #70
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Cultural standards change. Thank god. So there's no empirical way to evaluate whether have gotten lower (or higher). Other than blind prejudice. I love rap and opera, Trek and Racine. Others may not. No biggie.
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Old May 22 2013, 02:28 PM   #71
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

teacake wrote: View Post
Davros wrote: View Post
I would say cultural standards have expanded.
Agreed. Thank god.
True, it allows for people like Kanye West but also, thankfully, for some-one like Pharrell Williams...
I'm closer to 40 than to 39 right now, but i still discover plenty of new music that i like by bands/artists that got more exposure in the last 3 decades...
The 90's,the 00's and the 10's have produced plenty of good artists/bands, but, besides one or two songs that make it into the charts, they don't appeal that much to the general audience...
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Old May 24 2013, 11:16 AM   #72
RJDiogenes
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Pingfah wrote: View Post
Oh, hah well you know I am tremendously slack when it comes to recording things. I love the songwriting process, and I do it constantly. I'm always writing new material and refining things I have been playing, but I am terrible at getting them down because I find the process of recording to be so tedious.
I know what you mean-- getting stuff out of your head into the world can be a chore.

So I write stuff, and spend months refining it and adding little inflections in etc until I can play it just the way I want, then I get bored of it and move onto a new one. So of the probably hundreds of songs I have written in the last decade alone, I have recorded precisely one. And I can remember, at the current count, three.
I assume that one must be "Misunderstood."

Most of them are down and buried somewhere in the thousands of hours of live recordings of my jam sessions with friends that my drummer friend insists on keeping, it's just a question of digging them out when I finally get round to recording again, they'll come right back to me when I try to play them. And I plan to buy a standalone 8 track machine instead of recording on my computer, because I am told it's much much easier. I'll keep you posted.
Awesome. You might want to take a look at this place. I have a friend who has a cool folk band (Cartoon) who uses them to self publish. Seems like a good outlet.

As far as recommendations go, i'll pass on one from Australis I got a few months back which has frankly blown me away, called Black Country Communion, a band featuring the blues guitarist Joe Bonamassa, Jason Bonham and members of Deep Purple and Dream Theater. Really good stuff, if you are into classic rock.
That sounds great; I will track them down. For some good old-school modern Rock, you might want to check out this band-- it's fronted by another friend's daughter.
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Old May 24 2013, 11:33 AM   #73
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Thanks RJ, I can't listen to the music at work, so i'll check that out tonight. I like the look of the video though.

I like the look of that CD Baby too, although I imagine you would need to professionally record if you wnt to have a chance of selling stuff. The 8 track machine should be good, but is probably only up to the quality for demoing stuff.

And no, Misunderstood was an old band track, I did write it, but that is 14 years old now. We recorded it on a windows 95 PC!

Here is my most recent effort, recorded especially for the TNZ denizens to celebrate the coming apocalypse last year, had a bit of trouble with the vocal levels, but other than that I quite like the recording:

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Old May 24 2013, 12:41 PM   #74
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Standards of Culture only lower when expression is barred, prevented or limited, yes?
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Old May 25 2013, 10:25 AM   #75
RJDiogenes
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Re: Have cultural standards gotten lower?

Pingfah wrote: View Post
Thanks RJ, I can't listen to the music at work, so i'll check that out tonight. I like the look of the video though.
They have a bunch of good stuff. They sell through Amazon-- possibly iTunes, too, though I don't know.

I like the look of that CD Baby too, although I imagine you would need to professionally record if you wnt to have a chance of selling stuff. The 8 track machine should be good, but is probably only up to the quality for demoing stuff.
That I don't know. My friend rented a studio for his album. But your stuff certainly sounds fine to me.

And no, Misunderstood was an old band track, I did write it, but that is 14 years old now. We recorded it on a windows 95 PC!
Wow. It sounds fine to me. I still have it and still listen to it.

Here is my most recent effort, recorded especially for the TNZ denizens to celebrate the coming apocalypse last year, had a bit of trouble with the vocal levels, but other than that I quite like the recording:
Very nice. I don't see why that can't be released on CD or as a digital download.

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Standards of Culture only lower when expression is barred, prevented or limited, yes?
If you mean "barred, prevented or limited" by authorities, then I would disagree. That's certainly one reason, but the Arts can also be invigorated by repression. As I said before, History is rife with cultures going through alternating Golden Ages and Dark Ages-- that's why those terms exist. It's cyclic. Right now we happen to be in the trough-- another crest will come someday.
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