Tuesday, May 22, 2012

musical foibles

When my daughter is in a decent nap, one of my tasks becomes clearing out the DVR. Yeah, I know...hard work, but we're moving in a few months, and just in case we can't get satellite tv in our new place, I want to make sure we lose as little programming as possible. By now, I'm deep into the recorded program list, and it's fun seeing where my taste was when I actually recorded some shows. Right now, I have a music documentary on: Women Who Rock from PBS last November. There's a lot I'm learning (first one which springs to mind? Why in the hell I don't own a ton of Ruth Brown or Bonnie Raitt?). Being me, though, I have to focus on the foibles. There are two in particular
  1. Why does the definition of Rock and Roll suddenly become extra broad on occasion? Cindy Lauper is the host, and there's a segment on her. While there are songs of hers which I can appreciate, how in what world is she rock and roll? I've already seen one clip of Madonna in the "current superstars" montage, and there's also a full segment on her as well. She also ain't rock and roll; she might be musically and socially important, but she's an important disco artist. Folks, say it with me: pop and rock and roll are not equivalent. It seems I need to formulate and popularize a definition of Rock and Roll...then become king of the world and punish anyone who deviates from it.
  2. The documentary had a nice segment on Tina Turner. Turner is, for the record, awesome and obviously important. Along with praising her vocal delivery and her stage style, though, one of her best qualities was (according to the narrative) "the ability to recognize a good song." Um, okay. Is that, in and of itself, all that worthy of acclaim? It was almost said as if writing the song or performing the music was secondary...which seems praise better suited toward a music business executive than a rocker. Granted, I know many genres of music have a separation between songwriting and performing (country music particularly), but isn't one of the tenets of rock and roll being a combined unit? Writing and then performing your own stuff?
As you might've noticed, I have somewhat strong opinions when it comes to music

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