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soapfoot

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Dec 3 16 10:33 AM

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This is a nice record, joining "A Seat at the Table" as a favorite of 2016. Slid right in under the wire.

I'm already enjoying this one very, very much.

brad allen williams

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maarvold

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Dec 10 16 12:06 PM

That's interesting: I've been loving "Atlanta"--Donald Glover's half hour sitcom (on FX).  He's got something happening, that's for sure.  Buying the record now.  

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

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Dec 10 16 3:04 PM

yes.

I was operating under a powerful expectation bias that this wasn't likely to be very good, based on countless other TV/film/sports stars that "also" had music careers. Happy to say I was wrong to jump to that conclusion, and glad I gave it a fair chance.

brad allen williams

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gtoledo3

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Dec 10 16 3:24 PM

I'm looking forward to hearing this.

I've also heard a lot of good things about him in general from a couple friends who worked on a past tour with him. Sounds like he's really driving the ideas.

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maarvold

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Jan 21 17 10:00 AM

I finally heard quite a bit more of this record the other day.  I had previously heard enough to have a good idea of the flavor.  I like many things about the record a lot.  But one thing that works against the many things I like is that there are some harmonic 'mistakes', or "if it doesn't fit, force it" moments... like a guitar solo that keeps hitting A natural while the chords are C-, Bb, Ab, Bb & repeat (or something similar in concept).  I think that someone is copying something they heard in another record where it worked for them, but it doesn't work for me in this record.  In contrast, in one of the tunes there's a minor7 flat 5 chord as part of the structure--fairly harmonically sophisticated--and in another one there are minor 9 chords (or maybe Major 7ths) that  have the 9 & minor 3rd (or Maj 7 & root) voiced in half steps inside the voicing; there might even be I Major to II minor 9 to III minor 9: pretty sophisticated in what I would call an Oliver Nelson "Stolen Moments" way.  So the stuff that harmonically feels a bit like 6th grade kid harmonic sense living next to the sophisticated stuff twists my brain a bit too much for comfort.  But there's no doubt it's an interesting record.  

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soapfoot

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Jan 21 17 10:33 AM

maarvold wrote:
I finally heard quite a bit more of this record the other day.  I had previously heard enough to have a good idea of the flavor.  I like many things about the record a lot.  But one thing that works against the many things I like is that there are some harmonic 'mistakes', or "if it doesn't fit, force it" moments... like a guitar solo that keeps hitting A natural while the chords are C-, Bb, Ab, Bb & repeat (or something similar in concept).  I think that someone is copying something they heard in another record where it worked for them, but it doesn't work for me in this record.  In contrast, in one of the tunes there's a minor7 flat 5 chord as part of the structure--fairly harmonically sophisticated--and in another one there are minor 9 chords (or maybe Major 7ths) that  have the 9 & minor 3rd (or Maj 7 & root) voiced in half steps inside the voicing; there might even be I Major to II minor 9 to III minor 9: pretty sophisticated in what I would call an Oliver Nelson "Stolen Moments" way.  So the stuff that harmonically feels a bit like 6th grade kid harmonic sense living next to the sophisticated stuff twists my brain a bit too much for comfort.  But there's no doubt it's an interesting record.  

It's interesting, Mike... I recognize those moments as well, of course, but do not find them as disagreeable as you do.

I think of it less like "harmonic mistakes" or "forcing it" and more like bitonality of the type that results from music-as-collage art in the post-sampling era.

I think the contemporary ear's acceptance of such dissonances and bitonal superimpositions descends directly from the use of sampling in hip hop culture in the 1980s and beyond, and the mainstreaming of those influences. Imagine a beat made from loops of two different records with elements in different keys... it creates a rub of a type that is itself a harmonic color, and in many cases even a cultural signifier.

Those sorts of bitonal gestures are now part of the lexicon such that they can and will be desired, and imitated by "live" intruments (in much the same way as you will often hear drum set players with a lope or drag that imitates a beat "played-in" to an MPC with fingertips).  

I don't hear it as a "mistake" or trying to "force" something, but rather as part of an evolved contemporary harmonic language that departs from the diatonic in a particular way that seems inelegant (and in fact may once have been), but is in fact intentional. Remember that people thought Coltrane was playing "wrong notes," too, when he stepped outside the boundaries of chord/scale relationships (this is NOT to compare Glover with 'Trane, only to point out that the idea of what constitutes a "wrong note" is continuously fluid over the course of history)

I hope this makes sense!

brad allen williams

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maarvold

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#12 [url]

Jan 21 17 10:18 PM

soapfoot wrote:

maarvold wrote:
I finally heard quite a bit more of this record the other day.  I had previously heard enough to have a good idea of the flavor.  I like many things about the record a lot.  But one thing that works against the many things I like is that there are some harmonic 'mistakes', or "if it doesn't fit, force it" moments... like a guitar solo that keeps hitting A natural while the chords are C-, Bb, Ab, Bb & repeat (or something similar in concept).  I think that someone is copying something they heard in another record where it worked for them, but it doesn't work for me in this record.  In contrast, in one of the tunes there's a minor7 flat 5 chord as part of the structure--fairly harmonically sophisticated--and in another one there are minor 9 chords (or maybe Major 7ths) that  have the 9 & minor 3rd (or Maj 7 & root) voiced in half steps inside the voicing; there might even be I Major to II minor 9 to III minor 9: pretty sophisticated in what I would call an Oliver Nelson "Stolen Moments" way.  So the stuff that harmonically feels a bit like 6th grade kid harmonic sense living next to the sophisticated stuff twists my brain a bit too much for comfort.  But there's no doubt it's an interesting record.  

It's interesting, Mike... I recognize those moments as well, of course, but do not find them as disagreeable as you do.

I think of it less like "harmonic mistakes" or "forcing it" and more like bitonality of the type that results from music-as-collage art in the post-sampling era.

I think the contemporary ear's acceptance of such dissonances and bitonal superimpositions descends directly from the use of sampling in hip hop culture in the 1980s and beyond, and the mainstreaming of those influences. Imagine a beat made from loops of two different records with elements in different keys... it creates a rub of a type that is itself a harmonic color, and in many cases even a cultural signifier.

Those sorts of bitonal gestures are now part of the lexicon such that they can and will be desired, and imitated by "live" intruments (in much the same way as you will often hear drum set players with a lope or drag that imitates a beat "played-in" to an MPC with fingertips).  

I don't hear it as a "mistake" or trying to "force" something, but rather as part of an evolved contemporary harmonic language that departs from the diatonic in a particular way that seems inelegant (and in fact may once have been), but is in fact intentional. Remember that people thought Coltrane was playing "wrong notes," too, when he stepped outside the boundaries of chord/scale relationships (this is NOT to compare Glover with 'Trane, only to point out that the idea of what constitutes a "wrong note" is continuously fluid over the course of history)

I hope this makes sense!

 
I get everything you're saying.  But if it is truly valid, it should be able to be repeated 20 times within the tune and still work, at least imo.  But I think either A. I would become totally desensitized to it and stop 'hearing' it at that point or B. It might start to tweak you a bit as well.  I listened to the record again on my way home from NAMM and there are 3 specific instances.  But, honestly, his record is not made for a 62 year old white male like me anyway... not that it is made to exclude me.  But, to me, salted carmel custard works, but maybe not salted carmel custard with Coleman's powdered mustard.  

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maarvold

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#13 [url]

Feb 9 17 10:08 AM

Not from Childish Gambino, but there's a commercial on what I refer to as 'The Murder Network'--a network that my wife seems obsessed with (should I be afraid do you think?).  There's a part of the music in this commercial where I'm guessing the editor decided to get 'creative'--probably where he/she had stems and could 'play'.  

The basic progression of the harmony is something like (one bar each) A minor, C Major, D Major, F Major EXCEPT the first time the progression used--in the 'long-hanging' voice pad, the harmony is A minor, C Major, D Major, D Major: in spite of the fact that the rest of the track's harmony for the last bar is F Major. (same as D minor with the 3rd in the bass)  This means for a bar there is an F# playing right next to an F natural and also, quite likely, creating a flat 9 interval against the bass.  A half step inside the harmony can be VERY cool under the right circumstances--think "Stolen Moments" by Oliver Nelson--but in this case it just seems musically ignorant.  I don't know if it has anything to do with the rub but, unsolicited, my wife said, "I hate that commercial" the other day,.  

Last Edited By: maarvold Feb 9 17 10:11 AM. Edited 1 time.

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seth

Ruby Baby

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Feb 9 17 11:08 AM

I think it might be a generational thing, Mike. That stuff irks me too, and I'm also 62. Though I know what Brad is saying is true, I still hear it as a mistake and I believe it's a lasting result of the defunding of music programs in the public schools. Truthfully though, it's some of the lyrical stupidity I hear that makes me crazier: "And I decided you look well on me, well on me/So let's go somewhere no one else can see, you and me" by the Wanted. Or the Fatboy Slim tune where everyone thought he was saying, "Check it out now/Got a funk like rubber"

Last Edited By: seth Feb 9 17 11:10 AM. Edited 1 time.

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maarvold

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#15 [url]

Feb 9 17 11:37 AM

seth wrote:
...I believe it's a lasting result of the defunding of music programs in the public schools....

This is why I used to refer to Ronald Reagan as 'the father of rap'.  I will grant that I am still a product of my father saying, "You just don't think" when I was growing up, so I try not to say, or embrace, things that aren't well thought out.  

Last Edited By: maarvold Feb 9 17 11:43 AM. Edited 1 time.

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maarvold

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#17 [url]

Feb 9 17 2:10 PM

seth wrote:
Yes, my father referred to me as "Bird Brain". That was long before I became interested in Charlie Parker.

 
GREAT nickname now though.  

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soapfoot

Ruby Baby

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#18 [url]

Feb 9 17 9:04 PM

God, my wife loves the "Murder Network" too. I think it's called Investigation Discovery.

I'm bugged by some of the stuff both of you mention, too. But only in certain contexts. There's a fine line between "bitonal" and "wrong notes", and that line is culturally-determined and contextually-determined more than anything else. Like, in the 1960s there were people who were bugged by Coltrane's "wrong notes," too. Not so many anymore.

Some of Debussy's harmonic choices definitely caused accusations of "naivete" and "ignorance," and some of Stravinsky's caused legitimate outrage. So I try to play the devil's advocate (even to myself) as much as I can manage.

brad allen williams

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seth

Ruby Baby

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#19 [url]

Feb 9 17 11:13 PM

I'm not arguing so much for "correct" harmonic choices as much as those decisions being informed choices. I'm sure they are sometimes, and sometimes they sound forced, as if they painted themselves into a corner and tried to bluster their way out.

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maarvold

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Feb 10 17 9:51 AM

An example I like of bitonal, although probably not exactly what you had in mind when using the term, are the 1/4 tone detuned pianos in Henry Mancini's "Wait Until Dark" score.  Please don't misunderstand me: I totally embrace things that 'straight-shooters' might think create a 'rub'... like the more-than-12 tone scales Wendy Carlos uses on "Beauty In The Beast", or where Eric Clapton 'places' his 3rds in his early blues days (John Mayall era): neither exactly Major or minor, but somewhere in between.  Or Penderecki's "Thredony for the Victims of Hiroshima:
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I embrace these things because they are evocative to me and I fully believe they work because they were conscious choices made because that's what their creators heard.  What bugs me is when I hear stuff where I think something gets by because of a bad decision by 'upper management': and occur specifically because the person who made the decision couldn't 'hear it' (and neither can I).  The difference is, as time passes, Coltrane's decision more obviously becomes genius, but the things I'm talking about become, "Idiot".  Bottom line, my gut makes the decision, not my brain.  

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