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Lemonhead
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Re:Underrated/Overrated bands
« Reply #45 on: May 10, 2004, 05:38:44 pm »
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I never saw Billy Corgan as pretentious and annoying, just more soulful.

As for Kurt Cobain killing himself, I think that sort of immortalized the band more than their music did. Nirvana is a good band, no doubt, but I don't think they were as earth-shattering as many people think.

I wasn't trying to compare the Smashing Pumpkins to Nirvana in music style, just saying that I think Smashing Pumpkins deserved the praise Nirvana got. I thought they were more innovative and more creative than anything. Plus it's nice to see a band thrive on talent and not just it's drugged out image.

As for The Darkness, they come off to me like Queen wannabes, especially the front man. And people in the U.S. have heard more than just one song. Many of us Americans are able to listen to entire CDs!
« Last Edit: May 10, 2004, 05:42:52 pm by Lemonhead » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #46 on: May 11, 2004, 12:15:11 pm »
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Okay--I see what you're saying, Lemonhead.  Believe it or not, I played the heck out of Gish and Siamese Dream years ago; I know that they are great albums. But something about Billy Corgan makes me want to hit him with a mallet. What a supercilious ass.

I just really don't like to hear the whole "Nirvana's got a place in music history because Kurt killed himself" argument. It dismisses his band's work, and well, is anti-life affirming to boot. Kurt was extremely critical--of society, of the music business, and most importantly, of himself--in a way that Corgan is not. That, to me, is the mark of a true artist: someone who is brutally honest about the less-than-noble aspects of his own personality and continues to be so despite overwhelming success. Corgan just strikes me as self-satisfied, so a lesser artist.
 
This is from Kurt's journal:

"I like punk rock. I like girls with weird eyes. I like drugs. (But my body and mind won't allow me to take them.) I like passion. I like playing my cards wrong. I like vinyl. I like to feel guilty for being a white, American male. I love to sleep. I like to taunt small, barking dogs in parked cars. I like to make people feel happy and superior in their reaction towards my appearance. I like to have strong opinions with nothing to back them up with besides my primal sincerity. I like sincerity. I lack sincerity ... I like to complain and do nothing to make things better."

I think Kurt was a writer with a guitar, and Nirvana's music, while having its roots in garage bands like the Sonics, was something innovative for its time. The Pumpkins' sound was soaring and elating, but not really new.
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Re:Underrated/Overrated bands
« Reply #47 on: May 11, 2004, 03:48:46 pm »
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Quote from: Rai on November 14, 2003, 09:16:14 pm   

all the little 13 year olds in my school have been running round


Hey! I resent that. Lol, omfg, whats so good about Busted? Umm...they think their punk but HELLO?! Grrr, they get me so mad. They can't even sing. The media go crazy for them though.
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Re:Underrated/Overrated bands
« Reply #48 on: May 11, 2004, 09:46:48 pm »
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Even if Kurt hadn't killed himself, I'm sure Nirvana would've been widely popular for quite some time. Would they eventually fade out? It's possible; no one can really say.

How I see it, though, is that once a musician dies, it's as if they're put on some pedestal on which no one can attack them or critisize them. After Kurt's death, he became some cultural icon and it seems completely taboo to say, "I don't like Nirvana nor Kurt very much at all."

It's not just Kurt, however. Any deceased artist tends to receive the same treatment. I was reading a Beatles book (when am I not?  ) and it touched on that issue. John Lennon died, and while I wouldn't ever want to compare him to Kurt, it is a similar situation, in that Paul's songs can be and were torn apart left and right, while John's don't seem to be attacked quite so frequently. Maybe it's out of respect; I don't know.

I just - personally - never saw what the big deal about Nirvana was, and that fact that Kurt killed himself shouldn't make people feel compelled to like the band anymore than they would had he remained alive.

EDIT: I don't have anything to say about Billy Corgan and the Pumpkins besides the fact that I find them 100% more interesting than Nirvana. Again, just my opinion. I don't know much about Billy personally but even if he were an ass, it wouldn't take away from the music, for me.
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« Reply #49 on: May 12, 2004, 12:17:01 am »
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That works for me, HerMajesty.  Music is such a subjective thing anyway--whatever moves you, moves you, and intellectualizing about it is just secondary.
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« Reply #50 on: May 12, 2004, 12:46:22 am »
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That's very true! I can understand taking comments personally and feeling offended if someone criticizes a band you like because it's possible to have a strong bond with a certain band or its songs - but I think we should all remember that everyone has his or her own tastes and preferences. If someone doesn't like a band, it doesn't mean the band's music is of poor quality; it simply means the music isn't to her or his liking. 
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« Reply #51 on: May 12, 2004, 01:45:32 am »
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Quote from: HerMajesty on May 11, 2004, 09:46:48 pm   

Even if Kurt hadn't killed himself, I'm sure Nirvana would've been widely popular for quite some time. Would they eventually fade out? It's possible; no one can really say.

How I see it, though, is that once a musician dies, it's as if they're put on some pedestal on which no one can attack them or critisize them. After Kurt's death, he became some cultural icon and it seems completely taboo to say, "I don't like Nirvana nor Kurt very much at all."

You don't hear it a lot, certainly.

I don't think Nirvana would have "faded away," really -- it was too explosive and too new for it to be just forgotten. But it certainly would not have had the same sort of reverential treatment.


Quote:
It's not just Kurt, however. Any deceased artist tends to receive the same treatment. I was reading a Beatles book (when am I not?  ) and it touched on that issue. John Lennon died, and while I wouldn't ever want to compare him to Kurt, it is a similar situation, in that Paul's songs can be and were torn apart left and right, while John's don't seem to be attacked quite so frequently. Maybe it's out of respect; I don't know.

Partly, I think, a sense that you "shouldn't speak ill of the dead." I remember when Aaliyah died, a lot of people (media and otherwise) burbled on about what a genius she was. Not that she wasn't very good, but they had little that was good to say about her before -- if anything at all. A lot of them probably didn't know who she was. When she died, suddenly she became untouchable.

And yeah, because Paul is dead.... sorry, because John is dead and Paul is alive, Paul keeps getting ripped both musically and personally. John, on the other hand, did no wrong musically or personally in many people's eyes because he was shot by a wacko fan.

Would it have been different had he lived? Probably! He would certainly have had a die-hard fan following, and more widespread fans, but I think they would have been more critical and less worshipful.

But if John had lived on to today, and Paul had been shot by a wacko fan, think that Paul would have been put on a pedestal? I think so.

The only exceptions I can think of are people like Brian Jones, who was such an unholy mess of drugs, drink and depression when he died, that he elicits pity rather than adoration. He lost his place in the band, he lost the girl he adored, he lost his sanity, his musical skill, and his friendships. If a person has lost everything, then they are not above criticism.


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EDIT: I don't have anything to say about Billy Corgan and the Pumpkins besides the fact that I find them 100% more interesting than Nirvana. Again, just my opinion. I don't know much about Billy personally but even if he were an ass, it wouldn't take away from the music, for me.

Totally! I don't know some people dislike him so personally (I don't know much either), and why they allow that dislike to taint how they see his music. His music is absolutely phenomenal.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2004, 01:49:11 am by Seven » Report to moderator   Logged

Do not speak to us of the greatness of poetry,
    Of the torches wisping in the underground,     
Of the structure of vaults upon a point of light.
    There are no shadows in our sun,     
Day is desire and night is sleep.
    There are no shadows anywhere.
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Re:Underrated/Overrated bands
« Reply #52 on: May 12, 2004, 03:28:23 am »
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Kurt was extremely critical--of society, of the music business, and most importantly, of himself--in a way that Corgan is not. That, to me, is the mark of a true artist: someone who is brutally honest about the less-than-noble aspects of his own personality and continues to be so despite overwhelming success.

I can't help but feel the complete opposite. I don't respond well to the tortured artist persona at all, and the fact that he hated the world didn't really make him a better artist or musician in my mind. That concept is too cliche for me and it leaves kind of a bitter taste in my  mouth. To me a true artist is someone who loves what they're doing and strive to create as much as they can of their own original art. Undoubtedly Nirvana had many of those qualities, but to me Kurt being depressed and critical doesn't really make him any better an artist. It's funny that you say Billy Corgan comes off pretentious and full of himself because that is how Kurt Cobain came off to me because he was always so critical of everyone else and anti this and that, although I don't think he was trying to be pretentious at all.  The only thing I didn't like about Billy Corgan were those shiny pants he wore. Ugh.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2004, 03:30:12 am by Lemonhead » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #53 on: May 12, 2004, 04:20:06 am »
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I keep picking at this topic like a scab, knowing that it's only going to get worse.

Well, people will just have to think that I'm limited. I don't like the Doors much either, due to Jim Morrison's enormous ego and pretensions. To me, the ego of the artist very much comes through in the music and can't be ignored. I love the early Pumpkins, but that was also D' Arcy, James Aha, and Chamberlain, who were every bit as responsible for the band's sound as Corgan.

Any artist can be excessive and prolifically creative. But restraints and rules are needed to keep the artist in check. This is true in any creative discipline. Look at George Lucas in the latter Star Wars films: too much money, too much creative control, and a load of computer-animated garbage. The same with the Pumpkins: the more control Corgan had after the drummer left and without Butch Vig to rein him in, the more it turned to self-indugence.

Nirvana was tighter and smaller. I think ultimately that makes for a better sound. It seems like they edited more. And Kurt couldn't help having the attitude he did. He was raised on punk rock, and any kind of commercialism is anathema to the punk-rock spirit. It was not just pointless navel-gazing, but a man at odds with his faith. If he was just self-pitying, it wouldn't be art, or even interesting. His wordplay was often intriguing and inventive--Corgan's, in my opinion, is not, but rather often spouts vaguely dark generalities.

What if the sun refused to shine?
What if the clouds refused to rain?
What if the wind refused to blow?

I mean, that's not art--that's an existential Hallmark card.

Then there's Kurt, who's more into wry observations about human nature:

All the kids will eat it up if it's packaged properly
Should it subtlely irritate, keep it forming equally
Not to know is just the fact, we're a problem nowadays
An idea is what we lack, doesn't matter anyway

Both have some good lyrics, some bad. But vague poetic blustering grates on my nerves. It seems to me that Corgan presumes to think for his audience, where Kurt chose to think, period. Nirvana also performed with William S. Burroughs, a literary elder statesmen and that counts for something in my book.

This is also my personal preference, for artistic minimalism and power trios. I liked Reservior Dogs better than Pulp Fiction; it was tighter and better drama for it. Plus that mad gleam in Kurt's eye was rare; the self-satisfaction in Corgan's is common. Again, some good music there, Pumpkins were a good, possibly great band, but you know where I stand at this point. 
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Re:Underrated/Overrated bands
« Reply #54 on: May 12, 2004, 07:18:30 am »
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Quote from: Lemonhead on May 10, 2004, 05:38:44 pm   
As for Kurt Cobain killing himself, I think that sort of immortalized the band more than their music did.

what? what? what..what.....what are you talking about? Do you even know what you are saying? .....disagree..........
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« Reply #55 on: May 12, 2004, 04:46:10 pm »
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Quote:
what? what? what..what.....what are you talking about? Do you even know what you are saying? .....disagree..........

Is this all? Are you going to respond or just sputter? 


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I think ultimately that makes for a better sound.

Well like I said, I'm not comparing their sound, just the amount of praise they got. I personally just like the SP sound better than the Nirvana sound, and think SP should have gotten the same amount of praise, but not necessarily the same type of praise Nirvana got. As for the lyric comparison, I'm not as big into lyrics as I am into the sound, so the Nirvana lyrics don't really say anything different to me than any other grunge band's lyrics.
« Last Edit: May 12, 2004, 04:56:56 pm by Lemonhead » Report to moderator   Logged

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« Reply #56 on: May 12, 2004, 08:53:27 pm »
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It all boils down to taste. I like both Nirvana and Smashing Pumpkins, but I simply like elements of SP music and writing better.
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Of the structure of vaults upon a point of light.
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    There are no shadows anywhere.
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« Reply #57 on: May 12, 2004, 09:05:00 pm »
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I'd also like to add that it's really undeniable that Cobain's death is the primary thing people notice about Nirvana. It comes up almost every time you talk about Nirvana.
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Do not speak to us of the greatness of poetry,
    Of the torches wisping in the underground,     
Of the structure of vaults upon a point of light.
    There are no shadows in our sun,     
Day is desire and night is sleep.
    There are no shadows anywhere.
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Re:Underrated/Overrated bands
« Reply #58 on: May 13, 2004, 01:32:09 am »
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[I'd also like to add that it's really undeniable that Cobain's death is the primary thing people notice about Nirvana. It comes up almost every time you talk about Nirvana.

I also can't help but picture the fetuses (or was it human hearts?) hanging from the trees in that one video. I don't know why that always sticks in my mind.
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« Reply #59 on: May 13, 2004, 10:16:36 am »
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I also think it's a generational thing. (Yes--I'm back. The poster that won't leave the party and drop the subject. Street finds a groove in the couch and squishes into it. The other posters roll their eyes.)

I'm a certified Gen-Xer, which 15 years ago was characterized by a certain alienation and dissatisfaction with the status quo that was not being addressed in mainstream society or on the radio. It may sound whiny and trite now, but at the time Kurt gave voice to that alienation, my generation's Holden Caulfield.

I remember the exact time, place, and day that Nirvana broke on the radio. Mid-afternoon, doing dishes in the kitchen, senior year in college. That kind of music being played on mainstream radio was unheard of; I think younger folks have no idea how shocking it was. (My friends were deep into indie music and extremely dissappointed that Nirvana "sold out." It was funny, seeing them scowling on our ratty sofa in their trendy bowling shirts.) The Pumpkins were out at the same time, but their dreamy arena rock didn't have the same impact.

I guess I'm not talking about listenability; the Pumpkins are often more listenable than Nirvana. Nirvana's lyrics can be tough, especially as many of them were about Kurt's continually painful and undiagnosed stomach ailments. Poor guy. I guess I'm talking about impact, about who goes into the history books as being a primal force for change in music, and that would be Nirvana. I hate to see the true, original impact of Nirvana obscured by that latter fact of Kurt killing himself. When Nirvana broke, it was like the Beatles playing the Ed Sullivan show: a seminal moment in rock history.
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