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Old 07-23-2004, 03:02 PM   #31
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Originally posted by The Sage


Direct protest songs usually sound very cliched and contrived - I think subtle attacks hidden in clever lyrics work much better, as U2 have often done.
Agreed, plus they can transcent time with this approach.

And while I agree that artists should and can affect people with more of a social consciousness (due to thier stature), I dont rely on them for it.
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Old 07-23-2004, 05:00 PM   #32
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Originally posted by Danospano
The majority of songs which possess a conscious express the feelings in an artistic manner, but aren't obviously accessible to the masses. This isn't a bad thing, but then what's the point? To a certain extent, why even bother making a statement of politics if hardly anyone will hear it? Are they just trying to please themselves while playing it safe? That doesn't sound like rock and roll, does it?

In response to the interview posted above concerning artist being weary of writing lyrics which may be construed as timingly, yet fleeting in coming years: Sure, for every "Subeterraen Homesick Blues" and "Rockin' in the Free World", there are "Wild Wild West" and "Right Here, Right Now"'s. That's IMO a wussy way of getting out of having an option. Those people seem to care more about their ego and less about having an educated opinion and owning up to their choices. Makes me sad.
I'll address these two points.

First, "why even bother to make a statement of politics if hardly anyone will hear it?" Are you kidding? Do you only vote if you know everyone else is voting for the same guy? Do you only speak your mind when you have a large crowd, or do you talk to friends and family?

Second point. Perhaps I framed the Steve Kilbey inteview excerpt poorly. All modesty aside, I'm a very intelligent and well educated person, and Steve Kilbey makes me feel stupid! Don't let his comment about not reading the papers or listening to the news fool you, I've talked to the man for hours (mostly online and some in person) and he is one of the most intelligent and well informed people I have ever met. He can discuss virtually anything.

His music is more about the timeless human condition than the fickle current political climate. Nevertheless, I am quite sure his social/political leanings are quite liberal/progressive. How? I'm a fan of his music, that's how. The way he explores being human in his music is such an indication of his views that he doesn't need to be overt at all. Granted, most people won't get that, but most people don't "get" The Church either. And the beauty of it all is that 20-25 (or more) years later the songs are still fresh and meaningful (because being human doesn't really change). Although SK certainly does have a large ego, he also has educated opinions and does take responsiblity for his actions. And he respects his fans enough to allow us to do the same for ourselves.

One last point, for those that do like overtly politically music (or musicians that like to make it) -- I don't think it's so horrible that their audience is not huge. Sadly, to sell extremely well most often requires music to play to the lowest common denominator. And that is not a call to social or political action. And if I don't want someone as bright as SK telling me what to believe, I certainly don't want some manufactured pop chicklet/rapper/toy boy doing it.
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Old 07-23-2004, 09:32 PM   #33
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When I said "what's the point" I was refering to artists would sing about issues, but are hardly audible to most ears. Example: Zack De La Roche sings about hardly anything outside of the political spectrum, but unless you read along with the lyrics, you're not going to "get" the meaning behind his powerful lyrics. I was saying what's the point of singing about this stuff, which you deeply care about, if you're going to limit its affect by screaming or slurring words.

I think it's great that people like Zack express themselves, but my criticism is in the delivery. Yes, the music reflects anger, but unless you're going to articulate your opinions, why even express them?
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Old 07-24-2004, 06:00 AM   #34
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Quote:
Originally posted by Danospano

I think it's great that people like Zack express themselves, but my criticism is in the delivery. Yes, the music reflects anger, but unless you're going to articulate your opinions, why even express them?
this is purely your opinion. personally, i'd much rather listen to RATM and pick up their politics than say, the dixie chicks (whom i cannot stand).

Quote:
Not geniuses in the field? What does it take to be a genius in that "field". They are artists, and therefore reflect the attitude of the populace, namely the youth. The youth apparently don't care about political issues, or civil rights, or anything aside from getting laid and satisfying their own hedonistic pleasures.

Bob Dylan didn't reflect the times with Like a Rolling Stone, All Along the Watchtower, and Hurricane?

Creedance Clearwater Revival didn't reflect the times in Fortunate Son?

Edwin Starr wasn't in tune with the times when he recorded "War, what is it good for"?

I could go on, but I think the point that artists don't deserve credit for educating the public is ludarcis
the thing that's missing from praising such artists (and i agree with you on those being good examples), is that they're universal enough to be applied to situations over and over again. one might be originally written about vietnam, but you can apply it to any war, etc. they're providing a general political view, as opposed to jumping up and spouting rhetoric--which is the problem i have.
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Old 07-24-2004, 12:49 PM   #35
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Okay, I see your points. Very good.

You're right, it's personal preference, but wouldn't be all agree that the methods used by De La Roche aren't the most effective? I believe he's said a lot of clever, poignant things in his lyrics, yet wish more people would be exposed without having to read the lyrics.
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Old 07-24-2004, 01:46 PM   #36
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I understand his lyrics just about as much as I understand anyone else's. I don't think I've ever heard an artist where there wasn't some inaudible word or two.
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Old 07-24-2004, 03:55 PM   #37
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I understand his lyrics just about as much as I understand anyone else's. I don't think I've ever heard an artist where there wasn't some inaudible word or two.
Exactly what I was thinking.
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Old 07-24-2004, 06:04 PM   #38
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Quote:
Originally posted by Danospano
In the 1960's we had a surging revolution by way of protest rock with the likes of Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Joan Baez, Pete Seager, etc.
did these artists really have the charts in a stranglehold though?

not that I care but it seems sort of what you indicate when you refer to every other artist mentioned here as an exception to thr rule

the biggest hits of the 60's were probably the beatles singing about how much she loves you yeah, yeah, yeah and the beach boys who wanted everybody to go surfin USA
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Old 07-24-2004, 09:17 PM   #39
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I'd like to add another dimension to this thread. It seems that while it takes a miracle to get a "protest" song played on mainstream radio, country music has gone another direction. A few weeks ago, I was driving late at night through the Texas panhandle. I was almost to my destination for the night, so rather than put in another CD, I decided to try my luck with the radio. All I could get was two country stations, and I heard song after song in support of the war. And that's fine, but these songs were more than that. I heard lyrics saying that (and I paraphrase) "If I were president, I'd make sure everyone believed in God, and those who didn't could get the hell out of the country" and lyrics saying wouldn't it be great to resurrect John Wayne and have him kick Saddam Hussein's ass. It's fine if you want to support the war, but it left a bad taste in my mouth about freedom of religion to hear those lyrics. And it's just so over the top to mention John Wayne in reference to Saddam. There were other lyrics that bothered me too, mostly in reference to how those who didn't support the war could rot in hell like the traitors they are.

So while we may not be hearing political songs on rock radio, country music has certainly embraced them, although they are supportive (in their own weird way) of our government, rather than against it as were the protest songs of the 60s.
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Old 07-25-2004, 12:57 AM   #40
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I've heard some of that crap too, HeartlandGirl, and it is really disturbing. So much hatred in them. And so many people are just lapping that hatred up. Sick.
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Old 07-25-2004, 12:44 PM   #41
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In today's LA Times, there's an article outlining a proposed series of concerts in "swing" states this fall. These concerts are being organized to call attention to the importance of getting Bush out of office. The performers mentioned are Springsteen, REM, Neil Young, Peral Jam, Dave Matthews, and others. No one is confirming anything, but an announcement is scheduled August 4. The article also discusses the rock and rap songs that are protest songs. Apparently, P. Diddy is getting a voter-registration drive going. It will be interesting to see if any of this pans out. How will those pain-in-the-ass conservative Springsteen fans handle this?
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Old 07-25-2004, 02:00 PM   #42
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How will those pain-in-the-ass conservative Springsteen fans handle this?
They aren't handling it very well, judging from the Springsteen message boards I lurk at. (I never bothered registering. I spend too much time on the Internet as it is.) The conservative fans there are a pretty obnoxious bunch. At least the conservatives at this site are respectful, for the most part.
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Old 07-25-2004, 09:59 PM   #43
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You know what I wonder. How on earth did any conservatives think Springsteen was ever speaking for them in the first place? I mean to me it's apparent (and always has been) that Springsteen is NOT a conservative.

I guess they hear his songs of country and family and think "aha! conservative," but I don't understand why so many conservatives also seem to think they are the only people concerned with family and country.
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Old 07-25-2004, 11:16 PM   #44
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I just took a second look at Martha's last post. Hmmm, Bruce, R.E.M. Pearl Jam and Neil Young at one show? Hey, isn't Iowa a swing state?
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Old 07-26-2004, 02:54 AM   #45
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I think also a factor in what you hear on the radio is where you live. I hear A LOT of socially conscious music on radio stations in the bay area. Definitely a lot more than I ever heard listening to radio in Oklahoma.
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