The Grammys

Sepulchritude Forum: The Absinthe Forum Archives Thru July 2001: Topics Archived thru March 2001:The Grammys
By Bjacques on Thursday, March 01, 2001 - 06:16 am: Edit

Iggy Pop wasn't always that ugly. Ewan MacGregor *did* look more like more like Kurt Cobain. He tried to sound American, but came out sounding sorta Welsh. Christian Bale was all right. Jonathan Rhys-Meyers was ok, but I liked him better in the BBC miniseries of "Gormenghast," as Steerpike. "Velvet Goldmine" was just supposed to be glam rock fantasy and a contrast to the cold '80s of corporate style. Todd Haynes took leading figures of the times and played Barbies with them, sort of the opposite of what he did in "Superstar: The Karen Carpenter Story" (officially banned for brand desecration).

By _Blackjack on Wednesday, February 28, 2001 - 12:44 pm: Edit


Quote:

Iggy Pop... the ugliest man alive.



Nah. My pal Johnny's dad looks like a statue of Iggy Pop carved out of beef jerkey...

He is ugly tho. It made "Velvet Goldmine" pretty unbelievible. Ewan McGregor is way to pretty to pass for Iggy Pop. He looked more like Kurt Cobain.

By Aion on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 10:18 pm: Edit

Pata,
if you like Thievery Corporation you will LOVE
Kruder & Dorfmeister and Tosca!

Hell, just noticed, that I forgot LAIKA in the listing made earlier. One of my favorite bands.

A.

By Mr_Rabbit on Tuesday, February 27, 2001 - 09:08 am: Edit

Cibo Matto puts on a hell of a show too. Yoko's boy can shred.

I found the second album to be dissapointingly overproduced. It was OK, but when I listen to Cibo Matto, I find myself putting in Viva La Woman a lot more often.

Do you know your chicken?

By Pataphysician on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 02:52 pm: Edit

More Pan-Japanese Mayhem:

"21st Century Dub" an album from 1980 by Japanese musician/producer Pecker (yes, that's really his name) with Bob Marley's backing band.

By Marc on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 02:49 pm: Edit

Iggy may be ugly, but he gets some of the prettiest poontang on earth. His ex-wife, Suchi, visited me here in Vegas last week. She's a stunning Japanese woman. And a fine writer.

See Whet Moser's article, Why Eminem Should Get The Grammy, on salon.com.

By Martin on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 02:44 pm: Edit

Iggy Pop... the ugliest man alive.

-Martin

By Marc on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 02:44 pm: Edit

salon.com, Rolling Stone and The Village Voice
have published some serious pieces on Eminem's work. Check out the current Salon. com

By Martin on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 02:44 pm: Edit

Nah, not from me he hasn't. I said how much I think he sucks, and it's staying there. No need for discussion... I hate him, pure and simple. There's no depth to examine or pick apart. C'mon Marc, are you going to say that Eminem's lyrics are as deep as say, M. Gira's? Please..

shit... I've continued the discussion about 'him'. now I'm embarrassed ;-)

Anatomist,

CIBO MATTO!!! Yes, yes, yes! I knew there was something profound we have in common. I love 'em! Quality stuff like that is the reason why I hate all this other shit. Miho and Yuka are some of the most deft, poetic, wordsmiths I've ever heard. They mix the ridiculous with the serious in such a way that you can't stop listening. And hey, one of Yoko Ono's kids is the bass player! You can't beat that combination for Pan-Japanese mayhem! Food Madness!!

-Martin

By Pataphysician on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 02:36 pm: Edit

I haven't really seen any thoughtful analysis about Eminem. It all boils down to "Does he really mean what he says or is he just acting a role?" and that's not very compelling to me.

Iggy Pop is the King of Detroit Trailer Trash in my book.

By Marc on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 01:55 pm: Edit

Eminem is generating reams of thoughtful analysis and hours of intense discourse. So, he's done much more than just shock, he has raised questions, compellingly. Not bad for some Detroit trailer trash.

By Pataphysician on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 10:26 am: Edit

Low fans should check out Galaxie 500 albums. They're gone now, but in their time fans used to shout "Slower! Quieter! Slower! Quieter!"

By Heiko on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 08:52 am: Edit

Pata,

I think we're one step further - what "good" direction is there artists can direct their cynicism to? This direction implies the artist believes himself in something, a direction, a better future, whatever. If there's just no such direction (or 'belief' or 'dogma') in your mind, everything is on the same time good and bad for you, you like and don't like every possibility the same way - then the only way is to say "nothing is true, everything's allowed" and try to have fun in your own life.

Can we really expect artists to do something for us? Artists express something, if nobody likes it, or everybody likes it - the artist just tries to give a description of his feelings. So if someone really crank expresses his weird feelings and all the kids just love it, this is an indication for me that every one of these kids also has (at least unconsciously) some of these crank thoughts. It's not the artists fault, the décadence has all of us in its grip and our good aims are more and more lost until we face the big nothing...

And, yes, punk has raised questions. But were these questions answered? I think no! Society thought about it for a while, then turned to business as usual.
btw what else was punk about than laughing about the others, breaking every rule and having fun yourself?

Of course denying reality is the only way to be happy, but if your brain is built to see reality, there's no way of denying it anymore - bad luck...

By Rimbaud on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 08:12 am: Edit

Aion,

Low is great! A quiet force to be reckoned with...And so prolific! Mogwai is pretty cool too. The others you mentioned I've heard of but haven't gotten a chance to actually hear yet. Although I heard a clip online of Labradford and it sounded pretty interesting...Cheers!

~21st Century Rimbaud

By Pataphysician on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 08:09 am: Edit

There's more to transgression than just having a good laugh. I think the problem came when people saw the example of Dada, Punk, etc, and misunderstood the transgression. The shock was the means, not the end itself -- it raised real questions in people's minds. What are the questions that Marilyn Manson or Eminem have raised? As Raoul Hausmann said of the later imitators of Dada: "Dada fell like a raindrop from heaven. They've learned to imitate the fall but not the raindrop."

The 'cynical artist' thing reminds me of a story. Once when Lenny Bruce was arrested he was ordered to see a psychiatrist. The psychiatrist testified at his trial that Bruce was extremely intelligent and had an acute understanding of human nature and society. He was also nihilistic and given to severe depression, which the doctor concluded was a perfectly natural reaction for someone who saw the world as it really was. So, essentially, this doctor's testimony was: the only way we can be happy in this world is to deny reality.

But, if the artist can't direct his cynicism, if he can't put it to good use, as Lenny Bruce did, he's just no good to us at all. If someone's work is completely solipsistic, I'd say it's not even art. We're asking the wrong question of our artists. It shouldn't be "Do you really believe what you're saying?" we should ask them "What have you done for me lately?"

By Pataphysician on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 07:08 am: Edit

Yeah! Big Youth is great! My favorite DJ (they do call it DJ) album is I-Roy: "Don't Check Me With No Lightweight Stuff".

Aion:
I know Low. Lately I'm listening to Thievery Corporation and others are subjecting me to a lot of Fat Boy Slim and Moby.

By Heiko on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 07:00 am: Edit

Aion,
I've seen one or two videos of Bohren & Der Club of Gore, also by Autechre - thanks to viva 2, the only music television that plays a lot of less commercial stuff. I cannot say I'm a fan, but I like it

Justin,
what is so bad about this "juvenile urge to shock" you mentioned? When I see what Marilyn Manson does and how people react (from PC disgust to juvenile adoration) I just imagine how Manson watches all that and laughs his ass off. I guess he just realized that whatever he (or other artists) does will be misunderstood, therefore he now concentrates on being completely misunderstood by everyone - it works, and I consider this to be very cynical ironic art.
I think some artists, like Eminem as well, or the late Curt Cobain, just see things more clearly than most people and are really intelligent - what else can they do than being cynical? This world can really make you angry. Having controversial thoughts, being able to understand every side without the wish to belong to a certain group is not easy (kind of being a little schizo - your own mind being capable of argumenting for totally different point of views). I mean something like Eminem dissing gays and now he sings a duet with Elton John and gives him a hug - people don't understand that.
I can also see this schizo thing in Nietzsche's writing - if I sense a musician is in this kind of intellectual sphere, I have to respect his work very much.

By Marc on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 12:53 am: Edit

Any Tindersticks fans in the house?

By Tavis on Friday, February 23, 2001 - 12:32 am: Edit

Speaking of Gastr del Sol, I've got David Grubbs' The Spectrum Between. I was very impressed by it, in a funny kind of way. No hooks to remember particularly, but great stuff.

By Aion on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 10:58 pm: Edit

Ah MUSIC, my beloved drug!

Heiko, you are right, really Avant-Garde music is never successful commercially.
For success other things than musical genius is important today. As you are German (I am Austrian) you just have to look at these RTL2-Popstars No Angels or all these Big-Brother idiots to figure out how it works today.
Or these Oh-so-young-and-pretty-girls-and-boys just having no idea what music could be.
But there is more good music available now than ever before. But there is so much more garbage, so it is more difficult than ever to find it.
There is really good music produced in Germany and Austria today, but who knows for example
Tosca, Peace Orchestra, Sin, Kreidler, Qntal,
Bohren & Der Club of Gore, Waldeck, Pole, ....
Or who knows Labradford, Tortoise, Low, Autechre, Plaid, Mogwai, Gastr Del Sol, ... (as examples for USA / GB based musicians).
This is all really exciting stuff, creating an open mind and well suited as accompaniment for a glass of absinthe.
Any fans of the above mentioned groups out there??
A.

By Chrysippvs on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 09:24 pm: Edit

Honestly when I heard him it brought to mind bad rococo art...The Baroque period was bad enough and then that. It almost makes me cry.

It is like stirring ants...it just isn't didatic and doesn't need to be done if it isn't going to make a point. Saying "people just read too much into the lyrics" saddens me, it shows a shallowness to the lyrics. Like Carjat said to Rimbaud (and in this case rightly so) I sense a "juvenile urge to shock" with no forethought.

I love seeing the oh so PC gay and lesbian groups protesting...they are just as schizophrenic as he is (not in that they are gay, let me make that clear). He whines and rages a whole CD away and then they take to the streets to do the same..

"Worthless! Worthless! Utterly Worthless!"

- J

By Marc on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 09:13 pm: Edit

Jamaican rapping is called "toasting". Big youth is one of my favorites.

I agree that Eminem isn't in the same class as Kubrick, Serrano, Flanagan or Burroughs. I was stretching to make a point. And that point is:
Eminem is a legitimate transgressive artist. I am not really familiar with his work, but what I've heard is compelling and disturbing.

By Pataphysician on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 06:58 pm: Edit

Marc:

I wouldn't put Eminem in the same league as Lenny Bruce, or even Andres Serrano (a very, very misunderstood artist -- he's a devout Catholic, ya know). And Bob Flanagan had way more theory working behind his schtick.

Eminem has good technique, but the guy just has nothing to say. He has exactly two raps:

1. You make me so mad I could kill you.
2. That last song made me soooo controversial.

After he's done those two songs, it's all self-referential. That's why it works so well on kids. They've never heard it before. But it'll seem pretty thin to them by the next album.

BTW, I recently got some bootleg tapes of sound system shows in Jamaica, around 1975 to 1979. These were the backyard parties where DJing and mixing were invented. King Tubby, U-Roy, King Jammy, SturGav, Brigader Jerry, etc. The birth of Rap and Hip-Hop. There was even a song back then called "Do The Hip-Hop".

By Heiko on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 06:45 pm: Edit

Music, I can't keep quiet about music (cos it's your only friend until the end, if I may quote Morrison).

It's true that most stuff played on the radio is commercial crap - this is in every case not representative for the musical style it's supposed to be. Popular hip-hop is mostly as bad as popular country, popular rock, popular techno, whatever else...

There are of course exceptions, groups or single artists who created kind of their own style, they were underground for a long time but kept doing their thing until they became popular and still kept working hard on their stuff so they stayed at the top. As an example for this I see Metallica, Bob Marley, The Doors or U2 (and some others)- therefore it is good if one of these artists gets a grammy.

Most music that is popular is just a bad imitation of a certain musical style that became en vogue some time before.
I've listened to many different musical styles (and still do, only my preferences changed), from Heavy Metal to Punk, Death Metal, House, Drum'n'Bass, Triphop, Dub, Dancehall and Reggae (in chronological order) - I found good pieces of music in every style, but never were my favorite songs popular tunes - though the worst ones always were...

I personally don't like most Hip-Hop too much - I also think it is not melodic enough. There's more good tunes in Jamaican Dancehall, everything from hard Dancefloor tracks to relaxed Reggae tunes. Though hardly anyone knows Sizzla, Capleton, Anthony B. or Michael Rose (and many more) they still make great music which in my opinion every true hip-hop fan should like - kind of similar, but better.

But I still like other stuff, f.e. Red Hot Chili Peppers or Rammstein (like 'Sonne', the chorus line kicks your ass on a glass of Absinthe!) but sometimes even classical pieces like Bach's Fugue nr. 4 in cis-minor (the one and only!).

There are only two kinds of music: good and bad - this has nothing to do with musical styles, as every style produces its ugly, popular tunes (only very seldom a popular tune is good!).
What today sounds strange to your ears, you might admire tomorrow - how boring would it be never to discover some new kind of music...

By _Blackjack on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 06:00 pm: Edit


Quote:

Since rap has no harmony and very little in the way of melody, all that's left is a beat and fast talking. I am hard pressed to consider it music at all.



This is an awful lot like saying punk is just yelling or that opera is just fat people screetching. It dismisses a musical genre for not following the standards of other genres.

Rap DOES have melody and harmony, but they are used in a different fashion. Most of the rap being put out now has fairly complicated backing music involved, not just sampled backbeats. I'm not saying you have to enjoy it. I'm not a big fan myself. But it's certainly music.

By Anatomist1 on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 05:28 pm: Edit

The only band that strays into rap territory that I like is CIBO MATTO.

Although I try to ignore annoying fan bases and take music on its own merits, I have to admit that I've met too many smug, dismissive Beastie Boys worshiping hipsters: I can't stand them.

Since rap has no harmony and very little in the way of melody, all that's left is a beat and fast talking. I am hard pressed to consider it music at all.

K.

By Anatomist1 on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 05:20 pm: Edit

Goddamnit! Did someone just insinuate that I'm a "non-country fan"? Actually it's true that Patsy Cline isn't all that country. Depends on what you mean by "country". If we're talking current radio stuff like Garth Brooks and the Dixie Chicks... well I don't really consider that country. I think some of the best, most honest music being made right now is what they call alt.country, or americana: seems a hell of a lot more country than that bubblegum crap they play on Q106. Last I checked, the Grammys didn't even have a category for it. I'm glad. The grammys are all hype and commerce. Face it: any kind of awards are a load of crap unless you or your favorites are winning them.

K.

By Marc on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 03:31 pm: Edit

Blackjack,

I don't own a single rap album. I own an original vinyl copy of the Beastie Boys
"Cookie Puss". That's it.

There's no question that Eminem is a fine, fine wordslinger. His use of language is deft and poetic. He's got a great sense for the telling detail. He gets inside his material in ways that are dramatic and spooky. He's an actor. And a good one. His rap is in the tradition of inflammatory art like Burrough's Naked Lunch,
Kubrick's "A Clockwork Orange", Serrano's "Piss Christ", Lenny Bruce's rants and Bob Flanagan's
self mutilation performance art. Whether one likes Eminem or not, you can't deny the guy is a force to be reckoned with. I, myself, like artists who get in your face.

By _Blackjack on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 03:15 pm: Edit


Quote:

I admire a handful of rappers,
Wyclef Jean, Eminem, Outkast and Busta Rhymes,



You know, that's the official non-rap-fan's list of contemporary rappers. They're the ones I like too, and the ones I usually hear thrown around by other honkeys. Kinda like how non-country-fans like Johnny Cash and Patsy Kline... :)

By _Blackjack on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 03:12 pm: Edit

The funny thing, Martin, is that the hip-hop community (y'know, the people who actually know about rap) disagrees with you. There is a pretty general consensus that Eminem has a good deal of talent. He's not a genius, he's not even the best emcee to get mainstream attention, but his flow is original and as a lyricist, he is challenging and clever. I'm not denying that he's a bastard, and probably in need of serious psychiatric help, but he's got skills.

And I, for one, find it tremendously ironic that you chose to insult him by calling him a fag.

My question is, "Steely Dan?" I mean, sure, no denying the talent, but does anyone actually listen to them anymore? I didn't know they were still making albums...

...of course, they gave a Heavy Metal Grammy to Jethro Tull a few years back...

By Martin on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 12:51 pm: Edit

Elton John and Eminem? I think I'm going to fucking hurl. I'm really glad I missed that abortion of an awards show. The only winners who deserved any credit were U2. Radiohead should have won everything. Further proof that the average voting member of NARAS is an idiot. I'm joining soon, just to show that I won't bitch about it all without trying to do something about it too.

The state of popular music is a very sorry one.

Eminem? Please... that sorry fag couldn't rap his ass out of a paper bag. The Fat Boys had more talent than that poser. I think Boy George put it right about him when he said "That boy's begging for a cock in his ass, and I'm just the man to do it!" Give it to 'em George! I'd pay to see that.

-Martin

By Pataphysician on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 11:06 am: Edit

The best line of the night was from the woman who won Best New Artist: "It only took me 13 years and 6 albums to get to this point."

By Aion on Thursday, February 22, 2001 - 03:14 am: Edit

Just sorry that Fiona Apple didn´t get an award.

A.

By Marc on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 11:10 pm: Edit

The duet between Elton John and Eminem actually worked. Unbelievable.

By Marc on Wednesday, February 21, 2001 - 09:53 pm: Edit

Well, it looks like rock still lives. This is the first year in a long time that the awards are being given to some real fucking artists. The dominance of hip-hop seems to be declining.
U2, Macy Gray, Shelby Lynne and Moby have won awards. U2's performance on the show was sublime. They've still got the magic.

Don't get me wrong, I admire a handful of rappers,
Wyclef Jean, Eminem, Outkast and Busta Rhymes, but I'm glad to see some people who play instruments receiving some acknowledgement.

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