Is "mainstream" a genre now?

  1. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Is

    I think the mainstream had it's moments. Some good , some bad.

    Let me throw out a few decades I know a little about. Back when I listened to radio much more often.

    60s: The Beatles (obviously), The Supremes, Ray Charles, The Monkees...those were some of the bigger ones many mainstream artists weren't Rock'nRoll artists because Rock as a serious form of music was still in it's infancy and according to many ( Frank Sinatra for one) to be a passing fad. So even the the non-rock music wasn't really bad, just not my taste....Steve and Edie Lawrence, Dusty Springfield etc....so generally we could say that MAINSTREAM in the 60's was generally good music.

    70s: too many to mention. Many good many bad. You could find lots od good songs on the radio...and lots of bad. Well call this decade a draw.

    80s: Mostly what we consider maunstream is anyone who had a video on MTV. That is really what got you into the mainstream. Mivhael Jackson and Madonna literally dominated the mainstream and set the stage for much of the awful pop music that is dominating the charts today.

    90s: I had more or less stopped listening to TOP40 radio by 1988 or maybe a little earlier. I can honstly say I was finding so much more intersting stuff on college radio. The Godfathers, XTC, Concrete Blonde, Pixies, Hoodoo Gurus , The Cult...one of the things I really liked about this era is that so many groups were creative, and never spent much time in the mainstream...or ever nade it there.

    After that I really don't know much, except what little I hear from the minstream is stuff I don't care about.

     

     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

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    Here are two recent popular examples I think might be relevant to the topic:

    "Crazy" by Gnarls Barkley.  Positively infectious.  Killer bass line.  Great hook.  Not all that complicated.  But still a great tune.  Even when it was played a million times, you would still tap your foot to it.  How could you not?  And yet it was played everywhere, from the sleaziest dive to the poshest club.  (I'll leave aside Cee-Lo's single "F**k You!", for now.)

    "Hey Ya" by Outkast.  Now, I love Outkast...ever since "Player's Ball".  They are innovators and true artists, but still kind of mainstream.  And this song is not really hip-hop, or pop, or rock...it's a perfect meld into something that nearly anyone could groove to.  Catchy as he!! and almost blatantly mainstream.

    So maybe, in some ways, mainstream can transcend conventional genres and even, dare I say, break through some genre stereotypes.

     

     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Is

    Certainly just because a big chunk of the population likes something doesn't mean it's not good.

    :-)

    The Beatles were the Mainstream Masters in some respects.

     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Is

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
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    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:
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    In response to yogafriend's comment:
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    The use of the word "legitimize" says it all in terms of the validation that formerly came from having a hit that would catapult a band into the mainstream, when it had a positive, favorable connotation and meaning.   Lennon was never on board with that, and was the only Beatle that felt that way?   He was the only Beatle that was truly counterculture?   

    [/QUOTE] I think that would be an overstatement or oversimplification.  But I think it's fair to say that Lennon was by far the most rebellious and subversive member of the Beatles.

    There's another moment earlier in the book which was a great insight.  It was when  Lennon went to see the Stones play for the first time.  He came away impressed, but also angry at Brian Epstein for having 'cleaned up' the Beatles so much.  Lennon said something like 'That's the band I should be in!' - meaning the Stones. [/QUOTE]

     

    Yes, definitely I oversimplified, but Lennon certainly knew from whence he spoke and felt about being 'marketed' and being made into a commodity -- and being somewhat resentful about it at the time. 

    Funny statement about the Stones, too.   It's so sad John Lennon isn't alive to see them celebrating their 50-year career.    Wonder what his response would be to them now, and if he'd see them as the poster boys for a career that's played out remarkably well,  despite straddling a fuzzy line with the mainstream.   



    [/QUOTE]

    I think John would have been laughing at them (Stones). They haven't done much of anything in 30 years and that is not what John was all about.

     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

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    John Lennon was something of a shape-shifter, of course.  At the age of 40 he seemed to be a man who was simply tired of being a public figure and wanted to live a normal life with wife and son, 'watching the wheels'.  But if he hadn't been killed by a madman, who knows what he would have been later on? 

     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Is

    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

     

     Certainly just because a big chunk of the population likes something doesn't mean it's not good.  :-)  The Beatles were the Mainstream Masters in some respects.

     

     Well, this is certainly part of what makes it impossible to pin down, isn't it?   The assumption that the mainstream is the ultimate in "mass appeal"  ---  and that automatically means it's manufactured and marketed to sell, as opposed to being produced for artistic and more genuine purposes.     

    A mainstream artist I don't think well of, is Pink.   She can't hit any notes, even in her recordings.  She shrieks, it's not even a matter of having a RnR growl, as opposed to a singing voice, she can't do either.   Her popularity escapes me, other than the gimmickry that hides how untalented she is.    

    BTW, probably should mention one of the power pop mainstream sensations of a generation: Michael Jackson.   For whatever reason, I never liked any of his music.  The only song I can single out that I liked (and still think is good) is Bilie Jean.   Not to discredit his achievements by any means, but for myself, it went right over my head, and never registered.  

     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Is

    In response to jesseyeric's comment:
    [/QUOTE]  Funny statement about the Stones, too.   It's so sad John Lennon isn't alive to see them celebrating their 50-year career.    Wonder what his response would be to them now, and if he'd see them as the poster boys for a career that's played out remarkably well,  despite straddling a fuzzy line with the mainstream.   

    [/QUOTE] I think John would have been laughing at them (Stones). They haven't done much of anything in 30 years and that is not what John was all about.  [/QUOTE]

    Hard to know for sure, but I respect your take on this, based on how much you know about the Beatles.  In that last interview of John you posted a while back, he sounded partly world weary, not so much cynical (although partly cynical for sure), but as Hfx said, tired of being in the public eye.    Back then, I don't know if anyone thought ahead to the notion a RnR band could have a career spanning 50 years.  



     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Is

    The best way to see examples of mainstream?   Maybe this would work:

    Watch an award show.   Watch the American Music Awards (AMA), the Grammy Awards, or the People's Choice Awards.    See if you can get through a show such as that, and / or how long you last.  See if you walk away saying, "that wasn't so bad" or if you turn it off after 15 minutes.   That would be a very good overview of the current mainstream, and your reaction to it.  

    That would provide a snapshot, and would by no means be comprehensive.   A few nights ago I channel surfed and saw about 10 seconds of this Grammy nominations show (I think) and Maroon 5 were performing, and I could not turn it off fast enough.  Awful.   Terrible falsetto, terrible song, no thank you.   Just an example.  

     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from phsmith8. Show phsmith8's posts

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    there is a "mainstream" for every genre of music...i.e. mainstream rap (pitbull) , mainstream rock (nickelback), etc. 92 PRO FM pretty much incorporates all of the above.  generally similar in production and chord progression/structuring of songs.

     

    interestingly, the prominance of mainstream into the modern music scene has led to a resurgance of alternative music, which i recall discussing here with you folks.

     

    btw this is my favorite song lately http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCLek4aSpbo

    also, i'll be playing mid east upstairs on the 18th if anyone wants to come by. fairhaven

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

    Re: Is

    In response to WhatDoYouWantNow's comment:
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    In response to devildavid's comment:
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    I need some examples of what is considered mainstream today.

    [/QUOTE]


    Well, let me try to be a bit more specific than "the crap I hear in the gym between tracks on my ipod"...

     

    Hip-hop: There are dime a dozen rappers out there it seems like these days. Now, I'm biased here because I just can't get into hip hop or rap, but when I overhear it I think I can at least tell the difference between something that manages to sound complex and would be pleasing to a fan's ear.....       and rote mimickery of it. People talking over lame synthetic beats about the same subjects: b!tches. And money. And shooting people. And selling drugs.

     

     

    pop/hip-hop. A lot of this garbage can be described as a female singer, emotionlessly singing or sing-talking incredibly vapid lyrics, to generic synthetic beats. Beats with hip-hop-esque synthetic noises overlaid. It all sounds roughly the same: atrocious, empty, without any soul.

     

     

    Degenerated Rock: What sounds like teenage males singing whiney and profoundly vapid lyrics over softened distortion - almost polished distoriton - in extremely simplistic rhythmic schemes. Now I never liked Blink 182, in fact I don't like them one bit, and this music sounds like an aspiring 13 year old's rip off of their sound.

    The complete opposite of the rock and roll sound AND attitude. It's like Barney & friends does "Its so easy".

    Regurgitating might be more enjoyable than listening to it.

    (One line I accidentally heard in the gym when Alice in Chains was not loud enough was a high pitched exclamation from the singer "I wanna be like that!" I apologize in advance if anyone here has heard that song and gets it stuck in their heads.).

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    I would say that much of the music you point out is aimed at a very young audience. So I know it probabably wouldn't appeal to me at the advanced age of 54. I'm not sure how old you are, but maybe the fact you don't like the music adds to the appeal for the younger set. Isn't this quite common in pop music? Each new generation has it's own music that the older set finds annoying. Hell, my wife tuned out of pop rock when it went psychedelic and eventually turned to country when it became today's pop music.

    I don't listen to much contemporary pop, but I do enjoy early hip-hop by artists such as The Sugar Hill Gang, Grandmaster Flash, Fat Boys, and Run-D.M.C. We all have our biases, so that is why I hesitate to call something garbage when it doesn't appeal to me or I have not really listened to it.

    You like Alice In Chains, but I'm sure there are people who would be annoyed by their music. Those people might call them garbage simply because that type of music doesn't appeal to them. When you don't like something, you tend to exaggerate its faults and ignore its good points.

    There is a natural tendency for us to believe we are the arbiters of what is good or bad music. I don't think there is any such thing as either. There is only music you like and music you don't like.

     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

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    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    The best way to see examples of mainstream?   Maybe this would work:

    Watch an award show.   Watch the American Music Awards (AMA), the Grammy Awards, or the People's Choice Awards.    See if you can get through a show such as that, and / or how long you last.  See if you walk away saying, "that wasn't so bad" or if you turn it off after 15 minutes.   That would be a very good overview of the current mainstream, and your reaction to it.  

    That would provide a snapshot, and would by no means be comprehensive.   A few nights ago I channel surfed and saw about 10 seconds of this Grammy nominations show (I think) and Maroon 5 were performing, and I could not turn it off fast enough.  Awful.   Terrible falsetto, terrible song, no thank you.   Just an example.  

    [/QUOTE]
    I have always found that all awards show focus on entertainment that for the most part doesn't appeal to my personal tastes. This has always been true of all awards shows.They don't annoy me so much as fail to hold my interest.

    Then again, I have been to concerts by greats such as Bob Dylan and Van Morrison that were hard to endure. Their live perfomances didn't match my experience of listening to their recorded output.

    I love Neil Young but his singing can be described as caterwauling at times.

    My wife doesn't think any of my favorite artists are good singers, among them Graham Parker, Elvis Costello, Joe Jackson, or Howlin' Wolf. She is extremely annoyed by them and I completely understand. They truly are harsh sounding singers who may or may not always stay on key. But I like them and I have no objective musical criteria to explain why. I just like their sounds as much as my wife hates them. And I don't think either of us is right or wrong. It's personal taste.

    The only entertainment I would hate would have to be so bad as to be at the level of those rejected by the American Idol judges in those comical pre-contest auditions.  

     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

    Re: Is

    I know there are several posters here who like the Dave Matthews Band.That's a band I would certainly consider mainstream.Personally,I don't care for them all that much.They're background noise to me,but it's a better class of background noise than most.

    Another newer mainstream band is Train,which I actually like a little bit.I don't know a lot of their music,but it sounds pretty good to me.I may need to explore some of their music.

     

     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Is

    In response to phsmith8's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    there is a "mainstream" for every genre of music...i.e. mainstream rap (pitbull) , mainstream rock (nickelback), etc. 92 PRO FM pretty much incorporates all of the above.  generally similar in production and chord progression/structuring of songs.

     

    interestingly, the prominance of mainstream into the modern music scene has led to a resurgance of alternative music, which i recall discussing here with you folks.

     

    btw this is my favorite song lately http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oCLek4aSpbo

    also, i'll be playing mid east upstairs on the 18th if anyone wants to come by. fairhaven

    [/QUOTE]

    HEY SMITHY...WELCOME BACK!

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

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    In response to mrmojo1120's comment:

     I know there are several posters here who like the Dave Matthews Band.That's a band I would certainly consider mainstream.Personally,I don't care for them all that much.They're background noise to me,but it's a better class of background noise than most. Another newer mainstream band is Train,which I actually like a little bit.I don't know a lot of their music,but it sounds pretty good to me.I may need to explore some of their music. 

    I can't speak for the entire ensemble of the band, DMB, but I was taken completely offguard seeing DM play acoustic, solo and live, with his long-time collaborator and tour mate, Tim Reynolds, at a festival in September.  There's no explanation for taste, and I, too, never caught that particular bug, but it was too good to pass up the chance to see him, and the friend I went with felt the same way.   The show was outstanding.  So you just never know.   As far as Tim Reynolds is concerned, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind you would have been amazed and entertained beyond belief, but am not sure if he gets to showcase his skills with that depth when he's with the entire band.  

    I have to laugh at your comment re: Train, because just before I finished reading the sentence, "I may need to ..." I thought you were going to say "have my head examined ..." hahaha.  
    I love the "Sox" off of you, I really do, and your taste in music is always fun to read, so no offense, but I think because "Hey, Soul Sister" was so annoying, I just can't deal with that band, and wrote them off, which isn't quite fair, but it just went downhill for me after that.   Don't mind me.  GO FOR IT ; if you like what you hear, that's all that counts.  :)



     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from mrmojo1120. Show mrmojo1120's posts

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    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to mrmojo1120's comment:
    [QUOTE] I know there are several posters here who like the Dave Matthews Band.That's a band I would certainly consider mainstream.Personally,I don't care for them all that much.They're background noise to me,but it's a better class of background noise than most.

    Another newer mainstream band is Train,which I actually like a little bit.I don't know a lot of their music,but it sounds pretty good to me.I may need to explore some of their music. [/QUOTE]

    I can't speak for the entire ensemble of the band, DMB, but I was taken completely offguard seeing DM play acoustic, solo and live, with his long-time collaborator and tour mate, Tim Reynolds, at a festival in September.  There's no explanation for taste, and I, too, never caught that particular bug, but it was too good to pass up the chance to see him, and the friend I went with felt the same way.   So you just never know.   As far as Tim Reynolds is concerned, I have absolutely no doubt in my mind you would have been amazed and entertained beyond belief, but am not sure if he gets to showcase his skills with that depth when he's with the entire band.  

    I have to laugh at your comment re: Train, because just before I finished reading the sentence, "I may need to ..." I thought you were going to say "have my head examined ..." hahaha.  
    I love the "Sox" off of you, I really do, and your taste in music is always fun to read, so no offense, but I think because "Hey, Soul Sister" was so annoying, I just can't deal with that band, and wrote them off, which isn't quite fair, but it just went downhill for me after that.   But GO FOR IT, if you decide to go forward; if you like what you hear, that's all that counts.  :)



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    I've really only heard a couple of Train songs."Calling all angels" and "When I look to the sky" are the ones I remember hearing.I saw them as pleasant,unoffensive ballads.They're usually not my type of music,but I have an  association with those 2 particular songs,which is why I like them,or at least appreciate them.

    That's probably an unfair judgement of the Train song list too.

      Chances are if I go digging through their catalog,I probably won't find a lot to like .In fact,I just listened to "Hey Soul Sister" for the first time and totally agree that's a song if I never hear it again,I won't be disappointed. 

     
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  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

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    In response to GreginMeffa's comment:

     

    From Wiki: Mainstream music denotes music that is familiar and unthreatening to the masses, as for example popular music, pop music, middle of the road music, pop rap or pop rock Opposing mainstream music is the music of subcultures. This exists in virtually all genres of music and is found commonly in punk rock, indie rock, alternative/ underground hip hop, anti-folk and heavy metal, among others. In the 1960s this music was exemplified by the music of the hippie counterculture.

     

     

    Gosh, Greg.  You of all people resorting to a "mainstream" response like this, from a "mainstream" resource like Wiki.   The fun of asking this question of the forum was to seek out what people think on their own, not using a prescribed definition that "mainstream" thinkers would use.    Know what I mean?  :)

     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

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    With regard to the term itself, is 'mainstream' simply an updated and perhaps improved version of 'middle of the road', which begat the acronym 'MOR'?

     

     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

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    In response to Hfxsoxnut's comment:

     With regard to the term itself, is 'mainstream' simply an updated and perhaps improved version of 'middle of the road', which begat the acronym 'MOR'? 

    My impression is that "MOR" was an insider / (recording) industry acronym for many years -- but with so much lingo hitting the um, mainstream (talk about an over-used word ... just for emphasis), more people in general know what MOR stands for and means now.  My industry friends used to toss it around and outsiders never knew what they meant.    AOR, sort of the same thing, as it was developed for radio and used by industry insiders before it hit the mainstream vocabulary.    

    It seems that lots of the examples in this thread are in line with "AOR" and "MOR" music, so your point is well taken.    



     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from devildavid. Show devildavid's posts

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    When I first hear a song I usually have no idea what the background is in how it was created. I judge the song on its own merits. Sometimes, a "phony" song is more enjoyable than an "authentic" song, and vice versa.

     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Is

    I think a genre can be mainstream and a band from a genre that isn't mainstream can be mainstream.  I also think a Genre can have a mainstream section that isn't mainstream.

    Remember Chuck Mangione?  Jazz isn't mainstream anymore but Chuck Mangione made it to the mainstream for a while.  And now, I wouldn't consider Chuck Mangione part of the manistream Jazz movement.

     

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