Rock and Roll

This board’s having a dry spell, so with no further ado:

What’s the point of rock and roll?

If the Beatles and Bob Dylan divide the world between them, where does the Velvet Underground fall?

What makes rock and roll better than rap, techno, and the various other tendencies in pop music?

I don’t know if rock is “better” than techno or not, but at the very least, the main principles of electronic music pose a worthy challenge to those of rock. A rock band can be “good” in a way without being extremely technically proficient (of course it’s better if they actually know how to play), as long as the musicians can convey a sense of excitement or energy. And of course, people also value rock music as a vehicle for social commentary or storytelling. But techno (at least in some forms) focuses mostly on mood. Techno musicians are even less technically proficient than rock bands, but they use sophisticated production to give a certain atmosphere to their simple musical phrases, and most rock bands don’t.

Rock and roll is just a type of music. Not everyone has to like rock and roll, lol. That is why there a bunch of different types of music. Not everyone has the same taste.

The point of rock and roll is to make music that pleases the ears of yourself and possibly others. Same with almost any other type of music. Atleast to me. You can use it as a way to express yourself, to entertain, or to simply make a racket.

I don’t think rock and roll is better than rap, electronic music, or any other type of music. It’s just a different form of music, and is just as valid as the other forms. It’s rough edge appeals to me but that doesn’t make it better than the others in the end, it just makes it a preference.

The point of rock was to make money, expres oneself, convey a message, and to annoy/piss off/ rebel against one’s parents. Today, however, it’s mostly about the first three, especially the first two: money and expression.

It’s difficult to say why “rock” is better than other forms of music, because there are so many diferent types of rock, usually seperated by decade. For example, there was 50’s rock (Chuck Berry, Elvis) which was about the music, early 60’s rock (The Beatles, the Beach Boys) which was generally about feeling good, mid-late 60’s rock, which was about energy, awareness, and the civil rights movent (The Who, Bob Dylan) 70’s rock, which was mostly psychadelic stuff, protest, and the whole hippie movement (later Beatles and Small Faces, Greatful Dead). Those are just examples, of course, and many types of music also arose before and after rock.

Personally, I like rock (especially from 60’s/ 70’s)because i grew up listening to my dad’s music collection, and he, like most of your parents probably did, grew up listening to those bands. Some of those groups and performers are better because they are energetic (The Who, for example), politically aware (Bob Dylan), sharp and witty (John Lennon)and they came from a much more interesting time period (what with the hippie movement, civil rights, and the anti-war rallies).

The main reason I dislike most groups these days is that they seem to be clones of each other. Just look at all the blond, teenage girl pop singers there are. And they all sing the same crap that their pre-adolescent fanbase eats up. All the rap groups put on the same tough guy act, flash their jewelry and guns and make loads of cash because they have the ability to use a rhyming dictionary to talk about how tough the street is as they sit in their mansions. There’s really very little originality out there. They don’t write ballads about deaf dumb and blind boys that get molested by their uncles and are taken to hookers and play pinball. Perhaps they’re not bright enough; if they were, then surely they could come up with better names than “Ice-T.” I really don’t have a problem with techno, and my only problem about disco is the clothing and the disco ball.

The different kinds of music also reflect the different kinds of backgrouns of the artists. For instance, rock(contemporary rock at least) is more angsty and about sorting through emotions… type of stuff that appeals to middle-class kids. Rap, on the other hand, is pretty brutal about money, sex, violence, etc. Yet strangely, that too is appealing to middle-class kids :stuck_out_tongue:

Anyway, I like techno and movie soundtracks. I don’t really like angsting to music. I don’t care if the music is mass-produced or not, if I like it I like it.

Rap isn’t inherently bad. It’s the rappers who fuck it up. Linkin Park can rap. K-OS can rap. Beyond that, there is absolutely nothing in the popular rap talent pool. There are a few reasons for this.

First, the writing is shit. I don’t know if rappers write their own lyrics. I don’t care. The words that come out of their mouths are not the products of a long, persistent writing process. The person who first described rap as street poetry opened a Pandora’s box of bullshit about the legitimacy of rap lyrics. In reality, if we describe poetry as the use of poetic devices to condense meaning into a small amount of words, rap lyrics are about as far from poetry as anything has ever been. The only requirement is that they rhyme, and admittedly, they make very good use of internal rhyming. But that’s not enough. Good lyrical writing, rap or otherwise, needs more than just rhyming, but that’s another topic.

Second, rap doesn’t NEED talent. I’m not trying to say it’s easy to produce a good rap album and make millions. What I’m saying is that rap is a musical genre that exists for a certain subculture to rally around. It’s not rap’s responsibility to sound good musically. It’s rap’s responsibility to tie a group of unfortunate people together and make them stronger, give them a culture. Sadly, this “culture” has spilled over into our popular culture and created a bunch of middle-class kids who wear baggy jeans around their knees, NYY hats, and basketball jerseys for cities they can’t point out on a map. These kids also rally around rap music, thus perpetuating the industry. It’s an effective economic system.

I guess the reason I hate the majority of rap is the substancelessness of the lyrics, the substancelessness of the electronic music, the cultural fallout, and the fact that it’s built around money. Because of its lazy writing, it conveys nothing to me. Its music doesn’t move me or make me feel anything. It just plain has no use to me.

Anyway, back to the original topic.

I LOVE rock. What makes rock better than rap IMO? Well, take the points I mentioned above and reverse them. Rock lyrics are more poetic in that they condense more meaning into fewer words, and thus convey more to me both emotionally and intellectually. There are exceptions. Rock also has faster, more intense music that my mind can grab onto. The music is actually so good that it can be an end in itself. Rock doesn’t need lyrics to work. Rock’s culture is both good and bad. It depends on the era. Lately though, I really agree with it’s style. Rock also has this energy that just spurs people to do things. It’s a good motivator. It has many uses.

That’s why I personally think rock is better than rap. It’s just more useful to me as an individual. I think I’m talking about a different kind of rock than Sil is, though. I’m in the Radiohead/Tool/RaTM/In Flames camp. The Beatles and Bob Dylan actually really BOTHER me. All I can say about Velvet Underground is… “Velvet… who?” Sorry dude :confused:

Hades: To get an idea of whether or not you enjoy Velvet Underground, listen to the songs “Heroin,” “Venus in Furs,” “European Son,” and “White Light/White Heat.” It’s all from their first two albums, but I think that it will most certainly give you a feel for what they sound like.

Sil: As SK said, whether rock music is “better” than techno or rap music really depends on what you think that music should convey. I should also note that good techno (such as Aphex Twin) and good rap (such as NWA) surpass the mediocre excuse for rock music that is being pushed today. Keep in mind that rock, rap, and techno are all attempts to rebel in some way on what music is supposed to convey, what subjects music is supposed to cover, et cetera. They also have extremely similar roots.

Your reaction against techno and rap music resemble the reactions against early rock and country music by fans of other “subversive” music styles such as jazz and the blues. Lack of experience of actually listening to good examples of the genre leads you to the garbage that is being peddled by men in grey suits.

Now, to get on topic: I love rock and roll, and can honestly say that it changed the way that I view myself (I used to believe that all popular music was terrible based on what the radio shilled out, for example). Great rock music has several different levels: the most obvious is the entertainment value. There are some bands, such as Manowar and GWAR, that those are the only reason that I listen to them. The next level that I see is the introspective level. Bands such as Joy Division and the Smiths almost force you to think about yourself and how the lyricist thinks about themselves. Another layer is social commentary. Bands such as Dead Kennedys and Social Distortion turn the mirror away from ourselves and show us how very ugly the world itself can be. There are many other layers (obviously) such as lyricism, technical prowess, storytelling ability, et cetera, and all are powerful enough to the right people. I don’t believe that any one band has every single one of these traits, and some bands don’t even have one (see modern Metallica), but it is my belief that a great band should reach you on more than just an entertainment level, although many good bands do just that.

But I’m pretentious, so you can feel free to ignore me. :slight_smile:

NINJA EDIT: I have a feeling this thread is going to cause an old fashioned flamefest. No heated words have exchanged yet, but I just wanted to be the first to call it.

Hades: To get an idea of whether or not you enjoy Velvet Underground, listen to the songs “Heroin,” “Venus in Furs,” “European Son,” and “White Light/White Heat.” It’s all from their first two albums, but I think that it will most certainly give you a feel for what they sound like.

Actually, I prefer VU’s third, self-titled album, and Loaded, which is indeed loaded with hits over their first two expermentyish records. VU & Nico is wonderful, especially Sunday Morning and I’ll Be Your Mirror, but I like those other two records even better.

That’s true. I do enjoy Loaded quite a bit, but I figured that their first two records would be a better introduction for someone who wasn’t familiar.

VU isn’t my style. Heroin isn’t bad, but I hated White Light White Heat. I DID find an awesome duet of Thom Yorke and Beck covering what’s apparently a VU song though, and I’m loving it.

What makes rock and roll better than rap, techno, and the various other tendencies in pop music?

What’s the point of rock and roll?

The POINT of rock and roll…In my opinion it is to listen to music that pleases the mind and has a music/beat/song that just pleases you!
What makes Rock & Roll better than ’ ‘,’ ',and ’ '?Well I like Rock & Roll and Techno because they have sounds,music, and beats that just make me want to play Guitar Hero(And pretty soon Guitar Hero 2) and just put it on full volume and shut off the surronding world and concentrate on only the music…Well that’s just my opinion :stuck_out_tongue:

“Rock ‘n’ roll smells phony and false. It is sung, played and written, for the most part, by cretinous goons. And, by means of its almost imbecilic reiteration, and sly, lewd and in plain fact, dirty lyrics … it manages to be the martial music of every side-burned delinquent on the face of the earth.”

That’s Frank Sinatra. “Back in the day…” and all that. And Hades, don’t mistake bad artists for bad genres. Bad radio rock anyone? Anyway, what’s good about rock or music in general can be described with another quote from Frankie.

“Whatever else has been said about me personally is unimportant. When I sing, I believe. I’m honest.”

I wouldn’t call RnR (or any genre) the best, but there are many, many rock songs worth listening to, so that counts for something. Our definition of RnR differs, as for me it conveys a different message than rock. Rock ‘n’ roll makes good dancing music too if you can find a partner.

The Clash does, for me, but maybe that’s just me. A lot of their sarcasm is entertaining, London Calling makes me think about myself (Something about the idea of a city drowning, and the reason you are not afraid is because you live near the main body of water I find really, really, deep and poetic), and Social Commentary should be obvious.
I listen to music the same way GAP does, pretty much, I listen to some things for entertainment or sonic quality, music to make me think about myself or how I feel, and music for social change. I find the most value in music for social change, but that’s a personal opinion.

As for the whole rap thing, a lot of rap is brilliant. I believe it is currently just suffering from cookie-cutter syndrome, wherein a mediocre artist from a genre becomes unbelievably popular and spawns a slew of increasingly shitty clones. So a whole bunch of people hear shitty clones and hate it without even hearing the mediocre artist that started it or the excellent artists that didn’t become as popular. It happened with Grunge. Nirvana? Mediocre band, gains huge following and causes largely shitty burst of music following it. It’s happened with every genre, and it’s not rap’s fault, really.
The Rap and Electronica scenes are apathetic or ethically ambivalent enough to cause massive, massive cultural fallout, I’ll agree, and Rap is a house of cards built around money, as explained above. But when that falls in, Saul Williams and other rap and spoken-word artists will live on based on talent as they always have. A lot of rap isn’t soulless, overproduced drivel, it’s just the majority that is because of the cookie-cutter syndrome.
As for the comment about poetic device, don’t get me started in the ideals of poetry. It goes in un-pretty places. Suffice it to say, I’ll take a poem that describes an ugly thing as it is than one that uses shitty, stupid similes to make the ugly seem pretty and delude people into accepting a fucked-up world as a solid gold ball of god-damned perfection, so when it comes to it, I’ll take the least poetic rap lyrics over the most poetic lyrics that are full of shit. Poetic device is a dangerous thing to play with, and lyrics can be good if they avoid it, or if they use it.

Velvet Underground: I always like to start with the first album to introduce myself to a band. I did it with the Clash (the look on Mick and Paul’s faces drew me in to the self-titled album, and my life as a punk started) and made it a tradition ever since. So I’d advise that course.

We love it when you talk rock n roll!

My own opinion: The VU does recieve too much praise at times. I do like most of their music, but Lou Reed himself ultimately does it for me. I guess in the end, if a record speaks to someone then it has value, maybe not in an artistic sense, but an emotional sense. Music - and when I’m saying this I mean pop music - can get you through a bad time or make a good time better. If an artist succeeds in making an impact, then the artist has done his or her job.

Arac: Fuck yes did it happen with grunge (and I love Nirvana and many bands mislabeled grunge in the 90s)! If you ask most people, they’ll say that Nirvana started the grunge movement. Those people have never heard of the Sonics, or (more importantly) Mudhoney. Just listen to “Touch Me, I’m Sick” and “Hate the Police” and you’ll see where Nirvana got a lot of their influence (another big influence would be the Vasolines, but they were New Wave).

Americansycho: I can’t tell if you’re being sarcastic or not (you have to love the internet). I hope that people enjoy my opinions.

No sarcasm there. You’re a fucking musical lexicon and I wish I had merely as much knowledge as you.

Not to digress from my own thread, but…

I take it you are not a fan of Baudelaire. Art often relies for its power on making the ugly beautiful, or at least tolerable. I wonder then, what is your own solution to the problem people have of living in this ugly world. However, I disagree with your intimation that “poetry” consisting in unoriginal “shitty” similies is poetry to begin with.

The Clash is one of the most curious of bands. London Calling is probably the largest or most important record ever since. I can’t even listen to any of their other records. All it’s rivals from the “punk movement” are now either regarded as something of a joke or a less-than-musical phenomenon, as the Sex Pistols, or in the case of the Jam, who are virtually unknown in the United States, although the most commercially sucessful in the UK (apparently): it seems they’ll be remembered mostly as a singles band.

I believe that much of the appeal of art is in the “singer, not the song.” Somewhat paradoxically, they must have good songs before being attractive as a “singer.” At some point, eventually all the artist touches becomes gold, for a little while. Cobain was certainly a romantic figure, not only because he’s perceived as the originator of grunge to a wide number of people. (In one sense, he is, being early enough and as its most visible formulator.)

Whenever I read even professional reviews or commentaries about grunge, I find people are almost always misguided about its genealogy. Cobain once said that he was just trying to emulate the Pixies. Frank Black of the Pixies had said earlier that he was just trying to emulate the Beatles. Nowadays, I find it hard to listen to Yesterday hearing the blueprint of the grunge phenomenon in its chord structure and in particular the way the rhythm guitar is played. Also, the myth of the “soft load soft” dynamic that grunge apparently invented by many accounts is quite silly. Indeed, they’re called dynamics and they’ve been a part of music for quite some time. The issue of whether or not grunge introduced it to rock and roll is another story, but here I also see forebearers in the Beatles, the Velvet Underground, and many other 60s bands.

Is that your favourite song (music here)?

Or they have already caused this. For many people it’s the only music they’ve listened to (or they simply prefer it). Apathetic and house of cards built around money describes quite good a lot of contemporary rock and “punk” bands.

Cobain is my emo hero.

EDIT concerning next post: Aye Hades.

This comment is redundant. Go back and read the very first line of my big post.