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Thread: How do you stay relevant? or do you not even try?

  1. #1
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    How do you stay relevant? or do you not even try?

    I really like "old" music too, but I find it necessary to keep up with what is happening "now" and spend a decent amount of time thinking about where modern music is "going".

    Three years ago I got a job as a DJ for a singer in the Dubstep genre and didn't know too much about it, but it was a job, so I had to take it. Along the way I really grew to appreciate the music and it has become another set of skills that I have added to my quiver, I now find the same thing happening with "Trap" music.

    I am either lucky or unfortunate enough to still be trying to make a living within music, and it totally forces me to have to keep an open mind about new forms of music... otherwise I would just sit around and listen to Kool & The Gang, EW&F, etc, etc.


    How do you stay relevant? Do you actively search out new music, or do you just keep listening to the music you grew up with?

    Do you ever go out to clubs and try to understand what the kids are listening to?

    Do you raid you nephew's iPod when he comes over?

    Are you completely fine just listening to the Eagles over and over because new music sucks?

    If you are in a cover band do you ever add new songs to your set list, or just play the "classics"?

  2. #2
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    What is Dubstep and Trap (if it's not rock i'm not iterested)

    I am seriously grounded in the late 70s 80s early 90s, I don't need to stay current I'm not making a living from it and come up with new songs purely for my own and my friends entertainment.

    New music does suck cos most of it is not written by the artist performing it, at least the teeny bopper chart stuff, the grammy awards are a farce it's all about who has written the biggest check etc.

    I'll stick with what got me into music and playing guitar cos that is what makes me happy, however when it comes to writing I just play and what comes out and sounds good stays what sounds crap goes.

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    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    I don't even try. I'm very cynical when it comes to new music, sure there's some great stuff around but what they play on mainstream radio is not my cup of tea.

    I didn't get into dub step (let alone bro step), I do like some electronic music but this music seemed more like a caricature than a genre. I think part of the reason is because everyone thought is was so cool, and I didn't get it, so I didn't even look further to see if there's some good stuff there. Funny thing is my best mate of 25+ years, we listen to the same kind of music, he loved it and I didn't. He dug the use of rhythms and wall of sound but it didn't click for me.

    I still listen to a lot of the same stuff, some of my favorites are still releasing music e.g. Radiohead/Thom Yorke, Amon Tobin, Nik Baertsch, Stanton Moore projects etc, but I still listen to a lot of my old music e.g. Jeff Buckley, old school funk, Faith No More etc.

    I got put onto Rock Candy Funk Party on here and have ordered their CD (and T-shirt) so there is new music for me out there, but that's more a new take on an "old" genre (funk never gets old!). We do play newer songs in the band, but they tend to be from more respected artists e.g. The Black Keys rather than teen pop one hit wonders.

    I guess I don't go looking for new music, I'm open to it (e.g. will give stuff a try when someone suggests) but 99 times out of 100 I just don't dig it.

  4. #4
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    I try to stay current. In fact, I just found a cool new band. Have you guys heard of Wings? Yeah, Paul McCartney has a new band!

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    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    As a 40-something man I don't know how relevant I am, but I do enjoy finding new music. I can't say I find a lot of new music I enjoy, but I still enjoy the discovery nonetheless. I also enjoy finding older music which I'd never heard before, that's like finding new music to me as well.

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    Really?

    Quote Originally Posted by Egads View Post
    I try to stay current. In fact, I just found a cool new band. Have you guys heard of Wings? Yeah, Paul McCartney has a new band!
    Wow! I just finished with Cream and heard thru the grapevine that there is a new band I should check out ... called Leaded Trampoline or something like that, now I will have to track down this Wings outfit. Is that the same Paul McCartney that played in the Stones ... I liked them

    Every generation has their own music, obviously I don't try too hard to stay current ... it's all good.

  7. #7
    Opaque John Beef's Avatar
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    I am a rock guy. I have a subscription with eMusic, and have for years. My credits don't always get used up every month, but I do get some good music. There's still good rock out there, you just have to find it. Also, I continue to follow the musicians I really grew up on, a lot of them are still out there doing it well. I followed J Robbins from Jawbox to Burning Airlines to Channels and now to Office of Future Plans. I followed Allen Epley from Shiner to the Life and Times. It's a lot of "the guy from X is now playing in Y" so I go check out "Y". Sometimes it's good, sometimes not.
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    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by DarrenJ1973 View Post
    What is Dubstep and Trap (if it's not rock i'm not iterested)
    It isn't... so you're not.


    Quote Originally Posted by justmund View Post
    I don't even try. I'm very cynical when it comes to new music, sure there's some great stuff around but what they play on mainstream radio is not my cup of tea.

    I didn't get into dub step (let alone bro step), I do like some electronic music but this music seemed more like a caricature than a genre. I think part of the reason is because everyone thought is was so cool, and I didn't get it, so I didn't even look further to see if there's some good stuff there. Funny thing is my best mate of 25+ years, we listen to the same kind of music, he loved it and I didn't. He dug the use of rhythms and wall of sound but it didn't click for me.
    I have to admit that through the rehearsals and well into the first half of the tour, I didn't have an appreciation for dubstep either. Yes there is a lot of crap, but there is also some great stuff that I would have missed if I didn't take the gig. It wasn't until I actually saw what was happening at these clubs, and to the fans, that I started to understand the "why" of this genre.

    Quote Originally Posted by Shawn@PRS View Post
    As a 40-something man I don't know how relevant I am, but I do enjoy finding new music. I can't say I find a lot of new music I enjoy, but I still enjoy the discovery nonetheless. I also enjoy finding older music which I'd never heard before, that's like finding new music to me as well.
    You had better be relevant! I'm sure you don't listen to the music of every artist before they comes through the factory, but you have to know enough about their style to provide them with your services.

    Your Minus The Bear thread kind of got me thinking about this whole thing, I don't know if you were a fan outside from work, but I imagine you must be exposed to a few artists outside your usual listening habits. BTW Thanks for turning me on to "Lady", I'm really digging on them.

    Quote Originally Posted by John Beef View Post
    "the guy from X is now playing in Y" so I go check out "Y". Sometimes it's good, sometimes not.
    I do that too, but sometimes I worry that there is only a finite amount of bands that Ian MacKaye or Steve Albini can start.


    I'm interested in the topic because as a group of people who have overcome the stigma of Gibson or Fender, we are all open minded enough to use a different guitar than what is traditional... unless it all just comes down to fancy tops and birds.

  9. #9
    Being involved in music licensing and publishing, not to mention production and scoring, I get sent an awful lot of music. All of the major labels have licensing arms that send new music out to industry folks on a daily basis, and I get a lot of indie stuff sent my way, too. So it's hard not to stay current!

    Then, too, clients want tracks composed in the whole gamut of musical styles. Some want to retread the older styles, some want the very latest cutting edge thing. It keeps me on my toes.

    But a fair question might be, "What is relevance, and who's it for?"

    Another is, "What on Earth are we really chasing?" The run for the latest-greatest is a Möbius strip. You run around and you're still at the beginning and the end, all at the same time.

    For a generation 40 years removed from the early 70s, there are an awful lot of young bands coming out of LA these days that must have done a heck of a lot of listening to The Band, and CSN&Y.

    If Paul McCartney sells out every venue he plays around the world, is he still a relevant artist? One might think so, since an awful lot of people are eager to throw down the money for tickets to go listen, my kids among them.

    A band can play every latest tune, and still be utterly irrelevant to a lot of people if an audience doesn't exist for them. And a band can play only older music and be entirely relevant. And everything in between.

    I think the best thing is to be true to your own ideas of the music you want to play. Look at the really authentic bands whose music is very relevant to their audiences, and who have long careers.

    This is what I kind of miss about being in the business myself - I can rarely do that.
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  10. #10
    Plank Spanker justmund's Avatar
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    Hey Sergio, you might dig Amon Tobin. His earlier stuff was all based on samples (hence the album titles "Bricolage" and "Permutation") then moved onto sampling all of his own stuff and making music from it ("Foley Room") and now he's done "ISAM" (Invented Sounds Applied to Music) where he went a step further with sound/instrument creation. He collaborated with some visual artists and came up with this:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4Q_BDH2eQP4

    (I linked it as watching it in full HD, full screen is recommended). I saw this last year and it was amazing, although there were a lot of idiots trying to film it with iPhones rather than enjoying the show... He's getting a little dub steppy with a side project (2 Fingers). Viewer discretion advised, this film clip is disturbing.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TN1BN4keamc

  11. #11
    Just a member JustRob's Avatar
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    Since I don't make a living from music, I let what's "relevant" find me. My friends are an assorted lot, and our "band" of guys I work with will usually pick a new genre for our meat eating, shot drinking, recording sessions. I check out what they are into but nothing has really floored me. I've always chalked it up to the fact that nothing is going to hit me like it did in my impressionable teen years. Or new music, with rare exception, does suck. Probably a mix of the two. I also check out what is recommended here on the forum.

  12. #12
    Senior Member sergiodeblanc's Avatar
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    Thanks Justin! I'm going to have to prepare myself to watch the whole first link as I could only skim it right now, but it looks really interesting. The second one is waaayyy disturbing, but in the best way!

    Before today I hadn't heard about this, and while it could never take the place of my favorite music it's going to be a cool NEW experience for me.

  13. #13
    chief Shawn@PRS's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by sergiodeblanc View Post

    You had better be relevant! I'm sure you don't listen to the music of every artist before they comes through the factory, but you have to know enough about their style to provide them with your services.

    Your Minus The Bear thread kind of got me thinking about this whole thing, I don't know if you were a fan outside from work, but I imagine you must be exposed to a few artists outside your usual listening habits. BTW Thanks for turning me on to "Lady", I'm really digging on them.
    I try not to let my personal opinion of someone's music influence the way I assist them. The way I perceive their music may not be the way they perceive their music. They talk and I listen. Once they've expressed the emotion of and motivation for their music, I take what I have gathered from the conversation and do my best to steer them in a direction I feel will best serve them. It's certainly more fun when I enjoy the music someone makes on a PRS, but I can still do my job even if their music isn't my cup o'tea.

    PS- I'm glad you're enjoying Lady. I think they're great

  14. #14
    Cream Crackered Mikegarveyblues's Avatar
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    I don't even bother trying!

    There's modern artists I like but their music is firmly rooted in the past. Joe Bonamassa being a good example.

    I have a friend who's deeply into Dubstep, etc... He's tried to get me into it but I find it impenetrable.

    Trying's probably the wrong word. I don't ignore modern music but I don't actively seek it out either.
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    Occasionally Onery Member CantankerousCarl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Mikegarveyblues View Post
    I don't even bother trying!

    There's modern artists I like but their music is firmly rooted in the past. Joe Bonamassa being a good example.
    +1 on the not trying club. And Joe. 4 of the 6 CDs (yes CDs) in my car changer are Joe - Black Country Communion is the newest thing I have in my collection. My friend gave me some Coheed because he's friends with Travis, listened to that but I likes me the older stuff.
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  16. #16
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    It's good to remember that 90% of everything is crap, and that pop music has always been lousy, with a few shining exceptions. The "classic" bands of today were barely on the pop music radar when they were new.

    I try at least a little bit to find new music, since the same ol' same ol' gets, well, old!

    For some reason, roaring electric guitars go straight to the pleasure centers in my brain, and I'm a geek so I'm highly biased towards heavy, tightly arranged, riff-oriented music.

    Favorites of mine over the years have included Floyd, Rush, Zeppelin, Van Halen, a little Queen, Jane's Addiction, the first G'n'R album, Faith No More, Primus, Soundgarden, Metallica, Rammstein, Disturbed, Iron Maiden, Porcupine Tree, and Opeth. This last year I've liked Periphery, Animals as Leaders, and Tesseract, but not quite enough to buy second albums from them.

    So I'm due for my Next Big Thing, but I don't know what that is yet. I was mightily pleased with the albums that Meshuggah, Anthrax, and Rush released in the last year, so those are tiding me over for the time being.

  17. #17
    Relevance is overrated. A couple years ago my daughter was listening to Glee's rendition of "Sweet Caroline" and I started singing along (yes, I'm right in the boomer age group - soon to be 55). She said, "OMG you KNOW that song?" To which I replied, "Yes my dear, at least the producers of the show know how to pick good tunes to cover." I love torturing her such as the time when she came home from an outing last summer and I started dancing to "gangnum style" as she walked through the door. You have to understand her love of K-pop so she was completely and utterly mortified for the rest of the day. Mwahahaha!
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    I decided many years ago that if something makes me stop and go hmmm or makes my foot tap then it's relevance isn't much of a concern either way.My iPod is 95% Zeppelin,Skynyrd,Haynes,Bonamassa,Creed,Blackberry Smoke but the I also have some Adele,Pink and Nora Jones snuck in there on a song by song basis....the closest I get to the electronica/boom sha boom sha boom sha crowd is a Bama Boys take on Sweet Home Alabama.
    To answer the OP I pretty sure based on this reply I'm not very relevant

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    My musical releveance is trapped in a time warp, totally influenced by my earliest experiences, and the muisic that saturated my high school through graduate school/internship days.

    Therefore, my musical relevancy begins with the earliest British Invasion of the early '60's, followed by the pop music that began with the Monkees and continued with "top 40" through the early '70's, at which time my FM radio provided additional exposure to what would become "classic rock".

    My musical relevancy ends with the '90's at which time new stuff began to wane in interest, as I continued to plum the depths of the rock genre of the past 30 years. You could say that, for me, "New Music" consists of the Offspring and Greenday .

    I am quite happy stuck in my time warp, listening to Pink Floyd, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, BOC, AC/DC, ZZ Top, Stones, Led Zep, Tesla, Roy Buchanan, Doors, Grand Funk Railroad, 10 Years After, Santana, Al DiMeola, Cars, Bowie, Sir Elton etc. etc. and their desciples and offshoots. For me, music begain circa 1962, and kinda ended around 1995 . The last "new album" I think I purchased was "The Division Bell" in 1994.

  20. #20
    Senior Member garrett's Avatar
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    I wouldn't say that I TRY to stay relevant. I just end up finding all sorts of new things since I'm always on a journey of discovery.

    I find new stuff from posts on internet forums.
    My wife is a fan of pop culture and pop music, so she keeps me plugged in.
    I have an almost-6-year-old daughter, and we listen to pop music together. I know I'm only a few short years away from obsession with some boy-wonder singer or boy band.
    I do listen to the rock/alternative stations a little.
    Word of mouth from friends and co-workers can also be good sometimes.
    --Garrett--

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