Tuesday, March 14, 2006

Modern Music and MC Hammer

Well, it appears that as Expat-Leo says, Expat Leo's Blogroll: APOCALYPSE: MC Hammer has a blog.. This is a relevant issue for me to post a rant about modern music.....not that Hammer was ever a true musician. His genius was strictly in appropriating other (real) musicians' beats and then putting on a good show with hot, scantily-clad women weaving across the stage while he executed his own choreographed 'dance' moves. Needless to say that he stole the beats without due credit from well-known songs by real musicians, who, though I cannot appreciate their music, at least did make their own. The problem with pop 'music' today is that it is derivative, and highly unmusical. not to mention that today's 'singers', unlike their forbears, ccan neither sing nor create anything of value....

If one listens to the caterwauling that passes for singing as voiced by Britney Spears or any of her many imitations, one cannot find any trace of the grace and beauty that once passed for singing as voiced by Sarah Vaughn, Lena Horne, Peggy Lee, or the great Ella Fitzgerald. Even lesser singing talents such as Doris Day possessed more talent and style in their little fingers than do any of the current generation. These so-called 'artists' bring to mind the infamous 'talents' of Japan- young, attractive women who briefly enjoy a show-biz career before they are eclipsed by others identical to them in every respect save only age. Younger is better. These so-called 'talents' (so-named because they lack any vestige of talent) fade rapidly into oblivion, occasionally surfacing years later as late-night talk-show hostesses or on the gossip pages of housewife magazines.

As for the men, there is nothing even remotely resembling Nat King Cole, Frank Sinatra, or Bing Crosby. Who today among the male 'singers' has a modicum of talent? Whose name resounds among audiences? The closest would be a Paul McCartney or a Billy Joel- neither of whom are truly talented singers. Their gift of music is real, however, and at least they make real music, as opposed to the disgusting words and derivative rhythms found in rap.

My compadre Expat-Leo suggests that I throw something in about the evils of the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America), but as a former recording musician (yes, I have played a number of recording gigs), I have sympathy for the RIAA. Their tactics may be reprehensible and are undoubtedly needlessly heavy-handed, but they are ultimately in the right. The file-sharers or file-stealers, on the other hand, are in the wrong. If a band wants to release their work for free, that is of course their own choice. and for those who truly have talent, they might as well, since sooner or later, they will be noticed. However, for the vast majority of the current 'artists' the RIAA is a necessary evil. Musicians no longer have a powereful organization to fight their battles collectively, other than the RIAA. As musicians, we lost THAT battle back in the 1940s, unfortunately. The union won the battle and lost the war....

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