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Controversial Opinions Thread: The R.E.M. Thread for sensible people who are also idiots



  • I think its a bolder move to make experimental music which flirts with pop music and conventional ideas than making purely experimental or avant music.
  • expand on that. why is it bolder to have a bit of familiarity to it instead of complete experimentation?
  • i agree with that in that u open urself up to other ppls opinions when u flirt with pop
  • that's true. but would you say the same for two musicians with equal audience?
  • edited September 2015
    I think the highest form of art is experimental pop. If I were to explain artistic value in a formula:

    (Complexity of ideas)/(ease of understood)

    The closer this number gets to 1, the better that art is. Since art is a form of communication, I think the greatest ideal is something that manages to get across complicated ideas in a way that anyone could understand and appreciate
  • Needless verbosity is as bad if not worse in my opinion than genericness
  • hey, don't get me wrong, i love experimental pop and often value it more than purely experimental stuff. but that's not the question here. which is bolder? i feel like making something with any sort of digestibility is necessarily less bold. what's scarier, making something with elements you know people like or making something completely out there? i think the latter is (and it's less likely to reap reward), so it's bolder. 

    don't confuse bolder with better, though. 
  • the vast majority of music whose specific goal is to be as experimental and esoteric as possible is absolute garbage
    edited September 2015
    well lets take Kevin Drumm's Sheer Hellish Miasma, and my favourite Black Dice album, Load Blown.

    Drumm's record is just harsh noise and drone music. Not an easy sell, no, but it appeals to a crowd and that crowd understands and appreciates the music.

    Black Dice are toying with popular musical conventions such as accessible rhythms which repeat, melodies and vocal samples, as well as things like African percussion on Gore, hip hop rhythms on Drool, Scavenger even has some pretty guitar on it.

    I feel like using conventions can give avant music depth, and that creating weird with the familiar is more interesting than just making something which people can completely distance themselves from.
  • pretty much agreed, robby. but let's reframe this. bands A and B both have 10,000 fans from previous work. band A releases an experimental pop album, mixing familiar sensibilities with new elements. band B releases a purely experimental work with few hooks, no choruses, and not many hummable melodies. i would much rather listen to band A's album. but band B's album was bolder--it takes courage to release something with such little popular appeal.
  • Right but at the same time experimental and Pop can both easily be low effort. The hardest thing, the thing that takes the greatest commitment to artistic intention and craft is experimental Pop.
  • @nick: well i have trouble addressing a specific band-to-band argument because i've heard neither (album) & don't really know if they fall into the categories we're discussing very well. but black dice in this case seems to be the one experimenting more (i could totally be wrong as i'm unfamiliar with drumm's music). yes, they're incorporating elements from pop but are also doing more with them, so it's tough to compare. maybe the way black dice arrange those popular elements make it unappealing to listeners of the psych genre (whereas drumm's could be conventional within his genre)
  • toon, you think experimental pop necessarily requires more effort than either of the separate genres? maybe *good* experimental pop is tougher to pull off (though even that's arguable), but i don't think genres really have benchmarks of effort--people are remarkably creative with their laziness
    edited September 2015
    With crossing the two, you could have yourself in the crossroads where you alienate both sides of the audience.

    The side which think it's too weird, and the side which think it's too accessible and mainstream.
  • I think it's relatively easy to get a following of weirdos and relatively easy to get a following of pop fans. The hardest and riskiest thing to do is to move into the territory of the other when you've already established one
  • The riskiest move is to do something against your fan base
  • And the greatest thing is when you pull it off
  • So I guess it's not as much just experimental pop as much as its pop music written by an experimental artists or experimental music written by a pop artist
  • that's an interesting argument, nick. though i'd say just about everyone likes pop to some extent, so the person who makes experimental pop still appeals very well (and perhaps more so) to listeners of very experimental music. i don't think i know that many people who swear off everything with any pop elements

    and toon on the same point, i'd argue the following of weirdos is won over by experimental pop (hey, they're experimenting and appealing!) whereas purely experimental stuff makes it a lot harder to get a following
  • well like this;

    When I first heard this I was intrigued because I didn't know what was going on. It blends things from various genres in a way I've never heard before.
    But most like noise and avant stuff you can put it on and be like "Oh, I get it, but it's not for me." like with noise I'm just like, yeah, this is noise music. 
    But when you mix the two there has the ability of another layer being added, one where you don't completely understand what's going on.
  • i mean, i agree with you there. a shift that moves you away from your fanbase is the boldest thing you can do
  • I think the all "pop is bad" mentality is fading but I know some aging hipsters who say shit like that
  • Dance music is dumb.
  • thank you
  • Ride the Skies is my favorite Lightning Bolt album
  • The choice between Ride the Skies and Wonderful Rainbow has always been impossible for me.
  • Wonderful Rainbow
  • they're both so good, but I like the former just a little bit better because whimsy
  • sunrise > sunset

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