I'm actually starting to like/respect Ryan Adams

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jaimoe0
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Postby jaimoe0 » Thu Aug 03, 2006 7:54 pm

Adams, of course, is right in saying it's up to the artist as to how they go about getting their music out, and I take him at his word that part of the reason behind the avalanche of releases is that he loves songwriting, he loves recording and he loves making music.

But I also agree that when you're evaluating an artist's work, and you have the situation where three albums come out, 1 is great, 1 is good and 1 is mostly not-that-great, as a hypothetical example, then when you're evaluating that stuff, you obviously are gonna consider that maybe some of it should have stayed in the can. It's a valid opinion, and it is, after all, only an opinion.

Does anyone really think that his label or anyone else gives a crap what some nimrods on the Internets say about the frequency of his releases? Probably not. I'm sure Adams has a hell of a time convincing the label to release that much stuff as it is, but that's between him and the label. Jaimoe0's unsolicited and mostly unknown diatribe isn't going to effect that one way or the other.

Also, anyone who is buying the guy's music and listening to it can draw, and express, whatever conclusion they want, both in regard to the quality of the material and the quantity, since it's not unreasonable to think one might effect the other. I mean, do whatever you want, Mr. Ryan Adams, but when you put that stuff out in the public for public consumption, people are going to talk about it and draw conclusions about it. And some people, who are good, might even entertain a person or two and communicate an idea or three in listening to, considering and writing about your work. I don't buy that criticism is this lazy, illegitimate, worthless form of expression. There are certainly lazy, not-very-good writers/critics out there, but there's also plenty of folks who are entertaining, gifted and provocative, whether they're being positive or negative. Let it rip.
Last edited by jaimoe0 on Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:20 pm, edited 1 time in total.

DavidMac
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Ryans Adams post was much like his music

Postby DavidMac » Thu Aug 03, 2006 8:17 pm

a rambling mess with a few coherent passages which shine like diamonds in the pig slop.
I once thought if he focused on making one great album who could pull it off instead of releasing 40 at best mediocre songs a year. But I am beginning to doubt if he has the capibilities for brilliance again.
Its too bad- after I heard Pneumonia- I thought he was going to be one of the great songwriters in the next 10 years.
And then I struggled to make it all the way through that cruel joke of Gold- when he had the cheezy back up singers kick in- I just had too laugh at how god awful that cd was.
I borrowed the Cold Roses first Cd and it seemed to be the definition of mediocrity- someday I will get around to listening to the Jacksonville CD.
But at some point you just have to write the boy off- and reading his post demonstrating at best 9th grade writing ability- its hard to work up the muster to listen to new material from Ryan.

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Postby thinsafetypin » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:40 am

i have both pneumonia and gold, and as much as i love the ryan/caitlin interplay, i have to say i prefer gold 8 days a week. i just do not understand all the hate that is directed toward that album. maybe my ears just aren't refined enough to get why it sucks, but to me, it's one of (if not the) best record(s) he's ever put out.

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Postby booker » Fri Aug 04, 2006 11:04 am

I'm with you on the Gold argument, thinsafetypin. Minus a few dud tracks, it's a solid, honest album. And the production is fantastic. What's wrong with backup singers?

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Postby grounded5am » Fri Aug 04, 2006 1:52 pm

it looks like ryan adams did it again. and at the ryman again no less. from what i hear at the concert last tuesday some dude gave ryan some stick and ryan was like "Wanna come up here and say it, motherfucker?? There is always one at the Ryman". he then launched into a song and stared at him the whole time. ryan seriously needs to learn to shut his mouth sometimes.

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Postby Sven Killer Robot Spacema » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:26 pm

In reality there's nothing glamourous about fistfights. But in theory I believe if one man calls another man "bitch", the man who received that particular insult should be allowed to beat the other man to death without any legal recourse. This excludes the use of guns or knives. He should only be allowed to beat the man to death with his hands and feet. I hate the frivilous use of the word "bitch" in the new milenium. This country is ripe to be overthrown. Now someone can make a funny and call me bitch in reply. I think Ryan's behavior makes for good drama as long as he can back it up. I don't know what kind of self-defense skills he has but if someone calls him bitch he should be allowed to fight that person with no charges filed. If someone yells "Summer of 69" well that's debatable. But "Summer of 69" to Ryan may be like "Bitch" to me. I've never been to one of his shows. What is the situation here? Does have he have bodyguards protecting him from the hecklers? Or is it just verbal jousting? I would love to do a drunken road trip to see someone like Ryan talk shit with an audience member. For me it would enhance the entertainment of the experience. But I really hate crowds and people and avoid them if at all possible.

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Re: I'm actually starting to like/respect Ryan Adams

Postby Greenwood The Sock Monkey » Fri Aug 04, 2006 2:41 pm

i find it very interesting that people, who are in their rights, to critique records, actually spend time/ have the balls to go so far as to judge the process of how records or made, or how often.


Let's step back and take a third-party view of the artist/critic relationship for a moment. Ryan Adams doesn't like it when critics have the gall to tell him how many records to release and how often, because they don't know how to make records. Fine. But why would Ryan Adams think he knows everything there is to know about writing record reviews? Who is he to tell a professional music journalist how to do his job? Does he have to deal with editors and deadlines every day? (Evidently not.)

I appreciate his position of "I'll release 5 records a year if I want to, because I have a lot of things I want to express artistically", but I think he's a little precious when it comes to criticism of his artistry. Once the record hits the shelves, it's less about art and more about "does this critic think the majority of the record-buying public will enjoy this album". If Adams wants to make a truly artistic statement, then he should write 80 songs a year and NOT release them. Take a salary of zero, then he would have full artistic license. With an extremely small fanbase, mind you.

If you have enough great material to put out 25-30 songs per year, then wonderful. History tells us that artists' purple patches usually only last a few years, so strike while the iron is hot. I think at the root of criticism of Ryan Adams' proficiency is the fact that he arguably does not cover a whole lot of stylistic ground in those 25-30 songs per year. Maybe if he offered up more variety, people would be willing to cut him some slack for his relatively prolific output.

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Postby Sugarcubes Forever » Fri Aug 04, 2006 3:02 pm

As much as I love the fact that the internet allows for people to turn themselves into critics, reviewers, etc. there is still a good reason for a professional critic, whatever the artistic medium.

A good critic helps listeners of music contemplate a song. They offer observation and context for the music. I personally can't keep up with all the sh.t in the alterna-verse, and I like turning to critics and reviewers who offer insightful commentary.

The critic, then, SHOULDN'T be someone who knows how to make a double album. That' isn't their role. Their role is to generate conversation, hold the finished work up to the light and get the prols to use their noodle a little. The professional critic can and should be voice FOR good music.

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Postby Sven Killer Robot Spacema » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:31 pm

Sugarcubes Forever wrote:A good critic helps listeners of music contemplate a song.


Yeah but there's always that chance the artist can get a plane and fly over and bomb the shit out of them.

Greenwood The Sock Monkey
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Postby Greenwood The Sock Monkey » Fri Aug 04, 2006 4:39 pm

Sugarcubes Forever wrote:The critic, then, SHOULDN'T be someone who knows how to make a double album. That' isn't their role. Their role is to generate conversation, hold the finished work up to the light and get the prols to use their noodle a little. The professional critic can and should be voice FOR good music.


Couldn't agree more. A music journalist should be someone who knows how to listen to records (preferably many records), then write about them in such a way that other people can determine whether or not they should check out a particular record. Much as I'd like to, I simply don't have time to listen to 50 records a week. I rely on critics to do some selective pre-filtering on my behalf.

I suspect what bugs Ryan Adams, and quite a few other artists, is that critics necessarily have to quantify artistry. I'm not sure what I'd think if I spent two years recording my magnum opus, and then a hack from the local newspaper reviewed it by saying "More of the same, derivative nonsense. 2.5 stars out of 5".

So I guess what I'm trying to say is that Ryan should just let it go. Once the record's cut, his work is done. Let other people sell them. Let other people critique them. It's okay for people to not like your record. He doesn't have to defend his records like children. As long as someone likes your records enough to buy them and put you in a position to make more records, then s'all good.

Of course, I wouldn't presume to tell Ryan Adams what to do. He can take umbrage with every critical review for the rest of his recording career, if that's what he wants.


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