Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Pete Emslie finally Found his article



BILLIE HOLIDAY

Blogger Pete Emslie said...

All right! I'm just honoured to find myself in the same camp as ol' Fontanelli, that rascal! Though I'm just not sure I understand your "conservative vs. liberal" distinction here either. I consider myself a liberal, yet I'm only slightly to the left and actually a bit more to the right on some issues. In regard to music, however, I would have assumed that my love of Sinatra, Dino, Bobby Darin, Peggy Lee, and Nat King Cole, etc. would have qualified me as having conservative tastes. I always figured those who like rap are more on the extreme left, not the extreme right.

What I find particularly interesting these days is that, by today's standards, I'm really more of a "non-conformist" than any of the rap-lovin' kids. They seem to like all of the so-called music today that has such a sameness to it that it sounds like it was all created from the same basic template. I swear that every rapper sounds exactly the same, as does every contemporary rock band, as does every girl pop/rock singer. Whereas the glorious music of the 1940s through early 1960s is so incredibly diverse and unique in terms of melody, rhythm, instrumentation and vocal quality.

Incidentally, I agree with you John in regard to dancing as well. I've been into social ballroom dancing for about twenty years now, and there is a real skill in learning to dance to the various smooth and latin rhythms of the glorious past. Anybody can just get up and move around mindlessly to today's idiot music in the clubs, but there is a real discipline to learning how to waltz, foxtrot, rumba, samba or jive, etc. Ah, if only I could go back in time! Instead, I'll just skulk away quietly back into my Cartoon Cave...



BOBBY DARIN

Blogger JohnK said...

Hi Pete,

I'm not talking about being a liberal or conservative in today's political sense.

I mean in the literal senses of the words.

Very imaginative people who don't rely on dogma and formula are liberal thinkers.

People who are afraid to tamper with tradition are conservative thinkers.

The difference between Bob Clampett and Friz.


It was a much more liberal thinking age in the 1st half of the 20th century. - The age of progress - when everyone believed in the future. As you said, things changed fast and there was much more invention and variety and much higher standards for everything.

For the last 30 years we have stagnated and worse-slid backwards, because we are in a conservative age - like the Dark Ages in Europe, when time slowed down and forward change and knowledge was considered the work of the Devil.

A real song with real rhyme, great lyrics and meter and a virtuoso performer with extreme feeling


JUDY GARLAND

25 comments:

Elana Pritchard said...

Really I think instead of fighting each other (which as I predicted earlier is getting everyone NOWHERE) we should try concentrating on the beautiful creative things that ARE happening. (and the are beautiful, intelligent, creative people in the world right now too) I think the real enemy we should be fighting is corporate America, which has been brainwashing people since Edward Bernaise discovered that he could use Sigmund Freud's psychoanalysis to manipulate and control the American public around the beginning of the twentieth century. By fighting right now, everyone is being COUNTERPRODUCTIVE, and therefore might as well be supporting all the things that are making our country so terrible today.

If you don't like the way things are- change them! (and try working together for chrissake)

Aaron Borst said...

In my opinion the political liberal mindset of political correctness has caused much of the conservatism in creativity. I also see how a lot of cartoons now days are thought of as a way to teach lessons that are touted bu liberal extremists such as the environment or some other hot topic. I am not saying that the message is bad or good, but its one of the reasons cartoons are ruind.

Kali Fontecchio said...

I think you meant "virtuoso"

Kali Fontecchio said...

Boy Bobby Darin is smoooooth, and Jack benny is watching, how cool!!

A.M.Bush said...

What do you think of Manheim Steamroller or the Trans Siberian Orchestra?

Also, I think that a lot of today's manga and super hero stuff display more technical skill than they did 50 years ago. Not that I like the stuff.

M. R Darbyshire said...

Golly, Judy Garland knew how to use vibrato.

Fred Osmond said...

Great video up top! Nobody can sing like Billie Holiday and nobody can make the baritone sax sing like Jerry Mulligan.

Thank you for this.

Ian Andersen said...

Love Billie and Ben Webster on that sax, what a master.

Niki said...

Pete Emslie do not fret! With TV shows that glorify dancing and actual singing, hopefully the world will build itself into greatness again! We should take it upon ourselves to learn and teach what comes to us more naturally than others. Since this feels like such an opportune time to ask, is the a guitar teaching equivalent to the ASIFA archive? Like some learn classic guitar archive so I don't become a smo!

Raff said...

Jumping back to the extreme conservatism thing - to the rant about TV I say HELLL YESSSS!!!!! I'm younger than the curmudgeons here and I still complain louder out where I am. And music too!

A good singing robot.
A bad singing robot.
A singing robot imported from Barbados

After all, this is the future, and they predicted singing robots, right? No shortage of that, or lethargic moany bands with jangly guitars and mushy drums.

On the other hand, here's
Great rap technique and style, and a creative video.

As for Pasty Cline...naw.
Here's an amazing singer.

Pete Emslie said...

Niki - Sorry, but I don't think that "the world will build itself into greatness again" through such dreck as "American Idol". Personally, I feel that we could use another "Ed Sullivan Show", where tuxedos and evening gowns were the order of the day and everyone knew how to really sing in a style all of their own.

John - Thanks for the clip of Bobby. Back then, singers could deliver both the swinging, uptempo numbers that Bobby was famous for, but also, as Mr. Darin demonstrates on another of those linked YouTube clips, could sell a poignant, hauntingly beautiful song like "Once Upon a Time". Contemporary rockers and rappers wouldn't have the foggiest idea how to sing a tender love ballad like that. And that's the problem I see with today's "music": it's so limited in its scope compared to the range of material singers used to perform.

Yeah, give me the days of yore when the music world was ruled by Italian American baritones like Frank, Bobby, Dino, Tony Bennett, Vic Damone, and one of my faves still working today, Al Martino!

david gemmill said...

i'd rather listen to a singer who has actual soul than a rigid one with good "enunciation"

magic sam's voice to me is more appealing than bobby darin's.

it's one of the reasons why i hate the beatles. their voices are whiny, white and annoying. they wrote some good songs, but i only enjoy beatles songs when they are covered by other people.

Oscar Baechler said...

John, You need to do even more follow-up posts to this topic, because most blogs don't have your readership size or funky weirdness factor.

Here's why you should do this:

John K(even if he doesn't think this): "98% of banjo music is garbage."

Response: Audience, via rebuttal: "That's not true!" and keys John into some excellent banjo acts, to share with us.

John (even if he doesn't think this): "98% of techno music is garbage."

Response: Audience, via rebuttal: "That's not true!" and keys John into some excellent techno acts.

Aside from my love of good music via trolling for suggestions...

I think this is the ultimate "Nature vs. Nurture" debate of all creative mediums. Do you have talent, or do you have something meaningful to say and contribute? It's talent (measurable) versus message (marketable/inspirational)

Like the nature vs. nurture debate, it strikes me as the same answer: Why worry? Do both, damnit!

Learn your anatomy, learn motion principles, learn established principles of composition, study the people who came before you, and draw every day, and if you can't do that, shame on you for saying "I draw as a hobby."

That being said, if you do have something unique and interesting to say for your medium, and you ARE drawing/making music every day, then you've got Monday through Saturday to rigorously study anatomy, construction, motion and smarter artists than yourself, and you've got Sunday to be wild and crazy and be yourself within your sketchbook.

There's some philosophy quote along the lines of "students, perplexed and suspicious, pour over Kant and Kierkegaard, forgetting that when Kant and Kierkegaard were their age they were pouring over Bentham and Paine."

(Bentham and Paine are not accurate to this quote, but in terms of Skill and against-the-grain Originality, they're coming to mind first.)

Brendon Neumar said...

If somebody hasn't listened to too much blues and a friend tells them "Oh, the blues is great" and then that person says "ok. I'll give it a try" and then they sit down and listen to some blues, they will start to get bored quickly and begin to pine for their own favorite music, and yet the blues went on to change popular music entirely, via rock and roll. So, that's what's goin on with rap. These aren't musicians who are saying, "hm, I see where music is heading, here's my idea." that's what us white folks do, we find something sincere and then we know how to pinpoint and market and organize and so forth, but the rappers aren't doing that, their just rapping cuz that's what they enjoy doing, and then it gets organized and classified and whatever, but mostly these rappers are trying to make their voices heard, they're talking about themselves and their money and their hoes and they're mostly bragging, but they're also contributing to the evolution of language and they're creating very nice specimens for the examination of the criminal mindset. These are just guys that wanna rap for fun and to be cool, but they have to say something and they have to use words and they have to try to be a litttle creative, but mostly they want their attitude to come across. Rap is so much like the blues it isn't funny. It's easy to look at the blues and say, the form is so repetitive, but then if you keep listening and become accustomed to the patterns and traditions you start to hear something different.

Another thing with rap music/culture is that it isn't trying to sissify the world. John, I think this might be an element you can appreciate. They may be talkin about packin heat and violence, but what it comes down to is they're saying "a man's gotta do" while the other half of popular music is saying, "relationships are weird. I don't know how I feel about my feelings."

Brendon Neumar said...

And here's something else to think about. With a jazz standard, the rules are you sing the same song a bunch of people already sang, and you sing it your own way. I'd like to suggest that there's a standard out there a very popular one, and sure the artists change the title, but maybe if we were to name it right here once and for all it could be called, "I have a lot of money and women and people don't wanna mess with me." It's a very popular rap standard and it celebrates strength and confidence and many rappers out there are riffing on it and having a good time.

Ebbe said...

Can we please get back to cartoons? If I hear another dunce put quotation marks around music if it follows the words rap and hiphop, I will have seventeen simultanious strokes from the sheer arrogance.

Goddamn people, there's no checklist when it comes to music! If rhythm can't stand on its own, is African tribal music not music? Should they be looked down on for dancing to it because it doesn't have melody? And should we hate them for dancing without structure or disciplin?

If you were true gentlemen, like myself, you'd be able to appreciate quality in whatever shape and form the music comes in. Instead you have ridiculous assumtions about what a "real song" should contain. Its utterly maddening arrogance.

Please, end this insufferable idiocy and make a post about Bugs Bunny.

Jorge Garrido said...

Believe it or not, I actually wrote about Bobby Darin and Billie Holiday in that comment I accidentally deleted yesterday. Other good singers in this style of music I love are Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Bing Crosby (!!!!!!!!!!!!!), Dean Martin, Don Cherry, Jo Stafford, The Andres Sisters, Louis Armstrong, Shirley Bassey, Tony Bennett, and Vaughn Monroe, to name a few.

I think as long as you listen to good music from the 30s to the 60s, you're not an idiot.

I agree with David about the Beatles... I finally figured out precisely why I don't like them: their nasally British voices! That's why I prefer rocks singer with either a country twang, like Carl Perkins, or a black bluesy shouty or raspy quality, like Chuck Berry or Little Richard (and, yeah, I know he influenced Paul's voice.)

I'm glad to hear I'm not the only swing dancer who visits this blog, Pete. I know John tap dances... but does anyone hear lindy hop?

Jeffrey said...

I don't know, John. I think what you've been posting is part of the 98% crap for the era.

Give me Gene Vincent, Ronnie Dawson, Peanuts Wilson, Dick Dale, The Ventures, Danny Dell, or Buddy Holly any day over any of those crooners. Rockabilly and surf music was the "underground" music of the 50's that didn't get the recognition or respect for it's time. The rockabilly musical talent is abysmal compared to straight rock or blues or country players at the time, but there's so much heart and feeling in their lack of talent.

(a side note: it's always funny to me that there are people who can appreciate two chord rockabilly and then turn around and spit venom at three chord punk rock.)

Niki said...

I remembered "Rapper's delight," it's long but it's nice.

here

MToolen said...

I'm as hungry for a cartoon post as any, but as a music major this is close to my heart. Oscar Baechler challenged artists to do technical and history studies as a majority of their preparation. I urge musicians to do the same! There's so much good music from way back when. Even further than Billie Holliday. Think Gabriel Fauré. Puccini. Henry Purcell. There's a reason their stuff is sung even today. This is also skimming over centuries of development in music theory that, unfortunately, gets boiled down mostly to the same I-IV-V-I chord progression nowadays. As usual, things like art and music (with rare exception) are better with experience and preparation.

PeteyX said...

I dunno, kids, it seems to me that 98% of ANYTHING is crap. You can apply that statement to cartoons, books, music, whatever. Maybe that's curmudgeonly, but I don't really care. I guess I can appreciate examples of most if not all genres of music, but think it's all poo otherwise. I mean, for all the Gene Vincents there's dozens of Tony Sheridans. For the Outkasts there are a ton of Mickey Avalons.
And so it goes.

stiff said...

Modern super-ultra-liberal musicians that oooooze talent. (They even made up the language they sing in).

pappy d said...

Eddie Bernays invented the focus group. Use this spelling if you want to google him.

Niki said...

Sorry to still linger on this post, but I just saw an amazing rap artist. The difference about him is that the beat of the music flowed, it was played on the violin, so the human element would change to beat at some points. The rap was also clear, although it was in Spanish, you could go along with it! Problem is it was played on a comedy special, and I don't know how new or old it is, also I can't read to title.

Bwanasonic said...

"(They even made up the language they sing in)."

I thought they were singing in Kobaïan?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zeuhl

Something tells me John K is not a fan of prog rock, even in it's wacky Japanese incarnation.

In the context of this discussion, I guess the Avant-Garde is *extreme liberals*?

K