He's Doing It Again Folks.....

This is the place where you can vent whatever's on your mind. Feel free to go off on extended rants or brief blurbs about whatever's rocking your world.

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booker
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Postby booker » Thu Jun 01, 2006 6:23 pm

Gotta say my own piece, here.

Russ, this situation points a much larger issue.

I’m a songwriter, and if I dare say, when I’m on, I’m on. Doesn’t happen often, but when it does -- fuck it -- Lost Highway, call me, I won’t call you. (Tee hee hee)

That being said, I almost completely stopped playing music and hanging out with musicians. Not because I’d received any particular criticism per se but because the musical community is the most backstabbing, unsupportive entity known to humanity. It’s like a bunch of women who say they hate how men place high expectations on their appearances, and then call each other fat asses behind their backs.

Maybe it’s my quest for mental and emotional Zen perfection that gets in the way, but I can’t be a part of that. Being a musician is a hard, lonely lifestyle, no matter how much praise and adulation you get. My band were the most wonderful group of gentlemen, and I’ve certainly received more kind words about my music -- some sincere, some less sincere -- than criticism. Regardless, I won’t be part of a world of haters. Just pick up Spin magazine and look at it. Look at Blender. They make entire magazines out of slamming great artists. Fuck that.

russ
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Postby russ » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:34 pm

booker wrote: Just pick up Spin magazine and look at it. Look at Blender. They make entire magazines out of slamming great artists. Fuck that.


Thats why I subscribe to MOJO.
I like them.
Nice peeps.
Hey I wanna hear your stuff..Wanna swap cds?
PM me.

russ
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Postby russ » Thu Jun 01, 2006 7:36 pm

Sven Killer Robot Spacema wrote: I know you're in it for the love of writing and performing music but have you considered going with weirder subject matter lyrically? It might really garner some attention from the underground if your lyrics were more Wesley Willis and less McCartney.


Oh if you want the weird stuff?
I got lots of it already recorded.
Here ya go....

<li><a href="http://homepage.mac.com/russturk/.Public/GypsyParade.mp3"target="_blank">Gypsy Parade"</a></li>

<li><a href="http://homepage.mac.com/russturk/.Public/VoodooDoll.mp3"target="_blank">Voodoo Doll"</a></li>

<li><a href="http://homepage.mac.com/russturk/.Public/FreakShowSon.mp3"target="_blank">Freak Show Son"</a></li>

miss carol
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Postby miss carol » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:16 pm

Booker is spot on, I'm afraid. I haven't listened this new song, Russ (old building = dial up, sigh), but while Alias's comment was, in my opinion, callous and uncreative, it was common. People LOVE to tear to shreds other people's work. Mainly because it's so easy to do so. Why dont you like it? Why is it boring? Why is something good? I did this with records. I do this with manuscripts. What is missing from this 400-page pile of paper that the author has sweated and cursed over? Rejection is dead easy--see American Idol franchise--and apparently it pays. Criticism, thinking about how something can be improved, that takes time and thought. Frankly, most people can't be bothered with that.

I doubt most people who tool around on their music/books/poetry are figuring on making a career out of it; rather, it makes working 9-5 (or looking for 9-5) bearable. Why rip into someone for standing on stage or posting their stuff? Even the most out-of-key strummer deserves applause for just getting up in front of half a dozen beer swilling punters. In a small everyday way, that takes guts. I don't have to like what I hear, but I admire them for doing it.

If I don't like a song/book whatever, I generally fall back on the "not my taste" line. I'm still honest and I'm not dissing. I can and will give critical feedback if you want it, but I don't think folks deserve to be torn apart even in a public forum.

Ok that a little more than 2 cent, but there you have it. If you care to chuck tomatoes, do so. I'm outta fresh veg.

russ
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Postby russ » Thu Jun 01, 2006 8:49 pm

miss carol wrote:I doubt most people who tool around on their music/books/poetry are figuring on making a career out of it; rather, it makes working 9-5 (or looking for 9-5) bearable.


You nailed it there, Miss Carol.
perfecto.
xoxo
:O)

hebrew hammer
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Postby hebrew hammer » Thu Jun 01, 2006 9:30 pm

It's a low blow insulting someone so callously and uncostructively right to their face. It's even worse since it's insulting someone's art, it's a whole different ballpark than insulting, say, someone's clothes or taste (bad examples both, I know.) It's something that someone worked hard on and it is a part of them. I don't believe in the whole "If you don't have anything nice to say..." mainly because I'm extremely critical and I think it's wrong to lie to someone and misguide them with false praise. As for the whole thing about the difference between how musicians and non-musicians critique music, I can't comment on musicians, but I'm very non-musically inclined. I played some instruments in school and stuff, but I have very limited musical ability, so, even though I do criticize music, I keep in mond I can't do better. I'd willingly criticize a big time major label piece of shit like My Chemical Romance or [insert some other worthless piece of corporate rock filth], but when it comes to amateurs, I wouldn't be so quick to criticize because I have a much higher respect for someone who's working hard to make a name for themselves.

Anyway Russ, I'm sure you get an A+ for effort, but I didn't listen to the song yet, so I can't review it.

DJMurphy
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Postby DJMurphy » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:30 pm

Russ, I'm fascinated by the song. I finally got to hear it and really listen to both the music AND the lyrics, and it's really good. Wistful. It sorta reminds me of Joe Jackson, and your singing is reminiscent of Cat Stevens. And in my eyes, both comparisons are meant to be complimentary. You tied in the autumnal weather metaphor deftly with the pensive, self-reflective tone of the narrative. I liked it, although I will admit that it took 4 or 5 listens over the course of a coupla days for me to "get it". I've been that way with Elvis Costello albums, so don't feel so bad; it's just me.

I saw Alias's comments as almost over-the-top mean, as to descend into absurdism. I can only hope that they were meant facetiously, since tone of the words is lost when they're delivered on paper, and not on videotape. If this was the case, she should've thrown a wink on the end of the comments.

If they were meant without irony, don't take it too hard. Be glad you got a strong reaction out of it, instead of none at all. But for an artist, I guess that being told (in harsh terms) that someone didn't like your art is akin to someone telling you to your face that your kid is the ugliest one they've ever seen. It's cool; karma's a bitch.

russ
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Postby russ » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:36 pm

DJMurphy wrote:Russ, I'm fascinated by the song. I finally got to hear it and really listen to both the music AND the lyrics, and it's really good. Wistful. It sorta reminds me of Joe Jackson, and your singing is reminiscent of Cat Stevens. And in my eyes, both comparisons are meant to be complimentary. You tied in the autumnal weather metaphor deftly with the pensive, self-reflective tone of the narrative. I liked it, although I will admit that it took 4 or 5 listens over the course of a coupla days for me to "get it". I've been that way with Elvis Costello albums, so don't feel so bad; it's just me.


Thank you. I appreciate your critique, and I am flattered.
I'm also very grateful for those of you who took the time to reply and give your 2 cents.

booker
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Postby booker » Thu Jun 01, 2006 10:58 pm

russ wrote:
Thats why I subscribe to MOJO.


Exactly.

Also, Tracks was a good idea for that reason. Shame it didn't last. Paste seems OK, though.

Stacey K
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Postby Stacey K » Thu Jun 01, 2006 11:40 pm

Russ,

I'd been wondering about criticism a lot since I started writing about music (in high school). I want to do it forever, because there's so much within in the transformative power of art, yet I hate knocking other people's genuine attempts (unless I don't buy the sincerity, and then IT'S ON). But a real voice cannot be unfailingly postive.

There's a secondhand, parasitic element to criticizing something instead of creating it yourself - if you're lucky, your writing becomes original enough that you are actually saying something. Some people really do this well - I don't think I am one yet, and Alias is not. Because while she should certainly voice her opinion, it wasn't constructive in the slightest, and that makes her ineffective and unfounded, not to mention unnecessarily cruel. There's no absolute truth to music, so, like Miss Carol said, it can easily slide into Not My Thing territory. That's what criticism is - and when you forget your subjectivity, you shouldn't be writing.

There's a speech by Theodore Roosevelt I've always enjoyed. It's pretty grandiose, considering the situation, but give it a shot (if only to remember a president who knew how to speak):

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood, who strives valiantly; who errs and comes short again and again; because there is not effort without error and shortcomings; but who does actually strive to do the deed; who knows the great enthusiasm, the great devotion, who spends himself in a worthy cause, who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement and who at the worst, if he fails, at least he fails while daring greatly. So that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”


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