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Overrated And Underrated Artists
Posted: 07 March 2013 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 61 ]
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All time most under rated pop musician:  Stephen Foster.

Proof?

He’s been dead 150 years and I challenge anyone out there to claim they’ve never heard any of his music.  I’ll bet that even if you think you haven’t you probably have. 

I know a lot of his work is racist, (he died before the civil war), but a little of it is beautiful.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 05:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 62 ]
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mid atlantic - 07 March 2013 12:42 AM
CuthbertJ - 05 March 2013 07:07 PM

Definitely a fun thread. One of the difficulties with this kind of discussion is separating personal opinion from objective selection AND considering context.  When I hear someone say Chopin was overrated my first thought is, clueless poster. But then again for that poster maybe music is supposed to get you revved up and ready to go. In that context, I supposed someone could think Chopin isn’t all that whereas the Rolling Stones might be. It’s a matter of context.  I do think no matter what you have to consider what someone earlier called the “craft”.  I personally don’t like Mozart BUT I do realize he was a master musical craftsman.

In the case of Chopin, personally I don’t care for his music - it seems too weak and one sided; however his technical proficiency on the piano is hard to argue with.

When you measure other classical pianists/composers like Liszt, or Rachmaninov against Chopin, he seems less creative.  Perhaps Chopin’s “tragic suffering artist” life has help his popularity to endure? That’s why I label him overrated.

Rachmaninov, eh? How does he score on your scale in originality? You know he was heavily influenced by the unoriginal Tchaikovsky and had to often defend himself by saying that if he imitated Tchaikovsky he had done so unconsciously?

If you want to try to sound as “sophisticated” as many of the art critics, you should first start by educating yourself. Most of what you’re saying here sounds quite silly.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 06:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 63 ]
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Jeciron - 06 March 2013 05:14 PM

For myself, valid art is any art which elicits a response in me.

Sure, we all think that way. The question though is whether there is any way we could be wrong about those responses. If all there is to art is, “I know it if I like it”, then unless there is actual evidence of coincidence in art appreciation, there’s nothing to being wrong. The artists Kumar and Melamid did surveys around the world of what people wanted to see in paintings: turned out, most people wanted a landscape with trees and a pond.

Is that, then, what makes a great painting?

Jeciron - 06 March 2013 05:14 PM

In that, I recognize that what is art to me may be merely a pointless scribble, an incoherent combination of words or tones to another.  I have to accept that a piece of art which deeply offends me, by my very reaction, defines itself as art.  So, I try, not entirely successfully, to maintain the position that there is art which I get, which moves me, and art which I don’t “get”.  I try not to decide if it is good or bad.

Sure, but is there something in the art—something ‘objective’—that you’re missing, or is it just that some people like vanilla and some people like chocolate, and there’s no deciding between them as to which is better?

Jeciron - 06 March 2013 05:14 PM

I fabricate architectural and ornamental iron.  When I take on a customer, I commit myself to attempting to create work which is meaningful to my customer, but the work does not have to be especially meaningful to me.  I feel, as a craftsman, not as an artist, that this attitude is a fundamental part of my craft.  It is much easier, and perhaps more satisfying, to create a piece of work for someone with whom I share a sense of art and beauty, but in some ways it is a greater accomplishment to do good work for someone who’s tastes differ.  I should admit though, that the difference can be too great to overcome….Anyway, all this makes me think a lot about beauty and art sometimes.

Very cool. Hat’s off to you as an ironsmith.

I see you’re making a distinction between “craft” and “art”. Do you think there’s a real difference between them? Or is it all in the eye of the beholder?

Typically art is seen as ‘self expression’ where craft is all technical capability. But I must admit that the more I think about it the harder it is for me to make the distinction. In a sense, ‘I know it when I see it’, but then also in a sense I think I may just be seeing certain kinds of preconceptions.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 07:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 64 ]
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George - 07 March 2013 05:46 AM
mid atlantic - 07 March 2013 12:42 AM
CuthbertJ - 05 March 2013 07:07 PM

Definitely a fun thread. One of the difficulties with this kind of discussion is separating personal opinion from objective selection AND considering context.  When I hear someone say Chopin was overrated my first thought is, clueless poster. But then again for that poster maybe music is supposed to get you revved up and ready to go. In that context, I supposed someone could think Chopin isn’t all that whereas the Rolling Stones might be. It’s a matter of context.  I do think no matter what you have to consider what someone earlier called the “craft”.  I personally don’t like Mozart BUT I do realize he was a master musical craftsman.

In the case of Chopin, personally I don’t care for his music - it seems too weak and one sided; however his technical proficiency on the piano is hard to argue with.

When you measure other classical pianists/composers like Liszt, or Rachmaninov against Chopin, he seems less creative.  Perhaps Chopin’s “tragic suffering artist” life has help his popularity to endure? That’s why I label him overrated.

Rachmaninov, eh? How does he score on your scale in originality? You know he was heavily influenced by the unoriginal Tchaikovsky and had to often defend himself by saying that if he imitated Tchaikovsky he had done so unconsciously?

If you want to try to sound as “sophisticated” as many of the art critics, you should first start by educating yourself. Most of what you’re saying here sounds quite silly.

That’s surprising, I would never have guessed Rachmaninov was heavily influenced by Tchaikovsky. To me they sound as different as night and day.

I obviously know nothing substantial about these composers, except some of their work.  So I reclassify Chopin, Tchaikovsky as composers many others like, but I don’t.  Rachmaninov is cool, but not one of my favorites.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 09:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 65 ]
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George - 01 March 2013 07:48 AM

Also, if “overrated” means not being original, then Warhol, Pollock, and even Dalí (including his later stuff) are way underrated. To me the terms overrated and underrated are completely meaningless.

You’re right, but I’d go further—it’s all meaningless because it’s all subjective.  If we like something but it isn’t liked by a lot of other people we call it underrated,  if we don’t like something but a lot of other people like it, we call it overrated.  There is no objective criteria for art, though a lot of people waste their time trying to establish them.  It all boils down to what we like and what speaks to us as individuals.  What other people think is of little consequence except for those who would like to impose their opinions on others and either embrace people who agree with them or cast aspersions on those who disagree.  Specifically there is no good or bad art except from an individual subjective standpoint.  But many people love to think that anyone’s likes or dislikes mean something about the person or the art.  They don’t. It’s all hogwash. 

LL.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 11:57 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 66 ]
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Mid-A…Since you seem to be very familiar with them, I’ll assume you know their biography. You know they were an English group that first attempted to play RnB music, and their early manager Andrew Oldham, marketed them as kind of a bad boy answer to the more clean cut and “whitebread” Beatles.

Their choice of music to cover, along with having slightly long hair, not wearing ties, and acting like lascivious hooligans made them very controversial in the staid English culture of the time. Then they came to the states and milked the same shtick to sheltered middle class American kids. This is where their originality comes into question.

The Stones didn’t invent the concept of an English group playing Blues or Rnb music - Alexis Korner, and Graham Bond did; they also stayed truer to the same black music the Stones bragged about introducing to the white audience.

Another thing, the early success of the Stones was largely based on “outrage”, something that their management came up with, and the group happily played along with. Besides, other peers of the Stones, like the Kinks, the Who, the Pretty Things were far more outrageous and rebellious then the Stones ever were - they were just not as cute, or had worse management.  Basically, they are given undue credit for many things.

Their quality of work is questionable,IMO. All of their first 10 or so studio albums have a few good songs on them (which is a notable accomplishment in itself), after that it’s quite hit and miss.

I’m somewhat familiar with their history.  I have all their albums fromTheir Majesties Satanic Request to Tattoo You.
I like their older stuff as well, but haven’t gotten around to collecting it yet.(Out of our Heads, December’s Children, Rolling Stones.)
I’m sorry but your quibbling about superfluous items above.  While I agree with you wholeheartedly about purity and roots etc…The Stones never had to sign any contract to be pure or otherwise.  What they did do was create extremely good Rock and Roll. 
I forgot another parameter: Longevity. LOL

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Posted: 07 March 2013 04:00 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 67 ]
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Doug, I really do wonder whether there is an objective standard for art.  I’d really like there to be something like one, and I think maybe there is, which is what I was trying to get at with the sunset thing, Does anyone not respond to a dramatic sunset?  But, I get really puzzled when I try to define art, or try to create it. A sunset is a little beyond me.  Still, if I’m forming a piece of steel there are curves that are right, and curves that are wrong.  I am fascinated, and utterly puzzled by the fact that I can sense this and that I care.  I don’t know if I’m so much missing something, but experiencing something I can’t define.  Oddly enough, if there is a weak link in my agnosticism, it is this problem.  It’s awful easy to be drawn to a mystical explanation.  I would hope someone has a viable evolutionary explanation.  There should be one.

I’ve developed my own sense of the difference between craft and art.  I may be far from a formal, common understanding.  It’s based on my experience that an artist is primarily centered on their own vision, or explanation, or display.  In my mind, a craftsman is a master of his trade, (something I’m not sure I’d claim), but beyond that a master at interpreting, one might say “realizing” the vision, explanation, or display of another person.  While an individual who claims to be an artist is commonly criticized for that attitude, considered a “sell out”, and might be disdained for it, I find it a complex, deeply satisfying, and honorable skill.

That may well be a sort of artistry.  If that is art, and if I were to try to define a Utopia, it would be a place where everyone could know their vocation as art.

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Posted: 07 March 2013 04:10 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 68 ]
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Jeciron - 07 March 2013 04:00 PM

That may well be a sort of artistry.  If that is art, and if I were to try to define a Utopia, it would be a place where everyone could know their vocation as art.

You mean somewhat like martial arts in Eastern cultures?

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Posted: 20 March 2014 03:04 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 69 ]
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Hi there, Mike…

Interesting topic and replies from members.  I’m interested to know what others think about the art of ‘rapping’ and especially in the context of your comment regarding the ‘value of art.’  I presume there may be few if any rap enthusiasts on this forum and I’m not especially inclined to it either.  However, the value of this art form I think is under-rated.  If one thinks of art as universal truth or perhaps better, a personal truth of the artist which they share with others, rap definitely has value. 

There has been considerable controversy regarding its value and even as true art.  But, think of some of the places you’ve never been, you will never go and maybe would never want to go… these rap artists give you a glimpse into the life they live - their truths.  I’m referring more to the less commercialized, less known rappers.  As a good example, those that have recently come out of South Chicago, one of the most violent areas in America, that it is referred to as ‘Chiraq’. 

Interested in your thoughts.

mid atlantic - 01 March 2013 07:03 AM

When I say overrated, George, I mean that an artist might not be as original or innovative as they are given credit for.

That stuff can often be judged objectively.

However, the value of the art….. that’s something else.

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Posted: 21 March 2014 03:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 70 ]
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RubyWoo - 20 March 2014 03:04 AM

Hi there, Mike…

Interesting topic and replies from members.  I’m interested to know what others think about the art of ‘rapping’ and especially in the context of your comment regarding the ‘value of art.’  I presume there may be few if any rap enthusiasts on this forum and I’m not especially inclined to it either.  However, the value of this art form I think is under-rated.  If one thinks of art as universal truth or perhaps better, a personal truth of the artist which they share with others, rap definitely has value. 

There has been considerable controversy regarding its value and even as true art.  But, think of some of the places you’ve never been, you will never go and maybe would never want to go… these rap artists give you a glimpse into the life they live - their truths.  I’m referring more to the less commercialized, less known rappers.  As a good example, those that have recently come out of South Chicago, one of the most violent areas in America, that it is referred to as ‘Chiraq’. 

Interested in your thoughts.

mid atlantic - 01 March 2013 07:03 AM

When I say overrated, George, I mean that an artist might not be as original or innovative as they are given credit for.

That stuff can often be judged objectively.

However, the value of the art….. that’s something else.

I happen to be one of few rap/hip-hop enthusiasts here (notice that most other forum members are way above the age bracket to appreciate hip-hop) and I for one agree with you that it is an artform. Hip-Hop is essentially a musical form that utilizes a collage of sampled sounds sourced from pre-existing records and other media as a basic technique. And in that respect is the quintessential musical form for this postmodernist, fast-pased era we live in.

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Posted: 21 March 2014 10:05 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 71 ]
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I’m not really sure why anyone would question that validity of rap/hip-hop as an art form. It clearly has all the criteria of art. Its creative and expressive. It evokes an emotional response. I suppose as with all forms of art there are most likely good practitioners and bad ones but as a whole it is certainly art.

I’m not sure why you would think it isn’t given the respect it deserves. From a financial standpoint it certainly does. It also receives a good deal of attention from the rest of the creative community as we can see from the industry awards ceremonies.

The artists may not all receive the same respect from the wider community of music lovers older than 25 but that is understandable. Rap is a big departure from the previous music categories that usually had a strong melodic component. In addition some rap artists often are perceived rightly or wrongly as being thugs and criminals and to be honest some of that is deserved. Unfortunately that reputation is then extended to artists who haven’t done anything to deserve it.

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Posted: 18 April 2014 08:29 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 72 ]
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dougsmith - 01 March 2013 05:12 AM
mid atlantic - 28 February 2013 09:04 PM
TromboneAndrew - 28 February 2013 08:45 PM

That’s not really what he composed. Cage deliberately blurred the line between music and non-musical experience. The famous 4’33” is meant to be a performance of the ambient sounds in the room. I don’t think it’s intended to be music - more of a social statement, that there’s really no such thing as true silence.

Did Cage ever explain that?

Yeah, Trombone is right: it’s sort of intended to be a Zen thing. The music is whatever sounds come up in the room. I think as an intriguing thought experiment it deserves to have been done once. My problem is less with that piece than with the rest of Cage’s work, which I find largely incomprehensible.

Seems to me this would be one to do in an ancient old mansion on a full moon late night, bet you could have a lot of fun with sounds coming up in the room.

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Posted: 18 April 2014 08:58 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 73 ]
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macgyver - 21 March 2014 10:05 AM

I’m not really sure why anyone would question that validity of rap/hip-hop as an art form. It clearly has all the criteria of art. Its creative and expressive. It evokes an emotional response. I suppose as with all forms of art there are most likely good practitioners and bad ones but as a whole it is certainly art.

I’m not sure why you would think it isn’t given the respect it deserves. From a financial standpoint it certainly does. It also receives a good deal of attention from the rest of the creative community as we can see from the industry awards ceremonies.

The artists may not all receive the same respect from the wider community of music lovers older than 25 but that is understandable. Rap is a big departure from the previous music categories that usually had a strong melodic component. In addition some rap artists often are perceived rightly or wrongly as being thugs and criminals and to be honest some of that is deserved. Unfortunately that reputation is then extended to artists who haven’t done anything to deserve it.

Sure it is art, just like poisonous mushrooms can be considered food. Actually, I can’t think of a better tune to listen to while eating a Deadly Conocybe risotto than, say, “Bitches Ain’t Shit” or “Bitch Suck Dick.” Now I just need a drink to go with it.

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Posted: 18 April 2014 10:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 74 ]
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I assume you’re looking for hemlock as the drink, George.  smile

By the way, I do agree with you.

My feelings about most modern music, popular and stuff like Cage’s, can be expressed by the line from Gilbert and Sullivan, “Art stopped short in the cultivated court of the Empress, Josephine.”  LOL

Occam

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Posted: 18 April 2014 05:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 75 ]
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Actually George you’ve succeeded in betraying your ignorance about the art of hip-hop. Your grossly misconceived idea is a caricature born out of popular misrepresentations of the art daily propagated in the media. Nothing short of a introductory study of the music (albeit, which you’ll hv to find interesting to even endeavor) can put things in the right perspective for you. However, I suspect you are already prejudiced against such an undertaking, what with the racist undertones in your above comment. Well, have it your way. In the final analysis it all comes down to ones taste, like the saying go, one man’s meat is another’s poison.

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