Friday, January 18, 2008

When he's wrong, he's wrong...

...but, when he's right, he right. This from a recent Lefsetz letter:

"What kind of fucked up world do we live in where kids would rather play a video game than follow and go to the shows of new artists? One in which the creativity encased in the game exceeds that in the grooves of the new records. Music has lost its way, its essence. But that isn't its biggest problem. Its biggest problem is the lack of attention, the fact that not only do people not care, those acts that are cared about garner very few eyeballs."

Rock is dead, long live rock!


At 12:56 AM, January 19, 2008, Blogger Jackson said...

Sure, things ain't what they used to be, but instead of moaning about it, I think we should appreciate the magic that happened in recording studios in the latter half of the last century. Those that were there to witness, to bask, should count themselves lucky.

Who needs new music? There's loads of great stuff to listen to already.

At 3:55 PM, January 19, 2008, Blogger Bobby said...

Kids today and there "Guitar Hero."
Why, in my day, we took guitar lessons...and we LIKED IT!

At 12:37 PM, January 23, 2008, Anonymous busbee said...

Guitar Hero (and that other game with every instrument) to me are just better ways to air guitar so I don't have a problem with it. I played the game for the first time this past weekend and thought it was a hoot as far as entertaining video games go(especially under the influence and in surround sound!). In terms of self-satisfaction, however, it paled in comparison to the 30-minute session on my Epiphone last night covering tunes from Bob Marley to Oasis. The kids who grind on GH would never pick up an instrument otherwise and likely would not even try lessons so it does have limited value, such as being a way to bridge the past to songs they'd have never heard(Black Sabbath, Living Colour, Metallica, Heart, and Kiss are choices in GH). To be honest, I started to hate guitar lessons after year 2 because I couldn't sit there and play scales all day. I wanted to jump right into Eruption. Point is that it shouldn't be scorned because it is clearly not a substitute for the real thing and is not going to keep kids from playing real instruments. It's fantasy, just like all video games. Maybe it does have the effect of piqued interest on the part of the gamer who might try the real thing? I do know that my 8-year-old Eliza takes it upon herself to put down the Wii, or turn off the TV, and practice piano though we started her early with the Kindermusik program at age 1. She plays beautifully and can read music as well or better than I can (but I'd dominate her in GH!).

At 11:42 AM, January 25, 2008, Blogger Tony Alva said...


I don't think Lefsetz was addressing gaming replacing actually playing the guitar, more maintaining the out of whack world where kids NEED to turn rock and roll into a game to be interested in it. I couldn't agree more. Music has already been devalued by the fact tht most kids steal it, and now instead of being captivated and investing in an aural experience, they have to have some insipid game to keep them tuned in. It's fucked up, music becomes secondary background noise.

It's hard to imagine needing more than a well crafted song to make you think, jump around, smile, get angry, etc...

I enjoy video games, but I gotta say they've had a negative affect on kids overall. Mush brain syndrome for sure.

At 12:23 PM, January 30, 2008, Anonymous busbee said...

OK, I understand the point.

Are video games any worse than the bad TV that we watched endlessly? [And if you have not played the Wii, then you need to. It's such a different gaming experience - not just a sit there, eat Doritos, get fat, and push buttons kind of thing.]

I'm usually of the same opinion as Jackson (Who needs new music?) and steer most of my purchases to filling in collections or buying artists I missed the first time around, but then I hear someone like Feist or Ben Harper and get excited again.

I think music today is so much better and much more accessible than ever, it's just that the record and media companies market the crappy stuff to such a degree that every mainstream 1-2 hit wonder is put on a pedestal next to the Beatles. It wasn't so bad in our day because the hype was confined to radio mostly but today it's coming from all angles.

Disney is the worst at this business. Every character in every movie has a music video, and it's the same "bomp, bomp, bomp" hiphop musak beat with shitty lyrics that mean nothing. How could it be harder to get Hannah Montana tickets over Van Halen's reunion? Easy when every other commercial on the Disney Channels(there are four on my cable system) hypes the tour or the video or the CD... And these are the commercials they run during the 5-hour HM marathons! It's pathetic but Disney knows its audience.

I hate to put it all on the parents but it really is up to us to put the smack down and limit this exposure, but also explain to our kids what's really going on and not just pass it off as "because I said so".


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