Blues | Rock - Where's the line?

A discussion of the blues for blues lovers and fans.

RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby bosco » Tue Sep 17, 2002 3:51 pm

I've heard the pitch before; "If you think music stars have sold out, you don't have to watch TV you know...if you don't like rap, you don't have to listen to it." Agreed. To each his own.

BUT; My musical interests are as diversified as it gets. In my collection you will find; Classical, Waltzes, Polkas, Bluegrass, Folk, Country, Country-rock, Country-blues, Big Band, Swing, Jazz, Jazz-blues, 50's rock, British rock, Classic rock, Blues, Blues-rock, Comedy, Novelty recordings and I'm sure a few more genres I'm missing. Some, if not all of these were aquired tastes. Musically, I am not a narrow minded individual.

Probably what really gets me is the "I slammed your ho", "F*ck your Mamma", and "I'm gonna bust a cap in your ass" mentality. Add the militant delivery, complete with hands thrown in your face and crotch grabbing, and I stand by my original assessment that this barely qualifies as an art form. My 16 year old daughter loves hip hop and rap and I wouldn't expect to tell her what kind of music to listen too any more than I would like her to tell me. In the long run, I do not think she will be a better person for it and it saddens me that she is missing out on all the beautiful music this world has to offer.

"Think wrongly, if you please, but in all cases think for yourself."
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby ricochet » Tue Sep 17, 2002 5:50 pm

George Thorogood says himself that he doesn't play blues. He thinks blues is very heavy, deep-feeling stuff that he might try to play all alone when he's in the mood, but not for an audience. There's an interview out there somewhere on the Web where he says that.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby allanlummox » Tue Sep 17, 2002 6:17 pm

From my point of view, the agressive anger in Rap music reflects the same social & historical reality that produced Blues...just a little further down the line.

Robert Johnson could "Make them caps alright" and talk about shooting, beating and generally abusing his woman and THAT's ok because it's blues...and, more importantly, RJ is dead and not throwing his hands in your face. Heck, he'd have known better than to act that way...

Ah, the good ol' days.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby bosco » Tue Sep 17, 2002 8:11 pm

[updated:LAST EDITED ON Sep-17-02 AT 04:13 PM (CDT)]OK, so say you're a well traveled, freedom of expression type who likes a good beef; I still need to remind myself from time to time that the KFC's in Berkeley only serve left wings...

1. Shooting and beating other human beings or abusing women is never "OK", irregardless of the delivery; Blues or Rap/Hip hop.

2. RJ evidently didn't know any better because someone poisoned his ass, and...

3. The good old days were anything but... So...

Two questions;

1. Do you have any children?

2. And if so; Would you rather have them get their daily dose of anger and aggression listening to RJ playing the guitar and singing, OR from half naked, expletive shouting, murdering each other and otherwise generally threatening sociopaths?

Paints a real purty picture, don't it?
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby howlnwoof » Tue Sep 17, 2002 8:16 pm

I was gonna jump into this one , but I see Bosco is fending for himself just fine......so I'll sit back and enjoy for a bit >
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby allanlummox » Tue Sep 17, 2002 9:20 pm

Wow, you're closing in on making this a personal attack on someone you know next to nothing about.

Indeed, I do live in Berkeley...
but I hardly consider my politics to be reactionary Lefty. That aspect of the Berkeley vibe bugs the hell out of me.

No, I don't have kids...& I won't speculate on how I would raise them if I did...too close to telling others how to raise theirs, & that is something I don't do.

Your attitude towards Rap is still just the current version of anti-Elvis-the-Pelvis, Rock music is from the devil, Black music is degrading the moral fibre of our youth, Wagner is the end of music as we know it attitudes. The fact that you listen to more than one type of music doesn't affect that a bit.

You DO seem to think that your opinions, hostile to Art though they are, deserve an audience and that mine are just to make trouble.

Let me tell you something about art...everything is fair game. There is NOTHING that is not a fair subject for it. How you raise kids and what you want them exposed to is a seperate issue.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby allanlummox » Tue Sep 17, 2002 9:22 pm

Oh and Robert being murdered because he didn't know any better is different from a Rapper being murdered HOW?
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby hashtaff » Tue Sep 17, 2002 10:14 pm

Just to get back on the subject, and being, the Devil's advocate....
"Rock and Roll" was a term coined by a white radio DJ Allan Freeman (and borrowed from black slang, meaning horizontal jogging) , to describe Blues and R&B's to his growing white audience rather than the term "Race Music". There was no "new" music genre at the time and he was describing the (jump blues) music of Little Walter and others at the time. So Blues = Rock and Roll, at least origonally.
Most of this discussion directly relates to my previous thread :.."How do we define Blues? "

http://www.bigroadblues.com/dcforum/DCForumID3/127.html
the conclusions of which were:
"It's blues if I say it is."
"It's Blues if it's like every other song I play."
"It's the Blues if my wife tells me to "shut the f#*#*K up"

...aside, in stage whisper : "light taper and stand back"
HashTaff

"This is great but it's all 12 bars and you can't play 12 bars all night" Bill Wyman
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby bosco » Tue Sep 17, 2002 10:53 pm

No personal attacks here, after all you don't have a personal stake in this. I do think I know something about you, however, after almost a year of watching your subtle game of bait and wait. The seemingly innocent responses with the oh so subtle, just under the surface dig that perpetuates the argument and at the same time says, who me?

Equating the Anti-Elvis, throw your R'n'R records out crusade of fifty years ago to Rap/Hip hop is preposterous. If today's music isn't degrading the moral fibre of our youth, I don't know what is. Lil' Kim with her titty hanging out at the MTV Music Awards is Art? East vs West rap perpetuated gang wars and murders are Art?

If you think that my opinions are hostile to Art, on that we could agree. At least in that context "Rap" would not equated to music.

>Oh and Robert being murdered because he didn't know any better is different from a rapper being murdered how?<

My point exactly. RJ's total disregard and lack of respect for other Men's marriages is what bought him the farm. No different than a modern day rapper's total disregard for social protocol by throwing hands in your face and grabbing his crotch, while possessing firearms and drugs (both illegal). If anyone wants to pass that off as Art, you're on your own, after all...nothing is off limits, right?
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby blueswriter » Tue Sep 17, 2002 11:58 pm

I'm with Bosco here, and while he's fending for himself just fine, I'd like to offer a few more reasons lightly touched upon...
measuring Robert Johnson, or Elvis, with today's rapppers or social misfits works in some ways, but definitely not in others. While RJ's disregard for women (already spoken for by another) caused him loads of trouble, Robert's music never caused any shootings or gang wars, that I know of. Elvis may have caused a lot of kids to start dancing more wildly than they had before his Hayride and Ed Sullivan broadcasts, but again, I doubt Elvis caused multiple homicides in the music industry. Rap can be considered art by some, just as much as some idiot throwing paintballs at a canvas, but it doesn't make it great art, or even good art. While there might be a few rappers with a hint of a conscience, the lion's share of them are about who is tougher, which one carries a bigger firearm, and how many women they've had, shot, or beaten... whether of legal age or not. Of course, as much as we might not like to think so, society in some ways back in the 1930's was far ahead of where we are now. Music didn't need warning labels because kids weren't commiting homicides, patricides, and other heinous offenses because they might have listened to Son House or Charley Patton. While they might have waxed prophetic about bedding a number of women, they weren't grabbing their Johnsons and waving hands in your face to drive the point home. And Robert, Son, Charley, or any of the others didn't have a posse loaded for bear. Rap seems to be the epitome of the public's willingness to fatten a moron's wallet and bank account.

I don't see it as art, but blues wasn't considered art until years later, so the jury's still out on this one. My vote has been cast.

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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby allanlummox » Wed Sep 18, 2002 12:16 am

Like it or not,

the attitudes shown in todays music are an outgrowth of the history of music...the stakes have been going up.

As far as "is it art"...that's easy. If you can ask that question, then the answer is yes.

It's a tough ol' world...Always has been. King David, who's songwriting appears in no less an album than the Bible, arranged for one of his "homies" to die so he could sleep with a woman uncontested.

Violence & Evil have always been abroad in the world...and have always been the subject of song & story.

How we react to those songs & stories speaks to many things...not least our home upbringing.

If you look and listen to the broad range of Human expression through the ages, you will find a daunting range of ideas...many of them disturbing, many of them produced by deranged and anti-social people.

It's all important. It's all a record of how people think, of who people are. William Burroughs' shotgun paintings are as much a part of our cultural dialogue as the small town life paintings by Grandma Moses...

But exposure to them makes me no more likely to shoot heroin, kill my wife or can a batch of preserves.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby jellyroll baker » Wed Sep 18, 2002 2:29 am

"I got three guys
To do my dirty work
They may shoot you
They may drown ya
I just don't know
'Cause I'm mad" JLH: I'm Mad (Like Jesse James)

Sounds like gangsta rap before its tme don't it?

Still regarding rap and hip-hop, it really is a LARGE genre and it takes in everything from NWA's "Cop Killer" to the Disposable Heoes "Television: The Drug of a Nation". Personally I have an extreme distaste for anything that either a) glorifies violence or b) degrades women and I admit that this encompasses a lot of music, both rap and blues. Luckily for me both genres are large and I can completely ignore these themes if I want to and just enjoy the music. Personally, with a lot of hip-hop I can do without the rapping and just listen to the beats.

At the end of the day, it's just music. Some of the artists are telling the truth about their lives and some are living out violent fantasies but the moral fibre of our youth will get soundly corrupted anyway, no matter what they listen to. Hell, Bob Dylan ruined mine.
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby blueswriter » Wed Sep 18, 2002 2:37 am

JRB,

Hooker may have sang being "Bad Like Jesse James," but there wasn't a whole lot of truth there. Unlike rappers who have either shot their adversaries, or had someone do it for them, Hooker never shot Lightnin' Hopkins, who once dissed him in a song.

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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby hashtaff » Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:30 am

Just being the Devil's advocate again here, but didn't most of the Mississippi bluesmen spend some time in prison for shooting and, at least in one case, killing various colleagues/associates.
And didn't Little Walter break the jaw of one of his band menbers?

"Blues don't know where you're going,
they don't know where you been.
Looks like blues done got me again "
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RE: Blues | Rock - Where's the line

Postby srvlives » Wed Sep 18, 2002 6:34 am

I shouldn't oughtta jump into this, but I will. Didn't Leadbelly spend some time 'on the farm' on a couple of occasions?

Doesn't mean much, but maybe a good choice for a topic, 'Bluesmen and the Law'

'We told him to stop bothering us because he knew that he couldn't play' Son House (re RJ)
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