Chris Cornell (Soundgarden, Audioslave). RIP

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Izzy BlackThis is a bit of a pivot. You initially said early 90s alt rock, but here, you're limiting yourself to not just (mostly Seattle) grunge, but popular Seattle grunge, which gives you barely a handful of bands. In that case, OK yeah, I mean it's not like I'm constantly playing back STP, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana albums either.

Not really so much a pivot as just clarifying how I expressed myself badly in my initial post. I was speaking from a personal place, where I was talking very specifically about the music me or my friends were listening to at that point in my life. When it came to that stuff, stuff I liked quite a bit at the time, only a few of those records I loved so much back then have retained any kind of real fire for me all these years later.

But it's true, I do generally have a bit of a ingrained 90's music negative bias. If someone were to ask me what my least favourite decade in popular music is (starting with the 50's) 90's is usually the one I gravitate to. Even the bands from the nineties that I discovered I really liked after the fact, are disproportionately under represented when I gush about albums I get really excited about.

I guess I just like other stuff better.
May 20, 2017 3:19 AM
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Janson JinnistanNo, for me it was only about the mid-90s, 1995 in fact, when "modern rock", an artificially designed radio format, took over the popular playlists while the music started to become stale, formulaic and as homogenized as Bush and Creed (the epitome of the very worst 90s rock cliches).


Tough time for rock, but it was short lived, I think (basically last five years of the 90s). Nowhere near as bad as the complete dearth / death of rock music of the past 10 years. And, honestly, I think Bush gets an unfair rap. I think they're source of spawn of post-grunge, fair enough, but I actually liked their first two albums. Candlebox is also often thrown in that category, but I liked their debut too. Obviously when Creed, Stained, Nickelback, and whatever rolled around, it was overkill formulaic bad, and they put the nail in the genre's coffin, but again, that's a pretty short span in music all things considered. It seems much less offensive as an era (to me) in hindsight, unless of course you blame these bands for the death of commercial rock (I know you're not doing that here), which I think would be a mistake.
May 20, 2017 3:23 AM
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Stu
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Izzy!
May 20, 2017 3:39 AM
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Also liked Throwing Chopper. *shrug*
May 20, 2017 3:39 AM
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crumbsroom
Izzy BlackThis is a bit of a pivot. You initially said early 90s alt rock, but here, you're limiting yourself to not just (mostly Seattle) grunge, but popular Seattle grunge, which gives you barely a handful of bands. In that case, OK yeah, I mean it's not like I'm constantly playing back STP, Pearl Jam, and Nirvana albums either.

Not really so much a pivot as just clarifying how I expressed myself badly in my initial post. I was speaking from a personal place, where I was talking very specifically about the music me or my friends were listening to at that point in my life. When it came to that stuff, stuff I liked quite a bit at the time, only a few of those records I loved so much back then have retained any kind of real fire for me all these years later. ?

But it's true, I do generally have a bit of a ingrained 90's music negative bias. If someone were to ask me what my least favourite decade in popular music is (starting with the 50's) 90's is usually the one I gravitate to. Even the bands from the nineties that I discovered I really liked after the fact, are disproportionately under represented when I gush about albums I get really excited about.

I guess I just like other stuff better.

You're missing out! 90s music is awesome.
May 20, 2017 3:41 AM
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especially if we go off rock and talk music generally, but I know you're a hip-hop head, so I don't need to tell you that (and I'm going to assume, given this, you're probably electro/house/trip-hop friendly too, e.g. Portishead, Massive Attack, what have you)
May 20, 2017 3:44 AM
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StuIzzy!

Hi
May 20, 2017 3:45 AM
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Izzy BlackAlso liked Throwing Chopper. *shrug*

I was just about to approve of the supporting hand you offered Bush, they really weren't that bad, but now I'm pretty sure we're enemies.

That being said though, I actually think I kinda liked the album Live put out after this, so I should probably offer up my own *shrug*
May 20, 2017 3:49 AM
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Izzy Blackespecially if we go off rock and talk music generally, but I know you're a hip-hop head, so I don't need to tell you that (and I'm going to assume, given this, you're probably electro/house/trip-hop friendly too, e.g. Portishead, Massive Attack, what have you)

Yes. This is 90's music that is more in line with what I like about that decade now.
May 20, 2017 3:50 AM
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crumbsroom
Izzy BlackAlso liked Throwing Chopper. *shrug*

I was just about to approve of the supporting hand you offered Bush, they really weren't that bad, but now I'm pretty sure we're enemies.

That being said though, I actually think I kinda liked the album Live put out after this, so I should probably offer up my own *shrug*

haha, fair enough.
May 20, 2017 3:51 AM
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Also, I should note: I have a pretty forgiving ear when it comes to popular music, pretty much all across the spectrum. It's peculiar I don't extend this same level of charity to popular film.
May 20, 2017 3:55 AM
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Izzy BlackAlso, I should note: I have a pretty forgiving ear when it comes to popular music, pretty much all across the spectrum. It's peculiar I don't extend this same level of charity to popular film.

I've got no issue with pop music at all. I take deep pleasure in 90's Euro dance music, like more boy band songs than I should, think the Spice Girls "Say You'll Be There" is one of the songs I'm most fond of from that decade, and untold other amounts of embarrassments With both music and film and I can be very much about what many might consider lowest common denominator shit. Of course the critics are all wrong, though.

Unfortunately I don't have this allowance with books and paintings. I'm pretty limited in what I will tolerate in either of these fields. I really dislike way too many respected authors and visual artists and I actually sometimes wish I could stop thinking so many of them are so unbearably awful.
May 20, 2017 4:08 AM
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Yeah it's interesting. It's not that I simply tolerate bad music more than I tolerate bad cinema, but it's more that I seem to find ways to appreciate and find value in popular music in ways that I don't seem as equipped to do with film, even when, from a distance, it would seem the one is as guilty of formulaic conventions etc. as the other.

Popular literature is an utter abomination though. Completely worthless. I'm a savage when it comes to popular literature. It even makes me uneasy calling it "literature". I'm the worst kind of snob in that domain.
May 20, 2017 4:38 AM
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Izzy BlackTough time for rock, but it was short lived, I think (basically last five years of the 90s). Nowhere near as bad as the complete dearth / death of rock music of the past 10 years.

I think that the reason why I describe it in terms of "the last explosion of eclectic talent", lalala, is largely due to this fact, which is that the creative trend has seemingly been diminishing. Even considering the 00s, which offered a potent surfacing of talent, I think that many of these artists seemed to burn not quite as bright or in as many directions.

Izzy BlackAnd, honestly, I think Bush gets an unfair rap.

My condolences to Mr. Stefani, but at my most generous, I would say that he was able to formulate the Cobain/Corgan/Reznor affectations into something that was commercially very palatable. I thought it was pretty boring. I haven't, honestly, bothered to revisit it to see how it's aged.

I don't want to make a strict barrier between commercial and creative, because that can be the default for these things. I like a lot of music that is "pop", as long as it's inspired. What I see as the more derogatory form of commercial or pop is when you can see the calculation, whether formula-wise or demographically. I like music that touches on less-marketable emotions, and there's a lot of popular music that still conveys intimacy and sincerity. The personal can sometimes be considered the opposite of broad appeal by those wishing to attract the latter.

Izzy BlackIt seems much less offensive as an era (to me) in hindsight, unless of course you blame these bands for the death of commercial rock (I know you're not doing that here), which I think would be a mistake.

No, I think those bands are the symptoms of the problem, which goes back to the kinds of commercial considerations that flatten and narrow the expression. And more recently, in our downloading environment, I've even seen where some of the more ambitious work from some artists fail to sale and its the scope of the ambition placed at fault rather than the economic environment.

I think back to the neo-soul era of the late-90s/early 00s, and there's been some revision over how much popular resistance there was to this. D'Angelo's Voodoo outclassed R. Kelly, but when it came to hip-hop, there was strong backlash over Common's Electric Circus and The Roots' Phrenology because so-called "fans" didn't want to hear their artists do something new outside of what had gotten them an audience in the first place. This restrictive dogma was touted over and over every time another ground-breaking album came out. Did N.E.R.D.'s first album even chart? Maybe eventually? Q-Tip couldn't get released. Andre 3000 was ridiculed, not just for the poppy "Hey Ya" but because his Love Below went the gauntlet from Bootsy-funk to faux-jazz. Mos Def chooses to sing on New Danger and fans act betrayed. (Meanwhile, these days Chance the Rapper can squeak his tuneless crooning on SNL and no one says anything).

I think that this kind of restriction is across the board in the 21st century music industry, and it's the reason why seemingly fewer and fewer artists emerge year after year. In addition to the economic challenges in the technology, it doesn't seem to be a very welcoming investment for young artists.
May 20, 2017 5:25 AM
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First Izzy praises Live. Next Janson disses Chance the Rapper. What is the world coming to?
May 20, 2017 5:30 AM
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Izzy BlackAlso liked Throwing Chopper. *shrug*

I played Mental Jewelry about five or six times, and thought that this could very well be a great band someday.

That's about as far in this direction as I'm capable of going.
May 20, 2017 5:33 AM
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crumbsroomFirst Izzy praises Live. Next Janson disses Chance the Rapper. What is the world coming to?

Motherfucker can't sing. He squeaks with pitch.

Not that it matters for a rapper, but in light of the backlash against those rappers who attempted to sing (Pharrell, Andre, Mos Def) the relative silence among fans to point out what is an obvious auditory fact strikes me as bizarre.
May 20, 2017 5:35 AM
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Janson Jinnistan
I think that the reason why I describe it in terms of "the last explosion of ?eclectic talent", lalala, is largely due to this fact, which is that the creative trend has seemingly been diminishing. ?Even considering the 00s, which offered a potent surfacing of talent, I think that many of these artists seemed to burn not quite as bright or in as many directions.


If we're limiting ourselves to rock, I still don't share the sentiment. I actually prefer early-to-mid '00s rock to '90s rock, although not by a wide margin. The lack of rock in the past decade is disheartening, of course. But I expect that to swing in a few years, but I might be wrong about that.

Izzy Black
My condolences to Mr. Stefani, but at my most generous, I would say that he was able to formulate the Cobain/Corgan/Reznor affectations into something that was commercially very palatable. ?I thought it was pretty boring. ?I haven't, honestly, bothered to revisit it to see how it's aged.


He's definitely a Cobain proxy, but I just thought they made some nice, catchy tunes, and they could also play better than Nirvana IMO.

Janson Jinnistan
No, I think those bands are the symptoms of the problem, which goes back to the kinds of commercial considerations that flatten and narrow the expression. ?And more recently, in our downloading environment, I've even seen where some of the more ambitious work from some artists fail to sale and its the scope of the ambition placed at fault rather than the economic environment.


It's arguable people kind of got sick of rock and roll, so electronica, house, EDM, and hip-hop exploded and continued to flourish into the 2010s and beyond, but I don't think creative saturation was the problem per se, and I think post-grunge had very little, if anything, to do with it. Pop culture just shifted into another direction aesthetically, I think. The music of the time better reflects the principles, attitudes, emotions, and ideals of the time. Saturation of styles in music is a cyclical process, but styles typically come back, unless there is a larger cultural shift at work, which is what I think is the case now.

Janson JinnistanI think back to the neo-soul era of the late-90s/early 00s, and there's been some revision over how much popular resistance there was to this. ?D'Angelo's Voodoo outclassed R. Kelly, but when it came to hip-hop, there was strong backlash over Common's Electric Circus and The Roots' Phrenology because so-called "fans" didn't want to hear their artists do something new outside of what had gotten them an audience in the first place. ?This restrictive dogma was touted over and over every time another ground-breaking album came out. ?Did N.E.R.D.'s first album even chart? ?Maybe eventually? ?Q-Tip couldn't get released. ?Andre 3000 was ridiculed, not just for the poppy "Hey Ya" but because his Love Below went the gauntlet from Bootsy-funk to faux-jazz. ?Mos Def chooses to sing on New Danger and fans act betrayed. ?(Meanwhile, these days Chance the Rapper can squeak his tuneless crooning on SNL and no one says anything).


Not exactly sure what your claim is here. Are you saying that fans of neosoul were dogmatic and wanted the music to be formulaic? Or that neosoul was genuinely creative, but that the mainstream was unreceptive to it? I am having trouble following. I'll let you parse this, but in the meantime, let me say a few things to keep in mind, if you're saying anything like what I just mentioned.

Neosoul was legitimate and bondafide. Lauryn Hill's Miseducation was an absolute juggernaut. I'll save you the list of accolades, because I'm sure you're aware of them, and if not, you can look them up. Before Speakerboxxx/The Love Below, which was obviously their most commercial work, both in sound and success, OutKast was a major force on the radio, and ATLiens and Aquenimi both double platinum albums. A number of artists were platinum as well, with D'Angelo's first two albums going platinum. Although neosoul generally was not the most popular music at the time, it was still a commercially successful movement, and it shaped and influenced the sound of other popular artists, particularly mainstream R&B at large. You can see this reflected in R. Kelly's own music, and just about any other successful R&B star at the time.

As for Chance, he's not a great singer, certainly not as good of one as Childish Gambino, to whom he's often compared, but I loved that SNL performance he had with Kanye. His style of singing isn't technical. I like the timbre of his voice and it goes well with his aesthetic, particularly when he goes in and out of singing to rapping in such a way that it's hard to mark where the singing begins and the rapping ends.

Janson JinnistanI think that this kind of restriction is across the board in the 21st century music industry, and it's the reason why seemingly fewer and fewer artists emerge year after year. ?In addition to the economic challenges in the technology, it doesn't seem to be a very welcoming investment for young artists.


Mainstream music doesn't sell as much, nor make as much money as it used to, although I am not sure how much the streaming market is recouping the sales losses of the 2000s at the hands of piracy. I haven't checked the most recent research on that. I suspect corporations will find a way to turn things back around in their favor. But I don't think this economic situation reflects any dearth in talent or creativity. Mainstream music is just as artistically interesting and viable to me now as it has ever been. Although the fact that rock music has been off the scene is very worrisome to me. Not because I think popular music now is bad or stale, or inferior to pop music of music past, but because I love rock music damnit, and I miss it.
May 20, 2017 3:16 PM
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Janson Jinnistan
crumbsroomFirst Izzy praises Live. Next Janson disses Chance the Rapper. What is the world coming to?

Motherfucker can't sing. ?He squeaks with pitch.

Not that it matters for a rapper, but in light of the backlash against those rappers who attempted to sing (Pharrell, Andre, Mos Def) the relative silence among fans to point out what is an obvious auditory fact strikes me as bizarre.

One difference is that Chance came out the gate singing. It's part of his aesthetic and identity. He's the quirky, unconventional rapper who harmonizes, rhymes on the off-beat, sometimes just outright talks over the beat, and does other things experimenting with his flow and inflection.

By contrast, Andre and Mos Def were known first as the most purest of pure MCs. They were the rapper's rapper. And neither of them, imo, could sing very well, so when they switched it up, it's pretty understandable why their fans would be resistant. Plus, the quality of the music suffered. As a matter of fact (widespread opinion), The New Danger is Mos Def's weakest studio album, and as a matter of my own opinion, The Love Below kind of sucks and is super annoying. So it would be one thing if they switched it up and it was good. And there are exceptions along these lines. Cee-Lo Green, for instance. Not to mention that Mos and Andre did harmonize on some of the tracks from their past work and it worked.

Pharrell is a bit different. His "Frontin'" is one of his most successful solo songs. He has an interesting falsetto, so that might've generated diverse reactions, but I think his singing is on the whole well received. He also came on the scene pretty unconventionally.
May 20, 2017 3:42 PM
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crumbsroomFirst Izzy praises Live. Next Janson disses Chance the Rapper. What is the world coming to?

Praising Live is a bit of a stretch. Cut me some slack! I said I liked one of their albums.
May 20, 2017 3:43 PM
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