Quiet Intro | Instrumental Kicker | Quiet Verse | Heavy Chorus
October 19, 2007 9:58 AM   Subscribe

All Linkin Park songs "look" the same.
posted by beaucoupkevin (91 comments total) 3 users marked this as a favorite

 
The musical equivalent of reading Dan Brown.
posted by danb at 10:05 AM on October 19, 2007 [10 favorites]


There’s nothing particularly surprising or innovative about the structure. But its repeated use by Linkin Park is clearly successful: They’re one of a few acts still selling lots of CDs.

Really? I had no idea they were still around. I guess I live under a rock.

This reminds me of how every Limp Biskit single had a breakdown in the same place in the song.
posted by brundlefly at 10:05 AM on October 19, 2007


This sums it up:

"On the other hand, it’s hard not to view the six images above as a statement on the music industry. The major labels decry the actions of listeners who download music from free sources. But this is the alternative they offer: The same song, repackaged six different ways. The vast majority of music listeners who aren’t Linkin Park fans ask the same question I did in the first sentence, “Haven’t they already written this song?” And the obvious follow-up question, “Why would I pay for it more than once?”
posted by spirit72 at 10:07 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


From Wikipedia, on LP's latest, Minutes to Midnight:
The album debuted at #1 in the United States[2] and in 15 other countries around the world.[3] In the U.S. the album had the biggest first week sales of 2007 with 625,000 albums sold, but it was later surpassed by Kanye West's album Graduation. The album was certified Platinum (two million albums sold) in the U.S.[4] and shipped over 3.3 million albums worldwide in its first four weeks of release.
posted by beaucoupkevin at 10:08 AM on October 19, 2007


Previously on MeFi: similar, with Nickelback.
posted by hermitosis at 10:09 AM on October 19, 2007


Gah. A lot of that looks like the result of poor mastering, i.e., the Loudness Wars (Wiki).

As to the rest, I'm not surprised the structure is similar. Most blues is 1-4-5, and so is a lot of rock and pop. So what? Linkin' Park sucks either way.
posted by krinklyfig at 10:11 AM on October 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Most "minuet and trio" movements sound the same. Exposé!
posted by Wolfdog at 10:12 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Interesting as this is, it's hard to read it as the condemnation of Linkin Park that the writer wants it to be without graphics of a few more bands done for comparison -- it seems pretty likely that most bands would develop a formula, deliberately or otherwise.
posted by kittens for breakfast at 10:13 AM on October 19, 2007


Do any Mefites actually listen to Linkin Park? Or Nickleback? Or Sum 48? Not to snark, but this post is like taking potshots at Lohan, Spears or Hilton.
posted by KokuRyu at 10:13 AM on October 19, 2007


Who cares about the lame structure recycling. For the love of Google look at that clipping and compression!
posted by loquacious at 10:16 AM on October 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


Hey, my son's annoying friend's favorite band sucks... and now I can say that, armed with data, not just as a cranky fogey. Thanks for the post.

(My son, to his credit, does a great mockery of Linkin Park, an improvisation, following this same formula, filled with over-the-top whined/shouted angst. I can't tell the difference.)
posted by not_on_display at 10:17 AM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


krinklyfig - I think the loudness war effect just makes it easy to spot these patterns. When the full band is playing, their "maximizer" effect (or whatever ultracompression they used) kicks into full gear.
posted by spiderskull at 10:18 AM on October 19, 2007


I liked the Numb/Encore thing they did with Jay-Z a while back; the power of HOV with a good hook (Timbaland is brilliant, but REALLY conservative when it comes to hooks) was pure pop awesome.

Suck it haters.
posted by Faux Real at 10:19 AM on October 19, 2007


They should write a fugue.
posted by The World Famous at 10:19 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


The musical equivalent of reading Dan Brown.


...or watching "House".
posted by wfc123 at 10:25 AM on October 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


They’re one of a few acts still selling lots of CDs.

I am saddened to hear of the death of all other musical acts.
posted by DU at 10:28 AM on October 19, 2007


THIS IS AWESOME:

www.break.com/index/hilarious-linkin-park-parody.html
posted by lohmannn at 10:28 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


"a good hook... pure pop awesome"

See, that's the problem. Pop. We don't want pop. We want art. We want emotion. A hook does one thing, and one thing only, and that is provide a groove. But what about a track with several hooks? What about using each hook differently in the same song 4 or 5 times. There, my friends, is music. There is art.

But, well, you know, being a big music star is all about making money, not art, because people respect money. They apparently don't respect art.
posted by daq at 10:29 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Gah. A lot of that looks like the result of poor mastering, i.e., the Loudness Wars (Wiki).

Actually, no. Amazingly, The Loudness Wars (TM) aren't the answer to everything audio-related

While I'm sure that the "Instrumental Kicker" and the "Heavy Chorus" are clipped, if there songs were really victims of The Loudness Wars (TM), you wouldn't be able to tell the difference (visually, that is) between the different sections. These tracks aren't going to win any awards for dynamic range, but they're certainly not the most compressed pieces of audio out there.

Disclaimer: I am an audio engineer. I am not a mastering engineer. I do, however, spend all day long looking at, and listening to, waveforms.
posted by god hates math at 10:30 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


While I could have told you that most of LP sounds the same, I found the mp3 link of two LP songs side by side to be a bit disingenous as an example. Yes, it shows the same structure, but it only parallels because they slowed the left side down quite a bit. Suddenly that whiney Chester kid is a baritone? Moof.

It's a fun article, but no, nothing new :(
posted by cavalier at 10:30 AM on October 19, 2007


Crap link was broken, this works.
posted by lohmannn at 10:31 AM on October 19, 2007


Your favorite band's spectrographs suck.
posted by ardgedee at 10:31 AM on October 19, 2007 [7 favorites]


Sometimes I want art, but sometimes I just want to groove. Don't knock the pop.





I still don't care for Lincoln Park, though.
posted by elwoodwiles at 10:32 AM on October 19, 2007


"Crap link was broken, this works."

now see.. i thought the broken link going back to this same story *was* the hilarious parody!
posted by 10sball at 10:33 AM on October 19, 2007


To quote the comments:

LINKIN PARK SUCKS LOL NUFF SAID
posted by GuyZero at 10:35 AM on October 19, 2007


See, that's the problem. Pop. We don't want pop. We want art.

No, "we" want both, and not necessarily from the same work.

I like some classical and I like some crappy pop/rock. I also like some "good" rock. These are not all mutually exclusive tastes.

Please refrain from telling us what "we" want.
posted by DaShiv at 10:36 AM on October 19, 2007 [10 favorites]


Also, AllLookSame.com
posted by GuyZero at 10:38 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Metal by Numbers (this is the gay paaaaaaart)
posted by Mikey-San at 10:39 AM on October 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Next up: Many (if not most) of the Beatles' songs were in common keys like C, G, or D. What a bunch of hacks!
posted by 0xFCAF at 10:39 AM on October 19, 2007


And one other thing, you meddlin' kids. Some artists get popular because they consistently do the same thing over and over again. Some artists get popular because they never do the same thing twice (er, at least that you notice). It takes all kinds!

Note to self, LP has a new album, KW has a new album, TC has a new album, RH has a new album, holy frijole, where have I been hiding?!
posted by cavalier at 10:40 AM on October 19, 2007


Godzilla. World Wrestling Entertainment. Dragon Ball Z. Marvel.
Pick a reality show.
posted by Mblue at 10:41 AM on October 19, 2007


All Linkin Park songs "sound" the same too.
posted by zackola at 10:42 AM on October 19, 2007


All Shakespeare plays look the same too:

1) something funny or sad happens
2) forced laughter or stentorian shouting
3) everyone is married or dead
posted by DU at 10:45 AM on October 19, 2007 [4 favorites]


Who's Linkin Park?
posted by BitterOldPunk at 10:45 AM on October 19, 2007


METAL BY NUMBERS! 1 2 3! Shit that's awesome.
posted by cavalier at 10:48 AM on October 19, 2007


All Linkin Park songs "sound" the same too.

That should totally be in the article, dude.
posted by Mikey-San at 10:48 AM on October 19, 2007


I thought this was going to be a post about someone with synesthesia who says all the songs look the same. Too bad. I reckon you could run this same analysis on any blues artist and get the same results.
posted by quadog at 10:51 AM on October 19, 2007


As a technically-challenged person, I have a question; how do you recognize clipping and/or compression by looking at those wavforms? Is it when they reach the top/bottom of the screen and are flattened off?

I ask because I do a lot of vinyl-MP3 conversions for my audioblog, and I've noticed that some records, no matter how low I set the recording level, seem to have these "flat tops" in the wavs above which nothing appears.
posted by The Card Cheat at 11:00 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


The two Linkin Park songs playing at the same time sounds way better than either of the songs on their own. Someone should do this on purpose - record two similar sings, but release them twinned like this. It's a neat sound.
posted by arcticwoman at 11:01 AM on October 19, 2007


"A hook does one thing ..."

It brings you back?
posted by mr_crash_davis at 11:03 AM on October 19, 2007


The Grunge Song, by The Vestibules

Could someone please do this with a good band or artist, so that passive-aggressive wannabe music snobs looking for that crutch of objective authority("Sorry, but graphs don't lie.") will stfu? The old-timey blues would be a great place to start.

I don't care for Nickleback or Linkin Park myself, but goddamn do I hate even more people who are terrified of admitting their opinions are just as subjective as anyone else's.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 11:06 AM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


I really wish that Korn didn't suck so bad now. I really liked them a lot.
posted by matteo at 11:08 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


BitterOldPunk: "Who's Linkin Park?"

I've probably heard of them but I don't know if I've ever heard them. But I don't really pay attention to new music.
posted by octothorpe at 11:10 AM on October 19, 2007


Those kids on your lawn must get pretty annoying too.
posted by tracert at 11:26 AM on October 19, 2007


As a technically-challenged person, I have a question; how do you recognize clipping and/or compression by looking at those wavforms? Is it when they reach the top/bottom of the screen and are flattened off?

"Clipping" is what happens when you run out of "headroom" - IE, how loud you can actually go with a digital file. This used to be less of a problem in analog recording, which would degrade more gracefully - but still causing "overmodulation" and "distortion", but in digital there's a finite amount of "volume" or amplitude avaliable.

Exceed that and the above-clip information is destroyed, and worse, it distorts the sounds nearby that are right at the threshold of clipping, due to the lost information. This is the "overmodulation" and "distortion" that engineers speak of.


When talking about audio engineering, audio compression is different than, say, "compressing" a file to an mp3. No one in audio engineering uses that kind of compression, as it destroys information. It has nothing to do with file sizes or bit rates or anything.

In audio engineering, "Compression" is the useful - if overused - tool to deal with these issues. A "compressor" - be it a software tool or stand-alone box - takes the dynamic range of an audio signal - IE, loudest points and quietest points - and compresses them closer together. The quiet bits are louder, and, in theory, the louder bits are quieter.

With a light touch, it's an essential part of audio engineering and recording. Very few recordings you hear that are professionally engineered do not use compression.

HOWEVER. In practice, what happens for most mainstream pop, rock and R&B albums these days is that they compress the hell out of it, squashing the entire dynamic range into about 10-15% of the available range of a CD, and then they turn it up right up until the edge of clipping, or even *gasp* beyond.

Which makes everything just sound loud, and kills all of the dynamic range. Worse, when it makes it to FM radio, FM radio broadcasters use their own compression on the broadcast signal to make their signal sound "louder" and thus able to broadcast more clearly, farther, on even the worst tuners and speakers.

This seems to have become a sort of feedback loop and arms race in audio engineering. Mainstream engineers now mix and master "for radio" - not for fidelity or quality - and have been for years.

More confusingly, there are other types of compression, notably active compression systems that compress different kinds of signals in different ways or values - this is part of what gives modern mainstream pop music that "pop or sparkle" where bassnotes punch through high notes or vice versa - as it's actually adapting to the frequencies involved.


Now, for your problem in particular: If you're NOT using some sort of mixer or device that accepts "Phono" signal, and you're just plugging your turntable into a "Line" input jack, that right there is 90% of your problem. "Line" does not equal "Phono", even if both of them use RCA jacks. "Phono" has a different impedence and voltage value - it'll overload your "line" input channels. Also, it'll sound like butt because of these things, even if you get the volume limited enough somehow, because it's not properly translating the analog signals from the turntable.

You need to plug your turntable into a mixer or reciever that handles "phono" inputs and outputs "line" or "tape" - which should restore your volume overhead and allow you to record cleanly and properly.


And all that being said? Linkin Park still sucks. No amount of fancy engineering could change that, as indicated in the article. You can polish mud, but trying to polish shit just makes you smell funny.
posted by loquacious at 11:26 AM on October 19, 2007 [28 favorites]


All I know about Linkin' Park is that I've seen their drummer's dad naked.
posted by Slothrup at 11:34 AM on October 19, 2007


All I know about Linkin' Park is that I've seen their drummer's dad naked.

I'm begging you to not elaborate upon or otherwise explain this comment. There are some things the world isn't meant to know at all.
posted by loquacious at 11:38 AM on October 19, 2007


loquacious still doesn't understand that different people like different things.
posted by Wolfdog at 11:40 AM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


(My son, to his credit, does a great mockery of Linkin Park, an improvisation, following this same formula, filled with over-the-top whined/shouted angst. I can't tell the difference.)
posted by not_on_display at 1:17 PM on October 19


No kidding? I do the same thing:

First vocalist:
I...just want some pie...
Mom, I want some pie!
You better give it to me
or I'll keep yelling at you


Second vocalist:
(I want some pie, just gotta get some apple pie)

First vocalist:
you always keep it away,
but I'll just sneak it away
from you!


Second vocalist:
(I got a fork, all I need to do is get some pie)

etc.
posted by Pastabagel at 11:56 AM on October 19, 2007 [5 favorites]


Linkin Park? Try Chuck Berry.
posted by klangklangston at 11:58 AM on October 19, 2007


Hi MeFi, I wrote the linked article.

FWIW, I didn't intend to imply that Linkin Park sucks because they overuse a formula. Rather, the piece is a commentary on the importance of such arrangements in pop music. Quoting myself, "there are several reasons why this song formula works, and whether or not you record pop music, understanding the reasons will make you a better producer."

But for sure, the same can be said of hundreds of other bands. (Though it is a separate thing entirely from the Beatles re-using chord structures.)

Also, loquacious: nice one!
posted by deshead at 12:12 PM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


But what about a track with several hooks? What about using each hook differently in the same song 4 or 5 times.

well, then you're Yes, and everyone says it's just pretentious wankery.
posted by quonsar at 12:15 PM on October 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


loquacious still doesn't understand that different people like different things.

And Wolfdog still doesn't understand that aesthetics can be quantitatively and qualitatively defined and judged, and that there's actually a science to these things.

Different things are fine - that I understand. I love diversity. I have everything from ambient to Zydeco in my music collection. Hell, I even have some GBH or some Husker Du (among others) if you want some fast, noisy punk. I probably even have some power-pop somewhere.

But when it comes to pop music - because it is pop, and because music is math, pop being especially formulaic in these particular equations - you can actually qualitatively judge things. Sometimes even with objective qualifications like raw numbers and math - above and beyond aesthetics, quality, taste and the collective, compounded psychohistory of music itself.

Linkin Park is rancid butt-cheese. It's precisely engineered, cheaply manipulative garbage. It's the congealing, crusty yeast growing in the fatty folds of the record industry, oozing out of and scraped from the mutant sow that is the modern music business. I wouldn't even let a stray mongrel-mutt eat that shit.

And Linkin Park isn't the only offal offered from these excretions, by far. Would you like some My Chemical Romance with that platter of shit? A little Avril, perhaps, as a garnish?

So, all that being said: you're wrong. Liking these things is wrong. Liking these things makes you a bad person. You should feel bad about liking these things.

Because the rest of us with any sense of taste or aesthetics at all have to suffer because of it.

And, frankly, because I said so, dipshit.
posted by loquacious at 12:18 PM on October 19, 2007 [15 favorites]


You like to type :)
posted by Wolfdog at 12:20 PM on October 19, 2007


Metal That Sounds Like Other Metal
posted by Reggie Digest at 12:20 PM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Aphex Twin songs do not look the same
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 12:23 PM on October 19, 2007 [3 favorites]


Wolfdog, see also: this and this.
posted by loquacious at 12:24 PM on October 19, 2007


Well, at least that wasn't passive-aggressive.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:26 PM on October 19, 2007


Yeah, I know, you run on about it a lot. That's what I'm saying.
posted by Wolfdog at 12:27 PM on October 19, 2007


A bit aggressive, sorry. I've had a cold for 3 days. My lungs hurt. I need coffee. AND I WILL CUT YOU OVER LINKIN PARK I SWEAR TO FUCK.
posted by loquacious at 12:27 PM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Thanks, loquacious. I use an iMic for my vinyl conversions, and generally speaking I'm happy with the results...I just wondered why some of the (old) LPs I record seem to form different wavs than others.
posted by The Card Cheat at 12:38 PM on October 19, 2007


(snapcracklepop)

You hear that, loquacious? That's the sound of my sexuality inverting. I just turned totally gay for you. You can remove my DC offset anytime.
posted by bunnytricks at 12:44 PM on October 19, 2007


You know, I don't like Lincoln Park, but I'd really like to see someone mathematically prove that they're bad.
posted by drezdn at 12:47 PM on October 19, 2007


You know, I don't like Lincoln Park, but I'd really like to see someone mathematically prove that they're bad.

Okay, now you're just taunting him.

I use an iMic for my vinyl conversions, and generally speaking I'm happy with the results...I just wondered why some of the (old) LPs I record seem to form different wavs than others.

Are you going through a turntable preamp before you go into your imic? I mean, if you're not, you'd probably notice, but I just want to make sure. As long as your imic settings remain the same, and the settings on your recording program are the same, I'd say you're just seeing differences in the vinyl, and how those records were mastered (if that was even done).
posted by god hates math at 12:55 PM on October 19, 2007


oh gawd this is old news
posted by spish at 12:56 PM on October 19, 2007


I see a vase.
No, I see a face.
posted by chococat at 1:00 PM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Are you going through a turntable preamp before you go into your imic?

Yep.

I suspected that it had to do with the production/mastering differences on these records (most of which were recorded during the '50s and '60s, probably relatively cheaply); some of the wavs have a lot of peaks and valleys, while others are practically a solid rectangle with no highs or lows.
posted by The Card Cheat at 1:00 PM on October 19, 2007


god hates math writes "While I'm sure that the 'Instrumental Kicker' and the 'Heavy Chorus' are clipped, if there songs were really victims of The Loudness Wars (TM), you wouldn't be able to tell the difference (visually, that is) between the different sections. These tracks aren't going to win any awards for dynamic range, but they're certainly not the most compressed pieces of audio out there."

No, but there is no dynamic range at all when it gets loud. That's not very good mastering. I realize it's not the most extreme example, but it's still not very well done.
posted by krinklyfig at 1:06 PM on October 19, 2007


... others are practically a solid rectangle with no highs or lows.

Probably recorded in a room with a single boom mike.

What bothers me most about LP is the "there's a little bit for everybody" thing going on: Emo whine, Nu-Metal wannabe hip-hoppiness, angsty rocker shouting and growling. Added to every song in convenient little chunks to enhance lyrics that are essentially the equivalent of a teenage boy's MySpace page. I love pop music (along with a good dose of unlistenable, undanceable noise-glitchcore), so I have no pretensions to musical snobbery. I just hate anything that's so obviously manipulated to appeal to a particular demographic in such a transparently clumsy way. Ugh, and that voice. UGH.
posted by oneirodynia at 1:21 PM on October 19, 2007


Liking these things is wrong. Liking these things makes you a bad person. You should feel bad about liking these things.

Or, as a friend of mine once put it: mainstream pop is music for people who hate music.

/not rockist
posted by psmealey at 1:24 PM on October 19, 2007


With regard to recording turntable output, I haven't seen anyone mention RIAA equalization so I thought I would. From the wikipedia article:
The phono input of most hi-fi amplifiers have this characteristic built-in, though it is omitted in many modern designs due to the gradual obsolescence of vinyl records. A solution in this case is to buy a special preamplifier which will adapt a magnetic cartridge to a standard line-level input, and implement the RIAA equalization curve separately. Some modern turntables feature built-in preamplification to the RIAA standard. Special preamps are also available for the various equalization curves used on pre-1954 records.
If you don't use RIAA equalization when you record from a record (heh), your recording will sound like shit. [Note: there are some hyperlinks in the original quoted text that I didn't transfer over, see the linked article if you're interested in them.]
posted by Crabby Appleton at 1:43 PM on October 19, 2007


I wish I had seen this earlier.

I dj using ableton live, so I'm intimately familiar with looking at the wave forms of songs, and at this point, I could almost tell you what year the record came out just by looking at the wave form.

Even if you compare, for example, huge hit trance records made in 1999 compared to the ones made today, the kick drums used to barely max out the volume at the peak, the bass lines were distinctly quieter, etc. Now, the bass kicks are super compressed-- instead of being rounded --- OOOOO, they're flat with a short teal for the release.. []>[]>[]>... bass lines are almost indistinguisiable from kicks, they're often just as compressed but with less of an attack and more distortion than the kick.

They're no dynamics anymore either... zoomed out, the tracks are a solid blue bar, aside from the breakdown. It used to look like a pulse. In a club it SOUNDS amazing, and amazingly, because digital mastering techniques put professionally mastering techniques in the hands of bedroom producers it sounds more clear and less muddy than the older stuff, even though it's much busier.. But it's almost punishing to listen to over a long period of time. It's just one constant throb at full volume. Everything is about MORE MORE MORE MORE.

I'm starting to miss the pretty, almost organic (by comparison) sound of stuff like Solar Stone - Seven Cities, where you could drop in an acoustic guitar bit at half volume and bring the house down.
posted by empath at 2:05 PM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


Linkin Park is rancid butt-cheese.

Technically speaking, they're more of a fromunda than a butt cheese.
posted by jefbla at 2:08 PM on October 19, 2007


Previous generation to current generation: "Everything you listen to sounds the same."

Get off my lawn!
posted by afx114 at 2:10 PM on October 19, 2007


Metal That Sounds Like Other Metal

This is the fundamental justification for the "ironically derivative" schtick that flourishes just above the lowest common denominator in modern music. It nullifies the originality issue and you just get to rock.

It doesn't make the music better, but it does make the argument simpler.
posted by spiderwire at 3:05 PM on October 19, 2007


Previous generation to current generation: "Everything you listen to sounds the same."

If Linkin Park is representative, then the current generation is fucked. Hard. In the ass. With a pitchfork.
posted by psmealey at 3:32 PM on October 19, 2007


As far as the social phenomenon of why Linkin Park sticks to its formulaic approach, Frontline did a pretty good documentary on it.
posted by Brak at 3:57 PM on October 19, 2007 [1 favorite]


If Linkin Park is representative, then the current generation is fucked. Hard. In the ass. With a pitchfork.

That's what my mom said about Nirvana. And it's what her parents said about the Beatles. And it's what their parents said about... Benny Goodman?
posted by afx114 at 4:00 PM on October 19, 2007 [2 favorites]


Eh fuck that. The current generation has plenty of good music that older people like, tons of people older than I loved Nirvana, and my grandparents dug the Beatles. Just so happens that Linkin Park is not representative of anything other than predictable dumb-ass rock targeted at dumb-ass white boys who have no taste.

I generally have no problem with good dumb-ass rock, like Motorhead, for example, but this shit ain't even close.
posted by psmealey at 4:24 PM on October 19, 2007


*goes and listens to some Linkin Park*

Wow, these guys suck. Balls.

Still, if pressed, I would have to say that they suck infinitesimally less than Nickelback.

Whatever happened to Mudvayne? I never really liked them, but they seemed like they might have had a good record in them somewhere....I guess not.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 4:48 PM on October 19, 2007


But it's almost punishing to listen to over a long period of time.

Ear fatigue is a real thing!

My favorite current example is Justice's Stress. The song is capable of causing ear fatigue so quickly that they've said that they had to work on it very quickly because listening to it for very long gave them headaches.

But a lot of their music is like that (as is much other modern electronic stuff, as you pointed out).

Of course in Justice's case, it's can also be punishing simply because you're having your ass handed to you at 135bpm for an hour and a half. Yes, I went to a Justice show this week, why do you ask?
posted by sparkletone at 5:42 PM on October 19, 2007


Most of today's so-called punk rockers aren't worthy of being vomited on by the Sex Pistols.
posted by mike3k at 6:58 PM on October 19, 2007


Most of today's so-called punk rockers aren't worthy of being vomited on by the Sex Pistols.

It's ironic that you say that, since the fabricated look-at-me artificial boyband schlock that Malcolm McLaren put together was probably responsible for the current avalanche of rancid garbage that is the current music scene.

If you want a bitter laugh, read the interview bits with Malcolm in Please Kill Me. What a twat.
posted by nasreddin at 7:33 PM on October 19, 2007


PS: Adorno said it first and best...
Like its counterpart, avant-garde art, the entertainment industry determines its own language, down to its very syntax and vocabulary, by the use of anathema. The constant pressure to produce new effects (which must conform to the old pattern) serves merely as another rule to increase the power of the conventions when any single effect threatens to slip through the net. Every detail is so firmly stamped with sameness that nothing can appear which is not marked at birth, or does not meet with approval at first sight. And the star performers, whether they produce or reproduce, use this jargon as freely and fluently and with as much gusto as if it were the very language which it silenced long ago. Such is the ideal of what is natural in this field of activity, and its influence becomes all the more powerful, the more technique is perfected and diminishes the tension between the finished product and everyday life. The paradox of this routine, which is essentially travesty, can be detected and is often predominant in everything that the culture industry turns out. A jazz musician who is playing a piece of serious music, one of Beethoven’s simplest minuets, syncopates it involuntarily and will smile superciliously when asked to follow the normal divisions of the beat. This is the “nature” which, complicated by the ever-present and extravagant demands of the specific medium, constitutes the new style and is a “system of non-culture, to which one might even concede a certain ‘unity of style’ if it really made any sense to speak of stylised barbarity.” [Nietzsche]

The universal imposition of this stylised mode can even go beyond what is quasi-officially sanctioned or forbidden; today a hit song is more readily forgiven for not observing the 32 beats or the compass of the ninth than for containing even the most clandestine melodic or harmonic detail which does not conform to the idiom.
posted by nasreddin at 7:37 PM on October 19, 2007


the fabricated look-at-me artificial boyband schlock that Malcolm McLaren put together was probably responsible for the current avalanche of rancid garbage that is the current music scene

McLaren was entwined in the scene, the hype and the aesthetic, but he had fuck all to do with the actual music. He was late to the New York Dolls, and for the Sex Pistols, he got them publicity, and the gigs, and the press and photo ops, but that's pretty much it. It was mostly incidental. To equate the Pistols with "boyband schlock" is not to understand history. McClaren was a hanger-on, nothing more.
posted by psmealey at 7:47 PM on October 19, 2007


a very high-profile hanger-on, but a hanger-on nevertheless.
posted by psmealey at 7:49 PM on October 19, 2007


for the Sex Pistols, he got them publicity, and the gigs, and the press and photo ops, but that's pretty much it. It was mostly incidental. To equate the Pistols with "boyband schlock" is not to understand history

He also put the band together in its canonical form. You know, like any boyband manager does. "That kid's always hanging around my store, let's have him play bass, it'll work out great, he won't kill any groupies!"
posted by nasreddin at 8:24 PM on October 19, 2007


Do any Mefites actually listen to Linkin Park? Or Nickleback? Or Sum 48? Not to snark, but this post is like taking potshots at Lohan, Spears or Hilton.
posted by KokuRyu at 1:13 PM on October 19 [+] [!]


Am I the only person that caught this? Sum 41, not Sum 48

I am ashamed
posted by C17H19NO3 at 11:44 AM on October 20, 2007


The two Linkin Park songs playing at the same time sounds way better than either of the songs on their own. Someone should do this on purpose - record two similar sings, but release them twinned like this. It's a neat sound.
posted by arcticwoman

King Crimson's "Thrak" was recorded like this. It is basically a "double" trio, (one guitar, bass and drums on the right speaker and a different guitar, bass -actually a chapman stick- and drums on the left one).

It is quite interesting and it doesn't sound like the old prog rock that King Crimson used to do in the sixties.
posted by micayetoca at 8:56 PM on October 20, 2007


the master of all over-compressed and limited waveforms: Living La Vida Loca!
posted by the_very_hungry_caterpillar at 1:30 PM on October 21, 2007


A band or musician, after releasing their first (or any, for that matter) album must either stagnate, evolve, or simply disband.

Linkin Park, and many others, have chosen the "stagnate" route, releasing additional albums which are simply clones of their earlier albums. At the same time, let us not forget that bands which evolve are often accused of jumping the shark (as musical tastes are highly subjective, there will inevitably be some people who like the earlier work more than the alter) and/or selling out (if the latter album does better commerically than the former.

The harshest criticism for the bands that stagnate will come from those who never liked them in the first place--but why should the band care about those people? Why should Linkin Park care that people who hated their first album also hated their second? For those who liked Linkin Park initially, there are some who are just as enthusiastic about their later work, and there are some who say, "meh, I've already got the first album, I don't need to buy its clone," but few fans, or former fans, who grow to truly hate the band.

For a band to evolve is more honest muscially, but, I imagine, much more emotionally risky for the band, as they risk truly alienating their early fans.
posted by DevilsAdvocate at 11:38 AM on October 22, 2007


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