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657939 Posts in 9260 Topics by 3396 Members Latest Member: - vlozan86 Most online today: 61 - most online ever: 494 (Jul 01, 2007, 02:59:53 PM)
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Author Topic: 4 / 13 : Rave On  (Read 15460 times)
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mackro
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« on: Apr 13, 2005, 01:13:11 PM »

Comments?   It's hard for me to say anything, as I'm pretty much in total agreement with the points made in the article.

What gets me are the people who pull the "My music allows me to EAT, people" card (which -- alone -- is perfectly fine!) alongside the "You have nothing better to do with your life than to cut down a starving artist, MAN" card.

Software producers (almost always) never go onto slash dot net and refute claims of their product sucking with remedial insults...

Independent food manufacturers (almost always) never attack people in online forums who say their food items sucks.

In fact, I can't think of any other entertainment, or just product medium  that operates on the dynamic of the creators childishly refuting their critics than the music world.  And I've been surfing the net for 16 years.

And obviously, it happens less often than not (thank god), but I think it shows that some musicians want to pretend they can stand on both the "I'm making money from my art" and the "People with critical opinions of my art have no life, because they just don't get me!" pedestals at the same time, and get away with it.

(That said, cases of refuting extreme libel or gross inaccuracies are different.. as hinted at in the piece.)
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i'm not sexiest yet know know
dieblucasdie
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« Reply #1 on: Apr 13, 2005, 02:10:10 PM »

Best thing ever.
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jettison
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« Reply #2 on: Apr 13, 2005, 02:29:26 PM »

I'm sure we've all heard some of the typical artist's response to criticism.
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kpw
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« Reply #3 on: Apr 13, 2005, 03:36:04 PM »

Maybe it's a sign of relative oldtimerness, but I liked it a lot better when albums and books and art came from a higher place, and responding meant sending a screed to a P.O. box care of a talent agency in Los Angeles or something. Maybe you'd get a form letter back, maybe not. That was my least favorite thing about the internet 10 years ago - it was quickly evident that the creator-consumer relationship would never be the same. It's ruined Anne Rice for me forever and ever, and if I was of a certain age and bent, it would probably ruin Moby and Fred Durst too.

With all the easy bridgebuilding between artists and fans that's possible now, I'd guess it would be tougher for someone to construct a carefully-crafted edifice - maybe myth-making these days really does require CGI music videos and teams of publicists. Likewise with all the creative-types who are going to great lengths to Keep It Real, because we have armies of Moveable Typers who truly believe in their hearts-of-hearts that even-keel qualifies to slag, and anyone who enters the fray just keeps that culture boomin'. These are difficult times, and there's no direction home. I just want my old record player and that sad twinge of doubt that there's absolutely nobody out there who listens to the same things/could ever ever ever understand.

And another thing. I made a mix CD of TMG songs for my wife last year, one that included all my favorites from "Yam The King Of Crops" to "Linda Blair." She hated it and wound up using it as an icescraper for the windshield during the blizzard. But that's okay.
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John
edit0r
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« Reply #4 on: Apr 13, 2005, 03:55:47 PM »

i give up
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John
edit0r
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« Reply #5 on: Apr 13, 2005, 03:58:32 PM »

to summarize:

1) i write article in which i make it clear that i think it's crass for artists to discuss their own work
2) new poster to forums posts a lucid & interesting two cents' worth...
2a) ...but concludes by dragging in a totally unrelated piece of trivia about my artistic persona, thereby making me feel creeped out and effectively shutting me out of any discussion
3) i say "argh," the sound of me saying "argh" vanishes into the void
4) rinse lather repeat
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Dan Perry
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« Reply #6 on: Apr 13, 2005, 04:22:22 PM »

5) ...And then they all lez up?
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all the melodramatic guitar-lickin' works
davy
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« Reply #7 on: Apr 13, 2005, 04:31:29 PM »

the anne rice thing is amazing...in a really, really bad way.

the ryan adams thing is also amazing...in a better way, i think.

the difference, well, the main difference is that anne rice's tirade was public, and ryan's was never meant to be. indeed, doesn't it say something pretty ugly about derogatis that he even made this phone message public in the first place? plus, ryan sounded genuinely hurt/wounded...certainly sincere. anne rice sounded like exactly the haughty unhuman writer-borg she's generally caricatured to be.

anyway, interesting in both cases.
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mackro
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« Reply #8 on: Apr 13, 2005, 04:46:04 PM »

Musing more...

What is it about certain authors and certain musicians that do this type of paranoid trainspotting on their critical consensus, whereas creators in other industries don't?  Is it because the creation of albums, books, paintings, etc. are often less compromised by the original authors in this construction thereof, as opposed to, say, video games, software products, cars, furniture, etc.?

(Not to say that albums are never compromised, nor are video games or cars always compromised, mind you)
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i'm not sexiest yet know know
mackro
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« Reply #9 on: Apr 13, 2005, 04:47:52 PM »

[ignore - accidentally duplicated message]
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i'm not sexiest yet know know
John
edit0r
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« Reply #10 on: Apr 13, 2005, 05:10:48 PM »

I'd guess that the industries you name are just industries we're less familiar with, and that video games et al all have their own ppl who do respond "publicly" (only not so publicly that word would reach us) to their detractors
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Dan Perry
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« Reply #11 on: Apr 13, 2005, 05:33:16 PM »

Quote from: "John"
I'd guess that the industries you name are just industries we're less familiar with, and that video games et al all have their own ppl who do respond "publicly" (only not so publicly that word would reach us) to their detractors

This is so true it hurts; in the late 90s Victor Ireland of Working Designs basically made himself the bane of the existence of anyone who dared question his company's slow, infantile localizations of subpar Japanese niche games  (with the help of several vocal, irritating fanboys), the largest debacle being the gigantic clusterfuck which was the Magic Knight Rayearth localization for the Saturn that ended up being so delayed due to licensing issues and an apparent inability to find the right amount of gold foil for the embossed lettering on the booklet that it wasn't released until after the platform died.
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all the melodramatic guitar-lickin' works
kpw
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« Reply #12 on: Apr 13, 2005, 05:48:25 PM »

Cent number three and the counterpoint 2a. illustrate why this conversation shouldn't be happening. Everybody gets creeped out and it colors things. There's a reason why there are no hit rock songs about haning out with fans, and we all know that girl in the Springsteen video about dancing was a promising actress at the time.

I think this is the part where I delete my account. It's not an analogy to suicide in the least: if only we all could.
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Chuck
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« Reply #13 on: Apr 13, 2005, 05:54:14 PM »

It might be an issue of personal involvement. Take for example video games. If you're working on a video game, chances are you're not alone. All you might do is design textures, or work on animation etc. In alot of those industries, you're part of a team working on something. For that, and other reasons, the products of those industries are the result of a less total, and uniquely personal involvement.

The production process of music, novels or other forms of art is a different animal altogether. The artist's relationship to his/her art is very different than say the automobile producer's relationship to the cars he/she makes. Artists strive to invoke various emotions/images etc. Through a variety of methods. This involves the artist's perception of the "tools" they use to do this, what they mean to the artist, and the effect the artist assumes these tools will have on the people consuming their art. To deny the effectiveness of the art is kind of like denying the author's relationship to it. If I were to make something that I think is absolutely gorgeous and extremely meaningful to me, It wouldn't be great if someone turned around and said it was crap. This naturally leads to the "you don't know what you're talking about" response, since you feel some part of your being has been denied.

Back to the comparison between artwork and other forms of creation. When you're making a car, you're thinking of alot of things. For example, you might be trying to make a car whose engine only produces a certain decibel level of noise, or that has certain other technical specifications. What's important is that much of the automobile producer's work is concerned with technical issues, that can be measured. Once you've achieved these technical goals, no one's going to deny them; you can't say a car makes 120db of noise when any functioning db meter will say it makes 40db. With art on the other hand, the technical considerations have a purpose beyond what they achieve in and of themselves. For example, you mic a certain instrument a certain way not because you want it miked that way but because you want to achieve a certain sound, that will have a certain effect on the listener (or so you hope). So when some one says a record or piece of art in general doesn't have a certain effect or fails, it's a more total denial of your abilities, which naturally leads to a desire to defend one's self.

Now if you've read this far, congradulatons. I'll just make one last point. Why is it that video game fans, car fans, hell even fans of certain OS' will rabidly defend the products they love while this isn't the case for the makers of these things? Well I think that's what ties this whole rant together really. Artists are more personally involved with the final product (to varying degrees i'll admit). People tend to defend the things they really love. The love artists feel for their work is only strengthened by the intense personal conncetion most (i'd hope) artists feel with their work. So for an artist, a critical denial of the finished product is not only a denial of their abilities as producers (since their production is geared entirely around its effect on the consumer), but also a denial of something they love intensely.

All this would surely increase the desire of artists to defend their creations, and themselves in the process. There are other issues too that I'm sure play a part but I've gone on long enough. I hope my multiple cents worth made at least a little bit of sense, and that at least a couple of you actually read it.
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rtotalexvii
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« Reply #14 on: Apr 13, 2005, 06:00:28 PM »

so are they gonna lez up or not?  i have to work at 5.
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mackro
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« Reply #15 on: Apr 13, 2005, 07:42:47 PM »

I was also going to point out that video game publishers, car manufacturers, etc. have far bigger budgets to essentially monopolize and buy out "positive reviews" in magazines than musicians and authors do.
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mackro
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« Reply #16 on: Apr 13, 2005, 07:43:22 PM »

... and for THAT, we should be thankful there is an Internet to bring home the reality bomb.
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Andrew_TSKS
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« Reply #17 on: Apr 13, 2005, 08:50:51 PM »

1) http://sobent.com/mp3/racallsjd.mp3

i made this a link so that i can utilize the "save target as..." function.

EDIT: too bad it's not actually at that location. sigh.

2) john's article just made me think FRED DURST FRED DURST FRED DURST over and over again.
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I just want to be myself and I want you to love me for who I am.
insomniapays
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« Reply #18 on: Apr 13, 2005, 08:54:03 PM »

I've had something like this happen to me; I posted a show review on a blog and got taken to task on a completely separate message board for assigning the group to a different subgenre of hardcore than they felt was appropriate.

Quote
(kpw) With all the easy bridgebuilding between artists and fans that's possible now, I'd guess it would be tougher for someone to construct a carefully-crafted edifice - maybe myth-making these days really does require CGI music videos and teams of publicists. . .I just want my old record player and that sad twinge of doubt that there's absolutely nobody out there who listens to the same things/could ever ever ever understand


I don't think this is necessarily a product of the internet;  somehow, for the music world at least, I find it unlikely that a massive-megastar figure of the old school like Michael Jackson or Madonna would deign to take the drama bait at their respective fanclubs.com.  You do have people like Ryan Adams and countless semi-anonymous punk/indie units taking on the fans and the critics, but those are people who at root come from a different sort of scene, in which the artist/fan divide is deliberately downgraded:  does anybody remember the anti-rockstar stance in hardcore a few years back that culminated with some bands refusing to play on risers that put them even six inches above the audience?

It's almost inherent in the anti-rockstar pose that you expect the rest of "the scene" to be your friends and to back you up against the outside;  in that kind of climate criticism comes to equal betrayal.

I also want to second the motion for a return to an era when you can't flip on the internet and be confronted with the eight million other fans of a record you were positive only five hundred of were ever pressed.
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Ian
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« Reply #19 on: Apr 13, 2005, 10:04:13 PM »

Firstly I agree wholeheartedly that, generally speaking, an artist responding to criticism is lame. But it's also something I've found a lot of creative types do a few times until they learn just how lame the experience is. The impulse is, as stated, totally understandible; it's pretty straight-forward, someone says something horrible about you ('your pants are fucking horrible') the tendancy is to try stick up for one's self ('my pants aren't that bad, and it's laundry day for crying out loud').

But I personally have had both GOOD and bad experiences responding to criticism. My positice exerpeince...well to begin with there was an issue of the reviewer being from a different country so it was more about clarification than whining (tho' there was certainly some of that too). I ended up getting turned onto some new bands and learning some stuff about bands I'd only heard on record.

Alternatively I've had horrible experiences responding to less critical things written online WHICH IS AN ABSOLUTE MISTAKE. I don't want to make this post too long, so to cut a long, painful story short...

People who make things and send them out into the world need to learn how to (a) accept criticism (agreed) but more importantly [to my mind] (b) evaluate criticism. It may not be particularly graceful to respond to well written criticism but by design it's possible to do so in a meaningful way. As for the rest of it...well,  the internet has done more than demystified artists it's also substanically lowered the quality of music writing.  I'm a strong advocate for bringing new voices into the arena of music writing (I blog myself) but a lot of what goes online is placed there as quickly and as impulsively and as ungracefully as Anne Rice's comments.
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John
edit0r
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« Reply #20 on: Apr 13, 2005, 10:36:57 PM »

now I just feel bad 'cause I think I alienated the new guy
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Danen
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« Reply #21 on: Apr 13, 2005, 10:59:41 PM »

I swear to GOD you can't win. By alienating the new guy you probably impressed some other dude surfing around who said "hey man JD just gave it to some schmuck. I dig this guy" and gained a DIFFERENT new guy who you just alienated by apologizing for alienating the guy earlier who is now GONE, man.  Sigh. I wonder if Don Van Vliet ever has existential quandries like this? Nah.
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milly balgeary
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« Reply #22 on: Apr 13, 2005, 11:10:23 PM »

i started smoking ultra lights. pretty good way to fight the habit.
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FreddyKnuckles
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« Reply #23 on: Apr 13, 2005, 11:25:34 PM »

this thread blows my mind, man.
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TheVole
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Posts: 560


« Reply #24 on: Apr 13, 2005, 11:43:18 PM »

I think there are a number of issues at play here, but I'll throw in my thoughts on the subject out and hope some of them stick:

When an artist creates something and presents it to the world, they lose a degree of ownership of it - it's not theirs and theirs alone anymore.  (not talking about anything monetary, just to clarify, y'allz)  And because of that, their own interpretation of it is no longer the only "correct" one.  It takes on a whole host of meanings that the artist hadn't intended, all of which are entirely valid.  As a very small-scale example, when I did a number of sculptures and video projects in college, I would always want to find out what people took from it and what it meant to them.  I found the artist/audience dialogue very valuable from an artist's perspective.
Of course, all of this goes to hell when someone's selling their work - they're implicitly saying "hey, check out this thing I made, it's terrific, you should buy it."  And people will come by and say "hell no you shouldn't buy that," and if they're not willing to go any further than that, then fuck them, they're worthless.  but I think there is a great worth in finding that place where Artist and Audience can engage in an exchange about the work.  Is the Amazon comments the best place for it?  I have no idea.  Probably not.

Of course, all of this is really dependant on the artist.  If they choose to give birth to their work and That's That, then god bless them.  They're allowed to.

Also, I can't really think of a good way to tie this all together, so I'm going to just leave it at that.
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Through Communication we learned about Self-Concept.
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