Author Topic: How do you describe the type of music you like?  (Read 11178 times)

NodmiTheSellout

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How do you describe the type of music you like?
« on: December 11, 2010, 06:14:14 AM »
I feel like a giant snob every time someone asks me what kind of music I like, because most of the bands I like seem to a. have no genre, b. have a genre named specifically for them or the bands they're associated with, or c. don't have a real genre but people commonly throw a genre label on them (like Foetus and industrial). That's been a pretty common label, but if I say I like industrial, they won't be thinking "oh, Einstuerzende Neubauten! Foetus! Industrial!" It'll be NIN. I don't really get snobby about music and say "THEY SUCK" anymore, but there are really very few bands I like, compared with most music fans. All the same, I don't want to say I like a genre, and have them barking up the wrong tree when getting an idea of what I listen to.

I mean. . .what genre is the Birthday Party? What genre is Swans? Meh. I end up name-dropping bands instead of genres, and I feel like the biggest hipster fuck because they never know any of them.

I'm pretty sure with me, it's a comfort thing, an emotional thing. Even though my fangirl claws are sunk more deeply in M. Gira these days than Nick Cave (though I used to be a huge creep about Nick Cave and am not terribly creepy about M. Gira, which is good I guess--is it maturity or did I just not develop a crush on him? ha-ha), the music I listen to can be linked professionally to him in like, three degrees (eg Jim and Nick were in the Immaculate Consumptive with Marc Almond, Swans were on the Kings of Independence video with the Bad Seeds and Crime...). Probably you can shift that focus to M. Gira and it'll still ring true (I like a good few YGR bands).

Anyway, the point is, I don't really start listening to bands strictly based on sound anymore. I know that I should, and that basically liking bands for who they know is a bunch of bullshit, but that's the way it is. 90% of the time, if I hear a band that's unrelated to any of them in any way, and think it's good, I listen just the once and react with indifference thereafter.

I don't know what the point of this post was. Assuage my guilt? It's after six AM. . .

MindlessAutomata

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #1 on: December 11, 2010, 01:28:11 PM »
I sort of try to stop talking to music with people since they all end up liking shit like Owl City or juvenile rap music.  Quote one girl after I showed her a Foetus song off Hide:  "Owl City is better though."  "Adam Young is terrible, don't ever say that again."  "Who?" (didn't even know Adam Young is the Owl City guy!)

Most people just listen to whatever is piped into their ears without actually searching for new stuff, stuff that isn't heavily marketed, stuff that doesn't take risks and try to innovate.  They listen to safe stuff, like light rock, pop punk, maybe screamo or "emotional" (emo) garbage for the teenage girls that like to cry a lot, and stuff I have no label for other than "horrible" for the kids that identify themselves with greasy long hair and black hoodies.  And then there's rap.  Endless rap music around here.  People here can't get enough of their shitty urban poetry set to a beat. 

Talking to music with people is terrible.  It's a truly horrifying experience for most of them.  Most people want to listen to music for some religious thing (light Christian rock like my mother), for a political identity (a lot of punk music is this way, like Jello Biafra), for a social identity (nu-metal or goth kids with black hoodies and black nail polish are this way), or for "street cred" (rap music!)

If music doesn't neatly fit a label, if it's "weird" or different because the artist was an innovator and not an imitator, people shy away, because they listen to music for social reasons and not to admire the sound or artistic merits behind it.  They listen to it because their friends listen to it, and nobody they know listens to "that!"
« Last Edit: December 11, 2010, 01:35:33 PM by MindlessAutomata »

DLJ

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #2 on: December 13, 2010, 12:10:44 AM »
there is more good music out there than any of us will ever hear, in the history of music up until the moment i click "post"...unfortunately that comprises 5% of what we have available to us online / in record shops / what-have-you.  but i'm not a nihilist and do tune into pop radio on occasion to see what's new, and it's not all terrible.  the downside is they play the new catchy tune every 30 minutes until you no longer want to hear anything by that same popmusic artist.
 
and then there's the pervs among us:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M11SvDtPBhA
probably passe' by now - anyone got some good selena gomez links?
if i had money i'd buy Disney stock...

NodmiTheSellout

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 01:49:16 AM »
Most of the people I talk to listen to metal. I know there are almost certainly some bands that count as metal that I'd like, but metal generally has one or more of three problems, for me: 1. The vocals. I can't take constant growling or screaming constantly. I like Jim's vocals because he'll scream sometimes, others not. . .that's how a large number of the people I listen to are. Not utterly without screaming, but not doing it 100% of the time. There's an exception to this, though: I like Refused, which default to screamy vocals. 2. The lyrics. I can stand some silliness, angstiness, whatever, but metal usually doesn't "do it right", and I just roll my eyes. 3. Guitar masturbation. I am not a fan. In fact, I don't like "clean" guitar tones at all--much prefer listening to Rowland S Howard play than some fancy, technically-amazing metal guitarist. It just bores me.

Anyway, I was throwing YouTube links at a metal fan and he kept whining that "that's not music, the instruments don't even sound in tune!" Now, even my fucking mother thinks that's a ridiculous statement. And I'm pretty sure the person who said it was younger than me. Who the hell thinks like that? Blugh.

MindlessAutomata

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #4 on: December 13, 2010, 08:35:20 PM »
1. The vocals. I can't take constant growling or screaming constantly.

Oh, absolutely.
Quote
2. The lyrics. I can stand some silliness, angstiness, whatever, but metal usually doesn't "do it right", and I just roll my eyes.

Worst offender is most symphonic metal.

Quote
3. Guitar masturbation. I am not a fan. In fact, I don't like "clean" guitar tones at all--much prefer listening to Rowland S Howard play than some fancy, technically-amazing metal guitarist. It just bores me.

Not just for metal, but in general!  Guitar is a way overused instrument and contributes to a lot of the lack of variety we hear in music (IMO)!

robertdee

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 10:25:30 AM »
When people ask me, I usually say I like lots of different types of music and hope they change the conversation. Generally speaking, I'm a bit of a devourer and will come across a genre I haven't looked at properly before and will mine it until I get bored with it. There are only a few artists I feel "loyal" to, Foetus being one of them, and I tend to prefer older stuff.

Genres (real or made up for my own convenience) I have gone through before: Experimental Electronica (how I got into Coil and Foetus), 70s Tragipop, J-pop, blues, big band, exotica, library music, ambient, new wave, classical, ad nauseum. Whatever floats my boat at that particular time.

One story that amuses me still: When I moved into a shared digs at University a new housemate asked what sort of music I liked and I said "all kinds" to which he replied "Me too - I like house, garage, drum & bass and trance."
“You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.”

MindlessAutomata

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 11:25:48 AM »
One story that amuses me still: When I moved into a shared digs at University a new housemate asked what sort of music I liked and I said "all kinds" to which he replied "Me too - I like house, garage, drum & bass and trance."

Haha, the first thing I thought while reading the list you gave off was, "see, that's a respectable list of real, diverse music, not like some of those electronic genres/fans thereof that claim that."

NodmiTheSellout

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2010, 02:51:01 PM »
My response to "I listen to everything" is generally, "Yeah? So. . .favorite polka group?" That statement tends to irritate me, there's often this high-minded pride in how ~diverse~ they are. Hell, I may only like a few bands but there's something to be said of my dedication (and I certainly don't think the way I listen to music is "the right way", by a long shot).

robertdee

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #8 on: December 15, 2010, 01:58:55 PM »
“You know, a long time ago being crazy meant something. Nowadays everybody's crazy.”

poetryslam

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #9 on: December 15, 2010, 03:56:54 PM »
you know, i have been thinking about this a lot lately, about the common elements that link my favourite music from my favourite musicians.

for me, there's a rhythmic element to it that i find very necessary, not only with kick ass drums, but with other instruments played with a percussive propulsion. foetus gives me that, with his innate skill at making those sick beats, especially on the big trio of HOLE, NAIL and THAW. it was that rhythmic element that drew me in. it also draws me to turntablism, electronica, and instrumental hip-hip. i like the complicated beats, music you could probably dance to but you would have to be very nimble.

second, a very important element is the space between instruments. i can't stand the music that is this muddy wash of white noise where you can't tell one note from another, one instrument from another, this wall of sound approach with no subtlety. that's why i tend to love jim's stuff that is relatively sparse, like "you've got me confused with someone who cares" or "suspect," but i can't stand most of the stuff on GASH because it's just this squall of noise to me.

and there's the voice of the singer, which i tend to like high-pitched and clean rather than husky or gravelly. which, i think, is why digging Thirlwell's voice is a challenge sometimes, especially when he tries to sing. i prefer the rhythmic bark and sneer, as on "descent into the inferno" or the high-pitched whoop of "streets of shame," and the stuff on LOVE took me a lot longer to, well, love.

i also don't tend to like standard song structures, the verse-chorus-verse-bridge-chorus-chorus" sort of thing. if it sounds anything like that awful "breakfast at tiffany's" song by the deep blue something, i'm gonna fucking hate it. that's another reason i love foetus because, man, you're gonna get a lot, but you most assuredly ain't getting that, and even his stabs at conventional songs like "time marches on" are different than most of what you hear on pop radio.

so... i guess that's how i explain it... more rhythmic and sparse with touches of lush orchestration, unconventional structure... doesn't matter what genre of music it is... i like challenging music...

yeah?

hughesta

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #10 on: December 15, 2010, 04:19:43 PM »
actually in my opinion, a typical song structure is verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus-chorus

NodmiTheSellout

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #11 on: December 15, 2010, 04:54:43 PM »
I'm pretty sure 90% of the singers I listen to seem to subsist on a diet of whiskey and cigarettes. Well, maybe not that far, but "high-pitched and clean" is pretty much the opposite of what I listen to. My complete intolerance for high vocals is kind of funny/ridiculous, really. I mean, I tolerate it, but usually "ugh, I hate that whiny shit" is one of my excuses for not listening to something.

As for "when Jim tries to sing", I. . .have no idea how I find it listenable. It's gotten to a point where I kind of enjoy the off-key stuff on, say, "Mine Is No Disgrace". I fully acknowledge the singing isn't pretty but it becomes a part of the whole, I guess. Sort of like how I hate Lydia Lunch's voice but it suits Neubauten's "Thirsty Animal" perfectly well.

Anyway, listening to so many deep-voiced singers has a way of making me do a "man voice" when singing along, and I'm sure it's one of the most ridiculous things ever. I sound like a cartoon character (and/or a fourteen year old boy) when speaking, so my "man voice" is probably woefully unmanly. For some reason my biggest offender doing this is listening to 80s-period Crime and the City Solution, apparently I must try to mimic Simon Bonney's singing. The world is probably grateful that I've been sick lately and don't feel up to singalongs.

I don't know what this has to do with anything but fuck it, MAN VOICE.

DLJ

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #12 on: December 16, 2010, 02:04:45 AM »
I don't know what this has to do with anything but fuck it, MAN VOICE.

may god bless Barry White.

obscure_reference

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #13 on: January 01, 2011, 05:14:07 AM »
Yeah, one of my New Year's resolutions is to post more on these forums.  :D

The second most annoying phrase heard from "music fans" (#1 is "I liked them before they sold out") has got to be "I like everything except for country and rap." I've found that this is usually shorthand for "I listen to mostly rock music and whatever's on the radio."

If anyone were to ask me what I liked to listen to, I'd be more likely to throw out names of bands than try to come up with which genres they belonged to. When I read music reviews I usually don't know what half these genres are supposed to be anyway! I'm still not sure what constitutes "emo", besides this icon  :'( and that it seems to have replaced both 'goth' and 'ghey' as the generic put-down of choice these days!

One cool thing about JGT scoring VB is that now we've got a way to avoid naming a bunch of bands that the people we're talking with have never heard of! It's way easier to just say "Ever watch Venture Brothers? I like the music that's on there, you should check out JGT/Foetus/etc. if you like that too!"

NodmiTheSellout

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Re: How do you describe the type of music you like?
« Reply #14 on: January 01, 2011, 12:54:14 PM »
Yeah, I just namedrop. I hate the anti-emo sentiment. . .not because I love any band that's reasonably classified as emo, but because it's used to write off many songs whose lyrics aren't angry/violent, pretty much. Which is just stupid. Rock music has its building blocks in blues, goddammit, they're not all gonna sing goofy gory shit or sunshine and rainbows.