Technology has outdone performance

Technology has outdone performance

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 15th, 2010, 8:33 pm #1

I was watching a documentary about the "Big-Band" era of the '40s and I was thinking how great Glenn Miller's or Count Basie's orchestras would sound in today's hi-fidelity stereophonic surround sound- but where is such music today? Today's music is little more than noise and distortion to start with so who needs to hear it in hi-fidelity stereophonic sound for that?

Likewise when I watch the old Hollywood musicals from the '30s & '40s I am amazed at how spectacular they were in scope, performance and costume and yet the only way we can see these today is via the grainy narrow-format black and white mono-sound film of the era. Where are the Busby Berkeleys of today?

A example- watch this-> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9GMqbGKUco

How unfortunately ironic that while our technology has improved so much over the years- the quality of the entertainment for it to display has declined so much!
Last edited by Nat on August 16th, 2010, 4:03 pm, edited 1 time in total.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 9th, 2005, 12:05 pm

August 19th, 2010, 1:11 pm #2

I think it is ironic that one reason for the decline in big bands, or more correctly, dance bands, is that people stayed home to watch television. But changes in economic conditions after the war made big bands less viable. So eventually there was an end to the big band era, just as there was a beginning. No one talks about the beginning.

One of the more unfortunate changes in music since WWII is the idea that certain music was only for people of certain ages. Some DJ back in the 1950s declared that rock and roll was just for teenagers and so it was. Imagine music that everyone enjoyed.
Quote
Like
Share

Bob
Bob

August 19th, 2010, 3:16 pm #3

I was watching a documentary about the "Big-Band" era of the '40s and I was thinking how great Glenn Miller's or Count Basie's orchestras would sound in today's hi-fidelity stereophonic surround sound- but where is such music today? Today's music is little more than noise and distortion to start with so who needs to hear it in hi-fidelity stereophonic sound for that?

Likewise when I watch the old Hollywood musicals from the '30s & '40s I am amazed at how spectacular they were in scope, performance and costume and yet the only way we can see these today is via the grainy narrow-format black and white mono-sound film of the era. Where are the Busby Berkeleys of today?

A example- watch this-> http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H9GMqbGKUco

How unfortunately ironic that while our technology has improved so much over the years- the quality of the entertainment for it to display has declined so much!
At the risk of sounding like my father . . . movies today aren't what they used to be: Minimal story lines, sparse and dull dialogue, actors hired more for sex appeal rather than true acting ability, movies that seek to catch and hold the audience's attention with explosions, chase and fight scenes, rapid scene changes and sex/nudity rather than engaging story and dialogue delivered by talented actors.

Yes, I'm back to the "good ol days" talk again . . .
Quote
Share

Bob
Bob

August 19th, 2010, 3:48 pm #4

I think it is ironic that one reason for the decline in big bands, or more correctly, dance bands, is that people stayed home to watch television. But changes in economic conditions after the war made big bands less viable. So eventually there was an end to the big band era, just as there was a beginning. No one talks about the beginning.

One of the more unfortunate changes in music since WWII is the idea that certain music was only for people of certain ages. Some DJ back in the 1950s declared that rock and roll was just for teenagers and so it was. Imagine music that everyone enjoyed.
I probably don't go back quite as far in my memories as you do, but my experience, from teen years to now, is that music today does have a wider appeal than it did 30-40 years ago. The change has mostly been that older generations are now getting into young people's music more than before. When I was a teen, there was no way that most of my peers would groove to big band music (or even to the early rock of the 50's -- Elvis, Buddy Holly, Pat Boone), and our parents felt the same way toward the "noise you call music". (One exception possibly being the Beatles, as I recall a number of moms back then who enjoyed the Beatles' early pre-psychedelic tunes). Part of being a teen back then WAS the "generation gap": we reveled in our being hip/cool and "nothing like our parents". Our parents would shake their heads and overtly wish that we would come to our senses.

Increasingly during the past 20 years or so, young people's music has been adopted by their parents, even grandparents (the women more than the men). I see the change most pronounced when I attend music concerts. In my teen days, the audience was all young people, but now the places are packed with 2-3 generations of people. You see moms, and some grandmothers, going to see Mylie Cyrus and Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. I think there is real motivation -- perhaps spurred by the rapid pace of technological development -- that people today want to stay up-to-date and relevant as they grow older, and to be able to discuss current events and not just refer to "the way things used to be." (like Nat and I do!

To a lesser extent, I also see some younger people going to concerts by "old" acts like John Fogerty, Steppenwolf, Dwight Yoakum, etc. In the local college housing area, one is just as likely to hear speakers on front porches blaring The Doors or Led Zeppelin as Rage Against The Machine or System of a Down.

Not that I think this change is all bad. It does seem like generations today are more buddy-buddy than they were when I was a kid. I think young and older people try to understand each other more now, and to share their thinking on things. There is less "I am the parent. You do as I say", and more give-and-take. The downside is that I believe fewer internal controls and respect for authority are instilled in youth today, and I think that underlies much of the dissension and divisions that we see so much today.

And, yes Blue, I realize I am stereotyping again. But how else can you really come to any conclusions abouty anything if you aren't willing to make some general observations that might not hold true for every person?


Quote
Share

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 19th, 2010, 4:04 pm #5

I think it is ironic that one reason for the decline in big bands, or more correctly, dance bands, is that people stayed home to watch television. But changes in economic conditions after the war made big bands less viable. So eventually there was an end to the big band era, just as there was a beginning. No one talks about the beginning.

One of the more unfortunate changes in music since WWII is the idea that certain music was only for people of certain ages. Some DJ back in the 1950s declared that rock and roll was just for teenagers and so it was. Imagine music that everyone enjoyed.
Well I think it's true that a sharp division in music occurred in the 1950s. My parents listen to the old established stations that played Perry Como while I (and every other kid) listened to the newer stations that played "Hound dog", "Splish Slash" and "Purple People eater". I remember there was a lot of protests from the older generation saying that Elvis Presley was the end of morality in the country. (Gosh, if they were only around today to hear "Snoop dog" and other "rappers"!)

Ofcourse, we kids took this as proof that our parents were Neanderthals hopelessly behind the times- and that "I" would never be like that! And you know, this seem to be true for a long time- I liked the music of the '60s, the '70s, and even the '80s, right on up until Rap and Hip-hop stuff took over in the '90s. But that just sound like redundant noise to me. And I think even many of today's young people think so. The records companies complain that sales are down because of piracy but I think the real reason they are down is that today's music is crap! I've read many comments on Youtube from young people commenting about clips of music from the '60s-'70s saying- "this is great stuff- why don't we have music like this now?" Good question!
Quote
Like
Share

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 19th, 2010, 4:08 pm #6

I probably don't go back quite as far in my memories as you do, but my experience, from teen years to now, is that music today does have a wider appeal than it did 30-40 years ago. The change has mostly been that older generations are now getting into young people's music more than before. When I was a teen, there was no way that most of my peers would groove to big band music (or even to the early rock of the 50's -- Elvis, Buddy Holly, Pat Boone), and our parents felt the same way toward the "noise you call music". (One exception possibly being the Beatles, as I recall a number of moms back then who enjoyed the Beatles' early pre-psychedelic tunes). Part of being a teen back then WAS the "generation gap": we reveled in our being hip/cool and "nothing like our parents". Our parents would shake their heads and overtly wish that we would come to our senses.

Increasingly during the past 20 years or so, young people's music has been adopted by their parents, even grandparents (the women more than the men). I see the change most pronounced when I attend music concerts. In my teen days, the audience was all young people, but now the places are packed with 2-3 generations of people. You see moms, and some grandmothers, going to see Mylie Cyrus and Taylor Swift and Carrie Underwood. I think there is real motivation -- perhaps spurred by the rapid pace of technological development -- that people today want to stay up-to-date and relevant as they grow older, and to be able to discuss current events and not just refer to "the way things used to be." (like Nat and I do!

To a lesser extent, I also see some younger people going to concerts by "old" acts like John Fogerty, Steppenwolf, Dwight Yoakum, etc. In the local college housing area, one is just as likely to hear speakers on front porches blaring The Doors or Led Zeppelin as Rage Against The Machine or System of a Down.

Not that I think this change is all bad. It does seem like generations today are more buddy-buddy than they were when I was a kid. I think young and older people try to understand each other more now, and to share their thinking on things. There is less "I am the parent. You do as I say", and more give-and-take. The downside is that I believe fewer internal controls and respect for authority are instilled in youth today, and I think that underlies much of the dissension and divisions that we see so much today.

And, yes Blue, I realize I am stereotyping again. But how else can you really come to any conclusions abouty anything if you aren't willing to make some general observations that might not hold true for every person?

Bob you posted as I was writing my post below and at first I though we were disagreeing about things- but actually I think you make my point- that "today's music" is so bad that even young people are going back to the older stuff- why can't the music industry see that a great many of today's youth just ain't buying what they are selling.
Quote
Like
Share

Joined: May 9th, 2005, 12:05 pm

August 19th, 2010, 5:21 pm #7

At the risk of sounding like my father . . . movies today aren't what they used to be: Minimal story lines, sparse and dull dialogue, actors hired more for sex appeal rather than true acting ability, movies that seek to catch and hold the audience's attention with explosions, chase and fight scenes, rapid scene changes and sex/nudity rather than engaging story and dialogue delivered by talented actors.

Yes, I'm back to the "good ol days" talk again . . .
What is like it used to be anyway? Most movies used to be more like television shows, you know. That gradually changed after television actually became common, roughly in the mid-1950s. Some old movies, if you would see them now, some people would mention how "talky" they were. Overall, I'd have to say the special effects have changed the most.
Quote
Like
Share

Brandon
Brandon

August 20th, 2010, 5:04 am #8

Well I think it's true that a sharp division in music occurred in the 1950s. My parents listen to the old established stations that played Perry Como while I (and every other kid) listened to the newer stations that played "Hound dog", "Splish Slash" and "Purple People eater". I remember there was a lot of protests from the older generation saying that Elvis Presley was the end of morality in the country. (Gosh, if they were only around today to hear "Snoop dog" and other "rappers"!)

Ofcourse, we kids took this as proof that our parents were Neanderthals hopelessly behind the times- and that "I" would never be like that! And you know, this seem to be true for a long time- I liked the music of the '60s, the '70s, and even the '80s, right on up until Rap and Hip-hop stuff took over in the '90s. But that just sound like redundant noise to me. And I think even many of today's young people think so. The records companies complain that sales are down because of piracy but I think the real reason they are down is that today's music is crap! I've read many comments on Youtube from young people commenting about clips of music from the '60s-'70s saying- "this is great stuff- why don't we have music like this now?" Good question!
The strange thing to me about rap/hip hop is how it has remained the dominant genre in the African American community for over 20 years.

Traditionally, African American music and culture changed rapidly from decade to decade. 50s R & B does not sound like 60s soul which does not sound like 70s funk/disco. Black styles of dress and slang also changed rapidly.

But today, black popular culture has been stuck in the gangsta hip hop mode forever now. Based on history, it is very weird that this is the case.

Wearing your pants on the ground, so loose you have to constantly pull them up has also lasted forever.

I wonder what happened to cause African American popular culture to stagnate starting in the late 1980s?
Quote
Share

Nat
Joined: January 1st, 1970, 12:00 am

August 20th, 2010, 7:37 am #9

So true. When rap/hip-hop began I figured it would be a short-lived fad like disco. They say what killed disco was that it became repetitious with every song sounding like the next. Well that's certainly true of rap/hip-hop- every song(?) has a heavy repeating beat with someone singing(?) rap lyrics. Doesn't take much talent at all.

And my disdain for it has nothing to do with race because I have a large collection of Doo-wop music by black groups like the Marcels, The Flamingos, The Cadillacs, etc that I love. Compare a beautiful melodious love songs like the "Only You" by the Platters or the Five Satins' "In the Still of the Night" with the crap today and you wonder how black music could have deteriorated so much.
Quote
Like
Share

Bob
Bob

August 20th, 2010, 1:11 pm #10

The strange thing to me about rap/hip hop is how it has remained the dominant genre in the African American community for over 20 years.

Traditionally, African American music and culture changed rapidly from decade to decade. 50s R & B does not sound like 60s soul which does not sound like 70s funk/disco. Black styles of dress and slang also changed rapidly.

But today, black popular culture has been stuck in the gangsta hip hop mode forever now. Based on history, it is very weird that this is the case.

Wearing your pants on the ground, so loose you have to constantly pull them up has also lasted forever.

I wonder what happened to cause African American popular culture to stagnate starting in the late 1980s?
Now that you mention it, I see the changes you described. As to why black music seems to have gotten stuck . . maybe look first at why it changed. I have two guesses:

1) With the decline of the black family came under-parented children and boys lacking father-figure role models for a family-oriented, conventional lifestyle. Also, while black families as a group were not among the most affluent segments of society, the absence of husbands and fathers generally worsened families' economic condition. So, the black music of the 50's and 60's that tended to focus upon love and enjoying life was gradually replaced by songs about sex, hardship and pimp-daddy/hustlers. Following this was the evolution to the raunchy, bitch-is-ho's of rap . . . and now where is there to go? They cannot (yet) return to the love and family songs, as that is still not the common reality. Perhaps as we get beyond the first generation of a sizable black middle class, with more black children growing up in intact families, there might be a return to the "corny" love-and-happiness music of 50 years ago.

2) To a lesser extent, I think another factor might be that young whites tend to emulate black culture, and seeing this, blacks feel the need to keep changing to move away from the white following and maintain their edge and "blackness". This occurs not only in music but also in dress, speech and mannerisms. Blacks establish a style, whites gradually follow it, and then blacks move on to the next thing. Finally arriving, musically, at "I'm-black-and-hated-for-it", how can whites follow? Yes, whites can also chose not to marry, they can divorce, white kids can be under-parented and perhaps less financially secure (all of which has occurred for white Americans as well), but they can't be hated for being white in a majority-white (so far) culture. Whites can't take that hill. So, until another group moves in on such turf -- the subject matter of a lot of rap-type music -- perhaps blacks feel that they staked out some hallowed ground and no longer need to move from it.

Just my thoughts . . .
Quote
Share