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Thread: Rich Daddy or American Government?

  1. #16
    Senior Member Ime Achoo Dooa's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Kari View Post
    I just think that in this particular case, the conversation around Joanna is often very gendered. There are cadres of male musicians who came from wealth who are not criticized for it in the same way, if it is even brought up at all. So I wonder if the attack on her financial background genuinely comes from some demand for authenticity or if it's just an easy way to take a woman artist down a few pegs.
    Yeah, I can see this now, and that was a great post. I think I was just psyched to see something new in this forum and was arguing for the sake of arguing. Don't internet while drunk.

    And I don't find Joanna Newsom "pretentious" at all. Maybe if she was making middle-of-the-road music while claiming to be reinvent the wheel (looking at you, Kanye and Billy) but she makes incredible music and seems pretty humble about it, so no. Also, her stage banter is A+.

  2. #17
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    I find her very refreshing. I read one article where she was like "I should be working but I'm drinking a glass of pinot noir and watching Real Housewives" and I was like oh, you're not so different than me, you're just more talented.

  3. #18
    Only knows desire. Perky Compson's Avatar
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    I admit, I tune out the instant people start critiquing female singer-songwriters for "inauthenticity" by citing their rich parents or husbands. I've seen the same conversation play out with Tori, Joanna, Aimee Mann, Lana Del Rey, Grimes, and I can't remember ever seeing it leveled at male musicians. Class is definitely a huge part of who succeeds in the creative industries, but it's frustrating to see that the only way that conversation ever seems to start (and where it always seems to end) is discrediting a woman.

    Which is to say, great post, Kari.

  4. #19
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ime Achoo Dooa View Post
    Joanna Newsom is definitely a great artist and I love every single one of her albums dearly. However, aesthetic evaluation is not the end all be all of fandom, and years later Divers strikes me as just half-good. Her narrative includes no conflict, though she may have struggled in the mansion by the glare of Platinum e-Bay and thesaurus.com at 4 a.m. to find the correctly rhyming word with her chosen diphthong and F chord. Because of the freak-folk trend, she was indeed a pre-packaged "weirdo" from the beginning (LOLharp, Lisa Simpson voice, etc.) and we LOVED HER FOR IT, but anyone with Google knows that Joanna Newsom was never actually weird. All we know is that she's always been a genius superior human forever.
    Oh good god. How the fuck does anyone who isn't OMG WORKING CLASS create art, have opinions, principles, priorities, vote etc?

    I am so sick and fucking tired of everything having to be working-class-based in order to be perceived as authentic or worthy. Newsflash: all societies are tiered, and it's natural. We're not talking one percenters here - we're talking comfortable middle to upper middle class. People who studied, were good at what they were doing and managed to attain a good living standard through their work. You don't have to be poor to be talented. You don't have to be starving or homeless to have problems and conflicts and whatnot. Rich or poor, smart or dumb, skinny or fat, tall or short, we're all born, we eat, sleep, piss, shit, fuck, interact with the world and with others and eventually die. We all experience heartbreak and loss and grief and betrayal and hope and fear and angst and joy and panic and love and hate and not a single fucking one of those feelings and emotions and occurrences is less authentic in a middle class person than in a working class individual.

  5. #20
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    I think class is a completely valid discussion point when talking about the arts, though. It is - at least in the US and the UK - becoming increasingly difficult to pursue an artistic career if you don't come from substantial means. I'm not even talking about middle class, I'm talking about rich. The problem with that is suddenly the majority of artistic output that gets commercial attention is coming from a homogenous group of people. It doesn't devalue the talent of those who are achieving greatness (Joanna is one of the greatest musicians of the past 20 years, undeniably), but it does start to shut out more diverse voices. Oftentimes that argument is conflated with trying to dismiss someone's work, which I think is entirely counterproductive and doesn't actually accomplish much. We should be talking about how we can cast a wider net instead of villifying those who have been successful, no matter their background.

    I went to a performing arts magnet after school program that was full of poor/inner city kids who were all STUPID talented, and never would have had the opportunities that even I had. I was white and my family skirted a middle class income for much of my childhood. It really opened my eyes to how many people who are talented, worthy, and motivated are stymied and suppressed creatively simply because they lack means and opportunity, which is unfair. I know hoping for a meritocracy is naive, but certainly we can work to bring more diversity of experience to the table. I think the encroaching homogeneity of prominent creative voices is terrible for the arts, and it is something that needs to be paid attention to.

  6. #21
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
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    You realize, I'm sure, that I'm not opposing diversity in the arts. What I am specifically referring to, as it should be pretty obvious, is the plethora of reactions outright dismissing talented artists from any field for not coming from a working class background. Or from the streets or whatever. It's like their comparatively privileged beginnings somehow nullify the quality of their work.

    I think that a lot of it, at least in Joanna's case, has to do with some sort of paradoxical anti-intellectualism. I remember discovering artists like her and, say, the Decemberists, back in the mid '00s, and I was really drawn to their geekery: lots of big words, lots of correct grammar, a highly literate approach to songwriting. That style seems to be anathema these days. Joanna always gets great reviews, but never tops major year-end album lists; that honor always goes to some rapper.

  7. #22
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    No I know, it's just its sometimes hard to parse out (as in my post previously) what is legitimate class discussion and what is just garden variety misogyny dressed up in class concern clothing.

  8. #23
    fluid, affectionate, chaste, mature Mackerel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    I think that a lot of it, at least in Joanna's case, has to do with some sort of paradoxical anti-intellectualism. I remember discovering artists like her and, say, the Decemberists, back in the mid '00s, and I was really drawn to their geekery: lots of big words, lots of correct grammar, a highly literate approach to songwriting. That style seems to be anathema these days. Joanna always gets great reviews, but never tops major year-end album lists; that honor always goes to some rapper.
    no inherent race/class bias in generalization that 'some rapper' assumed to be anti-literate, anti-intellectual, no big words, no complexity? /devil's advocate.

  9. #24
    generally largely right Dan's Avatar
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    Show me one single rapper who uses big words and standard grammar in the way Joanna or any comparable artist does.

  10. #25
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    So what, though? They use language in a different way. It doesn't mean it's not smart.

  11. #26
    fluid, affectionate, chaste, mature Mackerel's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Show me one single rapper who uses big words and standard grammar in the way Joanna or any comparable artist does.
    kari's right - i don't want to get too far into the weeds of what constitutes literary sophistication and artistry, but using big words is actually a very crude and often inaccurate way to determine whether someone is a good writer. it CAN indicate sophistication, but not always. e.e. cummings is a universally respected poet, and he used very simple words - probably 5th grader level - but used them in a very sophisticated way that often eschewed standard rules of grammar. there are a ton of scholars who study the complexities within rap - the complicated meter and rhyme schemes, the allusiveness, the narrative. it doesn't flow like a poetic folk narrative, but it doesn't mean it's not sophisticated.

  12. #27
    'If you existed, I'd divorce you.' spyk_'s Avatar
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    I don't want to wade in over my head because I know next to nothing about rap music, but I'm often so impressed by the dexterity and creativity of what I hear in a lot of it. I'm sure many poets would recognise it. There's a lot of rubbish rap out there, but there is a lot of rubbish folk music out there too.

  13. #28
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by spyk_ View Post
    I don't want to wade in over my head because I know next to nothing about rap music, but I'm often so impressed by the dexterity and creativity of what I hear in a lot of it. I'm sure many poets would recognise it. There's a lot of rubbish rap out there, but there is a lot of rubbish folk music out there too.
    The skill it takes to rap well is underrated. It is VERY difficult, both in terms of the writing and the performance of it. While the genre is hit or miss for me (I don't care about the songs that are focused on money and bling, for example), what I enjoy I really really enjoy.

  14. #29
    it's not meant to be a strife MikeEP's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Dan View Post
    Show me one single rapper who uses big words and standard grammar in the way Joanna or any comparable artist does.
    This is such a weird and uninformed line of thinking. Like off the top of my head: Q-Tip and a Tribe Called Quest, Lauryn Hill, Common, De La Soul, Kendrick Lamar.

  15. #30
    it's a long long climb Kari's Avatar
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    I mean, it can't all be "faultlessly etiolated fish belly face" (which is one of the only Joanna lines where I am all GIRL REALLY ).

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