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 Post subject: Problems in music
PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 12:26 am 
Just have to chime in here and say that Nicki Minaj is in fact a singer, without quotation marks. You might not like her music, and she might be known more for her rapping than for her actual singing voice, but she can sing and she's recognized as such, which is a lot more than can be said about a lot of metal vocalists, particularly death and doom and black metal dudes and dudettes, as well as other rap artists.

And I say this as a guy who generally can't stand rap. I don't really listen to a lot of Nicki Minaj's music, but I know she's a singer.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 2:59 am 
I do not like rap either but this is not why I used derogatory sarcasm to describe her. My dislike of rap does not prevent me from acknowledging the talent of competent and able rap artists like RunDMC and Snoop Dogg. I also agree that while there are gorgeous vocal gems in the metal world, there are some voices I'd rather see shut till the end of days.

What bothers me is that Nicki Minaj is a token representative of everything that's loud, annoying, irritating, freakshow-ish and over-sexualized in today's pop culture. I understand that I am the minority here and that most people like that sort of crazy act. That said, I can very much spend the rest of my life isolated in my own interests, pretending she doesn't exist, but when someone asks if a parallel exists between that walking pink abomination and a character from a game series I cherish, I cringe.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 3:44 am 
Aeroprism wrote:That said, I can very much spend the rest of my life isolated in my own interests, pretending she doesn't exist, but when someone asks if a parallel exists between that walking pink abomination and a character from a game series I cherish, I cringe.

Ha ha, I can definitely understand this last part. I actually think Nicki Minaj is beautiful as all get out, and I like crazy hair colors for some reason, so I'm probably biased. But I don't really have a strong opinion on her music. I do think popular music's been in a decline for years now, but I'm not really bothered by most pop music these days. I actually like some of the catchier stuff. I'm probably going to go to musical hell for that, but, it's the truth.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 4:49 am 
There's no problem there. You're the better man for having an opened mind. I chose to cultivate my bad temper over things that should not affect me. Grumpy old man in training.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 1:19 pm 
I'm pretty much with Aero on that. I find her iconizing a lot of what I really dislike about contemporary pop culture, especially oversexualization, particularly of women. And again like Aero, while I cannot stand rap myself, I can still recognize talented rap artists. With Nicki Menaj, what bothers me about her is everything Aero outlined and those sorts of things just make me cringe. But also like him, I may be in the minority and if that's the case, well, that's the case. After all, we're all entitled to our opinions. And I'm a metalhead, I'm supposed to dislike all things pop culture and music, so what did you expect? :p Talent can be found everywhere, and of course, what one person considers talent or art another person considers garbage.

And on metal music…well, I totally get that the harsh vocals that's in a lot of metal genres, particularly black and death metal, isn't for everyone. It certainly took me a long time to learn to appreciate those kinds of vocals. What helped me a lot in learning that was taking the time to look up lyrics online and simply read them. A lot of vocalists in those bands do mixed vocals. Mikael Akerfeldt of Opeth is probably the best example, and he has an absolutely gorgeous clean voice. On doom metal vocalists not being able to sing, all I have to say is find some Katatonia on youtube and listen to Jonas Renske's terrifying, yet soothing, clean voice. But the thing is, in music that dense, singing as most people considering singing just does not fit with the rest of the music. Really, with harsh vocals, you find that the melody is often in the guitar and the singing should really be considered part of the percussion. There is actually a proper technique in doing the harsh vocals, and it can done well or done badly. And there's plenty of the latter out there, and because of that, it's hard to find the former.

Edit: Forget the part about "find some Katatonia on youtube." Because here's some Katatonia, 'The Parting,' from their 2012 album Dead End Kings.

Edit: And here's a beautiful acoustic rendition of the same song, which makes Renske's voice shine a little more. From 2013's Dethroned & Uncrowned, which was an acoustic version of Dead End Kings.

Last edited by Wolf Bird on Wed Jul 2, '14, 1:19 pm, edited 9 times in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 2:27 pm 
I know we're drifting off subject but what the heck. One of my work colleagues has decided to break one of humanity's most sacred rule and chose to become a programmer and NOT drink coffee. Preposterous, I know. So what did he pick instead to stay awake all day: the same kind of metal music WB likes.

He made me discover a few groups that I really liked, others that I did not and surprisingly it's never the singer that makes or breaks a group for me; it's the drummer. My personal taste: drums and vocals are the two most important parts of music. Ruin one and... splat.

So many of these groups use bass drum engines or twin bass drum pedals and kick a loud, bass drum repeatedly 2-3 times a second. I do not enjoy this. I have very precise ears and I hear higher and lower frequencies than most people, even at my age. What happens when you cram too much sound in too little time? Frequencies add up to the subsonic level, third order resonance happens and I get nausea, dizzy, blarg.

You don't need to go very hardcore to find that. Ever heard of Rhapsody? Epic metal genre, staple of every long haired D&D nerd our there? I love these guys to the end. Knowing that, some years ago, a friend of mine introduced me to Dragonforce, a similar group but on steroids. I could never really like them because they use extremely fast bass drums, too much, too fast.

As for hardcore voices, look up a band called Epica. Angel's voice mixed with demon's voice = sweeeeeeeet.

So yeah, WB, you might want to merge this to a new thread after all ;-)

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 2:45 pm 
I've listened to a bit of metal in my life, been in a metal band and all that, so I'm familiar with most forms of metal, but I don't care for all of it, and I don't generally listen to a lot of it these days. Most black and death metal isn't my cup of tea, and of course I recognize that some vocalists utilize harsh and clean vocals, but of course many of them don't, they simply use the Cookie Monster voice, more or less. I get that that sort of thing takes some practice, but I don't think it really constitutes singing, most of the time. It's a form of vocalization, but if it's singing in and of itself, then so is the Cookie Monster. Nicki Minaj hits sustained tones and is absolutely and identifiably a singer, whether you like her or not, the guy from Morbid Angel is, well, a vocalist, for sure, I've never heard him sing.

But on the subject of disliking popular culture and all that, I understand where you're coming from, Wolf Bird, but I actually think metalheads should probably be more understanding about other musical genres. I mean, most of us who've listened to metal have been judged as listening to some kind of sub-music, and a lot of kids who listen to it are pretty demonized in high school and that sort, so I figure we of all people should understand that it isn't cool to be judgmental. Especially on the question of her sexualization of music, I mean, she's a woman who makes popular music, it's pretty much a given in American culture that this is in itself going to be sexualized, and she happens to be curvy and pretty nice looking. I'm a lot less concerned about Nicki Minaj's use of her own sexuality than I am about the way that metal generally treats women, a genre which has historically been known to be misogynistic and often violently so. And I mean, even outside the musical culture, I don't see a reason to dislike Nicki Minaj personally, I mean, I don't think she's ever burned down a church like Varg Vikernes. Rap is certainly an offender when it comes to violence against women and questionable lyrical content, but I don't know of anything Minaj has done in particular that is really horrible.

I'm just saying that, while I don't like rap very much myself, I see a lot of parallels in the way metal and rap are treated, both in the media and by other forms of music. A lot of classicists probably think neither metal or rap constitute music, and I think they're dead wrong.

Ghosting in to respond to Aero's post; the non-coffee drinking programmer made me laugh, ha ha. I totally feel you about the drumming in some metal, and my ears are crap, but it can get too crazy sometimes. And pretty monotonous, too, when there's just this kind of gallop or crazy double bass sixteenth note extravaganza. But sometimes metal drumming is really awesome and mind blowing, too.

Last edited by Bragatyr on Wed Jul 2, '14, 2:45 pm, edited 1 time in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 6:12 pm 
This is what I love about these forums. We can discuss and share our opinions civilly, poke a little fun at each other, and disagree without real argument. :). Aero, I'll do a thread split later. I'm typing this on my phone on a bus, which is conducive to typos and not good for doing mod functions, so I'll thread split once I'm on my laptop later.

Aero, I love the software programmer staying awake on metal and not coffee. Made me laugh. On the bass drums, the technical term for that is 'blast beat', just in case you didn't know. Fitting name, right? Like other elements of music, it can be used well or not, and some bands waaaaaaaay overdo it. I've heard of both Rhapsody and Epica, listen to both sometimes. I like them, but find them almost TOO epic to the point of cheesiness so I only listen to one album at a time. But with this in mind, you may like the bands Kamelot and Nightwish.

Bragatyr, first off, that's awesome on you having been in a band. I didn't know that, and if you've shared that before, I clearly forgot. And as a fan of metal, there are still some subgenres I can't get into too much, namely black metal (some exceptions). I can agree with you on many of your points, but I do have to share my points of disagreement. Historically, metal has had some issues with misogyny and violence. I've read some books on the history of the genre, and it was undeniably there, especially in the 80s and early 90s. But a lot of it was just for show/entertainment, but of course, some took it a step or two too far. In the end, people produce the music, ANY music, and people do stupid things sometimes. And violence, over-the-topness, sex, etc. sell and always will sell, no matter what media it comes packaged in and no matter how much people object. On pop culture, I find it far worse in this regard than metal is anymore, and I view Minaj as a representative of a great many of the things I dislike about pop culture and pop music, which to me, hasn't changed much since the late 90s. I realize it may not be entirely fair, but it's how I honestly feel, and when I do hear her music or singing on a radio or something, that's what I end up thinking about. But of course, if someone wants to listen to her music, it's not really my place to judge or say no or anything. My opinion and nothing more.

On metal, well, as I said, it has matured, and matured well past the days of Varg Vikernes's church-burning...the members of the band Cynic recently came out as gay, and the metal community's response was overwhelmingly positive. Go back 20 years or so and that might not have been so well-received. There's been a lot of progress and IMO, the history is just that...the history. Not what it is now. Of course, there's still progress to be made. But the genre has grown past a lot of the excesses and problems of its history, and I don't feel like it's entirely fair to equate the metal of the past, with its rocky emergence, to metal as it is today, which has made a lot of progress on addressing a lot of those problems, and continues to do so. Again, my opinion, but as a female metalhead, I feel like people who do crazy stuff fall pretty squarely into a minority these days. More women are also getting into the genre and the misogynistic stuff just isn't there very much anymore.

Also, when I said "I'm a metalhead, what did you expect?" I was being facetious, which is why I put the silly face emoticon there. I try not to judge others on what music they listen to, and I say try because I'm sure I do it sometimes, unconsciously, without meaning to. And as much as I dislike pop music, it's also still most definitely music, and if it's what someone wants to listen to, I say go for it.

On harsh vocals not being singing...I kind of agree, kind of not. There's some that blend the harshness and cleanliness simultaneously, one example being Joe Duplantier of Gojira. I can see where you're coming from, though, so I think I'm going to let this point rest.

And I can agree you as well, at least to a point, on metalheads needing to appreciate more types of music. There is a small slice of the fan community that's quite elitist and naturally, they're the loud ones you hear the most. And sometimes, those elitists try to constantly out-elite each other. If that's what they want to do, well, that's fine. More power to them. That said, most metalheads do enjoy other genres and I'm among them. Just look at my profile (linked in my profile here)...metal dominates, but there's a LOT of variety there too. But we all have things we dislike. We can't like it all, and pop music is one of those music genres I just do not like.

Last edited by Wolf Bird on Wed Jul 2, '14, 10:05 pm, edited 13 times in total.

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 6:24 pm 
Elitists come with every type and every flavor of every art. No biggie.

I am a huge fan of Nightwish and Kamelot, you pretty much summed it up there!

PostPosted: Wed Jul 2, '14, 9:53 pm 
Split topic semi-successfully! I think I might have done something slightly wrong or accidentally skipped a step, though, as I couldn't rename it. But meh. Moved!

Anywho, let us carry on, good chaps.

Elitists…yeah. They come with everything. You just deal with them and remember that they probably don't really represent the majority of the fandom/community they came from. Though that, admittedly, can be hard to remember for just about anything, as they tend to be the loudest and put themselves out there the most.

Oh yeah…Bragatyr…awesome metal drumming, which I did not address in my essay above? Mario Duplantier of Gojira. I never heard a band that so thoroughly, and so well, makes the drumming (which in Gojira's case, is pretty insane) such an integral part of their music.

Edit: Now it's renamed. Success! I named it as I did as it seemed to be where the topic was drifting and it keeps it open to more participation.

Last edited by Wolf Bird on Wed Jul 2, '14, 10:38 pm, edited 6 times in total.

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