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It’s the old heave-ho for:
51. The Byrds (25)
50. Wilco (21)
49. OutKast (20)
48. Leonard Cohen (19)
Clinging to life: Simon and Garfunkel (18), Van Morrison (17), Public Enemy (16), Tom Waits (14), Björk (12), Talking Heads (12), Al Green (12).
Quick preview of coming attractions: as per the original plan for Survivor, we’ll continue to vote out four artists per week in Weeks 14 and 15. At that point we’ll (probably) have 39 artists left, and we’ll slow it down to a mere three artists per week. That seems fortuitous, because I think that, for most of us, the choices are getting harder and harder.
47 artists remain.
The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Beck, Chuck Berry, Björk, David Bowie, James Brown, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, PJ Harvey, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Curtis Mayfield, Van Morrison, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Pixies, Elvis Presley, Prince, Public Enemy, Radiohead, Otis Redding, Lou Reed, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Sly and the Family Stone, Sonic Youth, Bruce Springsteen, The Stooges, Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, Tom Waits, The Who, Hank Williams, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young.
And we’re off and running in Week 14.
Same as last week:
2) Public Enemy
4) PJ Harvey
5) The Stooges
1)Talking Heads (5 pts)
5)NEW : Public Enemy (1pt) : Yes, I know... With Outkast gone, they are the only rap group left. And I love rap. It is for me the best contemporary music, and I take more pleasure in listening to rap than "peine à jouir" indie rock. And still... it's a game around artists, not genres. I keep Hank because I love him, not to pay respect to country music. I don't know PE very well (I only own "Nation of millions" and used to have "Black Planet"), I appreciate them very much for what they did to rap, but I'm not a fan.
I prefer other rap artists (Eminem, Tribe Called Quest, Roots..)
Some songs are killers (Night of the living Baseheads) but some others (Fight The Power) are too agressive.And last they have this Black power paranoid attitude - the white man is our enemy- that I don't like too much, not speaking of the antisemitism. I mean a lot of guys find that very cool, but I don't think it is the right political attitude. Of course I'm not American and maybe I don't understand the context, but i don't like their revolutionary attitude. of course a lot of rappers are controversial, but at least Eminem is funny..
That said I'm not judging them on these political criteria, they are secondary, and if I give them a couple more listens I might stop nominating them, but the music has got to move me.
PS : When I wanna describe why I don't always get indie rock, this French expression comes to my mind : "peine à jouir". It's absolutely impossible to trnslate. Literally it means : who has difficulty to have an orgasm.
About to leave on vacation with the kids (Disney World - wish me luck), but just enough time to get in a quick vote:
1) Van Morrison
2) Tom Waits
3) The Stooges
4) Nick Drake
New this week:
5) Hank Williams -- It's not a country thing. Plenty of other country artists would be safe at this point from my vote (Johnny Cash for sure, but also George Jones, Loretta Lynn, Patsy Cline, Willie Nelson, Dolly Parton). I have always been a little mystified by the love for Hank Williams' voice. He is a great songwriter. But, vocally, he is not the purveyor of "tears in my beer" heartache that claims that he is.
Now hopefully I won't be back next week extolling the genius of "It's a Small World" and arguing that Jasmine and Aladdin are a greater duo than Tammi and Marvin.
Alright, dumped 3!
1. Sonic Youth
3. Van Morrison - I was never impressed by his off-rhythm caterwauling
5. Nick Drake - Bland as bland can be. I think he's slipped under the radar so far because we've been picking off artists who actually take risks.
1. (5p) Chuck Berry - I've had Chuckie on this list so many times, I'll soon be out of negative things to write about him. I'll start repeating myself (or doing a Chuck Berry, as some would say).
2. (4p) Bob Marley and the Wailers - I usually don't enjoy listening to reggae, because it reminds me of dreadlocked, dirty, smelly people. I don't know how Bob Marley smelled, but too many of his followers should shower more.
3. (3p) Lou Reed - He hasn't actually done anything I really like, except with The Velvet Underground of course (and I'm keeping them).
4. (2p) James Brown - I just don't get him. But I hope Obama will dance to Funky President on the day of his election.
5. (1p) Marvin Gaye - Gaye jokes. Check. Pulp Fiction reference. Check. I think he's extremely overrated. Never found his music interesting, and Sexual Healing, which I heard today on the radio, is downright ugly.
Almost stopped Wilco making the top 50, so close!
5 points Sonic Youth
3 Simon and Garfunkel
2 Lou Reed
1 Hank Williams - I have little interest in his style of music and mere respect for a handful of songs doesn't swing it for the top forty IMO.
1. SIMON & GARFUNKEL
2. PINK FLOYD
3. TOM WAITS
4. NICK DRAKE. After Tom Waits, I have a group of four excellent artists to consider. I can’t choose between them, so I’m going to take the coward’s way out and use their AM rankings. Nick Drake is the lowest of the four by far, at #91. I never got around to listening to anything other than the lovely Five Leaves Left…but I doubt his other albums represent much of a departure. Good stuff, but he pretty clearly wouldn’t go in my top 40.
5. BJÖRK. To recap everything I’ve ever said about her at any time on this forum, I think she’s cute and I prefer her earliest work (as in Sugarcubes). There’s a weird dichotomy to Björk: although her persona suggests lightness, fun and pixie dust, her work is often impenetrable unless you’re willing to work at it. I also deduct points because I think each album has been a little worse than the one before it, making her an acquired taste I have less and less interest in acquiring...
1. Aretha Franklin
3. PJ Harvey
5. Nick Drake - I like him, but include him here for the same reason as did schleuse.
I like both Bryter Later and Pink Moon better than Five Leaves Left but you're right, they're not much of a departure.
I'll post my picks in the coming days (at some point after I've recovered from the mental breakdown from Chic overexposure), but I have to weigh in on the Nick Drake discussion.
Like Seinfeld, I "love the Drake" (although, they weren't referring to the singer/songwriter). He was a talented artist (an underrated guitarist who used bizarre tunings) who went virtually ignored during his brief career, which probably had a role to play in his suicide. His work isn't varied, so the "lack of departure" argument that is being echoed here does hold some water.
I don't have a rebuttal, but I will say that his final album "Pink Moon" is generally regarded amonst fans (and yours truly) as his best. Rock trivia corner: he recorded the album over a period of two, two-hour midnight sessions alone with his producer, and then dropped the finished tapes on the desk of the Island Records secretary, and left. The record is sparse as hell - you'd be hard-pressed to find a more emotionally bleak album (Mitchell's "Blue" comes close). Peter Buck commented once that you could turn your stereo to 10 and Nick Drake would still sound quiet. It's true. Pink Moon is a document of a man's battle with depression, and losing it.
2. Al Green
5. Simon & Garfunkel
1. The Who
2. The Clash
3. Ray Charles
4. Otis Redding - There was the raspy voice and surely he was full of soul. It never feels bad to listen to Otis, but I don't think he stood out enough from the other soul stars to achieve a higher ranking than this.
5. Van Morrison -
"Astral Weeks" and "Moondance" are both great (although not in my top 100).
I wouldn't put Van on a list of the 100 best voices either (although I agree that there is a fascinating uniqueness over it).
As for the rest of his material...I sometimes wonder why some people still bother, but I'm a sucker for his ballads (yes, in a special moment I played "Have I Told You Lately" for an ex-girlfriend).
I could probably play Van more often.
schleuse, when are you actually gonna put Led Zep on your list? Have you recently become a big fan or were you just fooling around earlier on?
They're very close to my list now. Black Sabbath were better.
1. Public Enemy
3. Ray Charles
5. Chuck Berry - I like a handful of his songs, Johnny B. Goode is one of the best, but most of his songs follow the same pattern. Too much repetition.
1. Bob Dylan
2. Van Morrison
3. Bruce Springsteen
With The Byrds gone, I have a new 5th position name. One point for
5. Elvis Costello - one of those with a few good/great songs, and far too much other material outbalancing those few. There's only one Elvis, and it isn't this guy.
Nick Drake, Bob Marley and the Wailers, The Clash, Nirvana, R.E.M.
Henrik, the Zep is now #3 on my "bubbling under" list. But if I was being honest, I'd have been giving them five points every week for about a month now.
Maybe I'm open to a charge of "strategic voting" (which I spoke out against, when Survivor was in the planning stages) for waiting this long to vote for Zeppelin.
Or maybe I recognize that Zeppelin is, in fact, one of the ten most acclaimed artists on this site, so I'm deferring my own prejudice for a bit.
Or maybe I just cringe at the thought of seeing them on my ballot week after week after week, while (imo) much more worthy artists are sent packing.
Anyway, it won't be long now...
"Or maybe I just cringe at the thought of seeing them on my ballot week after week after week, while (imo) much more worthy artists are sent packing."
I contemplated the same about Dylan, but decided to stand by what I think about him
schleuse, if you want some help voting led zep off, just let me know . i also don't think that they should be gone just yet, but i'd vote them off before most.
1. (5 points) Public Enemy
Who would call themselves "Public Enemy" anyway?
2. (3 points) Chuck Berry
I'm never forgiving that ding-a-ling song of his.
3. (3 points) Hank Williams
If people like Muddy Waters don't get to be on the list, I think neither should Hank.
2. (2 points) Beck
He's pesky and you know it.
1. (1 point) Al Green
Had some really good songs, but not enough of them.
sorry, meant 4 points for Chuck
1. Björk - because they have ö in name
2. Pink Floyd - i dont like pink color
3. Elvis Presley - gay
4. Radiohead - hmm i think TVhead its better
5. The Who - because i dont know who is "the who"
Schleuse, it's funny you note that Bjork's albums follow a slight downward trajectory for you, because mine is completely the reverse until Vespertine. I love Debut, but I think Post trumps it with its diversity and songcraft. Homogenic indeed is slightly more impenetrable, but its lush arrangements and bursting emotions make it worth the investment for me, and it makes her first 2 albums sound like mere pop efforts. Things culminated in Vespertine for me, which I truly believe to be a sacred piece of music- perfect in every way. I don't really count Selmasongs in there, as it seems more like a side project. I also enjoy Medulla and Volta, but not as much as those first four.
Another thing about Bjork is that I really believe she has the purest intentions when it comes to her music. She almost seems like God's conduit sometimes to me. Her music videos are another essential element in the package, as they develop new interpretations and amazing visuals to her already cinematic output.
Prince is definitely my favorite artist, but Bjork is definitely one of only 3 artists who threatens to usurp the throne.
Nightey - you may want to try some constructive criticism, otherwise, I'm guessing (hoping?) that your votes won't count.
I finally have to think about who to put on next, thanks to the final departure of the tenacious Byrds.
1. Hank Williams
2. Al Green
3. Van Morrison
4. Bob Marley and the Wailers
5. Elvis Costello - he immediately came to mind as the next person to jump in, mostly because of all the essential musicians canonized, his stuff does not wow me. There were some more interesting things going on in music in the late 70s, IMO.
Anthony, you have guessed (and hoped) correctly.
Moonbeam, thanks for the comments on Bjork. I don't agree with you, but I do like her. However, I try my best not to allow videos to sway me one way or t'other. I will say that, except for "Human Behaviour," I had seen none of her videos until you posted YouTube links for them in the songs poll. They're very inventive, but again, disallowed on the grounds that I'm evaluating music, not experimental film.
Maybe someone should start a poll for videos (I can tell you right now that my #1 will be Neil Young's "This Note's for You").
Schleuse, I understand that videos aren't part of the equation. They don't make me rank her any higher than I already would, but they do give me a greater appreciation for her artistry overall. And if you're interested in seeing some more videos of hers, I would highly recommend the following:
All Is Full of Love (has brought a tear to my eye on a few occasions)
Pagan Poetry (absolutely striking)
Hunter (simple, but my favorite ever video)
Army of Me (a visual feast)
Venus As a Boy (sexy defined!)
1. The Beatles - Cuz they sux cock
2. Led Zeppelin - Most stupid name ever
3. Nirvana - For having satanist as vocalist
4. The Rolling Stones - For being gay
5. Stevie Wonder - Cuz i wonder who the fuck is that
If you make a joke of the game your vote shouldn't count. Schleuse can decide whose making a joke of the game. Just my two cents.
Ack! Everyone's shooting for Costello! Duck! Duck!
Really, how many other Brit punks fought Stephen Stills? And SNL? And I know it's not about quantity but you gotta respect a guy who puts out that many albums in 30 years.
Same as last week. So close!
5 points. Tom Waits
4 points. Johnny Cash
3 points. Bruce Springsteen
2 points. Lou Reed
1 point. Hank Williams
Don't worry, folks--I'm only counting people who are contributing (at least potentially) to the discussion, not the ones who just pull their own pants down.
Ignore 'em...they're a minor nuisance.
Looks like my hot merchandise is flyin' off the shelves (eg. Byrds, Wilco, Outkast, all gone!) Get out the price gun - these beauties are priced to move!...
1. THE STOOGES: As per last week's proviso vote, I put on my helmet and went spelunking through Iggy and Co.'s discography. What I discovered was a catalog full of very primal, visceral and organic hard rock with blues leanings that occasionally ventured into meandering experimentation. A song like "Dirt" is interesting, but it's more about atmosphere than any concise purpose - it floats along on the same guitar motif without actually going anywhere. Nothing of real interest to me personally, so they remain on my ballot, but I can see the appeal.
2. TALKING HEADS
3. BJÖRK: Like any self-respecting music fan, I should probably take more time to explore the depths of her, ummm... catalog (sorry, got sidetracked there for a second). What I have heard of hers, I wasn't particularly fond of. Besides, my Icelandic music quota has already been filled by one of my favorite bands (a weak argument, I know).
4. HANK WILLIAMS: I don't have any real hang-ups over Hank; I just think the time has come for this legend of a long-lost musical tradition that I do have an interest in (knowledge-wise), but one that doesn't impact me emotionally.
5. CHUCK BERRY: And while I'm at it, I might as well cast a stone at another forefather in the annals of rock history. I can sense the disapproving looks from nicolas, Paul and schleuse, and I'm sorry, but while his music was innovating and influential, his lasting impact has been less than stellar. Every day, someone out there discovers the Beatles for the first time. Sadly, the same can't be said for Chuck, and it's not because he was black. It's because once you heard one of his songs, you pretty much got the idea. Unlike the Beatles....
Actually Anthony, I can see where you are coming from on Chuck Berry (and the Hank thing is understandable too). My current cause is going to have to be Elvis Costello, whose music I really love but I sense is may not be aging so well. I think EC is paying a price for his huge output. There are many points at which a music fan can first discover and categorize Costello in their own mind. A lot of these points do not do justice to the magnificance of his early and substantial run from My Aim Is True through Imperial Bedroom. In the span of time when many modern rock act would release two albums Elvis Costello released a career's worth of really intelligent and moving rock music. Yes he got a little cute with the wordplay at times, but that's part of the charm. His music from this era is always interesting and fun to listen to. And the Attractions were a first rate backing band. I'm not really trying to change anybody's mind, just lamenting the fact that EC's star appears to be fading.
(Also, I don't think Hank's musical tradition is "long lost." It's bubbling around in different places, including Elvis Costello's work).
1) I love Björk. She's one of the few who really made a different sort of music, impossible to classify. I love to classify my music in genres but when it comes to Bjôrk the choices are really arbitrary (electronic ? pop ?)
2) Yesterday I listened to "Remain in Light" and hell, it's growing on me ! I was appalled by the musical quality. But now I have voted, and a vote is sacred.
3) A little later yesterday, I listened to "Sweet Little Sixteen" and a few other Chuck songs. Very exciting. And i was wondering : Why do I love '50s rock so much ? Because it is simple and essential ?
4) Sorry Paul but i can't find a Costello song that I really love. IMO the best Costello songs I can think of are covers, like Orbison's "the Comedians" (wonderful, but EC's version is really bad). But it's true I don't know him well at all. Anyway I have listened to all of your recommendations.
5 pts Lou Reed (repeat)
4 pts Simon and Garfunkel - (repeat)
3 pts Pink Floyd - (repeat)
2 pts Nirvana - (repeat)
1 pt Van Morrison - He's done some wonderful work of course, but I rarely listen to him (yes, even Astral Weeks), and he's been pretty much repeating himself to the same generally boring effect for the last 25 years.
Have you ever listened to Veronica by Costello Nicolas? I'm not a big fan either but that song is great.
>The Beach Boys, The Beatles, Beck, Chuck Berry, David Bowie, James Brown, Johnny Cash, Ray Charles, The Clash, Elvis Costello, Miles Davis, Nick Drake, Bob Dylan, Aretha Franklin, Marvin Gaye, Al Green, PJ Harvey, Jimi Hendrix, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, Bob Marley and the Wailers, Van Morrison, Nirvana, Pink Floyd, Pixies, Elvis Presley, Prince, Public Enemy, Radiohead, Otis Redding, R.E.M., The Rolling Stones, Simon and Garfunkel, Sly and the Family Stone, Bruce Springsteen, Talking Heads, The Velvet Underground, The Who, Hank Williams, Stevie Wonder, Neil Young. Lou Reed
1)The Stooges-At the risk of incurring wrath, I like a song here and there but I'm not wowed by any of their albums.
2)Bjork- Too often I find her manner of singing full of affectation rather than endearing. Not to say that I don't love "It's Oh So Quiet" and "Human Behavior" but overall I'm not a fan.
3)Curtis Mayfield- Mostly because of ignorance of his catalogue not any genuine dislike for him
4)Sonic Youth- Again, unfamiliarity with catalogue..have only heard 1 or 2 of their albums though I did find them sort of "blah"
5)Lou Reed- Not terribly familiar with his catalogue but so far have been only mildly impressed with him on his own..definitely prefer VU at this point.
Thanks to Songza (we don't have rhapsody in France) I could grt hold of it
My favorite Costello songs so far are "I Want You", "She" or Shipbuilding" (great version by Robert Wyatt)
Elvis Presley-cuz he is dead lready
Prince-im a communist so i dont like titles like prince or king
Neil Young-im old so im jealous
R.E.M.-i hate shortcuts
James Brown-i like blue colour
You know, for the most part, I don't disagree with the choices on that ballot, but if anyone else votes for Neil Young I'm going to crawl into the corner and whimper in the fetal position.
nicolas, I will accept your conclusion on Elvis Costello only if you tell me that you have already listened to My Aim Is True (1977). Knowing what I can glean about your musical taste, I would be surprised if that album did not get through to you. A lot of what you like about Bruce Springsteen should translate to EC.
Try "Blame It On Cain" along side "Adam Raised A Cain" and you'll get the picture. Or "Welcome To The Working Week" next to "Factory." Or "The Angels Want To Wear My Red Shoes" next to "Prove It All Night." I wouldn't be surprised if Bruce had a copy of My Aim Is True...
Costello's got a few of Springsteen's
That's a pretty cool list Elvis has. The fact that he is a Springsteen fan should further entice nicolas...
jonmarck, don't you fret none--Neil Young is one of the dozen remaining artists who have received no votes to date.
I haven't updated the list in a few weeks, so here are the 12 remaining Survivor virgins--no (eligible) votes from anyone yet:
The Beach Boys
Led Zeppelin (soon, guys. soon)
The Rolling Stones
Sly and the Family Stone
I know it gives some of you superstitious heebie-jeebies when I do this, but hey, every single one of these folks is going to get votes sooner or later.
For me, the biggest surprises on this list are Miles and Elvis, and maybe Sly.
Actually, I'm really surprised about R.E.M. not yet getting a single vote, considering that U2 is already completely off the island.
I guess we know who the real band of the 80s is now.
(Though my vote would be for the Replacements, who were too drunk even to be allowed onto the island in the first place).
To me, Elvis is the biggest surprise from that group. The guy couldn't make it past the first round in Bracketology, but here he is now, sitting pretty amongst some elite company.
It appears I have a new mission...
Sly Stone is the classic example of an unobjectionable act just sitting under the radar. When Sly's number is called, he'll go fast.
With Leonard Dylan ... I mean Leonard Cohen gone, more more moves up to get the ax. I pretty much like all the artist lest, and some of them are essential to my collection.
1) Ray Charles - It's a personal thing, I never could get into him. He also took up the most space on "We Are the World."
2) Nick Drake - We're starting to get down to great artists, and he's not one of them.
3) Hank Williams - I'm not the biggest country fan in the world, so while I appreciate ol' Hank, his time has come.
4) Curtis Mayfield - He might be "super," and he's certainly "fly," but I don't think he's "Superfly."
5) The Stooges - It was close between these guys and Blur and Lou Reed, and if they hadn't tried a reunion album last year, they might not be on the list yet. But they did, and it wasn't good, and you have to count a band's failures against them if you're going to count their successes for them.
Elvis, R.E.M. and Sly are all on my radar. Bjork, Prince and Nick Drake are less deserving but I'll get around to them.
I have "My Aim Is true", in fact I've only listened to it once (i got it in july just after discovering AM)
I'll listen to it I promise
To me there are indeed similarities with the Boss (influences, themes) but elvis Costello from what i've heard is more cold-blooded, maybe that's why I'm having difficulties with him.
1)Public Enemy - repeat
2)The Stooges - repeat
3)Chuck Berry - Well I guess he kicked rock'n'roll into high gear and I respect him for that but I just think he was sort of like AC/DC later - just keep repeating the same formula over and over
4)Lou Reed - repeat
5)Hank Williams - Well this is strange to vote for Williams because I'm partly responsible for him being here(voting him on in the first round). I think I've gone off him quite a bit. I respect his place in popular song but I just don't get much enjoyment out of his music now...
"To me, Elvis is the biggest surprise from that group. The guy couldn't make it past the first round in Bracketology, but here he is now, sitting pretty amongst some elite company."
That comment sort of bothered me - as if Elvis(the biggest selling solo artist of all time and the most recognizable and iconic name in music history) doesn't belong in the company of 'elite' artists like 'Public Enemy'. Everyone realizes what he meant for rock'n'roll and that is more than almost any other artist here...
Thoughts on others’ thoughts about the virgin artists:
R.E.M.: I wasn’t surprised by the lack of votes for them, probably because of personal bias, but I know they’re bubbling under on a few lists (expect arguments from me).
Paul, I think the reason the Athenians have remained inviolate while U2 got fast-tracked out of here is that Bono is a much more polarizing figure than anybody in R.E.M. I think a lot of people who are put off by Bono’s bombast and tent-revival persona don’t mind Stipe’s aloofness and eccentricity nearly as much. Beyond that, I think that the two bands getting lumped together has more to do with public perception and timing (see also: Beatles/Stones, Blur/Oasis) than similarity of style.
Midaso, what Anthony was saying (and I agree) is that, while Elvis didn’t do well at all in bracketology, he’s sitting pretty on Survivor island (take time here for a Blue Hawaii flashback), which is surprising. What that tells me is that voters rate his importance as an icon (in Survivor) more highly than his songs (in bracketology). And I think that’s exactly right.
Nobody else mentioned Miles Davis, even though in a crowd of rock/R&B artists, he’s definitely the outlier. It’ll be interesting to see how we handle him.
But how can anyone not like Miles Davis?
I just read this morning in "Mystery Train" by Greil Marcus a Lester Bangs quote about elvis that tells a lot about him and about this site too.
But I have the French version and I don't want to translate it back to English so I'll search for the original maybe on the net, because that excerpt is very very interesting.
And Miles is currently number 4 in my Bubbling under section
These are the final words of the obituary he wrote in the
If love truly is going out of fashion forever, which I do not believe, then along with our nurtured indifference to each other will be an even more contemptuous indifference to each others' objects of reverence. I thought it was Iggy Stooge, you thought it was Joni Mitchell or whoever else seemed to speak for your own private, entirely circumscribed situation's many pains and few ecstasies. We will continue to fragment in this manner, because solipsism holds all the cards at present; it is a king whose domain engulfs even Elvis's. But I can guarantee you one thing: we will never again agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis. So I won't bother saying good-bye to his corpse. I will say good-bye to you.
is he still right 30 years after ?
If love is truly going out of fashion, which I do not believe, then along with our nurtured indifference to each other will be an even more contemptuous indifference to each other's objects of reverence. I thought it was Iggy Stooge, you thought it was Joni Mitchell or whoever else seemed to speak for your own private, entirely circumscribed situation's many pains and few ecstasies. We will continue to fragment in this manner, because solipsism holds all the cards at present; it is a king whose domain engulfs even Elvis's. But I can guarantee you one thing; we will never agree on anything as we agreed on Elvis. So I won't bother saying goodbye to his corpse. I will say goodbye to you.
Ah, I posted too late.
sorry, I forgot to give you the reference
You can find the entire article here
What he forgot to think about is that now we're in 2008, some of us at AM were nowhere at all, they simply were not.
Are they the ones who will dethrone him ?
I think Elvis is significantly less important now, but it'll take a bit more time for his star to wane.
Hey Sinder don't you try to outrun me !
Thanks anyway !
That's a really cool quote. Makes me want to read more of him. Thanks for finding it.
How did you find it so fast ? Did you know it already ?
No, I just Googled "lester bangs elvis". And the fourth result caught my eye, and it turned out to be right.
Hahaha, what if someone thought "bangs" was a verb?
(The Chic song forced me to say that!)
That Lester Bangs piece, 'Where were you when Elvis died?' is a classic illustration of why Bangs' writing was, and remains, so vital. His best stuff balances an iconoclastic worldview with a love and reverance for his subjects-cynicism and romanticism in roughly equal measure.
Back to Miles Davis for a second...
At the risk of bringing even more attention to him, I've been thinking about schleuse's comment - "it’ll be interesting to see how we handle him" - and it is indeed interesting, because he is an "outlier" in the obvious sense (genre), but also in persona - a single suit and tie amongst a group of torn jeans and leather jackets. (But for those of you who know Davis' history, you could make the argument that he was just as much of a "rock star").
Throughout this game (well, up to this point at least), it seems that there have been three main reasons given for voting an artist off the island:
a) "extreme": nothing the artist has done is appealing
b) "moderate": equal "hits" and "misses"
c) "low": a few sidesteps and questionable decisions within an otherwise great career
3. Comparison of achievements with another artist (of the same genre or period, or perhaps not)
I'm not going to sit here and say that any one reason is more valid than another, but I'm wondering - when the time comes - what card is going to be played when people start to put Miles on their ballot. And here's why it's interesting:
Because Miles Davis was such a legendary musician, and arguably, was (and still is) the face of an entire genre of music, you could make a case that any sort of claim or argument made against him is almost a direct argument against jazz. In other words, if someone claims "dislike" of Miles Davis as an argument, because Davis exemplifies jazz to such an extent, a dislike of Miles almost becomes a dislike of jazz. The same logic can be applied to the unfamiliarity argument: unfamiliarity with Miles' catalog equals an unfamiliarity with the jazz genre (and I'm quite certain that nobody here would willingly admit to that degree of ignorance).
Also, using the #3 argument is questionable - to whom can he be compared with? Any comparisons would have to be made across genres (and I'm curious to see if anyone here can run with that).
Now, I am a Miles Davis fan, but I'm not making this argument because I think he should win this game; with all due respect, the winner of this game is meaningless in the grand scheme of things. I just wanted to stir up the proverbial hornet's nest.
I really think Miles is the safest person on the island, to be honest.
Unless, you know, me declaring him to be makes someone decide that he actually isn't. Heh.
Not for me, he's not in my top 50, so when almost only artists in my top 50 are left I will have to vote him off.
I've been wondering about how he'll fare in this competition cause he has very little to do with rock/pop/urban and every other artist is rock/pop/urban and we're all mainly rock/pop/urban listeners. Heck, I don't think any of us are even knowledgeable enough to rate his stuff. Jazz is also such an isolated genre (despite Davis' efforts). It's very conservative and protectionist. It's common for other genres to borrow from jazz but not vice versa. There's a whole elitism that goes on in jazz that makes their artists feel more like outsiders than contributors.
If it were up to me he'd make top 10 just because of the way he developed the genre, but I can't say I like his stuff half as much as a jazz fan would. It's a test of endurance just to get through Bitches Brew.
Darn. I thought everyone loves him.
Yep Miles is very close to making my list. He's not even in my top 10 for jazz favorites but I felt he had to stay to pay respect to the genre and because he's been on a lot of jazz sides I like. But his albums are nowhere to be found in my collection. Oh, except Sketches of Spain. That's good.
I think Miles will suffer the same fate as Hank.
A lot of people aren't into jazz, but it's a lot more fashionable than country.
So, first get rid of the country icon then get rid of the jazz icon.
"My Aim is True" is not a cold record, though I see how that charge could be made against later Costello records. His biting sarcastic wit was not yet in full force on MAIT.
OK, now for a word about Elvis Presley. It is inevitable after the passage of 50 years that the cultural importance/relevance of any figure will wane. For the young people of today, Elvis is competing against 50 years of great music, all newer than his stuff. That's a much tougher feat than he faced in 1956, when he was the biggest, best, and newest thing on the scene. But that kind of cultural importance can't last forever. (Even the Beatles will begin to drop in universal popularity over the next decade, I predict).
What can and will last is Elvis' great MUSIC. For the next 100+ years, random people will be discovering the Sun Sessions and exclaiming to themselves (and their friends): Holy Sh*t! This stuff is great! Kind of like how I felt when I first heard Hank Williams.
I bet there are even some people reading this forum who haven't really discovered what Elvis Presley was all about but will make that discovery sometime in the future. (Tip: Buy the Sun Sessions if you don't have it. Killer music.)
Well, I usually try to wait til Sunday to vote, but that meant missing it last week, so here goes:
5 points: Chuck Berry - Roll Over Chuck Berry this week?
4 points: Ray Charles - Can't get into him, plus he was kind of an ass so I don't feel so bad voting for him
3 points: Pink Floyd - Roger Waters is coming to Denver in a couple months. In high school, I would have already had tickets, but now, well, I'll save my money for R.E.M. at Red Rocks.
2 points: James Brown - Also a bad person, but somewhat of an entertaining singer. I can't say I ever really want to listen to James Brown though I'm not prone to turning him off.
1 point: PJ Harvey - Since she's such a total badass, it sucks that I usually don't care about listening to her music.
Why Ray Charles was "such an ass" ?
First time I hear that
I like the Sun Sessions but I wouldn't put it on par with anything the Beatles did.
I don't think Elvis is unpopular because of his age, I think performers have simply gotten much better since then. He was the first of his kind, but that's about it. Artistically he didn't have much going on. He was about as deep as a wading pool and had zero input on his own compositions. I think if he were just starting out today he wouldn't be any more popular than a top 60 American Idol contestant.
The guy made some serious progress, both in terms of style and the formation of the industry itself, and he should get respect for that, but I don't think anything outside of his top dozen songs holds up to today's standards. It's like their only selling point is that Elvis sang them.
Oh, I'm judging that mostly based on Ray and his drug use/cheating...but then again, all musicians are kind of asses by that definition.
jonmarck you said "Elvis is unpopular"
I doubt that
and I'm not gonna argue with you about Elvis, I don't want this thread to be full with 5 paragraphs' posts
(no offense meant of course)
Just read Greil Marcus' "Mystery Train" about Elvis. No time for another Elvis controversy.
About Ray, he finally overcame his drug problems.
About cheating .... who cares ?
He thought he was cheating, but it was just his wife pretending to be someone else.
One of my votes actually helped usher an artist off the island! So long, Byrds!
1. Bob Marley and the Wailers
2. Simon and Garfunkel
3. The Who
4. Aretha Franklin
5. Hank Williams- Country is one of the few genres that I just can't appreciate.
Actually Paul said he was unpopular. I was just trying to give an explanation why.
You're right nicolas when you say who cares about Ray Charles cheating if it comes to judging his music. I'm not one of those people who's confusing musical merit with personal merit.
But, this week I don't feel bad voting for Chuck Berry, Ray Charles or James Brown since they all had glaring flaws in their characters (although most rock stars do or have). Then there's PJ Harvey who I've always wanted to like more than I do because she's really cool and breaks all sorts of boundries as a persona, but her music just doesn't do much for me.
Believe me, if I were voting based on the nature of the people I would've voted for Miles Davis long ago, an infamous misogynist. If anyone's a fan of This American Life, I found the portrayal of Miles in this episode pretty interesting: http://www.thislife.org/Radio_Episode.aspx?episode=20
Slush - your comment is a mess of contradictions.
Who cares about character flaws? Like I've mentioned before, as music fans, we only know what the media reports to us. How can anyone know what an artist does in their personal life when the media isn't around to scrutinzie them? (I hear Bruce Springsteen is an abusive father at home, and I also hear Damon Albarn is a cock-fighting enthusiast)*. Are you going to throw out their albums now?
Personality and/or personal life shouldn't enter the equation - the artistic product is what's most important.
*fabricated lie to make a point
1 Pink Floyd
2 Van Morrison
3 The Clash
4 Bruce Springsteen
Anthony, you're quite right, although you accidentally appended the words '-fighting enthusiast' onto your appraisal of Damon Albarn.
Now I'm off to listen to some Bing Crosby, a bit of Gary Glitter and then I might dig that Charles Manson album out. I reckon he got a bad press...
It is a mess of contradictions, but that's kinda the point. In the end, I agree that character doesn't affect (or shouldn't affect) your opinion of music. Here's a few examples based on my music tastes:
Bad person, don't like his music: Chuck Berry - Went to jail three times, did lots of drugs, really, really, really greedy and except for Johnny B. Goode, I think his music is boring.
Bad person, love his music: Miles Davis - Beat women, greedy, misanthropic and was probably the most brilliant jazz musician ever.
Good person, hate his music: James Blunt - Served as a NATO peacekeeper in Kosovo and volunteered for Doctors Without Borders before being a musician; continues to fundraise for Doctors Without Borders with his fame. Yet, his music is so sacchrine it makes me cringe when I hear it.
Good person, love his music: Bruce Springsteen - Honestly, I don't know if he's that good a person. He has done benefits for Amnesty International in the past and campaigned for John Kerry (or against Bush depending on how you look at it) in '04 which are both things I like. Regardless, I'd still love his music.
I think my 2nd paragraph in the previous post was just an instance of poor writing.
Cool. I can live with that, just as long as the music comes first.
Btw, your Miles Davis bio is spot-on. (I assume you've seen the Miles Davis Story dvd?)
Other good people that made great music:
John Coltrane (did abuse drugs early on, kicked 'em, was generally known to be a shy yet very generous person)
George Harrison (not much bad you can say about the guy)
Curtis Mayfield (have never heard or read a bad thing about him)
Michael Stipe (may be a bit of a weirdo, but not really any character problems I know of)
Beastie Boys (after Licensed to Ill settled down on the side of the powers of good)
1. Talking Heads
2. Tom Waits
3. Curtis Mayfield
4. Van Morrison
5. Al Green - Al has to go if Public enemy is going to be around for an other week, which i think the deserve.
No I haven't actually seen that, though I've heard about it. The This American Life episode I referenced in my other post was about a man who wrote a biography about Miles and was one of his friends in Miles' later years. He talks a bit about Miles' personality flaws and how when you know the man, you lose the hero worship aspect that you can have from a distance. That's where most of my opinions about Miles have come from, though I do need to check out that documentry you mentioned.
'jonmarck you said "Elvis is unpopular"
I doubt that'
Yeah,only a billion record sales - nothing major...
Read the original posts Midaso. You're taking it out of context.
I said that Elvis is a lot less popular now than he was 10-20 years ago. A lot of his biggest fans are getting pretty old. New things come along. It makes sense.
But the point of my post was to encourage the remaining Elvis fans not to worry so much about popularity. The music isn't going anywhere. It may not be for everyone, like it once seemingly was, but he will always be somebody that new fans will discover and appreciate. (I'm not going to get into an argument about the merit of his work. But his first recordings were better than the Beatles first recordings.)
Also, I think cheating is kind of bad.
whenever they say they're on duty... i'm an eye.
Netjade I love you you're kinna funny but I wish I could understand you sometimes
I think artists morality has nothing to do with music.
Leadbelly is one of my favorite singer. He went to jail 4 times and he killed (at least) one man.
Makes me think of these people, in election times (there are elctions in France in 1 month, to elect the maires and city councils) who base their votes on moral values, and especially are obsessed with sexual morality : I don't vote for him because he's not against homosexuals, he cheated, etc..
There are much more importants matters than what you see when you peep through your neighbor's blinds. what people do with their bodies are their own business, unless of course they commit crimes. BUt giving and taking pleasure is not a crime.