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View Full Version : "Influential" = "Genius"?!?!



mabudonicus
04-07-2004, 04:11 PM
Inspired by the "worst song ever" thread, I decided to start this one,so that one can get back on track

I just want to say that just because the music press always issues retoractive, retrospective-style stuff patting themselves on the back about supporting the true "genius", doesn't mean that that is the way it actually was
Of COURSE modern, big label artists will wax poetic about the mythological greatness of their "influences"

That's how the scam works, y'see

Take Kurt Kobain, f'rinstance :beard: (said I wouldn't... I did)

There was no vision at all behind the nirvana schtick. NONE, besides,to borrow a quote from the Simpsons, the observation that "making kids depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel"

Sorry for the fans, but honestly, musically there was almost nothing going on in their music... and yes I heard plenty of it

Now, if their music "inspired" a bunch of other angry kids to share their angst with others, so be it, but musically they brought nothing to the table.

I would even go so far as to say that Nirvana may well represent the "spirit of the age", so to speak, inspiring others to take up the same whiny torch, but there is no way that someone can seriously say that they learned any actual musical lessons from them (unless they weren't aware that you could make a song with only 2 chords in it, but that had been done already, too, about 100 years previous)


I was just tired of folks duking it out on an emotional basis... it isn't about what you like, I like a lot of pure crap too, but I know it is crap and like it anyways. Real inspiration, in a mainstream pop sense, ended officially in the 70's somewhere, once all the pop become derivative of (and largely based on) other folks translations of the source material, because the music buying public, by and large, is completely ignorant of what constitutes actual music. Like what you will, but don't confuse meaning with quality, that's where the arguments start.


Anyone ;)????

El Chuxter
04-07-2004, 04:36 PM
Well, sometimes "influential" is synonymous with "genius." Look at Bob Dylan, Black Sabbath, Elvis, Hank Senior (Williams, not the monkey), Jimi Hendrix, Louis Armstrong, Robert Johnson, etc. :beard:

Though I must say I've never "got" Nirvana. Pretty decent pop band, but nothing spectacular, and (like I've said before) they'd already be in the washed-up boat with Pearl Jam if Cobain hadn't killed himself.

What's funny, though, and only slightly related, is to listen to lame musicians talk about their supposed influences as if reciting names they should be influenced by, as if there's any similarity. Case in point: John Mayer says the biggest influence on his work was Jimi Hendrix, and he judges his own stuff by how much he can't sound like Jimi. WTF? I guess Jimi was some half-witted cornball who couldn't play the guitar whatsoever and loved to use silly words like "bubblegum" in his music? I must've missed that Hendrix album. :rolleyes::beard:

Bosskman
04-07-2004, 04:54 PM
It's all a money grab.

Exhaust Port
04-07-2004, 10:42 PM
There must be some special for Bob Segar on MTV or something because I've been catching a particular sound bite for the last few days. Basically the spot shows Kid Rock on stage introducing Bob Segar or something and saying "Bob Segar is the baddest M@#$*#$*# in rock." Wha?? Bob Segar? Once again in an attempt to save a career by latching on to the coattails of a veteran or 2 an artist 1. Claims an influence that never really existed 2. Pronouncing that person to be the greatest musician ever or something.

Just like Fred Durst, Kid Rock announces yet another artist is the top dog.

"I, Kid Rock, will gladly show up to your tribute event and proclaim (your band name here) as the greatest showman on earth."

Claiming Bob Segar is the "baddest M(*&#*($&*(" in rock is like giving that title to Tom Petty or John Melloncamp. Yeah, he produced some classic songs but the baddest *#$*#*#$? Please get over it Mr. Rock.

Deoxyribonucleic
04-08-2004, 12:51 AM
Take Kurt Kobain, f'rinstance :beard: (said I wouldn't... I did)

There was no vision at all behind the nirvana schtick. NONE, besides,to borrow a quote from the Simpsons, the observation that "making kids depressed is like shooting fish in a barrel"

Sorry for the fans, but honestly, musically there was almost nothing going on in their music... and yes I heard plenty of it

Now, if their music "inspired" a bunch of other angry kids to share their angst with others, so be it, but musically they brought nothing to the table.

Anyone ;)????

THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

I think you are the ONLY one I've EVER come across who feels this way and I don't understand WHY so many people are into some stupid heroine addicted jerk who brings a child into the world, marries the biggest heroine addicted w*o*e in the world and kills himself because he's sooooooo depressed and leaves this poor kid with that bimbo!!!! I can't stand Nirvana and I can't stand K.K. I lived in Seattle for most of my life and was there at all the bars they played (ie: rebar) and when they became "popular"...hell, my friend Gabe is in their "Teen Spirit" video...and I NEVER saw the big deal about their music...and then we have them to thank for the endless amount of crapola music the 90's put out...everything sounds the same anymore...and I blame grunge for the emergence of "bubblegum" pop because grunge depressed everyone sooooo much that the music industry had to make everyone happy again and they created that bubblegum crapola!!

Aaaaaaaarrrrrggggggggggggggg will it NEVER end?

Thank God for the 70's and for Classical/Operas!!

Sorry for venting there folks, but I've never had the chance to vent about that aweful band since I lived through it all so many years ago :stupid:

arctangent
04-08-2004, 03:54 AM
influential/genius are not necessarily and inextricably linked. i am sure there are many musicians who could be classed as genius but have influenced very few people because they never got the breaks or the luck or were so underground that few people got to hear them.

on the other hand there are musicians who have influenced many perhaps by pure fluke. take black sabbath - four working class blokes from the arse end of birmingham. tony iommi used to bully ozzy when they attended the same school and didn't really want him to join their band but they couldn't find anyone else. tony iommi can't play the guitar properly due to having the tips of his fingers cut off in an accident in a factory where he worked. so he played the way he could, which is how he produced the chords he played. the love and peace brigade meant nothing four lads from brum, it was bleak, grey and rained a lot. they all loved horror films and saw a name on a film poster at the cinema near where they used to practice that they really liked. so a name change, some huge power chords and some scarey lyrics later, bingo! a unique band is born who influenced just about every metal band ever. a stroke of genius or pure blind luck :confused: who knows.

kool-aid killer
04-08-2004, 11:25 AM
All of us are influenced by somebody or something and we all influence somebody or something else. That doesnt make them or us geniuses. But i dont think anybody can argue against the fact that a death will greatly help an entertainers legacy. And any criticism against them is seen as unwarranted and the criticiser is seen as a hater.

El Chuxter
04-08-2004, 12:17 PM
Claiming Bob Segar is the "baddest M(*&#*($&*(" in rock is like giving that title to Tom Petty or John Melloncamp.

Hate to break it to you, but Tom is the baddest mofo in rock. The songs may sound deceptively gentle, but the dude's got a lot of bile. And cajones. :D

Exhaust Port
04-08-2004, 12:24 PM
Little did I realize but "Runnin' down a Dream" is really about his love for hit and runs. :) It seems he not one to mess with. :D

stillakid
04-08-2004, 03:11 PM
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU!!

I think you are the ONLY one I've EVER come across who feels this way ...


Perhaps you missed our "discussion" in the WORST SONG thread. :D

sith_killer_99
04-08-2004, 08:21 PM
Hmmm, well, I didn't read the "WORST SONG" thread. However, there are a few thing I would like to address:

Nirvana may not have been brilliant, but I appreciate it for what it did and what it was. First, "Smells Like Teen Spirit", for me bridged the gap between Heavy Metal and Grunge and opened me up to the world of Alternative Music, if not for Nirvana, I would probably never have bothered with the likes of Nine Inch Nails. So yes, they influenced me...heavily.

The first time I listened to the entire Nevermind album I thought WTF is this?!?! It really took me a while to aquire a taste for their music, which taught me patients. Not all great music grabs a hold of you and kicks arse right away.

Like wise their music taught me that not all songs have to have a message, some music is chaotic and incomprehensible and that's OK.

Now, would I put Nirvana in the top 20 of all time...no way...probably not even the top 500 of all time...or even the top 1000! But they certainly influenced me.

I saw a special about Kurt and about how he suffered from some rare stomach problems that left him in extreme pain and how he turned to heroine because the perscriptions were useless for his pain. About how he couldn't even hold down food sometimes. Anyway, I try not to judge, who knows what I would have done in his position. Though it is unfortunate that he left behind a kid. I will say that, as a father, I will do almost anything to ensure that I am around for my daughter as she grows up. That's why I quite smoking the day she was born.


I NEVER saw the big deal about their music...and then we have them to thank for the endless amount of crapola music the 90's put out...

Hmmm, I blame the "Music Industry" for trying to copy and capitalize on one or two bands success. The Industry has been doing it for years (Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis...The Beatles and The Monkeys...and on and on).


and I blame grunge for the emergence of "bubblegum" pop because grunge depressed everyone sooooo much that the music industry had to make everyone happy again and they created that bubblegum crapola!!

It's all about cycles! You can't blame Grunge for Debbie Gibson, Tiffany, New Kids on the Block or Millie Vanillie (sp?).

Grunge is about as responsible for todays "bubblegum pop" music as the Sex Pistols are for New Kids on the Block. I'm sorry, but I just don't buy it.

El Chuxter
04-08-2004, 08:48 PM
Hmmm, I blame the "Music Industry" for trying to copy and capitalize on one or two bands success. The Industry has been doing it for years (Elvis and Jerry Lee Lewis...The Beatles and The Monkeys...and on and on).

Woah. Uh, hold on a second. If I'm reading this correctly, the "music industry" tried to copy Elvis with Jerry Lee Lewis? I'm going to have to disagree with you there. Sam Phillips (God rest his soul) was one of the few true geniuses in the behind-the-scenes aspect of the music industry, and his Sun Records discovered quite a few giants of the rock era, including the two you mentioned, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins, and Roy Orbison. They all sounded a bit similar in the early days, but it was less marketing than the fact that they were all poor kids from the area around Memphis who were influenced by blues and country-western to different degrees. They may have recorded a lot of the same songs, especially early on, but that was common in that time. (Check out the Motown, Chess, or Sun catalogs for a lot more song-swapping from the time period.)

And four of these (plus Ike Turner and a bunch of bluesmen who also recorded on Sun) were geniuses. Sam was a marketing magician, true, but that doesn't mean Jerry Lee Lewis was an Elvis knockoff. Of course, he did marry his underage cousin and destroy his career early on, which is why I didn't say "five of these" in the first sentence of this paragraph.

Completely different train of thought. . . .

Pondering the case of Frank Zappa, "influential" is not the same as "genius" for the opposite reason of the others that have been brought up. I doubt you'll find anyone who's heard the guy's work who wouldn't say he was some level of musical genius, but I doubt you'll find anyone who was really influenced by him, either. Except maybe Dweezil Zappa.

BTW, I agree completely that it's about cycles. The music industry gets stale, and something comes out of left field to shake it up, then becomes mainstream and stale itself. Rock, the British Invasion, the blues revival, garage rock, heavy metal, punk, new wave, rap, grunge, alternative. . . . Right now, alternative is still the mainstream, as it's been for about 13 years. I'd say we're due for a new revolution sometime pretty soon. And a new mainstream about two years after that.

sith_killer_99
04-08-2004, 09:21 PM
Woah. Uh, hold on a second. If I'm reading this correctly, the "music industry" tried to copy Elvis with Jerry Lee Lewis?

Well, that wasn't the intent, I guess it was a bad example. All I was trying to say is that the Industry tends to capitalize on trends. You see a lot of labels carry very similar musicians, artists etc. However, Jerry Lee Lewis did feel a tremendous amount of pressure to compete with Elvis, much like Britney and Christina. hehehe...now that's a funny comparison. ;)