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Eric's Quote On VH1


austinberries

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i just recently got a copy of the show, & found eric's quote (re: the interviewer's question about them being tagged as creators of the "power pop genre") interesting - he kind of balked at the moniker, & pointed out something many people don't realize, that "pop" music is a term that has been around forever & simply means "popular" music. however, he omitted mention of the evolution of the word "pop", which has come to imply *melody* & *harmony* in music (which was always there originally, but much of which is absent in today's tunes/bands). thus, the tag "power pop" for the raspberries - rockin', soulful, & meaty ("power"), yet still hung on strong, hook-laden melody & drenched & soaked w/ harmony ("pop") - the ultimate combo! needless to say, the raspberries did it like no other (tho' many came after & still thrive to this day in the genre - listen to the great stuff, new & old, you'll hear on powerpopradio.com, among others). anyway, eric, i hope you don't resent or resist the tag, or the credit for it's creation, b/c it's a *huge compliment* from the music world! :) - kyle / austin, tx

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If memory serves, Eric went on to elaborate about pop or popular music, by indicating would you rather write the alternative, "unpopular" music, music people didn't like?

I never understood why some people thought certain music was cool, but then as soon as a lot more people agreed and liked the music too, the same words and chords were suddenly uncool.

But then again, what do I know about the crazy music world..

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Over the years, I've come to the conclusion that the "cool" and "uncool" designation comes from the male desire to be associated with things that are perceived as "macho" and "tough". FM DJ's, who are predominantly men, therefore, champion bands like ACDC, Bad Company and Led Zep while eschewing prettier stuff like The Moody Blues and the BeeGees. To like that stuff might make their male 18-35 audience question their manliness. Anyone using the string section of an orchestra on their records couldn't be a "manly man" (even though Zep used them, albeit in a different, less emotional way). Just like the term "chick flick" is used to telegraph a film's emotional content, the term "pop" seems to have come to mean "softer" or "meant to appeal to girls". Manly men watch wrestling and pro football and monster trucks and eat meat. They don't enjoy "Sleepless In Seatlle" or eat quiche or sushi. They like bands that wave their testosterone around and turn their amps up to 11! ec

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Seriously, you did a great definition of the term "pop"...and all of the baggage that surrounds it. I get upset every year when I hear the inductee list for the Rock Hall and cringe everytime I don't hear The Moody Blues. Talk about an influential band!! I'll bet they were influential to even you, Eric. I remember when CE played "Nights..."....that song took me away and to hear it played live by a local band made me love The Moodies even more!

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I agree Eric. There is a double standard for both men and women as far as their "manliness" and "femninity". Men are not supposed to cry, listen to sappy music, go to the opera,etc - by doing so they are judged as being a "sissy" and women are not supposed to listen to rock and roll or hard rock, drive monster trucks, watch wrestling or act tough. It is sad that FM DJ's - granted are mostly men promote that same standard when they play music that they deem "cool" vs "uncool". I wonder if the female DJs play the music that is "cool" - for who men or women? What is considered "cool" music though? Is that just a person's perspective on the music? As Steve said that the more people agree that it is "cool" then suddenly it's not "cool". The same lyrics/music take on a different meaning for each person. Then then then song then becomes "uncool". Weird. Maybe I just answered my own question???? :o

HT from Mo

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Actually, the female FMDJ's play the same songs as the men because A) They also want to be perceived as "cool" in a business dominated by men, and "cool" means "tough", and :cool: They play what the (male) Program Director tells them to play. These days, the "Classic Rock" station in every city is probably owned and operated by corporate giant Clear Channel Communications and the playlist has been decided by a computer, which has compiled the favorite 200 songs of males 18-35. It's all about hitting the demographic audience so you can sell them Dodge pick-ups and Ford Broncos and Bud Light Beer. ec

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Eric Carmen said:

Actually, the female FMDJ's play the same songs as the men because A) They also want to be perceived as "cool" in a business dominated by men, and "cool" means "tough", and :cool: They play what the (male) Program Director tells them to play. These days, the "Classic Rock" station in every city is probably owned and operated by corporate giant Clear Channel Communications and the playlist has been decided by a computer, which has compiled the favorite 200 songs of males 18-35. It's all about hitting the demographic audience so you can sell them Dodge pick-ups and Ford Broncos and Bud Light Beer. ec

You are SO right. That's why I'm glad to be out of the business. And if you knew Sushi, like I know Sushi...you wouldn't be ashamed. :rolleyes:

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Another interesting dimension to that is an unwillingness by the Monster Truckers to be capable of appreciating their bands on multiple levels or in terms of multiple facets. Led Zeppelin is the perfect example of this. They did wonderful accoustic material also, wrote some very fine melodies, but that crowd was/is unable to appreciate them beyond the level of "they rock like hell!" Now, to each his own ofcourse, but I think that kind of following does a great diservice to some of these bands that are capable on many different levels. I remember alot of people nearly barfing when Kiss released " Beth." Extending these issues out further, alot of fans ofcourse deserted Elton John when he announced he was a fruit,, er uh gay, sorry. But the point being that the same people who worshipped "Good Bye Yellow Brick Road" and "Captain Fantastic" wouldn't listen to the guy anymore. It wasnt cool for awhile there. I know alot of guys that wouldnt listen to Billy Joel to save their lives. They'd listen to Christie Brinkley though.

There are so many examples of this whereby the fans, not only the industry itself, wants to pidgeon hole the group for their own needs, emotional or image or whatever.

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unfortunately, the ever-overcompensating alpha male b.s. that eric alludes to in the music biz is one that has grown to permeate every aspect of our (american, more than anywhere else) culture, to ridiculous, pathetic, embarrassing, & laughable extremes. look around, it's literally everywhere you look, & perhaps the most unfortunate byproduct is that perhaps for the first time in history, large numbers of women have bought into the false front & facade that men put up - as a result, the universe (figuratively speaking) is tipped way out of balance these days, & we need a pendulum swing back in the other direction...

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Eric really hit the nail on the head here. The problems with pop music have a lot to do with musical cliches and stereotypes as to what kind of music is "cool" and what kind is "uncool," and oft-times, what is considered "cool" is what MACHO MEN like and what is considered "uncool" is what women like.

Don't get me wrong--I don't like really wimpy stuff any more than anyone else does--but I think there's something wrong in a world in which all sensitivity and feeling is immediately labeled "wimpy chick stuff." We have seen it happen with our movies and it has definitely happened with our music as well. I mean, David Cassidy's musical career was doomed for being taken seriously from the start, because who was the first group of music fans to like him? Teenage girls. As a result, he, like Donny Osmond, was relegated to the teenybopper bin of pop music, and could only find legitimacy and respect for himself on the musical stage, where it's considered OK to have women and gay guys like you.

I think Eric said once in one of his interviews that Barry Manilow could release the heaviest record in the world tomorrow and it would do him no good with rock critics. It's true. Now granted, although I liked Barry at first, I found him to be quite formulaic and boring over the years, but at least now I know why. It probably wasn't so much Barry as it was Clive Davis, encouraging him to keep doing what sold...so he did...

Anyway, it's very true: music gets slotted into boxes. There's manly-man music, and there's "chick" or "girlie-man" music. If a man wants to be considered a manly-man, he has to listen only to manly-man music. If a woman wants to be considered good enough to compete in a man's field, she too has to listen to manly-man music and scorn the "chick" music. It's a shame.

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It is indeed ironic that the last group allowed to write "pretty" songs and still be considered "heavy" was the Beatles. Kurt Cobain was actually a great songwriter ( and Raspberries fan ) but after the Beatles you had to turn your amp up to eleven to be taken seriously. The distortion gave you that "edgy" quality that became synonymous with "heavy." ec

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It's no wonder that a few of the "heavy" bands that were popular in the 80's have disbanded over the years - I'm sure there were several personal factors involved but the music listening audience I'm sure has siginficant influence along with the record execs to expect a certain "edgy" quality nevermind that the artists themselves have the talent to write songs that are different lyrically/musically - in the form of acoustical - this I think has some bankablity - they might garner new fans that wouldn't otherwise have listened to the "edgy" material. I for one didn't really listen to those groups when I was a teen. The "edgy" - let's turn our amps up full blast music was not appealing but give me the ballads and acoustical material and I might listen. Once again there is the "girly" stuff. I personally don't care if the music I listen to is "girly-manly" or just plain "girly" or "manly" - if it appeals to me and I enjoy listening to it then fine.

When listening to radio however you only get one particular style of music from artists - the Program Directors either don't remember or don't care(I'm thinking it's the latter) that there are other songs on their albums that their audience would love to hear. :angry:

They are doing a great disservice to the audiences that are listening daily.

HT from Mo

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Yes for sure. I think that was the success of some of the unplugged sessions, was to get people to see the song in a different light, and sometimes the structure would be revealed as "pretty" once the distortion was stripped away. The Nirvana sessions were especially good in this regard. And you become aware of the very clever songwriting without as much distortion. Not to say they werent good when they sounded fierce, because they were extraordianry, but its nice to enjoy softer aspects of heavier material. I thought the VH1 "I Wanna Be With You" was cool in that regard. I said before that, in that arrangement, Marvin Gaye or Al Green would have been awesome with it. But you wouldnt think that of the power pop version initially until you hear it in a different light.

There was a comic in the UK that released a light hearted "lounge" version of Oasis' "Wonderwall" and though it was a parody it went to #1 because it was really enjoyable. You realized that this was, in a prettier arrangement, something Tony Bennett could have had a #1 hit with.

The overall discussion really points to a wider issue underlying, which Pink Floyd so aptly captured: Us and Them! Democrats and Republicans, Christians vs. Muslims, Blacks and Whites, poor and rich, Family values and non-family values, macho vs. sensitive, etc. etc., so much cultural assumptions built upon "Us and Them" and these polarized opposites, sometimes contrived and artificial.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Reminds of a ridiculous program I tuned in as the menu description made it sound so intriguing. Called "UnMetal Moments." Absolutely hilarious, these supposed experts (including aging porn stars and the like) castigated monster ballads, Kip Winger (because he had been a professional dancer before his various groups), any band that came from Europe, Nelson (their father had been a teen idol -very unmetal- and they were notoriously drug-free -most unmetal) . . . you see the point.

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Man, this thread has depressed me, and destroyed my self image ..... melodious rock music, sushi, quiche,(worst yet, I don't eat that solely because I'll gain weight) geez, fine wine, automobiles .... what a girly-man I must be!! Damn you, Clear Channel, and your demographics!!

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First off, as a new member it's so refreshing and I'm really pleased to see Eric participating so meaningfully on this board, and that I agree with him on everything! Strangely enough, part of the problem comes with what people label the music. As long as we use terms like girly, sissy, chick, and so forth, all of which are perjorative terms, then the music is pigeonholed that way and disrespected as well. If we use accurate, descriptive terms which characterize the music (melodies, harmonies), the lyrics, the arrangements, and the performance, in a straightforward way, then we start to move towards an even playing field. I hope I'm not dreaming here.

BTW, as a big Moody Blues fan since I accidentally saw their 1992 PBS special Live at Red Rocks with the Colorado Symphony, and not because of the orchestra, but because of the music, lyrics, arrangements (even without orchestra) and performance, I found the posts about their not getting into the R&R Hall of Fame interesting, since the Lost Chords board has been full of such discussion lately. There have been so many fan drives to get them inducted, all of which failed, perhaps because many believe that Jann Wenner hates them (probably a lot to do with what Eric said above), that now Moodies fans are thinking that petition drives are either a waste of time or even destructive of their chances. It doesn't seem to matter that of the 1960s bands still touring, they have toured most consistently. Some even think of it as a badge of honor that they're not in the HOF since so many worthy bands have been passed over, and so many who don't deserve have been inducted. And beyond this, some are saying that the era of true Rock and Roll was over about 20-25 years ago, replaced by Hip Hop and similar, so the HOF might soon become a museum only.

And I agree about Clear Channel (Live Nation). Has anyone seen the musical "We Will Rock You" - I think that's what it's called. I saw it in London - it's all done really well with Queen's music and portrays the rebirth of rock and roll after it was squelched for 300 years by the all powerful firm, Globalsoft, that perpetuated Gaga music. I wish that musical would make it to Broadway. The American audience needs to see it.

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Maggie Clark,

I remember watching The Moody Blues in Concert AT

RED ROCKS also, on PBS.

Here in Hamilton, I watched the whole concert of the Moody Blues beautiful music, then I went and ordered The Moody Blues Greatest Hits Cd.

For Queen, I bought The Works album Lp,

when it first came out along time ago.

It had been left behind, due to certain circumstances.

So, during the time I heard Freddy Mercury gone solo, I started to really enjoy his solo music.

His first is" Radio Ga Ga", and others to follow.

Not too long ago, this year, I had a free download from a food item I bought, then I downloaded that song.

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