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Klarinet Archive - Posting 000067.txt from 2000/07

Subj: [kl] Good/bad music
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 22:40:22 -0400

Bill Wright wrote:

> I've heard some of these teen-aged singers when they are
>caught off camera or off mike or off guard. Some of them
>actually _do_ have a voice, but they don't use it during their
>big numbers. So why not?
> This is a truly ugly idea to suggest, but I think that there is a
>kernel of truth in it. They 'sing down' to their audiences on purpose
>in order that the kids can identify and fantasize "This could be me. I
>could do that."
> When you listen to Burl Ives or Emma Johnson or Itzhak Perlman (or
>even Elvis Presley), you _know_ that you'll never be able to do what
>they do. That's why you listen. But 'modern' media is offering
>something entirely different -- a different psychology altogether. They
>are saying, "Here's something that you can believe that you can do
>yourself. We've done a lot of work to make it appear as if you could.
>It may not be the best music we can produce, but it's the best that you
>can reasonably imagine doing by yourself."

Bravo Bill -

Watch any TV commercial aimed at young males. First, there is someone
doing an impossible athletic feat. Then the same person sticks his face into
the camera lens and waggles his tongue. The message: Even if you can't dunk
a basketball, you can be like me just by being obnoxious.
The meta-message: You don't have to work hard. You just have to
"appreciate" it. It's no different than "use this hair tonic and Get Girls."
Just more blatant.
The answer is: When you can do a slam dunk like that, then you can be as
rude as you like, but not until.
Of course you can criticize. Even a beginner can hear a mistake by even
the best player. But making a "beginner" sound can be funny only when you
know how to do it better. You don't have to earn the right to play badly --
that comes naturally -- but you do have to earn the right to be taken

My grouch for the day.

Ken Shaw

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