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Van Morrison, The Healing Game. One of his later albums, but with some great tracks - the title track, The Burning Ground and This Once Was My Life (with Georgie Fame's call-and-response backing voca

God what an innocent I was (am) - never realised the Sweetest Girl was about H. Will have to try to find my copy now and listen again. And Jacques Derrida - Scritti Politti changed my life - in a sm

Liza, That song you mentioned a while back (you asked if you were crazy to like it), the band's name escapes me, well it's on the radio all the time now and now I like it. (They remind me of Meatloaf,

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Ella Fitzgerald: Twelve Nights in Hollywood

 

The best American Popular Culture has the same effect: helium. You feel it when you walk out of one of the better productions in the New York City Center Encores! series, and you feel it when you listen to this four-disc representation of a series of club performances Ella Fitzgerald gave in Hollywood in 1961 (with a few ringers from 1962).

 

No, not helium: nitrous oxide. It's like you've just breathed in some laughing gas, and you're grinning like an idiot.*

 

The craft, the intelligence: all directed to one goal: FUN. It may be one dimensional -- but what a dimension!

 

Listen to these recordings. They will make you high.

____________________________________________________________

* I recently took a 24-year-old Kazakh girl to an Encores! production of an old 1930's Gershwin musical. She's fixated on the newest club music. I thought she'd have like zero appreciation of The Great American Songbook.

 

But after the show was over, she said, unbidden, the perfect thing: "I started grinning as soon as it started, and I'm still grinning now. I'm grinning so wide that it hurts."

 

America Rules.

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ETA: And having read your subsequent post, I have to modify one of my positions. As I've said repeatedly, having backed you all into a metaphorical corner at a party, popular music has been in a state of suspension for going on thirty years (okay, black popular music not as long).

 

hmmm electronica anyone?

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i think your thesis holds for guitar-based rock. but if you seriously think electronica hasn't evolved considerably past gary numan you haven't listened to much of it. add up electronica, hip-hop, drum 'n bass etc. and you have considerable evolution in the forms of popular music in the last 30 years. quite a lot of people listen to that stuff, you know.

 

vocal jazz doesn't seem to have evolved very much for a much longer period.

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Some of the best "pop" music of the last decade, though, IMO.

What "pop" songs do you classify as techno

 

Note: Neither a techno nor electronica snob - legitimately interested in hearing what "pop" songs qualify as Techno at least to SE.

 

I mean only that techno is broadly "pop" as opposed to classical or jazz. (In other words, I mean "pop" as subsuming rock, for example -- not as opposed to rock.) (That's why it's in quotes.)

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i think your thesis holds for guitar-based rock. but if you seriously think electronica hasn't evolved considerably past gary numan you haven't listened to much of it. add up electronica, hip-hop, drum 'n bass etc. and you have considerable evolution in the forms of popular music in the last 30 years. quite a lot of people listen to that stuff, you know.

 

vocal jazz doesn't seem to have evolved very much for a much longer period.

 

I wasn't entirely serious about Gary Numan, but don't be pinning the "lots of people listen to that stuff" thing on me. I have explicitly extended my thesis to include R&B and hip hop, although its stagnation is more recent. You did help me listen my way back into the history of hip hop, and I am grateful. But many hip hop tracks from the early 90s do sound contemporary today - it's getting on for twenty years since Tupac and Biggie and Dr Dre, and Jay-Z's first album is thirteen years old.

 

Applying my argument, has hip hop changed in the last twenty years the way popular music changed between - say - 1936 and 1956 or 1946 and 1966?

 

If this does apply to hip hop, it applies even more so to R&B and soul generally.

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mainstream hip-hop *is* pop, which alone suggests a giant transformation in pop music in the last 30 years. as for transformations within hip-hop, sure, it's not as visible in the mainstream but there's a lot of interesting stuff that's not exactly obscure either. take people like madlib, mf doom, even mos def, a lot of whose work fluidly moves between genre boundaries. there's a lot of interesting stuff being done on mix-tapes by well known people like the rza etc.. as for the stuff from the 90s sounding contemporary, i don't know how many young people would agree. certainly not in the way that fans of the white stripes would immediately recognize their forbears from 30-40 years ago. the kind of thing that people like outkast and n.e.r.d or even the later incarnation of the beastie boys have done in the mainstream are very far away from 80s, early 90s hip-hop.

 

the more interesting question to ask, in my opinion, is why there is so little change in certain directions since 1956, say, and so much in others. perhaps guitar rock has reached a dead-end and we just don't know it yet. then again, i don't listen to much contemporary metal, but my sense is there's a lot of stuff there that could complicate the argument as well.

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