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Thread: How important is uniqueness to you in music?

  1. #51
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smörgåsbord View Post
    What do you call it when that unique sounding band makes the same album again and again and again?
    if successful, it's a sort of sell-out and milking the cow

    Quote Originally Posted by Zeuhlmate View Post
    For the listener who doesnt seek comfort and assuring: Boring
    Artisticly suicide
    Probably a bad business strategy
    Yeah, but since 90% of music public seeks security and comfort, the third point of yours is not really valid (in the mid-teerm, anyway)... as for the artistic suicide, it's to be supposed that it was artistic in the first place

    Quote Originally Posted by BravadoNJ View Post
    uniqueness can't be duplicated.
    Tell that to the retro freaks

    Quote Originally Posted by 3LockBox View Post
    Uniqueness in music is not more important than whether or not I like it. I like lots of music that is reminiscent or even derivative of some other musics. I like some music that might be considered unique. But uniqueness for uniqueness sake is no replacement for the things I like (melodies, hooks, songcraft).
    Well , one cannot say that these unique-sounding project started for "uniqueness' sake", can we?
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

  2. #52
    Quote Originally Posted by Smörgåsbord View Post
    What do you call it when that unique sounding band makes the same album again and again and again?
    Why call it anything? If the band is comfortable making similar sounding records again and again, and they have an audience (however small) who buy each successive new release, what difference does it make? If the band is happy and their audience, then why mess with it? At least you know what you're getting, and if you like it, good, if not, then maybe you should find another band to follow.

  3. #53
    What I'm getting at is that there are bands who are almost always immediately recognizeable - they have a distinct sound that singles them out, and these bands exist even in the maligned symphonic retro genre. But to say that these bands are making unique music would probably make some people laugh.
    Check out my concert videos on my youtube channel: http://www.youtube.com/user/broadaccent

  4. #54
    Quote Originally Posted by simon moon View Post
    Uniqueness is important, but not essential.

    If a band creates music with obvious influences, does not mean they still can't write good themes and melodies. A beautiful or emotional theme is good, even if in the style of another band. [...] Byo Ko Ran (KC), Ain Soph (Hatfield and the North), Esketon (Magma), Gotic (Camel), Anglagard (SFF, Shylock), are not extremely original, but still have created some top quality music.
    I'd say uniqueness is still a redeeming factor at large; you can be erstwhile heavily influenced by someone yet thoroughly unique at HOW you dispose of those impressions - see Matthew Parmenter/Discipline for short, or Thinking Plague.

    In the end, I'd rather call it character than "uniqueness" - although it definitely depends on WHAT character. Neal Morse probably has character, it's just that to me he has an offputting one. Damn, I think I heard that about myself on a barstool once?
    "Improvisation is not an excuse for musical laziness" - Fred Frith
    "[...] things that we never dreamed of doing in Crimson or in any band that I've been in," - Tony Levin speaking of SGM

  5. #55
    Τhe more music that I listen to, the less uniqueness I discover in modern production.

    I don't care at sounding derivative, as long as the music smokes and has character and standpoint! Comparisons never hindered the listening pleasure for me.
    Macht das ohr auf!

    COSMIC EYE RECORDS

  6. #56
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Despite what prog fans proclaim, my experience is that they *say* they want uniqueness and progressiveness, but their actions usually say otherwise. They are interested in music within their comfort zone first and foremost and typically seek out bands and music with a comfortable sound. While there are many of us who do actually seek out new frontiers in music, we are not all that different from your average music fan, despite our cries about how "unique" and progressive "our" music is.

    I've observed that it's typically the listener that puts up the walls, not the music itself. If you're looking for something different, it's out there. You just have to open up your mind and find it.

    As far as how we even interpret what's unique, this sums up my thoughts well...

    Quote Originally Posted by notallwhowander View Post
    The term "unique" is a bit of a bugbear, because a band can only sound unique in comparison to the sum total of music a person has already experienced. Given another set of experiences that uniqueness could easily melt away.
    I was going to say something similar. Uniqueness is limited to the experience of the listener in question.


    As far as how important uniqueness is to me, I'd say it's complementary but not essential by any means. So much of the music I have sought out has been because I was looking for something different. However, so much more has been sought out because I was looking for something that "sounds like" this artist or that artist. And some of the greatest joys can be when you find something that hits the formula you were looking for at the time.

    I'd say a more appropriate word for me would be "identity". I do think it's important an artist has an identity. I think many of the successful artists from the last 20-25 years who have been frequently marked with "derivative" and "copycat" have survived because they have their own identity. I'm thinking of groups like Marillion, IQ, Spock's Beard, The Flower Kings, and Porcupine Tree to name a few.
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  7. #57
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Poisoned Youth View Post
    I think many of the successful artists from the last 20-25 years who have been frequently marked with "derivative" and "copycat" have survived because they have their own identity. I'm thinking of groups like Marillion, IQ, Spock's Beard, The Flower Kings, and Porcupine Tree to name a few.
    I think they survive because younger fans aren't aware where they got their stuff.

  8. #58
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    Quote Originally Posted by Smörgåsbord View Post
    What do you call it when that unique sounding band makes the same album again and again and again?
    Insert your favorite band to slag ___________ here.

  9. #59
    Member Camelogue's Avatar
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    "Everyone knows rock attained perfection in 1974, it's a scientific fact"

    Homer Simpson.

  10. #60
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    Which is a hoot when you listen to his great "Major Impacts" and "Major Impacts 2" discs where he CONSCIOUSLY writes "in the style of" another artist. He's very good at it!
    Yes he is - those are both amazing.

  11. #61
    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I think they survive because younger fans aren't aware where they got their stuff.
    I can't imagine anyone, in this day and age, listening to bands like Spock's Beard, IQ, or The Flower Kings and not being aware of their obvious influences. I mean, if they were all over VH-1, appearing regularly on The Tonight Show, Letterman, Top Of The...oh wait that show doesn't exist anymore, but my point is, I can understand it those bands were major pop culture entities, there might be a contingency of fans who somehow have never heard Selling England By The Pound or Close To The Edge or Brain Salad Surgery or whatever. In fact, I think it's the other way around: there's ELP/Yes/Genesis/Gentle Giant supporters who don't know bands like IQ and Spock's Beard exist and are still making that kind of music.

    Marillion and Porcupine Tree don't really come into because of those bands evolved past their "copycat" period. I think I read once that Steve Wilson got fed up with people saying PT sounded like Pink Floyd during the Sky Moves Sideways era and deliberately moved away from that sound almost immediately. And Marillion haven't made a record that might be mistaken for Genesis outtakes in even longer.

    Who knows what would have happened to Marillion if they had continued to make records like Misplaced Childhood during the 90's.

  12. #62
    Moderator Poisoned Youth's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by rcarlberg View Post
    I think they survive because younger fans aren't aware where they got their stuff.
    On the contrary. They survive precisely because fans are completely aware where they got their stuff. But they do it very well and have created their own identity. IQ has a sound. The Flower Kings have theirs, and so forth...
    WANTED: Sig-worthy quote.

  13. #63
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    I don't care for uniqueness all that much. The music resonates with me or it doesn't. I'm done with intellectualizing music. The older I get the more visceral my music experience has to be for me to return to it. In that sense, I guess I've gone full circle.
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

    -Cozy 3:16-

  14. #64
    Using old ideas and being unique are not mutually exclusive. You can repurpose old themes for a new piece of music. Isn't part of the idea of making "progressive" music to explore all the possibilities of an idea?

  15. #65
    Member Emeritus (A.M.P.) rcarlberg's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Yves View Post
    I'm done with intellectualizing music.
    Me want dance music, me like dance.

  16. #66
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    Well... I wouldn't go THAT far!
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

    -Cozy 3:16-

  17. #67
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    I'm done with intellectualizing music.


    I think I tried to intellectualize it a little when I first got into this "prog kick" 14-15 years ago. It's somthing you do when you're young. Lotta psychology and ego and blah blah involved. In the end just like what you like and leave the rest and not worry about "getting it" and running with the big boys.

  18. #68
    That's Mr. to you, Sir!! Trane's Avatar
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    There is little/no doubt (IMHO) that part of the RIO genre is about intellectualizing the music, whether or not it is an ego thing or not.
    my music collection increased tenfolds when I switched from drug-addicts to complete nutcases.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Smörgåsbord View Post
    What I'm getting at is that there are bands who are almost always immediately recognizeable - they have a distinct sound that singles them out, and these bands exist even in the maligned symphonic retro genre. But to say that these bands are making unique music would probably make some people laugh.
    I fully agree with this.
    It is a paradox that a unique specific sound only used by a certain band, which allows a person to immediately identify a piece of music as belonging to a certain band means that that band ceased to be unique as soon as people were able to identify them from a specific aspect of their music. Catch 22 really, you can't be unique and predicatable and identifyable at the same time.
    Last edited by PeterG; 07-11-2014 at 12:27 PM.

  20. #70
    facetious maximus Yves's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Vic2012 View Post


    I think I tried to intellectualize it a little when I first got into this "prog kick" 14-15 years ago. It's somthing you do when you're young. Lotta psychology and ego and blah blah involved. In the end just like what you like and leave the rest and not worry about "getting it" and running with the big boys.

    Especially once you meet the "big boys". You want to distance yourself from them immediately and permanently!

    In the late 90s I was trying to be a "serious progger" and trying to follow the "golden path" of "important" prog releases etc..etc..etc... I ended up buying stuff I ultimately didn't care for, spent years force feeding myself all sorts of music to write reviews, and got to the point where most of my music-alloted time was being spent listening to music I didn't particularly care for. So.... I trashed all that shit and returned to buying and listening to music that speaks to me, be it prog or other; unique or derivative...
    "Corn Flakes pissed in. You ranted. Mission accomplished. Thread closed."

    -Cozy 3:16-

  21. #71
    Member Vic2012's Avatar
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    In the late 90s I was trying to be a "serious progger" and trying to follow the "golden path"


    I did the same thing but it only lasted about a year for me. Oh yeah, I felt I had to "graduate" beyond Yes, Kansas, Rush, etc. and I have to swim in the deep end of prog and all that and write serious reviews and all 'at. It was fun but it just seemed a little childish in the end. Whatever. Just like what you like and keep it moving ...

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