1. Please take 30 seconds to register your free account to remove most ads, post topics, make friends, earn reward points at our store, and more!  
    TalkBass.com has been uniting the low end since 1998.  Join us! :)

problems with alternative(brought about by radiohead cd)

Discussion in 'Recordings [BG]' started by master-o'-disaster, Nov 18, 2000.

  1. master-o'-disaster


    Jul 27, 2000
    The difference with Alternative music and all other forms of music is the lack of elabirate music, as well as the songs' formats are really not unique and difficult. Unfourtunaly, this evening i found that same thing potrayed on the new Radiohead CD. i listened to approximately 4-5 songs on that album and they all showed signs of straight chord sturctures through each song. Im not sure what track, but one song was the bass going through two chords througgh the whole entire song, as well as synthesizers and the drums going at the same time. It showed little talent on behalf of radiohead, and i discredit them on that. in other songs the only changes would be maybe an acoustic guitar coming in and playing with the electric(same chords) and playing for the chorus. That tells me they dont actually sit down and think of possibilities they ould do with their music. just listening i thought of many possibiliteies that they could have done to some songs to improve them..... very lame. I tend to find the same things with other "forms" of alternative music. You may think i am basing my opinions of alternative just on the new radiohead Cd, but im not. I listen to all music...and ive listened to my fair share of alternative....and i think ive had enough. SO, as i sum it up, i come to one conclusion about Alternative music....."it all sounds the same." thank you

    ps do like the lightbulb...think
  2. Bruce Lindfield

    Bruce Lindfield Unprofessional TalkBass Contributor Gold Supporting Member In Memoriam

    Well, I'm not sure about the definition of "Alternative Music " being used here - it does sound like you haven't listened to enough - a few more examples might help?

    But I do think that the RadioHead CD is pretty poor and shows a huge decline from their best work like "The Bends". My impression is that RH are taking the P... as they are fed up with the music biz and the role in which they find themselves - the last thing they every wanted to be is "stadium rock"!! I think they have made a deliberately bad album to get them out of the position they are in, in the only way they can think of, given their contractual commitments.
  3. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Master of Disaster: So?

    Will C.:cool:
  4. JimK


    Dec 12, 1999
    Once Alternative Rock hit the masses, it got watered down; ie, it ceased bein' "alternative". So now Alternative is Pop music...gotta follow the formula.
    Sounds as though you've hit the "once you've heard it, you've heard it" syndrome. It's up to you to venture out & try/find something "new"(endless trek, man).
  5. john turner

    john turner You don't want to do that. Trust me. Staff Member

    Mar 14, 2000
    atlanta ga
    i tend to agree with this sentiment. for me the best way to counter it has been to try and write music that i feel is better than what is out there, with the kind of interesting rhythmic interplay that i like. keeps me busy. :D
  6. In regards to <I>Kid A</I>, it fits an "alternative" definition. However "alternative" is misleading and confining (as with most of the labels we are bombarded with on a day to day basis).

    I like music that is complex in some area. It can be musically such as complex chord progression or fugue-like melodic lines. But it can also be lyrical (general concepts, themes, philosophies) or in production (new sounds, new layering). Sometimes even "simple" can produce complexity such generating abstractions in the mind while listening to it ("Treefingers" is an example of this if you want to use <I>Kid A</I>)

    I think Radiohead wants to go to a new direction for themselves and for no one else. I also think Radiohead does things in general for themselves. That can be alienating to some (especially those who liked <I>Pablo Honey</I> and <I>The Bends</I>) but it is interesting and intriguing for others, like myself.

    I think Radiohead is just as alternative as ever (especially in this day in age)

    Derek J. Power
  7. Dragen


    Aug 31, 2000
    I can see that you (well, some of you...) says that Kid A isn't advanced enough; or that they did Kid A bad because they want to get out of the mainstream. I can agree that it isn't advanced and perhaps they want to get out of the mainstream. I'm all for it, but I don't think Kid A is bad. I think it radiates feelings just as much as OK Computer or The Bends. Just think of the pressure on those guys. OK Computer was (in fact) rewarded the title "Best album of the millenia", a friend told me. Everyone expected them to do something just as spectacular, and so they did. Kid A was surprising; because with all the equiptment available to them, they made a charming album with a sense that it wasn't really finished, which was and is a good feeling.

    ..........that's my opinion......hrmm
  8. brianrost

    brianrost Gold Supporting Member

    Apr 26, 2000
    Boston, Taxachusetts
    So where's the rule that says music has to be "advanced"?

    If music is good once, it's always good. Music of the past didn't stop being good just because it's not the latest thing and music of today isn't necessarily bad just because it isn't pushing the envelope all the time.

    What the heck is the point here (other than the troll that all "alternative rock" sucks)?
  9. Nate Dawg

    Nate Dawg

    Apr 8, 2000
    Radiohead may not have used very complex chord structures in their songs, but that is not why they are alternative. They tend to use elaborate time signature changes as well as simplistic (yet meaningful) lyrics to get their point across. You can't expect them to do the same type of songs every album. Their ever-changing nature is why I enjoy their music.

    As for the comment about all alternative sounding the same; I tend to agree that most MTV-type alternative bands do sound similar. However, there are many other bands out there that have been playing innovative music for years and have not recieved the attention they deserve. At-the-drive-in, for example, have been around for years, and only now are they receiving major air-play. Some other so-called "alternative" bands, such as Hot Water Music, Alkaline Trio, and Jimmy Eat World have released a number of albums and have a large underground/college following because they define the term "alternative." They play something different than the typical MTV-esque music.

    Anyway, enough of my ranting...

    P.S. I suspect we will all be hearing a lot more about Hot Water Music in the near future. They just signed to Epitaph records, so I suspect they start receiving some major air-play pretty soon. They are too good not to. Oh yeah, and their bassist, Jason Black, is awesome. Check them out if you haven't already.
  10. master-o'-disaster


    Jul 27, 2000
    im not trying to ininvertinly trying to shoot down that form of music. i just find it depressing how some musicians don't put the effort into making elabirate and difficult music. i see some airplay on tv with some bands and their bassists are just as good as beginner bassists. drum beats are basically the same except for maybe a extra bass tap here or there, but i just think that music needs to go through a revolution and push the limits of their personal capabilities, and the band's capabilities of producing music that shows the different styles of bands. im studying jazz theory, and there is a whole world of other possibilities besides getting tabulature of your favorite group and learning that. i personally think tabulature is horrible. it doesnt help you become a better player, it doesnt bring out the style in you, and it doenst help you understand music. i just think the world of music needs to be touched up.
  11. air_leech


    Sep 1, 2000
    just what I was thinking, all these Alt. Rock bands that hit us in the early 90's and continue to do so today are just playing 60's bubblegum stuff but with so called "deep" and melancholic lyrics.

    Travis, radiohead, the verve, coldplay, new blur stuff, supergrass etc. are selling milions but are only playing simple three-four chord progressions. they also endorse vintage gear so now everything out there on the market has to be vintage...

    there are simple songs that sound great, Phil Collins 80's stuff was great, not complicated but well produced, but the new indie revolution brought out some poorly produced stuff were there is no point in the music and being innovative is to add strings to your two ringing chords.

    to sum it up, alt. rock, pop, grunge, whatever you call modern day rock, sux big time.
  12. master-o'-disaster


    Jul 27, 2000
    i agree. you have to look real hard to find music that is good. Dave Matthews Band, Phish, Ekoostik Hookah, Bela Fleck, String Cheese Incident, Rusted Root, Pearl Jam, and some others are only a few good solid groups that have a unique style that is untouched by no other group. So next time you and your band are kickin it, put some ass into making new music, dont show fieldy korn's style, show YOUR style...thats what makes good music
  13. I'm not quite in the position as you in regard to studies and musically speaking. But I can offer my only opinion.

    I learn music through a variety of means. Right now, I'm studying AP Music Theory in high school. Although I'm learning mostly 18th century Baroque music, this is the basis of which all Western music is made (and were the rules can broken... which my dad pointed out, in order to break rules, you have to know them first). In my own personal experiences, I'm learning bass (and now keyboard) through a combination of playing/learning by ear and reading music whether it be sheet music and/or tabulature.

    You are right as far as tabulature. It doesn't make you good player. What makes you a good player (or at least a respectable one) is the infusion of something beside the music into the music. In fact, in Mr. Holland Opus (one of my favorite movies since everything centers around music and the power that music has no matter what the times are like), the point is brought up that music is not just notes on a page. Tabs, sheet music and instructors can teach you how to do descending fourths, or how to construct 9th chords or playing a walking blues line. HOWEVER, they can't teach the other stuff like emotion and expression. They can motivate you or inspire you to do that but they can't instill it or drill it like the times tables (assuming they still exist).

    So yes you do have a point and all I'm doing is elaborating it. Tabs are merely tools, not the magic solution to become a good player. In my own personal bias, you have to love music and enjoy music and all of its qualities and quirks.

    But then I noticed your main point which is that music is not challenging or inspiring anymore except for inspiring mediocrity. My own personal wish (and my brother's one as well) is that we need another Nirvana. Not a grunge act mind you but a group that turns the popular norm upside down and gives millions of people that chance to inspire, to create, to challenge and to evolve the species as far as musical listening. To me, there isn't that challenge anymore. But believe me, there will be a day when people pawn albums like Baby, One More Time; Oops... I Did It Again; Significant Other; Millennium; Black and Blue [BTW, what the hell are they trying to be now? Pretty boys with a Goth facade? Please!]... and start buying albums like The Fragile, Kid A, Music is Rotted One Note (Squarepusher), Silence is Sexy (Einst├╝rzende Neubauten) and probably a million other titles that can't name right now (due to memory lapse or ignorance or both). Then that's where a new musical revolution will come about and creativity and brains return to the scene.

    But until that comes, I ask that all of you continue to challenge yourselves. Discover new music. Learn your instruments. Challenge yourself to learning new styles, new ideas, etc. Enrich yourself with music (and if possible other things as well).

    I know that was long but I think it needed to be said.

    Derek J. Power
  14. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    I can't take it anymore.


    There, I feel better.:)

    By the way, no one writes "difficcult" music on purpose, well, maybe Zappa did, but with the exception of Zappa, most people who try to write music that's up to a certain difficulty level usually wind up with something that's not very good.

    The world of music needs to be touched up? what music do you listen to?

    Will C.:cool:
  15. master-o'-disaster


    Jul 27, 2000
    alright look-
    the point im trying to get across is i get tired of hearing 2 3 or 4 chords being played through whole songs. i just want to hear some thought being put into today's music in terms of song structure, lyric writing, instrument composition, ect. the bands i listen to are: dave Mathews, Phish, ekoostik hookah, Zepplin, CCR, Oar, Grand Funk railroad, Bela Fleck, James Taylor, String Cheese Incident, Rusted Root...many different styles of music, but they are all unique.

    ps maybe "difficult" was the wrong word for what i was trying to say. there is great music out there...but id like to listen to more
  16. Blackbird

    Blackbird Moderator Supporting Member

    Mar 18, 2000
    Well, Here's a short and criminally incomplete list of musicians who wrote music with more than four chords:

    J.S. Bach

    and a few more:

    Charlie Parker
    Miles Davis
    Cannonball Adderley
    Gil Evans
    Gerry Mulligan
    Duke Ellington
    Count Basie
    Charles Mingus
    Hermeto Pascoal
    Antonio Carlos Jobim
    Stan Getz
    Dave Brubeck
    Pat Metheny
    Pat Martino
    Joe Zawinul
    Sonny Rollins
    Wayne Shorter
    Frank Zappa

    These lists go on. It seems to me like you're ready to get your feet wet in som eother music styles besides those that feature heavily distorted guitars. I don't want to knock those styles, but I don't think people will call me a snob if I say that a higher level of musicianship is available.

    Oh yes, Get some Brian Wilson/ Beach Boys. There's some really heavy stuff in that music.

    Will C.:cool:
  17. master-o'-disaster


    Jul 27, 2000
    the music i listed isnt the only type of music i listen to. if it catches me when im flippin through the radio ill listen to it. im not going to sit here and list every song that caught my ear. unlike alot of people back in junior high when my music teacher would turn on the classical music, id enjoy it. its really thought out music. i dont personally own any calssical albums, but i give the composers respect for coming up with what they did.
    when you said "I don't want to knock those styles, but I don't think people will call me a snob if I say that a higher level of musicianship is available." thats the exact point i was trying to get across. you seemed to be misinterpriting what i was trying to say. We may have somewhat different styles in music, by they are linked by one key element...they are unique. Thats what i love about music, because it allows you to be unique and with something that special, i dont like to see people be the same

  18. I find Radiohead, especially Kid A, a really interesting album to call not complex, challenging, etc. First of all, their goal seemed to be to write some songs, not to impress people with their musicianship. That said, I think they do plenty of innovative and challenging things on Kid A, from diverse time sigs to great use of ambient guitars, keyboards, and computers.

    I think in a sonic landscape like Kid A, the rules are a little different than in jazz. I think the gauge of how GREAT this album is is the ability for the songs to sound so simple but actually be so complex.

    Just curious - when you hear a good groove, what do you base that on? How many chords/notes it has? C'mon, complexity can take many forms, and it can often be the nuances of a simple thought.

    And on a very specific level, I can't see how you can listen to something like "How To Disappear Completely" and not be moved.

Share This Page