Skip to comments.Why There Needs to Be a Real (Grad) School of Rock
Posted on 10/01/2012 8:23:16 AM PDT by C19fan
There is nothing quite like being a young rock musician walking into a good recording studio for the first time, with a record contract in your backpack, surveying the machinery. The towers of digital and analog sound-effect consoles, with their glowing gauges and blinking lights, they're here for youpaid for by the label, available to you because you cut a basement demo that made people see dollar signs. Over the hum of the amplifiers you can almost hear the whir of the industry, the interns flirting, the promotion person on the phone with the terrestrial radio person, the booking agent negotiating with club managers in far-flung college towns. It's an apparatus built to make money but also to bring your songs to teenagers and twentysomethings who are like you, who scour the Internet and the Staff Picks rack for new music that will illuminate the sublime in desperate crushes and everyday despair.
What my band needed was an Iowa Writers' Workshops for rock musicians, a Master of Fine Arts program at a university where respected veterans helped us learn to write good songs and perform them well. Such programs would establish a much-needed period of germination beyond the reach of commerce, in which young rock musicians could meet, form bands, and build a repertoire slowly, receiving feedback from seasoned rock musicians who don't have a pecuniary stake in their work. Such programs would cultivate good popular music by placing young musicians in an environment where aesthetic integrity is valued and financial strife held at bay.
(Excerpt) Read more at theatlantic.com ...
What about Rock N Roll High School
Don’t let the miss taking “crotch grabbing” 101.
A school like that described is in almost every town and city in the country...there’s always a garage or a barn or a practice hall or a loft where people go to play...open mic nights, casual gigs, players find each other. Just more gubmint nanny state bullshit to control entertainment and “incubate” the line. Trying to picture the greats in a School of Rock....what a dumbass. “Mr. Hendrix, they make left handed guitars, you know!” “Uh, Mr. Cash, you shot a man in Reno just to watch him die? Isn’t that a little, er, uh, savage?”
All you need is HEART and talent ... Janis Joplin had HEART ,,, Patty Smith has HEART ,, Iggy Pop has HEART ,,, Jim Morrison had HEART...
The equipment is cheap ,, a decent microphone is $20 ,, a $100 used PC with a $100 sound card/mixer and maybe a $100 software “autotune” program or a used $120 original Antares ATR-1 , good new Korean/Taiwanese guitars are about $170
The key is HEART ... Declan McManus (Elvis Costello) absolutely SUCKED on vocals on his first albums ... but he had HEART and GREAT lyrics... Steve Forbert has been putting out great music for 35 years ,,, a skyrocket that ALMOST flamed out when the label became pissed at him and shelved many GREAT albums that were completed and ready for release... catch him at small clubs nationwide if you can , he’s fabulous.
The internet and the ability to bypass the vampires of the recording industry make today a great time to be a musician.
Jim Croce had no feeling in his fingers from working a jackhammer but he played beautifully and his songs meant something...
I was wondering what it would take to kill rock & roll music.
I think that would do it.
You can't teach lyrical writing like that.
All good, original rock and roll ended by the eighties. If there was anything equal to The Beatles or other great bands from the sixties, we’ve had heard it by now. Just as there have no new Beethovens and Bach for classical music, there have no good musicians/composers for other genres. Musicians have run out of ideas. The most retrograde (yes, worse than disco) “music” ever spawned by Satan, rap, is king. There will no more good, original ever again.
Johnny Cash is greatly underrated.
I was standing by the back door of the club before the show, smoking a cigar and waiting to meet my companions, when I saw Steve getting out of his car.
We chatted a bit. I told him I had seen him a number of times over the decades, but the first time was 32 years earlier.
He groaned and laughed. Then he put on another great show.
That is the last thing Rock and Roll needs. The best Rock and Roll pushed musical boundaries and went beyond what preceeding muso’s had done with it. While it took bits and pieces from the past it also disguarded time worn traditions and the muso’s who had created them.
I thought that was called “the bar circuit”, the young guys get gigs at bars opening for more established acts, if they’re smart they chat and learn and listen, if they continue to progress and get some lucky breaks they get to open for larger national acts and learn some more.
I have so much to say, but can’t keep my eyes open or my beers closed any longer. This is a ping.
Sunday Morning Coming Down was written by Kris Kristofferson.
You were doing so well.
Autotune? If you need autotune to sing well, take up the drums.
Autotune rips the heart and soul out of music. Strips away those beautiful overtones that makes one’s voice unique. Burn them all (the autotuners, not the folks that use them).
We don’t listen to Elvis Costello for the quality of his voice any more than we listen to Dylan for the same reason. Their voices may not be ‘good’, but they are certainly expressive.
The list of singer/songwriters laboring in near anonymity is pretty extensive, Steve Forbert certainly among them. Richard Thompson and Lucinda Williams probably top my list of those who should be as popular as Justin Bieber and Lady Gaga. It would be a very different musical landscape if they were (he says ruefully).
... or a used Caddy.
Kristofferson has a few gems like that.
All good, original rock and roll ended by the eighties. If there was anything equal to The Beatles or other great bands from the sixties, weve had heard it by now. Just as there have no new Beethovens and Bach for classical music, there have no good musicians/composers for other genres. Musicians have run out of ideas. The most retrograde (yes, worse than disco) music ever spawned by Satan, rap, is king. There will no more good, original ever again.
For what seems like the hundredth time on this forum, in response to equally eeyore-ish commentary, please direct yourself to www.rrradio.com. That’s roots rock radio for the not yet informed. If it doesn’t completely change your mind, you will at least be given a measure of hope.
Available by download from the named site, or as a podcast on iTunes (free), host Richard Taylor takes you through an hour or so of unsigned bands playing their original music.
no, I’m not Richard, though he did record my band’s CD. And play a few of its tunes on his show.
My oldest daughter is a singer-songwriter and play guitar and piano. She’s had some success in Texas and has even done shows in France and England. She has near perfect pitch and writes compelling songs. Her live shows are a pleasure to hear. Compare with Taylor Swift who can’t sing a lick live. Her albums are so full of studio tricks that they should have a warning label. Difference is, Swift’s parents had lots of money to lift a mediocre talent to stardom. I don’t have that money.
THE ATLANTIC? They’re full of MFAs. They also have quite a few people with Master of Fine Arts degrees.
THE ATLANTIC - Full of old wrecks, fish sh-t and crabs.
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