Additional thought....sometimes music critics claim what amounts to saying "red is better than blue" in a matter of fact fashion, when in fact they are not being clear and meaning "I like red better than blue". A poor critic is one who can't discern the difference between articulate claims about ones feelings vs. factual claims about external events, objects, or states of affairs. For this critic of mine to say that an entire CD has no tangible melody is a claim about how he feels about the music on the CD, yet clearly this links suggests there are other games in town:
Certainly one of these 28 definitions of melody means that I can say my CD does have tangible melodies. Hence, your point is proven: communication is the key, and many music critics are poor communicators.
Now if a critic says, the musician states in his CD sleave that he played a song based on the original sheet music, yet he can verify that this is not the case, then he is entitled to say that the musician did not play the song as it was written in the original sheet music. And in this case it would seem silly to say, I feel that he didn't play the song as it as written in the original sheet music. Either he played the notes as they were written, or he didn't. Now whether a person gets meditative value out of a song is entirely his own affair, not subject to an external objective claim.
Opinion alert: Music is about communication. Pure communication is only possible between equals (and therefore impossible....noone is
truly equal in knowledge base, desires, intellect, social power, etc.). If one desires to communicate via music, the best one can hope for is
that someone on the receiving end will have enough in common with you to understand and appreciate what you are doing. Often people
only get part of what you are doing. Often, that is enough. Part of the process of being a perfoming musician is *finding* your audience.
That involves playing for lots of people who will not care for what you do. Would it be any better if a reviewer totally misunderstood your
music but loved it?
As for "music" critics discussing how a performer dresses. Yeah, I've experienced that one too. Understandable when you realize that
"music" critics are often really "scene" critics in disguise.
Critics are, by temperment, quite often of the personality style that truly believes music can be objectively good or bad. I had the
pleasure to spend the better part of and evening drunkenly debating with a local critic at a party once. I put forth the argument that
Madonna was not objectively "better" than Shakespeare. Oh, I agreed that I personally preferred Shakespeare to Madonna. But I
understood that that was a personal preference of mine. He finally left angry, unable to logically explain what he felt so deeply to be true:
that Shakespeare was objectively "better" than Madonna.
I was him in high school, vigorous in my assertion that Led Zeppelin was the pinnacle and that Kraftwerk could hardly really be called
"music". I mean, come on, the computer is playing most of it.
I'm rambling. I apologize. Haven't had morning coffee yet.
PS: Frank Zappa: "Rock journalism is people who can't write, interviewing people who can't talk, for people who can't read."
Not sure exactly how or if that applies to this discussion, but it makes me laugh anyway.
----- Original Message -----
From: "Hartung, Kris" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: RE: Why I'm starting to loath news paper music critics
Date: Sun, 19 Jun 2005 09:32:06 -0600
> Yeah, then be accused by another reviewer of being deceitful....again, I
> will put my faith in the music. I'm going to yield to this sort of crap,
> just to address a nit, that the word "live" is in my title, but I didn't
> have applause in the mix. That's asinine.
> Shit, I thought my blood pressure was finally down on this and now you
> guys are fucking my day up again. Sorry....bad night of sleeplessness
> with the twins. s
> -----Original Message-----
> From: Travis Hartnett [mailto:email@example.com]
> Sent: Sunday, June 19, 2005 9:16 AM
> To: Loopers-Delight@loopers-delight.com
> Subject: Re: Why I'm starting to loath news paper music critics
> I believe there was a Mick Karn album that David Torn played on that
> opened with a big rock type number (as much as it would be with the
> two of them), and they'd added in crowd noise to make it sound like it
> was show in the Enormodome. I'd suggest remixing the album and adding
> in huge waves of stadium applause from a sound effects CD....
> On 6/19/05, Ian Petersen <firstname.lastname@example.org> wrote:
> > Kris,
> > I have to say I really don't understand your displeasure over that
> > review. I've just read the review in question and don't see anything
> > that can be construed as particularly derogatory or misleading in it.
> > After listening to the samples of the CD on SoundClick I'd say the
> > review is a quite fair and accurate portrayal of the music - it
> > to me, pretty much as I would expect from reading the review. I also
> > have to admit I rather agree with the reviewer that a CD entitled
> > at ... whatever" should indeed have some indication of the live
> > 'ambience' including audience response, falling spoons etc.
> > All in all, I'd be pretty well-chuffed by such a review. Sorry!
> > --
> > Ian Petersen
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