Why I try to avoid new music

Theres really not much sense talking to me about new bands and such, i just dont really follow all of that. Hear some when im christmas shopping. . .. So much good old music, just havnt really gotten past it all yet.

Eddie Kendricks, David Ruffin and Hall and Oates

I also imagine writing music would be a lot harder if my head was loaded with what everybody else is doing. If i come up with a new song and it sounds a bit like the new hit from ‘Bushfoot 250’ (or whatever fucking new bands are called), everyone would call it a ripoff. If i come up with a song sounding a bit like an old motown groove or something, people would appreciate the similarity- if they even recognize it! Plus new pop, especially rock, has no feeling anymore whatsoever, its a bunch of winy losers playing through computer amps. Give me a Break.


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16 Responses to “Why I try to avoid new music”

  1. Michael Says:

    Yeah you are right there is too much good old music to absorb…its endless..and time has done a sort of filtering process…the bad has faded away..the good tends to be timeless (well most of the time…there’s always a few nasty one hit wonders that stick..but still) let alone the new stuff constantly coming out…chasing radio plays and sales…i’m a musician..of more obscure styles..and i struggle for inspiration often due always having to be assalted by the constant dark cloud of over produced pop produced music….even worse…over produced anti-pop music..argh….give me raw energy..i’d rather listen to a recording with shitty equipment, but has power and passion and raw emotion….than some album that has been produced over 2 years and is sonically tweaker to perfection…perfection is’nt emotive…its the mistakes and the rawness i guess that makes it attractive to me for any style of music…

  2. remistevens Says:

    well put,

    personally, ive got nothing against producing. I think a lot of emotion can come from the process of tweaking dials. Especially with something like electronic music, sure mixing samples together can be done on the fly with an emotive performance- but at some point someone needed to do extensive production work to make all the sample jive when overlayed.

    i suppose for me, i find overproduction most offensive when its coming from rock. rock has got to have that raw energy youre talking about. That rawness doesn’t exclude heavy production, a good producer can spend years tweaking so long as it doesnt end up sounding like wishy washy modern crap. But certainly pop production is not necessary for good music, its only necessary for the very commercial route.

    When all of this gets so closely knit with the writing process: overcompressed production and commercial appeal, the end result is a song that sounds like its designed to make money. Along the lines of something already done so that its a tried tested form (production houses dont waste time on risky bets) and super piss ass loud so as to drown out the competition.

    ITs like the battle of the bands back in grade nine- the dudes with the biggest amps were the winners. . .

    thanks for stopping by,

  3. Jules Cosby Says:

    Yeah some Battles of Bands were won with the biggest amps (speaking from personal experience), but others were based on how many tickets you could sell. I could never win those because I never wanted to rip off my friends!

    I’ve got into this argument so many times because ultimately, I’m on the same side: I like old music better (Remi and the Gang notwithstanding). But for me it’s personal preference, an aesthetic choice. There is nothing inherently better about music today than there was 40 years ago, and there is nothing inherently better about music 40 years ago then there was 140 years ago.

    If Nickelback is so bad, why are they consistently number one? Fifty million Elvis fans can’t be wrong, etc.

    Music is going to be made. I think we can safely say that music is a human universal, but we need to remember that its form is determined by the times. In our society, music takes the commodity form, just as it has for hundreds of years: before recording and distribution techniques were developed, don’t forget that sheet music was the way to turn music into something that could make a buck.

    At least in our time the internet has had a decentralizing effect on just who makes that buck. The big companies may still pump $$$ into production, but distribution belongs to the people (sorry Metallica, you’re rich enough!)

    On the actual production question however, I feel once again this is a personal preference. I once had a roommate who constantly recorded music in his bedroom, but had never played live in front of anyone in his life (nor had the inclination to do so in the future). I, on the other hand, love live music, something qualitatively different than recording, no matter the size of the amps or the quality of the recording media.

    This all said, looking forward to live Remi!

  4. remistevens Says:

    you bet dude, worked out some more kinks today. . .. .

    your right, the intranet, sorry innernet, is doing some great things for music and distribution of music. people download what they want to listen too, even in the mall, you can drown out the overhead radio by cranking your headphones.

    I wonder if all this shifting towards the internet will transform music into yet something else which is not a commodity. Video is one medium where the audience is still obligated to listen to the chosen music. Most big name bands these days get their shit into big hollywood blockbusters- its a guaranteed slew of hits for your song- with flashy video to compliment it. The most commercial musicians are making their real money from licensing these days, album sales suck ass. Not many people can tolerate the unbelievably loud new metallica album, but when the tracks are played in 5 sec snippits at a football game its perfect.

    Are rental items commodities?

  5. studiomanifesto Says:

    I understand what you’re all saying. As a music producer I try to let all the technology run in the background…really don’t like gear being the focus of a recording session. In my opinion, and practice, priorities of the production process rank in the following order:

    1. Song quality
    2. Quality of the performances given by each musician playing on the song.
    3. Quality (and general state of repair) of the musical instruments played by each musician on the song (including rock stuff…intonated guitars, well tuned drums, tube amps, etc.).
    4. Quality of recording gear – Mics, Preamps, comps, EQs, A/D converters, etc.

    Many modern day producer/engineers place the emphasis on their gear over the other three areas.

    I also agree that there is too much generically produced and over compressed music that lacks substance…mostly in the more popular forms…that ends up sounding like everything else.

    I say every artist, like Remi, stay true to your instincts and take your art where that leads you.

  6. remistevens Says:

    i like that hierarchy,

    #1 is absolutely necessary for me to consider a song good, whereas #2-4 are only desirable, not necessary. But flip whos looking at the situation for a moment, go back to the hollywood film studio. To them #2-4 are absolutely necessary. Certainly #1 is desirable, but not necessary.

    People biased by a desire to make money make some pretty strange artistic selections. People biased by a desire to be entertained and find new favorites will choose better songs.

  7. Marcus T Says:


  8. remistevens Says:

    yes M, i stole this post from my myspace blog last Feb- its not the one that degenerated into the fuckheads argument though. . . ..

    oh and sorry about what i stole on the weekend, left it in my pocket accidentally. -cool party

  9. remistevens Says:

    ooo im a weiner!!!!

    that was my 100th blog comment, thanks to all contributers!

  10. studiomanifesto Says:


  11. Glen Peladeau Says:

    I can relate, of courese it easier for me not hear new music as most of it is not to inspiring…lots of over the top distortion with knife in the throat screaming going on.

    It does help not to listen to music when I am writing. It is like a boxer that stays clear of women while training I suppose.


  12. remistevens Says:

    hey thanks for stopping by Glen from New England. cool looking site/service.

    Knife in the throat, thats a good one.

    I’ve heard Marcus T complain about the guys who sing with marbles in their mouth as well- nickleback and the other Eddie Vedder imitators.

    Sorry if this is a little dirtier than my usual comment. . . . I’m thinking your analogy may have been better suited if you replaced “boxer” with “pornstar”.

  13. Daymon Balser Says:

    Hey Remi!
    Believe it or not I’m jamming with a band and we’re having trouble coming up with a name for our group. Bushfoot 250 may have to fit the bill! Thanks and I’ll keep you posted! -The Basketeere

  14. remistevens Says:

    Love it! please do thats hilarious.

    I find often with music the best ideas are also the worst ones.

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