Join 3,561 readers in helping fund MetaFilter (Hide)

Sometimes We Do Good
November 13, 2012 7:50 PM   Subscribe

It shall be brought to MetaTalk's attention that This Thread Is Best Thread.
posted by The Whelk to MetaFilter-Related at 7:50 PM (151 comments total) 9 users marked this as a favorite

That is The Wire of mefi threads.
posted by hellojed at 7:55 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


don't know how you do what you do
I'm SO IN LOVE WITH YOUUUUUUU
it just keeps getting better

...

baby I'm amazed by you

---

all right everyone, SNOWBALL! Mazel tov to Evan on his big day and grab someone for this last slow dance
posted by threeants at 7:56 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yes, and it's tremendously rewarding in a way I wouldn't have predicted. Instead of (primarily) being a "let's shit on Rob Thomas" thread it's become a totally delightful "wasn't late 90s pop terrible/wonderful" thread.
posted by Horace Rumpole at 8:05 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


I hatelove you all for that thread now.
posted by bitter-girl.com at 8:15 PM on November 13, 2012


DAMN YOU ALL TO HELL.
posted by ocherdraco at 8:21 PM on November 13, 2012


That thread has no effect on me, being secure in the knowledge that pretty much no decent music was produced after 1974.
posted by dg at 8:23 PM on November 13, 2012 [5 favorites]


Yeah I really don't understand what's happening in that thread.
posted by item at 8:26 PM on November 13, 2012


we are hurting each other with music, basically
posted by The Whelk at 8:29 PM on November 13, 2012 [24 favorites]


Most surprisingly successful post.
posted by Ad hominem at 8:35 PM on November 13, 2012 [3 favorites]


It never would have occurred to me to click on something related to Supernatural or pop music of 1999. I guess that's the lesson Metafilter teaches.
posted by bleep at 8:37 PM on November 13, 2012


Instead of (primarily) being a "let's shit on Rob Thomas" thread it's become a totally delightful "wasn't late 90s pop terrible/wonderful" thread.

the awfulness of late 90s pop (particularly 1999) can only be explained from the perspective that it was necessary to flush all the cultural sewers before the new millennium.
posted by philip-random at 8:46 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


we are hurting each other with music, basically

Command-F "Hey Soul Sister"

0 of 0...

Maximum pain not achieved.
posted by sweetkid at 8:47 PM on November 13, 2012 [9 favorites]


sweetkid: “Command-F 'Hey Soul Sister' 0 of 0... Maximum pain not achieved.”

Ha! I just finished posting that, plus a song that is actually worse.
posted by koeselitz at 9:10 PM on November 13, 2012


There's been lots of good music since 1978, but nearly all rock music obeys my 1978 rule of rock, which is :

Nearly all bands that were popular before 1978 sucked in the 80s.

(Solo material and bands are considered separately. For example, Peter Gabriel rocked in the 80s, but Genesis sucked in the 80s, so Peter Gabriel doesn't count as an exception)

I've only found a few exceptions : Bob Dylan, Bruce Springsteen, David Bowie, and a few others -- mostly solo artists. I've been told that Rush bucks the trend, but I have no desire to listen to Rush, so I'll have to take that as an article of faith.
posted by Afroblanco at 9:15 PM on November 13, 2012


This is like the third or fourth time I've swapped 90s earworms on this site.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:20 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Afroblanco-- Tom Waits.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:22 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Afroblanco: Dead Kennedys, Talking Heads and Devo.
Early eighties yes. But still eighties.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:44 PM on November 13, 2012


I think Afroblanco's qualifier "popular" lets a lot of otherwise excellent people off the hook. Tom Waits was doing pretty good before 1978, but he was nowhere near household-name status ... and never has been, really, even among people who may recognize his songs from their hit interpretations.
posted by mykescipark at 9:45 PM on November 13, 2012


Talking Heads had only released one album before 1978, and Devo hadn't released any until that year. Both were firmly art-school favorites at that point.
posted by mykescipark at 9:46 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Afroblanco - B-52s. Bruce Springsteen.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:52 PM on November 13, 2012


mykescipark, Devo had two albums prior to the 80's, out in 78 and 79.
Regardless, yes, no, nevermind. Popular. What a qualifier.
Well, damn, Stevie Wonder? no, ugh. I don't like this game.
posted by Cold Lurkey at 9:52 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


Lurkey, you're misreading his argument.

Nearly all bands that were popular before 1978 sucked in the 80s.

In order to qualify, the bands had to be popular before 1978. Therefore, both Devo and Talking Heads are disqualified.

I'm pretty sure Dead Kennedys weren't in your comment when I first hit post, but I certainly don't even need to address them in any case...
posted by mykescipark at 9:54 PM on November 13, 2012


Lou Reed is about all I can come up with. A lot of his '80s work was questionable, but he did put out The Blue Mask and New York, both of which were important albums.

I have a soft spot for some of Queen's '80s material, but that's on a song-by-song basis, so it doesn't really fit the bill.

Some contrarians will defend Neil Young's '80s catalogue. I am not among them.
posted by mykescipark at 10:02 PM on November 13, 2012


There's been lots of good music since 1978, but nearly all rock music obeys my 1978 rule of rock, which is :

Nearly all bands that were popular before 1978 sucked in the 80s.


Aerosmith.
posted by euphorb at 10:23 PM on November 13, 2012


I have a soft spot for ZZ Top. And they used to sell out arenas in the 70s.
posted by argybarg at 10:25 PM on November 13, 2012 [2 favorites]


And Michael Jackson?
posted by argybarg at 10:26 PM on November 13, 2012


Ow my eyes
posted by ead at 10:37 PM on November 13, 2012


Pointer Sisters not only didn't suck, they got better in the '80s.

Grace Jones may also count.
posted by klangklangston at 10:44 PM on November 13, 2012 [6 favorites]


Oh my lord the IRL discussions I have had with Afroblanco about this theory. Siouxsie and the Banshees are my big retaliation, though YMMV (for both quality and definitions of "popular.")

Anyway, as to the thread at hand, a friend of mine and I have spent prior evenings doing this exact same thing, basically; just looking up youtube videos designed to "kick one another right in the nineties." It hurts, but it's a good kind of hurt.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:44 PM on November 13, 2012 [1 favorite]


Without klicking the link, I thought I'd missed a post about Fafblog.
posted by From Bklyn at 1:00 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


All of the comments about the world clearly missed the truth of the matter. It doesn't need a folk singer (or not need one), or any of the other stuff.

The world is a vampire.
posted by Ghidorah at 1:25 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Elvis Costello, too. I think Afroblanco might be on to something about most of the exceptions being solo artists.
posted by kagredon at 2:49 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I can't believe no one has posted the Garfunkel and Oates medley yet. This Medley Is Best Worst Song Medley
posted by speicus at 3:35 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The MeFi site interface needs a flag for "earworm".
posted by Harald74 at 4:05 AM on November 14, 2012


Most surprisingly successful post.

You are telling me.
posted by josher71 at 4:17 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]



I think Afroblanco's qualifier "popular" lets a lot of otherwise excellent people off the hook.

I was going to say XTC, but Making Plans for Nigel wasn't a hit until 1979.

I am one of the few people who really likes the Let's Dance album, though.
posted by mippy at 4:33 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Aerosmith.

It still boggles me that for a short while, Aerosmith and Led Zeppelin were contemporaries.
posted by griphus at 4:38 AM on November 14, 2012


Command-F "Hey Soul Sister"

0 of 0...

Maximum pain not achieved.


At least when the thread started, it was for songs that were popular in 1999 (along with Smooth). This one's not until 2009. That shows the importance of the thread -- those that forget the past are doomed to repeat it.
posted by inigo2 at 5:11 AM on November 14, 2012


My main beef with Supernatural is that Clive Davis tried repeating its "has been with hotter young stars who respect his music" formula with Prince and, boy, did that not work.
posted by Egg Shen at 5:15 AM on November 14, 2012


Yeah the best I could come up with was Squeeze, but they arguably didn't get popular until 1979, and also lost most of their steam by 1985.

It's a hell of a theory.
posted by SpiffyRob at 5:18 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Wait... only rock music? So does that leave out all the punk, disco, pop, new wave and soul bands?

Because if so, that theory simply demonstrates that rock music went through a crisis between 1977, when punk hit, and 1985, when roots rock took over. Not that many popular pre-1977 bands survived those years of pop-cultural turmoil.
posted by Kattullus at 5:27 AM on November 14, 2012


Now, wait a minute --

(Solo material and bands are considered separately. For example, Peter Gabriel rocked in the 80s, but Genesis sucked in the 80s, so Peter Gabriel doesn't count as an exception)

I acutally take issue with this as well, because Duke was from 1980 and that was boss.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 5:52 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


That thread is killing me this morning. I'm already listening to a relatively earworm-full pandora station so there's some awful war going on in my head with what I'm reading trying to push out what's playing in my ear. It's actually really disconcerting. Some kind of weird mindfuck.
posted by This Guy at 5:53 AM on November 14, 2012


The problem is that the early '80's are a trap - a vicious tar-pit. Synthesizers had been in use for 25 years by that point, but the instrument took a gigantic step backwards into something twee and awful. What's worse, everyone, and I mean everyone, was expected to use them. Where before producers would just sigh and shell out the money for the session musicians, in the '80s, they just hired a synthesizer to mimic - and mimic very, very, very badly - a real orchestra.

Take into your mind, at risk of your sanity, the Moody Blues' "In Your Wildest Dreams." It will take a massive effort of will, but imagine that awful, awful synth track being replaced by a real woodwind, brass and string section. The song goes from "wat r u doin stahp" to, well, kind of awesome.

But you couldn't do that in the '80s. Everything needed to be cheap plastic in day-glo colors. Kids my age listened to classic rock stations, we had flat out given up on rock after '78. Even Springstein managed to drop a few stinkers (Glory Days. Come on. You know it. I know it. He knows it. You ALREADY have the fucking synth track boring into your skull - doo-do-doo-do, DOO-DO-DOO-DO)

If The Boss couldn't get by without a crap keyboard, no-one could. Only the eurotrash new-wavers were able to get anything interesting out of that sound.

Things got better during the Bush administration, and exploded into world-changing awesome once everyone in Seattle got bored enough to mess with their guitar pedals.
posted by Slap*Happy at 5:53 AM on November 14, 2012 [7 favorites]


I was home sick all day yesterday, and should have been in that thread allll day but somehow I missed it until bedtime and got really depressed that you were all having fun in my wheelhouse without me OR my wheels. Feels bad, but as the poet said, everyday is a winding road.
posted by yellowbinder at 6:01 AM on November 14, 2012


The period between 77 and 85 doesn't apply in the UK, as we got New Wave, and then the beginnings of indie - The Smiths released their first single in '83, which begat C-86, though arguably Orange Juice and Josef K did that too.
posted by mippy at 6:01 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Having said that, there are a lot of great 80s pop songs that remain smothered by the production of the time. Early PRefab Sprout being a good example.

Trevor Horn's work, despite being as of-its-time as Thomas Dolby et al, somehow doesn't sound as horribly dated. Pet Shop Boys would still be good for their marriage of existential melancholy to disco music and Neil Tennant's massive talent as a lyricist, but Left To My Own Devices could be released next week. I'm one of the very few indie kids who practically squealed when I heard that Belle and Sebastian were going to get produced by Horn.
posted by mippy at 6:04 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Thank you for this MeTa, I was straight droppin' GOLD in that thread and deserve more favorites.
posted by lazaruslong at 7:33 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Man, forget all that dopey weiner pulling noise and listen to some Kentucky Skank.
posted by Burhanistan at 7:46 AM on November 14, 2012


Contra Afroblanco's 1978 cutoff: Queen, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Heart. Popular, arguably not improved during the Eighties but usually just matters of preference rather than demonstrable worsenings into suck.
posted by cgc373 at 8:03 AM on November 14, 2012


Nothing from that era is worse than the Wallflowers. There is no country on Earth where Independence Day is celebrated during the cold part of the year. It is always in that hemisphere's summer. I know. I checked.

Almost as bad as Squeeze from the prior decade. William Tell has NOTHING to do with Maid Marian. And I will never get that night's sleep back.
posted by Eideteker at 8:45 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


the Moody Blues' "In Your Wildest Dreams."

I fucking love this shitty song.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:06 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


There is no country on Earth where Independence Day is celebrated during the cold part of the year. It is always in that hemisphere's summer. I know. I checked.

(tiptoes over to you)

Albania's Independence Day is in November, and Finland's is in December; it's cold for them both then.

(tiptoes away back to the pedant's corner)
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 9:09 AM on November 14, 2012 [5 favorites]


Nothing from that era is worse than the Wallflowers.

I'm just going to go ahead and assert that you are wrong about this. And the Wallflowers got even better post 90s.
posted by sweetkid at 9:12 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Slap*Happy: “The problem is that the early '80's are a trap - a vicious tar-pit. Synthesizers had been in use for 25 years by that point, but the instrument took a gigantic step backwards into something twee and awful. What's worse, everyone, and I mean everyone, was expected to use them. Where before producers would just sigh and shell out the money for the session musicians, in the '80s, they just hired a synthesizer to mimic - and mimic very, very, very badly - a real orchestra.”

What's astounding is how much really insanely good music was being released then. It just was not part of the monoculture at all – and the monoculture really and truly ruled the land, in a way that is incomprehensible to millenials and is way back in the early childhood memories even of thirtysomethings like me. Some of the best music ever released was put out in those days – it's just that it happened in small pockets all over the place, in situations that people had to invent for themselves. The pop music machine was taking a dive into horrid mediocrity, as you say, but there was so much good stuff around that was very, very difficult to find unless it happened to be right in front of you.
posted by koeselitz at 9:14 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


"Contra Afroblanco's 1978 cutoff: Queen, Jethro Tull, The Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Fleetwood Mac, Led Zeppelin, Heart. Popular, arguably not improved during the Eighties but usually just matters of preference rather than demonstrable worsenings into suck."

No, pretty much every one of those bands sucked during the '80s.

My problem is I'm having trouble thinking of bands that were popular enough in that period to qualify.

The Clash? They were '77 punk. Oh, and The Ramones, who never really sucked because they kept doing the same thing at (almost) the same level for years.
posted by klangklangston at 9:25 AM on November 14, 2012


But, for varying levels of popular and suck:

AC/DC
The Modern Lovers
Prince Jazzbo
Split Enz
Judas Priest
Thin Lizzy
Blondie
Cheap Trick
Kraftwerk
The Jam
Wire
Buzzcocks
Patti Smith
The Fall
posted by klangklangston at 9:31 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


The Stones released 'Start Me Up' in 1981. Although it was written in 1978.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:34 AM on November 14, 2012


Every single one of those bands (except split enz which I dont know much about, and the Fall who are always the same) did their best word before 1982, which is why I deem 1982-1988 THE SECOND WORST PERIOD IN POPULAR MUSIC HISTORY

1995-2001: The worst
Second Place: 1982-1988
Third Place: 1950-1956
Fourth Place: 1971-1976
Fifth Place: 2008-Now

posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:37 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Start Me Up is an abomination.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 9:37 AM on November 14, 2012


The problem is that the early '80's are a trap - a vicious tar-pit. Synthesizers had been in use for 25 years by that point, but the instrument took a gigantic step backwards into something twee and awful. What's worse, everyone, and I mean everyone, was expected to use them.

Yes but then SAXOPHONES.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 9:46 AM on November 14, 2012 [10 favorites]


Also that godawful echo-in-an-empty-elevator-shaft drum sound that's in goddam everything.
posted by shakespeherian at 9:47 AM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


AC/DC. Dire Straits. Steely Dan. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (which I think should be classified as a proper band and not a solo project). Bob Seger (also arguably not a solo project) Also, if you accept that REO Speedwagon and Foreigner ever produced anything that didn't suck, they were about equally good pre 1978 as they were in the early 80s. Similarly with Journey, who didn't have a hit single until the 1978 and so perhaps fail the popular-before-1978 test, but that was off their 4th album! The Ramones?

I mean, I wonder if half the problem here is not some once-in-a-lifetime musical divide that sundered pre-1978 from post, but rather a combination of various more mundane factors: most bands, even good ones, produce their best output within a period of about 5 years; with few exceptions most bands can produce maybe 3 albums worth of good material; most bands that are "popular" never produce anything "good" by snooty definitions of good, along with entire genres such as heavy metal that you're probably just discounting out of hand.
posted by drlith at 9:47 AM on November 14, 2012


Yeah I really don't understand what's happening in that thread.

basically waht happens is the cat plays the keybaordˣ
posted by Inspector.Gadget at 9:52 AM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Every single one of those bands (except split enz which I dont know much about, and the Fall who are always the same) did their best word before 1982"

That's pretty arguable for Kraftwerk.

But part of the problem is that it's hard to find any bands that have been around for a good decade without sucking toward the end. Like, pretty much any band that was popular before 1988 sucked in the '90s.

There was also a shit-ton of great music between '82 and '88, but most of the best pop then was still singles and most of the best music wasn't particularly popular. Like, Husker Du is a huge band for me, but I have no illusions that people who were buying popular music at the time were seeking out New Day Rising.
posted by klangklangston at 9:52 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Start Me Up is an abomination.

Will you never stop, never stop, never stop, never stop?
posted by drlith at 9:53 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Also, Springsteen put out his best album by leaps and bounds in '82. Everything on either side is kinda crummy, though. He never met an overproduction he didn't like, and the E Street Band was always a cheesy throwback that kind of smothered otherwise good songs.
posted by klangklangston at 9:54 AM on November 14, 2012



Also, Springsteen put out his best album by leaps and bounds in '82. Everything on either side is kinda crummy, though. He never met an overproduction he didn't like, and the E Street Band was always a cheesy throwback that kind of smothered otherwise good songs.


No.
posted by josher71 at 9:55 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Nebraska is a hill I will die on. That's hands down the best thing that Springsteen ever did.
posted by klangklangston at 10:01 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Hey! 71-76 was actually a great time for music!
posted by Mister_A at 10:03 AM on November 14, 2012


I hate to have to tell you this, man, but Nebraska is basically the opposite of a hill.
posted by koeselitz at 10:03 AM on November 14, 2012 [15 favorites]


I think Nebraska is his finest album but I don't think everything on either side is crummy by any stretch of the imagination.
posted by josher71 at 10:05 AM on November 14, 2012


A divot?
posted by Mister_A at 10:05 AM on November 14, 2012


Potomac Avenue: “Every single one of those bands (except split enz which I dont know much about, and the Fall who are always the same) did their best word before 1982, which is why I deem 1982-1988 THE SECOND WORST PERIOD IN POPULAR MUSIC HISTORY”

This categorization really rubs me the wrong way, for a lot of reasons. I really, really like a ton of music in that period. I guess it's not "popular music," though. Still – a few things:

1982 was the year that Thriller was released. Quincy Jones is brilliant, and it's hard to argue this as a low point in music.

1982 was also the year that Public Enemy got together. The years between 1982 and 1988 represent the formative period for hip hop, and some of the undisputed classics of the genre were released then, often to popular acclaim. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back was 1988. Hard to write that off.

Are the Replacements popular music? They were certainly critically acclaimed. Let It Be was in 1984 and Tim was in 1985; both were really awesome albums. But I guess those can be excluded on the basis of the fact that they weren't exactly smash hits.

I guess all this really proves is that the categorization of eras in popular music is a terrible way to look at actual music history.
posted by koeselitz at 10:11 AM on November 14, 2012


Springsteen put out his best album by leaps and bounds in '82. Everything on either side is kinda crummy, though.

.....You're dead to me.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:12 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Chronic Town was in 1982, though! Followed by several really great records.
posted by koeselitz at 10:15 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


koeselitz, how old were you in 1982? i think that might make a difference.

not to say that there wasn't good stuff from 1982-1988. there was, but it was also drowned by a lot of bad stuff. it's just extra disappointing when some artists released amazing stuff before that and then dreck after. (the jam broke up in 1982... style council was good, but no jam.)
posted by kendrak at 10:20 AM on November 14, 2012


then again, my whole argument is moot because billy childish's best work was probably between 1982 and 1988.
posted by kendrak at 10:38 AM on November 14, 2012


"Albania's Independence Day is in November, and Finland's is in December; it's cold for them both then."

So he was either singing about Albania or Finland, or he was just stringing nonsense lines together. My musical OCD is not appeased.

Also, say whatever you will about 90s music (or even 80s), but we never Coldplay.
posted by Eideteker at 10:40 AM on November 14, 2012


Also, Springsteen put out his best album by leaps and bounds in '82. Everything on either side is kinda crummy, though. He never met an overproduction he didn't like, and the E Street Band was always a cheesy throwback that kind of smothered otherwise good songs.

So. So. Wrong.
posted by MartinWisse at 10:42 AM on November 14, 2012


Smack in the middle of the 1982-1988 period came this. POINT PROVED, THANK YOU*.

* Whether the point that I'm proving is that all music in that period sucked or that there was actually some awesome music in that period is up to you**.

** Actually, no it isn't. This is one of the best songs of all time and you know it.
posted by ZsigE at 10:42 AM on November 14, 2012


I have brought the Wallflowers Cold / Independence Day problem to my peer group and have come up with a few alternate hypotheses.

1) Alaska. But, then it is always cold, so why Independence Day specifically.
2) Mongolia - Independence Day is December 29.
3) Correlation does not equal causation. It is cold AND it feels like Independence Day. It does not feel like Independence Day BECAUSE it is cold.
posted by yellowbinder at 10:43 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


The years between 1982 and 1988 represent the formative period for hip hop, and some of the undisputed classics of the genre were released then, often to popular acclaim. It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back was 1988. Hard to write that off.

You've basically made my argument for me. Hip Hop was a thousand (million?) times better after Nation of Millions than before, where it was very far underground and still finding it's feet.

Keep in my that A. My time periods are comparative. There's always good music in any given MONTH much less 5 year span. But compared to the hip hop of 89-95, the 80s were butt. Compared to Off The Wall, Thriller is a booger. Compared to Born to Run (sorry klang) Nebraska is a thumb.
and B. I am always right.

THANKS
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:44 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


kendrak: “koeselitz, how old were you in 1982? i think that might make a difference. not to say that there wasn't good stuff from 1982-1988. there was, but it was also drowned by a lot of bad stuff. it's just extra disappointing when some artists released amazing stuff before that and then dreck after. (the jam broke up in 1982... style council was good, but no jam.)”

I was three years old in 1982. And, yeah, I appreciate that things were very, very different then; as I said about monoculture above, that's something that people in my age group can remember, but not as well as those who were more culturally aware then.

It's still kind of jarring, though, the divide between popular music and the rest of the music that was being produced. So when somebody calls that "the second-worst era in popular music," it's odd confronting that knowing that a ton of my favorite music comes from that time period. I know hardly anybody was aware of it then, and I probably would not have been aware of it even if I'd been in my twenties, but still – it existed.
posted by koeselitz at 10:48 AM on November 14, 2012


Potomac Avenue: “You've basically made my argument for me.”

Uh. So you're arguing that Thriller and Bad were dreck? Or are you just arguing that Dangerous was better? I guess I maybe could see an argument for Off The Wall, but it's not one I buy.
posted by koeselitz at 10:51 AM on November 14, 2012


Uh. So you're arguing that Thriller and Bad were dreck?

They descended in quality, as just about all established musicians output did, in those middle years of the 80s. Meanwhile, new acts were not as good as ones that came out before and after these years, on the whole. Husker Du was good. The Pixies were better. Embrace is OK, Fugazi is better. Cyndy Lauper is fine, no Cyndy Lauper is better. Etc.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:58 AM on November 14, 2012


I am the Nate Silver of rating musical time periods.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 10:58 AM on November 14, 2012


3) Correlation does not equal causation. It is cold AND it feels like Independence Day. It does not feel like Independence Day BECAUSE it is cold.

That's the one. I stumbled upon this right around the same time I tried wrapping my my head around the lyric "Don't tell me cause it hurts" from No Doubt's "Don't Speak"

To wit:

1. Don't tell me cause it hurts. (I don't want you to tell me because it hurts when you tell me.)
2. Don't tell me cause it hurts. (Don't have the reason for you telling me be that it hurts.)
3. Don't tell me "cause it hurts." (Do not say the words "cause it hurts" to me.)

Did I mention I was a Top 40 DJ from 1997-2001? I HAD FUN.
posted by SpiffyRob at 11:01 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I deem 1982-1988 THE SECOND WORST PERIOD IN POPULAR MUSIC HISTORY

Pah.

The Luxury Gap, Penthouse and Pavement, L'Aventurier, 4US, English Settlement, Number of the Beast, 1987 (What the Fuck is Going On), Hounds of Love, The Whole Story, Tropical Gangsters, Nighttime, Electric Cafe, Opus Dei, Keep Moving, Mad Not Mad, Peace Sells... But Who's Buying, Master of Puppets, Ride the Lightning, Double Nickels on the Dime, Straight Outta Compton, Low-Life, Power, Corruption and Lies, Rip it Up, Dazzle Ships, Malleus Maleficarum, So, Rum Sodomy and the Lash, Purple Rain, Sign 'O' the Times, 1999, A Secret Wish, Let it Be, I Am Cold, Raising Hell, Speak English or Die, Floodland, Reign in Blood, South of Heaven, In the Studio, Introducing the Style Council, The Colour of Spring, It's My Life, Spirit of Eden, Stop Making Sense, The Lexicon of Love, Forever Young, Among the Living, Who's Afraid of the Art of Noise?, Press the Eject and Give Me the Tape, Criminally Minded, A Walk Across the Rooftops, Nebraska, Tunnel of Love, Word Up!, Reek of Putrifaction, To Mega Therion, Sextet, I Feel for You, Blue Bell Knoll, Horse Rotovator, Bedtime for Democracy, Leprosy, Black Celebration, Construction Time Again.

Quite a few good albums in that period and that's just the first pass through my collection.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:02 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Husker Du was good. The Pixies were better.

Let me stop you right there.
posted by josher71 at 11:05 AM on November 14, 2012 [6 favorites]


3) Correlation does not equal causation. It is cold AND it feels like Independence Day. It does not feel like Independence Day BECAUSE it is cold.

I this Eisenstein's theory of montage is more appropriate here than a scientific maxim. By placing these two statements together a relationship is implied, particularly because cold is a sensation (something one "feels") followed by the statement that it "feels like Independence Day." It's a bad lyric.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:08 AM on November 14, 2012


The line "it feels like Independence Day" is meant to correlate with the line after it:

She said it's cold
It feels like Independence Day
And I can't break away from this parade

But there's got to be an opening
Somewhere here in front of me
Through this maze of ugliness and greed



It's about someone who feels alienated, alone and uncomfortable and doesn't see a way out. "It's cold" in her mind.
posted by bleep at 11:12 AM on November 14, 2012


Quite a few good albums in that period and that's just the first pass through my collection.

Great, you just carried Nebraska and Texas. Early 90s and late 70s have a million times more electoral votes though.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:15 AM on November 14, 2012


That's just your opinion.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:21 AM on November 14, 2012


And anybody who rates the late seventies over the first part of that decade? Not really worth listening to.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:22 AM on November 14, 2012


Echo.

And.

The.

Bunnymen.
posted by shakespeherian at 11:25 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Husker Du was good. The Pixies were better.

Now we must fight.
posted by Egg Shen at 11:27 AM on November 14, 2012


After reading that thread, half the comments on this site now read like snippets of imaginary song lyrics
posted by ook at 11:30 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Potomac Avenue: “They descended in quality, as just about all established musicians output did, in those middle years of the 80s. Meanwhile, new acts were not as good as ones that came out before and after these years, on the whole. Husker Du was good. The Pixies were better. Embrace is OK, Fugazi is better. Cyndy Lauper is fine, no Cyndy Lauper is better. Etc.”

That's insane. There is no way that the Pixies are superior to Husker Du.

And you've made it clear that you're not really just talking about popular music, which explodes your entire thesis. The Replacements peaked in the middle of that period, between 1982 and 1988. The same is true of hundreds of awesome bands. Hell, another great example of how wrong this is – Prince clearly peaked between 1982 and 1988, Purple Rain was in 1984. And you seem to be completely ignoring metal, which was flourishing in this time period; speed metal took off, and all kinds of awesome grungey grindy things were thriving under the radar.

This is also the golden age of DC hardcore, which is no small thing – not just Embrace (a band that deserves better than merely being compared unfavorably with Fugazi) but Rites of Spring – goddamn, one of the finest records ever made right there – and Beefeater and Government Issue and Faith and Void... a whole bunch of awesome, awesome music. Black Flag was clearly at their best in those years. Hardcore in general came of age in the mid to late 1980s. You can write off hardcore completely, but it's a vital music that's worthy of consideration, I think.

Basically, you've staked out some territory that it's impossible to defend. You can't write off so much good shit. You just can't.
posted by koeselitz at 11:30 AM on November 14, 2012


A Walk Across the Rooftops

Boom for real.
posted by mintcake! at 11:35 AM on November 14, 2012


House music was best between 1982 and 1988, too.
posted by koeselitz at 11:36 AM on November 14, 2012


"She said" doesn't have to apply to everything that follows it in the song. One could parse it as

She said "It's cold"
[but I think] It feels like independence day
posted by owtytrof at 11:38 AM on November 14, 2012


Did XTC ever release anything that wasn't good?

(That's a rhetorical question, obviosuly.)
posted by she's not there at 11:42 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Yall're being weird. I'm not writing anything off. Either you say that ALL TIME PERIODS ARE EQUALLY GOOD FOR MUSIC or SOME TIME PERIODS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS. If you admit that some music is better than others, than you have to admit the latter, so just bringing up counterexamples isn't proving anything. The music world ebbs and flows, and sometimes there is more good music where genres peak or wane together. In the mid-80s genres like country, punk, metal and funk were waning. Thems just facts. Hardcore can be great but there is much that sucks, and more than is mediocre. As a resident of Washington DC I can affirm that there were 10,000 AMAZING postpunk bands starting in the summer of 1987 and peaking in 1991, where before that there was... the 5 that Koeselitz mentioned.

If you want to argue with my premises, cool. Maybe there are no bad periods in popular music! Maybe there is no such thing as good or bad music! Sure. But unless you can say why other periods were worse, I will remain INCONTROVERTIBLE (lol).

By the way, "Popular Music" includes punk and jazz and everything whose primary mode of transmission is recordings rather than sheet music.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:42 AM on November 14, 2012


SpiffyRob, Mr. Arkham and I have the same ongoing argument/discussion about NIN's "Closer." Is it "I want to f*** you like (I was) an animal" or "I want to f*** you (as if you were) like an animal"? Because those are two totally different things.
posted by JoanArkham at 11:44 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


House music was best between 1982 and 1988, too.

Could be true. But there were 15 kinds of dance music in the early 90s that were all peaking between 1989 and 1995 so I still think that period was more fruitful and more interesting!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:45 AM on November 14, 2012


I think Reznor's talking about doing it like they do on the Discovery Channel.
posted by drlith at 11:47 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Oh my god that thread.

I've never put it together, but I now realize why I got really into jazz and stopped listening to the radio in 1998.

Though Bittersweet Symphony will always have a special place in my heart.
posted by Lutoslawski at 11:48 AM on November 14, 2012


I think Reznor's ambiguity of phrasing is meant to connote that he is both fucking LIKE an animal fucks as well as fucking someone as if they were an animal.

Animal {~} aNiMaL
posted by Potomac Avenue at 11:50 AM on November 14, 2012


I want to fuck you like this guy.
posted by owtytrof at 11:50 AM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Potomac Avenue: “Either you say that ALL TIME PERIODS ARE EQUALLY GOOD FOR MUSIC or SOME TIME PERIODS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS. If you admit that some music is better than others, than you have to admit the latter, so just bringing up counterexamples isn't proving anything... If you want to argue with my premises, cool. Maybe there are no bad periods in popular music! Maybe there is no such thing as good or bad music! Sure. But unless you can say why other periods were worse, I will remain INCONTROVERTIBLE (lol).”

There is some middle ground here. Frankly, I agree that theoretically some time periods are probably better for music; but some periods are better for color, too. It's just insane to try to claim one has a scientific way of proving that a certain time period is better than another. "Well, the color blue was huge in 1993 – it was a popular color in advertisements, and there were fewer days with clouds overall so the sky was generally more blue – and since blue is the best color, then 1993 was a better year for color than any other year." This becomes ludicrous quickly.
posted by koeselitz at 11:51 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Speaking of jazz, a good antidote to that thread was gifted me by whoever (iirc koeselitz) recommended Dinah Washington and Blossom Dearie in that jazz thread we had the other day. So, so good.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:53 AM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Either you say that ALL TIME PERIODS ARE EQUALLY GOOD FOR MUSIC or SOME TIME PERIODS ARE BETTER THAN OTHERS.

Too subjective, too broad, not at all interesting to argue either proposition.
posted by MartinWisse at 11:58 AM on November 14, 2012


in that jazz thread we had the other day

Link, please?
posted by EvaDestruction at 11:59 AM on November 14, 2012


This becomes ludicrous quickly.

Well sure, it's ludicrous to even try to do anything along the lines of making a list. And yet I believe I am right given my lifelong study of music history. Zeitgeist is real. THERE IS A SPECTOR HAUNTING THE RADIO.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:00 PM on November 14, 2012


HIS NAME IS PHIL.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:02 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


Link, please?

Here you go.
posted by MartinWisse at 12:03 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can anyone make a case for why the late 70s and early 90s were worse times for music than the mid-80s? I can't even begin to. Meanwhile, there are a preponderance of shitty shitty bands and albums during that time. Compare very popular bands vs those they influenced. Mid-80s: You can love Huey Lewis and the News, but nobody loves Mike and the Mechanics. Early 90s: You can deny that Nirvana is really that good, but then there was Estrus Records, an entire label full of wonderful, matched only by the dozens of other fantastic labels in the US, inspired by Subpop's success to crank out genre rock like Simple Machines, Big Cat, Ninja Tune, and on and on, even in a single year (1990).

I will now march out of this thread straight back to heaven GOODBYE.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:17 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I think Sgt Rock (Is Going To Help Me) was a terrible XTC single, and I don't care for Dear God much. Other than that, no.

not just Embrace (a band that deserves better than merely being compared unfavorably with Fugazi)

This sentence read really oddly to me because the most famous Embrace in the UK wasn't the hardcore band but a kind of post-Oasis proto-Coldplay, and the idea of them being anything like Fugazi is hilarious.

Also, 1980 - 1988 = Go-Betweens. Everything during Factory Records' imperial phase. Most of Postcard's output. Sarah records. All of The Smiths' career, The Cure's first pop phase, Pet Shop Boys. The whispered 'keep drivin' in Cars and Girls. Two of REM's top three records (the third being New Adventures in Hi-Fi). Phil Oakey's eyeshadow. Ian McCulloch's raincoat. Martin Fry's gold suit, the Bryan Ferry 2.0.
posted by mippy at 12:18 PM on November 14, 2012


80-88: Hair metal.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:22 PM on November 14, 2012


Whoops. Sorry, back to heaven. *rides away on chariot*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:22 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


" In the mid-80s genres like country, punk, metal and funk were waning. Thems just facts."

Thems ain't facts, them's nonsense. Metal did AWESOME during the mid-'80s, when the NWOBM finally made it to our shores, and thrash and speed metal finally took off, and there were seeds of black metal and death metal too. Plus it was an excellent time for art metal. Punk was finally coming into its own after the flash-bang of '77 and the dubby post-punk of the early '80s subsided.

Indie rock as we know it started then. And it was the first Golden Age of rap.

Look, ultimately, the problem is that this is too subjective and that there's way too much music out there to have anything near a comprehensive view of it.
posted by klangklangston at 12:23 PM on November 14, 2012


1) Hair metal isn't an instant disqualifier. You're still laboring under Nivana rules, dude.
2) Copping Nirvana and Estrus after Huey Lewis and Mike and the Mechanics is total cherry picking. Early '90s had terrible pop punk, third wave ska revivals, oh yeah, and 90 percent of what got sold as grunge sucked. Pearl Jam's 10 is still weirdly lauded, but it's a shitty album, and likewise Bush, Paw, and half of The Crow OST.

There have always been great bands, there have always been shitty bands, there have always been great albums, there have always been shitty albums. Beware broad pronouncements lest ye write for Spin.
posted by klangklangston at 12:30 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


I don't care for Dear God much


Oooooh, 'Extrovert' is a WAY better song than 'Dear God.'
posted by mintcake! at 12:31 PM on November 14, 2012


*flies back in* "Waning" doesn't mean gone. The golden age of Hip Hop is 1988-1995. Can you name some punk bands that released their best work in the mid-80s besides Husker Du and the Replacements or other groups singled out by Azerrad for being radically different from the rote hardcore and anarchy oi that dominated the genre? Speed metal/thrash was pretty good, but those other kinds of metal are not. And there were lots and lots and billions and billions of hair metal bands drowning them out. Compare to Britain during NWOBM: Just as many good bands, not as many crappy ones. This argument is super fun for me btw, more fun than playing my stupid harp. *flies off*
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:31 PM on November 14, 2012


"Compare to Britain during NWOBM"

1980 - 1985 is NWOBM. That is the era we're talking about. Diamond Head and Witchfinder General were releasing albums during this time.
posted by koeselitz at 12:38 PM on November 14, 2012


There was a lot of good stuff in the "rote hardcore and anarchy oi" category that stands up today. Cock Sparrer's Shock Troops from 1983 is a near-perfect punk album.
posted by griphus at 12:41 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


1980 - 1985 is NWOBM.

By my measurement the movement was 1979-1985. So 82-85 it was declining.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:53 PM on November 14, 2012


Cock Sparrer's Shock Troops from 1983 is a near-perfect punk album.

That is a fantastic record. But compared to Inflammable Material?

And shit, that whole record is about the decline of punk rock!


Where are they now?
Where are they, six years on and they've all gone
Now it's all turned sour
Where are they now

Hollywood nights in Soho
Writing on the wall of The Roxy loo
Rotten on the telly
Showing what a few choice words can do
Was it ever worth it
Causing all the fuss
You know, I believed in them
Don't you believe in us...
...
No more kids are innocent
We will get fooled again
Only faces ever change
The song remains the same


posted by Potomac Avenue at 12:57 PM on November 14, 2012


I'm pretty sure that starting in 1978, half of all punk albums were about the decline of punk rock.
posted by griphus at 1:03 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Can you name some punk bands that released their best work in the mid-80s besides Husker Du and the Replacements or other groups singled out by Azerrad for being radically different from the rote hardcore and anarchy oi that dominated the genre?"

Negative Approach, Laughing Hyenas, Jazz Butcher, Tones on Tail, The Fall, Jesus and Mary Chain, Mekons, Pogues, Butthole Surfers, JFA, Sonic Youth, Sun City Girls, Young Gods, Big Black, Jesus Lizard, Blind Idiot God, Josef K, Pixies, 45 Grave, Scream, Crass, The Ex, Pussy Galore, Anthrax, Suicidal Tendencies, Revolting Cocks, Flaming Lips, Angry Samoans, Voivoid, Red Kross, Thee Headcoats, White Zombie, Half Jap, Necros, Swans, Die Kreuzen, Celibate Rifles, Minutemen, Einsturzende Neubauten, Chumbawumba, Negativland, St. Vitus, Comsat Angels, Naked Raygun, Nick Cave, Shonen Knife, Agnostic Front. SST was on fire.



A broader view of '87's pop legacy can be found here.
posted by klangklangston at 1:06 PM on November 14, 2012 [4 favorites]


Man I think I like this thread better.
posted by Sailormom at 1:09 PM on November 14, 2012


Pixies

Not to nitpick but this is a counterexample. Surfer Rosa came out in 1988! Others are a mix, (I dislike Negativland and Crass, Suicidal has 1 good record) but I can see your point about there being some folks. As punk goes though, this is my least favorite flavor, if you can even call something like Sun City Girls or Big Black punk... I doubt they would use that word.

But what is your larger point? What is my error? Is this actually a great era of music, where a ton of interesting genres and styles besides punk were being born and perfected or are there simply in your opinion no such eras?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:18 PM on November 14, 2012


Potomac Avenue: “Can you name some punk bands that released their best work in the mid-80s besides Husker Du and the Replacements or other groups singled out by Azerrad for being radically different from the rote hardcore and anarchy oi that dominated the genre?”

See, that's the whole point. I haven't read Azerrad's book, and I'm not about to, because I don't need these things codified for me. The fact is that, from 1982 to 1988, the implications of punk music actually began to have real meaning. People in places like San Pedro started to see that it gave them power, power to do whatever the fuck they wanted. It was in many ways a golden age of destroyed genres and exploded paradigms.

So – one could say that punk as a genre declined. Yes, the Minutemen and Husker Du and Viv Akauldren and Big Black and REM are not very good examples of punk bands. But good god, that's good music.

And now a bunch of this has been codified under the banner of "post-punk" – I happen to think that's more than a little too neat and tidy. Suffice it to say that during this period there was this sudden void left by punk that a lot of people from incredibly diverse places and backgrounds were able to fill.
posted by koeselitz at 1:20 PM on November 14, 2012


(Man, I really love Viv Akauldren.)
posted by koeselitz at 1:21 PM on November 14, 2012


"Not to nitpick but this is a counterexample. Surfer Rosa came out in 1988!"

Come On Pilgrim came out in '87, which counted as far as I was concerned. But I'll give it to you as an edge case.

"But what is your larger point? What is my error? Is this actually a great era of music, where a ton of interesting genres and styles besides punk were being born and perfected or are there simply in your opinion no such eras?"

Two things: the '80s is where "punk" expanded wildly to incorporate a whole bunch of not-punk and became "college rock," and that eras and genres and pretty much anything taxonomical with music breaks down when you look at it closely. These cultural myths matter, because it gets tied up in reflexive dismissals like, "Disco sucks," or "'80s music sucks" that prevent people from actually listening to the stuff.
posted by klangklangston at 1:27 PM on November 14, 2012 [2 favorites]


Suffice it to say that during this period there was this sudden void left by punk that a lot of people from incredibly diverse places and backgrounds were able to fill.

I completely and utterly agree. I just think the void had a deleterious effect on this kind of rock music, such that it was harder to put a band together, keep it together, make good music, and make good music that anyone liked. Meanwhile it was very easy to be in a terrible band of various kinds, even as a talented person. If you graph "Good punk bands" from 1977 to 1997 it goes up up up up up til 1980 then down down down down to 1985 then up up up up to 1991 then down down down after that. Not violently, gradually.

These cultural myths matter, because it gets tied up in reflexive dismissals like, "Disco sucks," or "'80s music sucks" that prevent people from actually listening to the stuff.

Agree with this too! Not making lazy distinctions here I don't think. But I also don't want to lose the fact that certain periods in the world of pop music ARE more creatively fertile than others! There are booms and busts in the pop/rock music world. It's not like the 80s don't matter, or the late 90s even (the thread we all posted in notwithstanding). All the things that burst to fruition between 88 and 95 were also present in 1985, either nascent or isolated. And you can't celebrate the field of blooms without recognizing that...but man, look at all them flowers!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:40 PM on November 14, 2012


On the other hand, in the world of Spotify, there is no x axis on the graph. Fuck history, maybe.
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:03 PM on November 14, 2012


(As a side note I've enjoying how apocalyptic and JG Ballardian Bowie's late career efforts have been)
posted by The Whelk at 2:10 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


Now who is that exactly?
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:17 PM on November 14, 2012


I'm still scrolling through that thread. 1999 was the year I prepared for and moved to Iceland. For no particular reason. I was leaving everything I knew behind to move across the ocean to a country where I knew, like, two people that I met hitchhiking the summer previous.

Every single song being posted in that thread is burned permanently into my brain by virtue of what an emotional maelstrom this period in my life was. It was probably the most formative time in my adult life.

So thanks, Metafilter, for letting me explore that time again without consequence.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 3:17 PM on November 14, 2012 [3 favorites]


But what is your larger point? What is my error?

Your error is that you keep saying stuff like 'I don't like that band as much as this other band from a different set of years' and then sitting back and saying 'I WIN THE ARGUMENT OBJECTIVELY'
posted by shakespeherian at 3:32 PM on November 14, 2012


Synthesizers had been in use for 25 years by that point, but the instrument took a gigantic step backwards into something twee and awful.

*looks at roland d-10, proteus 1 xr, yamaha tx81z and tg-55, roland jv-1080 and emu virtuoso 2000 on desk next to him, thinks about roland gr-1 guitar synth under another desk*

*thinks fondly about his experiences playing a korg 61 and a casio sk-1 in the 80s*

*lusts mightily for a kawai k1 or k5 and a yamaha tg-77*

i like misinformed attitudes like yours, as they've caused all the synths i've mentioned to become dirt cheap - believe it or not, digital synths were an actual advance for synthesizers in the 80s - just try getting an analog synth to sound like a piano, for instance

but the reason why you perceive them as twee and awful is simple - many of the presets WERE twee and awful and that's what a lot of twee and awful (not to mention naff) musicians did with them - use twee and awful presets for their twee and awful music

you can do a LOT more with these kind of synths if you're willing to take the time to program them - you can come up with some really cool stuff if you're willing to screw around with them

true the interfaces tend to be byzantine - but there's still windows software for some of them - and with an atari ST emulator, you can have software for more of them

seeing as the manufacturers haven't really advanced on their technology since 2000, thanks to computer soft synths and the return of analog, i think in a few years there's going to be a real comeback for some of these old synths and they won't be bargains any more

i've been having a lot of fun (and occasional frustration) messing around with these synths this year

you don't know what you're missing
posted by pyramid termite at 5:20 PM on November 14, 2012 [1 favorite]


I do agree it's fun tinkering around with older instruments, but a) they tend to lose their structural integrity over time, and b) if you play around with waveforms long enough, you can use modern software to create pretty much any sound these older machines can make.
posted by Marisa Stole the Precious Thing at 5:43 PM on November 14, 2012


the stuff i have is holding up very well - rackmount units tend to be fairly tough

some of these machines have modern equivalents but a surprising number don't - roland just plain refuses to make vst versions of their instruments - and there are various things about the structure of these synths that often aren't emulated easily in software - the ability to down or up tune instruments in ways that aren't realistic at all - the ability to cross modulate them - the ability to layer and detune them in strange ways

yes, you could probably figure out a way to do some of that in various programs, but it's not as fast as pushing a couple of buttons - or using an easily navigated editor program - and it's not going to necessarily do them in the same way

also they just plain sound different - and often better - than a soft synth through a computer's sound system

then there's signal paths - guitar pedals and rack mount fx units - not to mention a mini kaoss fx pad - can do interesting things - and whatever i end up doing outside the box, i don't have to worry about overloading my cpu or software conflicts

i still use vst synths and fx, but i'm relying more on the out of the box stuff - it seems to be easier to get odd sounds of that setup and they sound rougher than what i get inside the box

it all works together and gives me more possibilities
posted by pyramid termite at 6:41 PM on November 14, 2012

1980 - 1985 is NWOBM.

By my measurement the movement was 1979-1985. So 82-85 it was declining.
Yeah, you're just wrong here. The first Iron Maiden album was only released in 1980, but Number of the Beast with Bruce Dickinson was 1982, just when you argue NWOBHM was starting to decline?

Pull the other one, it got bells on it.
posted by MartinWisse at 2:52 AM on November 15, 2012


sweetkid: "Command-F 'Hey Soul Sister' "

My wife, since before I met her, had affectionately refered to her dog as "mister mister" (with the "i"s pronounced similarly to long "e"s).

That song, for all its crimes, is a part of us now. When we walk in the door at the end of the day and he's all happy and jumping, sometimes we can't help ourselves from greeting him with a "Hey there meester meester!"
posted by Riki tiki at 11:42 AM on November 15, 2012


This thread and the one that spawned it are like a wormhole to high school and college.

I think I mean that as a good thing, but I'm not quite sure.
posted by catlet at 1:46 PM on November 15, 2012


just try getting an analog synth to sound like a piano, for instance

Ah, you think you can get an '80s digital synth to sound like a piano. You have just identified the problem.
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:02 AM on November 16, 2012 [1 favorite]


Ah, you think you can get an '80s digital synth to sound like a piano. You have just identified the problem.

You my friend have never spent days and days and days and days programing a Yamaha V-50. With the right reverb and delay, over most PAs they had back then (including a set I played at de Melkweg) you can get close enough.

And although I hate the sound, the Korg M1's piano is about the most iconic House piano out there.

And more alsoer, &c, check out Daryl's House for some examples of songs killed by bad production being brought back to life.
posted by digitalprimate at 6:14 AM on November 18, 2012 [1 favorite]


"Offer me money!"
- "Yes!"
"Power, too. Promise me that."
-"Yes! All that I have and more, please!"
"Offer me anything I ask for!"
-"Anything. You. Want."
"I want my Princess Bride Soundtrack back, you son of a bitch!"
posted by Slap*Happy at 7:29 PM on November 18, 2012


« Older In light of this post, I would...  |  Support for 99% Invisible is p... Newer »

You are not logged in, either login or create an account to post comments