Taylor Swift question

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TheBookPolice
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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:00 pm

A response both literal and misinterpretive.
TheBookPolice wrote:You could say they're both title tracks.

"Could."
TheBookPolice wrote:"Fearless" is very clearly about one thing. Nothing particularly groundbreaking or challenging. "Paparazzi" is at least three layers deep.

I never called Lady Gaga "groundbreaking." I said Swift isn't.

Nothing about Taylor Swift interests me in the slightest, except maybe what it is about her that's drawn in such a motley crew of curmudgeons. Lady Gaga, on the other hand, I find very interesting, as well as entertaining.

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby rrnate » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:04 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:But more importantly, does comparing Gaga and Swift even make sense, considering how vastly different they are?


Nope. That being said, Beyonce is way better than both of them.

Here are some acts that I group together as "overrated by large media"...

* Lady Gaga
* Taylor Swift
* The Killers
* Katy Perry
* The Kings of Leon
* The Black Eyed Peas
* John Mayer
* Miranda Lambert
* The Jonas Brothers

I actually do think it makes a fair amount of sense to compare these acts, in that at some point, I read something somewhere that said these acts are worthwhile in some way. I can confirm that they are not. What is confusing is that there really are very mainstream acts that are at least often putting out good music.

* Kanye West
* Jay-Z
* Beyonce
* Alicia Keys
* Justin Timberlake
* Weezer (I'm talking about modern Weezer, which is more or less only competing in this sort of category)


I didn't watch the Grammys this year (which I regret, as I like 'em) but there were some interesting nominations per usual.

* Phoenix - best "alternative album"
* Maxwell - several nominations
* Lonely Island w/ T-Pain - "Best Rap Song"
* Hall & Oates (for some live version of "Sarah Smile")
* That Willie Nelson / Asleep At The Wheel album got a lot of nominations
* Lucinda Williams - "Best Americana Album"

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby rrnate » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:07 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:Lady Gaga, on the other hand, I find very interesting, as well as entertaining.


That's because she's saying "I'm interesting! You! Over here! Look at me! Look at how provocative I am! It's a commentary on fame! Did you get that?!?! Fame!"

She's a whole of "meh" in my book, especially when there are so many people out there doing more or less the same thing as her, except way better.

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:12 pm

BookPolice -- You could also say that "Let's Go Crazy" is the title track of Purple Rain, but you'd be wrong. In what sense can a track that is not a title track be considered a title track? Is this some sort of koan? And why is it necessary to compare "title tracks" anyway? If you can only make your point by fudging the facts, I'm a little confused as to what your point is.

TheBookPolice wrote:
TheBookPolice wrote:"Fearless" is very clearly about one thing. Nothing particularly groundbreaking or challenging. "Paparazzi" is at least three layers deep.

I never called Lady Gaga "groundbreaking." I said Swift isn't.

When you compare and contrast two things in this way, it's not exactly the reader's fault if your intention isn't clear.
The implication -- and I can't imagine anyone reading it any other way -- is that while "Fearless" is not groundbreaking or challenging, "Paparazzi" is. What's the point of juxtaposing those two thoughts otherwise?

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby Uncle_Leaver » Tue Feb 02, 2010 2:29 pm

Prof. Wagstaff wrote:BookPolice -- You could also say that "Let's Go Crazy" is the title track of Purple Rain, but you'd be wrong.

I think "breakout single" is the operative term here.

"Let's Go Crazy" is also the shiny happy track as opposed to "Purple Rain's" comparative depth and emotion. And they both fucking rule. I guess I don't get this business of categorizing music based on the emotion in evokes. If it's evocative of something, it's done it's job and obviously the whole enterprise is deeply steeped in subjectivity. Is Pink Floyd the better band because they wrote fewer intentionally silly songs than the Beatles? My answer is on a par with my opinion of the Grammys: "Who fucking cares?"

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby TheBookPolice » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:05 pm

1) No land wars in Asia
2) No to-the-death challenges with Sicilians
3) No pop music discussions with musical obsessives/pedants

I'm not in this discussion to win anything, nor could I if I was. Suffice it to say, I wasn't speaking literally about "Paparazzi" being a title track of sorts.

And if I liked everything I was being told to like just because I was told to like it, rrnate, I'd still like Heroes, watch American Idol, and enjoy unlimited salad and breadsticks with my four cheese-stuffed pansotti at Olive Garden. Give me some credit, dude.

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby rrnate » Tue Feb 02, 2010 4:50 pm

TheBookPolice wrote:
And if I liked everything I was being told to like just because I was told to like it, rrnate, I'd still like Heroes, watch American Idol, and enjoy unlimited salad and breadsticks with my four cheese-stuffed pansotti at Olive Garden. Give me some credit, dude.


Yeah, but I would definitely categorize Lady Gaga in the same category as Heroes, Olive Garden and American Idol - something that pretends to be "better than the other mainstream stuff" but really isn't. I'm not really bashing your taste in music itself -(and I'm not even saying every Lady Gaga song is awful), but I certainly don't think she's doing anything new in terms of image, presentation, etc.

Here's a nice (and local!) example of what we all keep hearing about her...

Kenneth Burns wrote:For all that I enjoy and admire Lady Gaga's shtick, she's not about that. She's a trickster, a shape-shifter. She favors glibness, inscrutability. And good for her for that.


(That being said, Ken had some good stuff to say about Taylor Swift and country music in general, per usual.)

I would like to verify that Lady Gaga is more or less the Olive Garden of pop music. It's fast food disguised, though if you look a little harder, there is a good version of what she (or they) are doing.

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Mammy-ries?

Postby Marvell » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:11 pm

I want to hear more about Al Jolson's tits.

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:13 pm

rrnate wrote:Yeah, but I would definitely categorize Lady Gaga in the same category as Heroes, Olive Garden and American Idol - something that pretends to be "better than the other mainstream stuff" but really isn't. I'm not really bashing your taste in music itself -(and I'm not even saying every Lady Gaga song is awful), but I certainly don't think she's doing anything new in terms of image, presentation, etc.

Here's a nice (and local!) example of what we all keep hearing about her...

Kenneth Burns wrote:For all that I enjoy and admire Lady Gaga's shtick, she's not about that. She's a trickster, a shape-shifter. She favors glibness, inscrutability. And good for her for that.

(That being said, Ken had some good stuff to say about Taylor Swift and country music in general, per usual.)

Thanks for the kind words. Where did I say that what Lady Gaga is doing is new or better than the other mainstream stuff?

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby rrnate » Tue Feb 02, 2010 5:34 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:Thanks for the kind words. Where did I say that what Lady Gaga is doing is new or better than the other mainstream stuff?


Yeah sorry, I kind of used your quote to make one point, but it came off like I was inferring you'd said something you hadn't.

That being said, I really don't get why people care about her "glibness, inscrutability and shape shifting". Seriously, this is something that almost every female pop singer does and has done for the last ten years. She seems to get more pats on the back because she says "Oh, it's a commentary on the whole system" or some such thing, but at this point it's not - it's the system and she's just kind of rolling along in it.

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Re: Mammy-ries?

Postby rrnate » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:05 pm

Marvell wrote:I want to hear more about Al Jolson's tits.


They defied the trends of the day and offered a sly commentary on social conventions. They are as relevant (more than ever!) now as they were then and continue to inspire.

Little known fact: "The Anniversary Song" is a pained meditation on them.

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:18 pm

rrnate wrote:That being said, I really don't get why people care about her "glibness, inscrutability and shape shifting". Seriously, this is something that almost every female pop singer does and has done for the last ten years.


... but not Taylor Swift, which is mainly what I was trying to say. And which is not to say that Taylor Swift's image is any less calculated.

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby Prof. Wagstaff » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:20 pm

rrnate wrote:
Marvell wrote:I want to hear more about Al Jolson's tits.


They defied the trends of the day and offered a sly commentary on social conventions. They are as relevant (more than ever!) now as they were then and continue to inspire.


Eager to learn more, I Googled "Jolson's tits" but found little of relevance. However, here are the first three image hits returned:
Image
Image
Image

Off-topic, I know, but the fact is, if I can hijack just one thread with hot pics of Veronica Lake and Jane Russell then I feel I've fulfilled my purpose on Earth.

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby Kenneth Burns » Tue Feb 02, 2010 6:24 pm

I'm delighted Colbie Caillat won a Grammy for her duet with Jason Mraz. Great tune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acvIVA9-FMQ

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Re: Taylor Swift question

Postby acereraser » Tue Feb 02, 2010 7:05 pm

Kenneth Burns wrote:I'm delighted Colbie Caillat won a Grammy for her duet with Jason Mraz. Great tune.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=acvIVA9-FMQ


Do you mean great as in for the ages, or merely great for this year? Or, before I put more words in your mouth, something else?


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