0988: "Tradition"

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rhomboidal
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby rhomboidal » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:29 am UTC

The first thing I thought when I saw the chart was: "An evil elf is giving me the Finger."

FormicaArchonis
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby FormicaArchonis » Sat Dec 10, 2011 6:31 am UTC

Ah, it's moments like this that I retreat to the warmth of my Christmas playlist, compiled slowly but steadily over the years:

Bad Religion - God Rest You Jerry Mentleman
Emerson, Lake And Palmer - I Believe in Father Christmas
Ilaria Graziano - Christmas in the Silent Forest
Jonathan Coulton - Chiron Beta Prime
Jonathan Coulton - Podsafe Christmas Song
Jonathan Coulton - Christmas is Interesting
Lore Sjoberg - Nine Inch Noels
Murray Gold - The Stowaway
Pandora's Toybox - Slaves to the Sleigh
Pet Shop Boys - It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas
The Kinks - Father Christmas
The Monarch, Henchmen 21 & 24 - Hard Candy Christmas
Venture Aid 2006 - Do They Know It's Christmas Time

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Proginoskes
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Proginoskes » Sat Dec 10, 2011 7:47 am UTC

And Handel's "Messiah" should really be played during Easter; it's not a Christmas composition.

NixonsGhost
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby NixonsGhost » Sat Dec 10, 2011 11:01 am UTC

No "Fairytale of New York"?

It might get tiring, but it's the best Christmas song by far.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby furyguitar » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:12 pm UTC


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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby furyguitar » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:15 pm UTC

Proginoskes wrote:And Handel's "Messiah" should really be played during Easter; it's not a Christmas composition.


Part the 1st of the Messiah is all about the Birth of Jesus, and therefore is appropriate to be performed on Christmas. Part the 2nd is indeed all about the Crucifixion. I have sung this work many a time. What the Syracuse Symphony Orchestra and Oratorio Society typically did was perform Part the 1st in it's entirety and then a few selections from part the 2nd (although there were some years a we basically did the whole thing).

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby ppetto » Sat Dec 10, 2011 1:36 pm UTC

I was surprised when "Little Saint Nick" didn't appear in the histogram. It's one of my favorite songs, and it seems like I hear it all the time.

I checked its license, which is BMI not ASCAP. So now I'm wondering what it would look like with BMI songs included too. Would "Baby It's Cold Outside" make the cut thanks to its post-Elf resurgence?

In any case, I loved it!

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Clayh » Sat Dec 10, 2011 4:18 pm UTC

FormicaArchonis wrote:Ah, it's moments like this that I retreat to the warmth of my Christmas playlist, compiled slowly but steadily over the years:

Bad Religion - God Rest You Jerry Mentleman
Emerson, Lake And Palmer - I Believe in Father Christmas
Ilaria Graziano - Christmas in the Silent Forest
Jonathan Coulton - Chiron Beta Prime
Jonathan Coulton - Podsafe Christmas Song
Jonathan Coulton - Christmas is Interesting
Lore Sjoberg - Nine Inch Noels
Murray Gold - The Stowaway
Pandora's Toybox - Slaves to the Sleigh
Pet Shop Boys - It Doesn't Often Snow at Christmas
The Kinks - Father Christmas
The Monarch, Henchmen 21 & 24 - Hard Candy Christmas
Venture Aid 2006 - Do They Know It's Christmas Time


I thought "I Believe In Father Christmas" was just Greg Lake? And U2 has done a great cover of that song, as well.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby mwalimu » Sat Dec 10, 2011 10:31 pm UTC

If this comic is based on the ASCAP list of most recorded/played Christmas songs, one important thing to realize is that this is a list of the most popular Christmas songs under copyright. Conspicuously absent from the list are any of the popular Christmas songs that are in the public domain, which would include such titles as The Twelve Days of Christmas, Silent Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and dozens of others.

FormicaArchonis
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby FormicaArchonis » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:09 am UTC

Clayh wrote:I thought "I Believe In Father Christmas" was just Greg Lake? And U2 has done a great cover of that song, as well.

Might be. I have a friend who's a fan of Emerson, Lake and Palmer who told me about the song, so it's possible I just stuck a name to it without checking. I'll look into it, thanks!

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby distractedSofty » Sun Dec 11, 2011 8:55 am UTC

mwalimu wrote:If this comic is based on the ASCAP list of most recorded/played Christmas songs, one important thing to realize is that this is a list of the most popular Christmas songs under copyright. Conspicuously absent from the list are any of the popular Christmas songs that are in the public domain, which would include such titles as The Twelve Days of Christmas, Silent Night, We Wish You a Merry Christmas, and dozens of others.

Which doesn't detract from the point of the comic: if they're in the public domain now, they were almost certainly Christmas standards in the 50's and 60's too.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Proginoskes » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:02 am UTC

Clayh wrote:I thought "I Believe In Father Christmas" was just Greg Lake?


Both are true. It was done during one of ELP's "vacations". It showed up on Works II in trio form.

Hmm. Evidently Sinfield and Prokofiev co-wrote it with Lake.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby MinuteWalt » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:08 am UTC

"Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer" is under represented, as are much older songs, especially carols & public domain songs, as was previously mentioned (such as "Good King Wenceslas," "Carol of the Bells," etc).

I personally agree with the point he's trying to make, but I think Randall's metrics (as represented by the comic) are a little skewed to in order to service the joke. He makes a good point, but the Christmas-song wasteland he's suggesting before the 30's and after the 70's is a bit misinformative.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby RAGBRAIvet » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:57 am UTC

HiFranc wrote:Mariah Carey - All I Want for Christmas is You

That version is a remake; "All I Want For Christmas Is You" was originally done by Vince Vance and the Valiants and was released in 1989 — before Ms. Carey ever began her recording career.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Grog » Sun Dec 11, 2011 12:46 pm UTC

Of course the best X-Mas song (dated 1999) and played a lot here in Switzerland is
Gotthard - Merry Christmas
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lIEOU7moxeQ

Fairytale is a close second though...one of my personal favorite.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby MisterCheif » Sun Dec 11, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

bharvey wrote:What you young whippersnappers don't understand is that the reason the graph peaks in the '50s is that we boomers were the last generation on whom Christmas songs were inflicted on the (top 40) radio, because in the '60s we invented good taste! We saved you from Christmas music on the charts! Back then, pre-Fabs, it was grownups who wrote the songs, you know. So don't blame us.

P.S. The only two good Christmas songs ever were written by boomers: "Father Christmas" by the Kinks and "Sock It to Me Santa" by Bob Seger.


Bah! Good music? Music stopped being good when rock wiped out big band and jazz!

-17 year old sax and bass clarinet player listening to Benny Goodman Radio on last.fm

I especially like it when they play the instrumental version of sleigh ride my band plays every year.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby MoistTaint » Sun Dec 11, 2011 6:32 pm UTC

When you consider that the only people who listen to radio are baby boomers driving around in mini vans and office workers trapped in their daily hell then it makes perfect sense.

As to the worst xmas song ever; I give you The Christmas Shoes (may this song burn in hell for all time).

Sir, I want to buy these shoes for my Mama, please
It's Christmas Eve and these shoes are just her size
Could you hurry, sir, Daddy says there's not much time
You see she's been sick for quite a while
And I know these shoes would make her smile
And I want her to look beautiful if Mama meets Jesus tonight



Bing Crosby and David Bowie doing peace on earth/little drummer boy gets my vote for best.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby 30>Length(Name)>3 » Sun Dec 11, 2011 7:22 pm UTC

How come anyone thinks that we Baby Boomers actually like any of the crap that pop radio bludgeoned us with when payola-ridden AM radio was pretty much all you could listen to? This applies to all the said crap, not just Christmas music -- but the day after Thanksgiving, every store I enter bludgeons us with the Christmas-season crap all over again.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Linux0s » Sun Dec 11, 2011 9:50 pm UTC

bharvey wrote:-17 year old sax and bass clarinet player listening to Benny Goodman Radio on last.fm

Yah I'm bummed the internet radio station Swinging Christmas is not up this year. They played the old big band Christmas stuff exclusively. Jazz Radio.com > Holiday Radio is ok but not quite as good. Vince Guaraldi Trio - A Charlie Brown Christmas is a must have CD. You'd probably also like the Glenn Miller Orchestra CDs "In The Christmas Mood" (vols. I & II).

Here's the Glenn Miller Orchestra version of Sleigh Ride: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cNu84BRAz78

(I'm really not *that* old... just diverse musical tastes.)
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby conorjh » Sun Dec 11, 2011 11:09 pm UTC

You don't have "Fairy Tale of New York" in the US?

severach
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby severach » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:11 am UTC

Randal should have pointed out that the entire Xmas playlist is about 80 songs, these 20 repeated by the too many artists that remade them.

Christmas, "It's the Most Horrible Time of the Year!"

I like these too:
Police Stop my Car!
Chipmunks Roasting on an Open Fire!

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Various Varieties » Mon Dec 12, 2011 11:43 am UTC

zephalis wrote:Also interesting is that the US national anthem also has 3 relatively unknown verses that we never hear...despite hearing some pretty horrid versions before every major sporting event.
Kartoffelkopf wrote:Our anthem has 1 extra fairly-known but never sung verse, and 2 extra unknown verses. They're never played because they basically amount to 'we love kissing England's ass'.


Terry Pratchett wrote:...national anthems only ever have one verse or, rather, all have the same second verse, which goes “nur…hnur…mur…nur nur, hnur…nur…nur, hnur” at some length until everyone remembers the last line of the first verse and sings it as loudly as they can.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby RogerB » Mon Dec 12, 2011 12:42 pm UTC

I'd also like to add another interesting factoid:

In 2009 the Christmas Number 1 in the UK was Rage Against the Machine's "Killing in the Name", following a great Facebook campaign to stop Simon Cowell's X-Factor winner taking the Christmas Number 1 slot for the fifth year running.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby RAGBRAIvet » Mon Dec 12, 2011 5:03 pm UTC

So many people made reference to Mariah Carey's version of "All I Want for Christmas is You", so I made it a point to listen to it.
Image
Whoever prefers her version to the original (Lisa Layne, backed up by Vince Vance) only proves that all their taste is in their mouths.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby jonadab » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:36 pm UTC

Bah! Good music? Music stopped being good when rock wiped out big band and jazz!


You're off by a couple of centuries. Music stopped being good when composers abandoned objective principles of quality (such as contrario moto) in favor of quick and easy composition and oversimplistic subjective criteria like "How does this music make me feel?" The widespread adoption of the piano didn't help anything either: instead of bothering to write music that got your attention musically, now they just tell the performer (or later the mixer) to crank up the volume at a certain point, to recapture your attention after the music got boring.

On the whole, the history of music so far can be divided into two eras: the period leading up to 1750, when the overall level of quality of the music being written was getting better, and the time since 1750, when the overall level of quality of the music being written has been steadily getting worse.

I keep thinking eventually it will start to improve again. I mean, how can you continue to get less musical and worse after the introduction of rap, right? So far they seem to keep finding ways, but it has to bottom out eventually. Sooner or later somebody's going to figure out that they can combine the worst aspects of gangsta rap (who needs lyrics, when you can just repeat the same three swear words over and over again) with country twang and polka-style accompaniment on accordion, with maybe some bagpipes for support. After that the situation will HAVE to start improving.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby jonadab » Mon Dec 12, 2011 7:52 pm UTC

How come anyone thinks that we Baby Boomers actually like any of the crap that pop radio bludgeoned us with


Because you still listen to the radio. Almost all Baby Boomers do.

You don't have to do that you know. There's this new-fangled invention you can get, called a "tape player" (or "CD player" or "MP3 player" -- there are slight technical differences between these three things, but the concept is the same), which lets you listen to whatever you want, whenever you want, and there's nothing the radio stations can do about it. A cheap one costs less than the average baby boomer spends *per day* on medication.

But, of course, if you got your own player and listened to whatever you wanted, then you wouldn't be able to complain about the selection. I think that's the real reason old people listen to the radio: it gives them something to complain about. Old people like to complain, so they listen to the radio. Old people also watch the news on TV, presumably for exactly the same reason.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Copper Bezel » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:23 pm UTC

I'm 26, and I listen to the radio. Not generally for music, and exclusively public radio (US and UK), except for variations on thematic-playlist-based internet radio stations like 8tracks or music shows like my local public station's "The Fish Fry," which plays lesser-known songs bookended with commentary in place of ads. Radio is a different thing from purchased content - it's an opportunity to hear things I haven't heard before. If I like a particular song, I buy it, and then I have it on one of those newfangled mp3-tape-CD doodads.

I get most of my news that way, too, if I'm honest. Partly because I can do it while I'm doing other things. Experiments with browsing the BBC home page while washing the dishes ended poorly.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Aiea » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:30 pm UTC

I'm 31, and I own a MP3 player, but I by far prefer to listen to the radio. I love the early morning show as I drive to work, it's so funny. Plus news and weather is always a plus. In fact I'm not sure when the last time I actually used my ipod.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby webgrunt » Mon Dec 12, 2011 8:47 pm UTC

jonadab wrote:
I keep thinking eventually it will start to improve again. I mean, how can you continue to get less musical and worse after the introduction of rap, right? So far they seem to keep finding ways, but it has to bottom out eventually. Sooner or later somebody's going to figure out that they can combine the worst aspects of gangsta rap (who needs lyrics, when you can just repeat the same three swear words over and over again) with country twang and polka-style accompaniment on accordion, with maybe some bagpipes for support. After that the situation will HAVE to start improving.


I suspect things can go a lot farther down than you might expect. I expect the number one hit to someday be a recording of a single cricket chirping.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby MisterCheif » Mon Dec 12, 2011 9:34 pm UTC

webgrunt wrote:
jonadab wrote:
I keep thinking eventually it will start to improve again. I mean, how can you continue to get less musical and worse after the introduction of rap, right? So far they seem to keep finding ways, but it has to bottom out eventually. Sooner or later somebody's going to figure out that they can combine the worst aspects of gangsta rap (who needs lyrics, when you can just repeat the same three swear words over and over again) with country twang and polka-style accompaniment on accordion, with maybe some bagpipes for support. After that the situation will HAVE to start improving.


I suspect things can go a lot farther down than you might expect. I expect the number one hit to someday be a recording of a single cricket chirping.


Or you can follow the much more pessimistic Idiocracy line of thought, and it will be a more vulgar equivalent. Or perhaps that is what it will continue to drop to after it passes the cricket chirping...
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby scarletmanuka » Tue Dec 13, 2011 4:31 am UTC

jonadab wrote:On the whole, the history of music so far can be divided into two eras: the period leading up to 1750, when the overall level of quality of the music being written was getting better, and the time since 1750, when the overall level of quality of the music being written has been steadily getting worse.

Heh. I was planning to post something similar in intent to this. I'd put the dividing line a little later, but I agree with the basic sentiment (of course, there are exceptions on both sides).

As for Messiah: yes, it is more of an Easter piece, but I have no problem with hearing it around Christmas as well, nor indeed at any other time of the year. I listen to it fairly often, I suppose.

I do mostly use audio players, but I like to listen to the radio from time to time as well; that way I get exposed to new music. Once there was an orchestral piece I'd played and enjoyed but couldn't remember the name of (I only remembered the composer). Then one day I heard it on the radio, got the title, and subsequently found a CD that had it. It's the only track I like on that CD, but it was still worth it. :)

Of course, many audio players also do FM radio. I could get rid of my old cassette radio player except that (1) I still have a bunch of music on tape that I haven't re-purchased on CD, and (2) it's the only radio I have that does AM, so I need it to listen to cricket broadcasts*. That's the main thing I use it for these days.

* No, not broadcasts of crickets chirping, as referenced upthread; I mean the sport.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Proginoskes » Tue Dec 13, 2011 6:32 am UTC

jonadab wrote:
Bah! Good music? Music stopped being good when rock wiped out big band and jazz!


You're off by a couple of centuries. Music stopped being good when composers abandoned objective principles of quality (such as contrario moto) in favor of quick and easy composition and oversimplistic subjective criteria like "How does this music make me feel?"


No. Music go bad when two people bang rock together.

One rock perfect music.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby DennyinSF » Tue Dec 13, 2011 7:53 am UTC

Airplay frequency as recorded by ASCAP doesn't show anything about efforts to please Baby Boomers (full disclosure: this group includes me). You may have found a correlation but that doesn't prove cause and effect. I don't think radio stations much care about my demographic, and as others have suggested, I suspect many of my peers aren't listening to that much music on the radio anyway, at least not in the last decade. (I know I only listen to NPR.) If songs written in my youth are getting a lot of airplay, it's probably because research has shown they appeal to younger listeners as well.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby MinuteWalt » Tue Dec 13, 2011 5:05 pm UTC

Music stopped being good when composers abandoned objective principles of quality (such as contrario moto) in favor of quick and easy composition and oversimplistic subjective criteria like "How does this music make me feel?


Really? "How does this music make me feel" is the most important part of music, and art in general.

Think about it: you posted on a forum for a webcomic made of STICK FIGURES. You're obviously a fan. But this comic uses very little use of contrapposto, chiaroscuro, or blah blah blah whatever, because they're friggin' STICK FIGURES! "How does this make me feel" is the very foundation of art (music, visual art, cooking, literature, anything you don't NEED to do really)...

I have lurked here for a long time without contributing much, but I think that was the most offensive non-banable thing I've ever read here (I'm not even going to start on the somewhat racist comments on both rap and country music).

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby ryanm » Tue Dec 13, 2011 8:37 pm UTC

jonadab wrote:
Bah! Good music? Music stopped being good when rock wiped out big band and jazz!


You're off by a couple of centuries. Music stopped being good when ...

Yawn.

Music stopped being good to you when you stopped looking for what was good in music and retreated into your elitist shell.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Webzter » Tue Dec 13, 2011 9:14 pm UTC

OP Tipping wrote:Who listens to the radio these days anyway?


My car radio has no aux input and putting a custom deck in isn't worth it... I suspect I'm not alone in this. Of course, it helps that MSU has an outstanding student radio station.

At home, I use my iPod for the sole use of playing a radio station back in Minneapolis (The Current on Minnesota Public Radio).

And, surely, there's some market out there that justifies those top 40 stations and the hydra that is Clear Channel. Heck, when scanning stations on a road trip last week, Open House Party, with the same host as when I was in college umpteen years ago, was on.

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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby Copper Bezel » Tue Dec 13, 2011 10:13 pm UTC

Yeah, I have the car radio situation, too. At home, I only use internet radio, but that's mostly because I'm a minimalist. Certainly reduces e-waste to run everything through one little notebook at a time.

MinuteWait, I'm pretty sure he was trolling, but I love your illustration. = )

Edit:

conorjh wrote:You don't have "Fairy Tale of New York" in the US?

I'd actually never heard it until seeing it mentioned here. Pity; it's a cute little song.
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Re: 988: "Tradition"

Postby SirMustapha » Wed Dec 14, 2011 11:53 am UTC

MinuteWalt wrote:
Music stopped being good when composers abandoned objective principles of quality (such as contrario moto) in favor of quick and easy composition and oversimplistic subjective criteria like "How does this music make me feel?


Really? "How does this music make me feel" is the most important part of music, and art in general.

Think about it: you posted on a forum for a webcomic made of STICK FIGURES. You're obviously a fan. But this comic uses very little use of contrapposto, chiaroscuro, or blah blah blah whatever, because they're friggin' STICK FIGURES! "How does this make me feel" is the very foundation of art (music, visual art, cooking, literature, anything you don't NEED to do really)...

I have lurked here for a long time without contributing much, but I think that was the most offensive non-banable thing I've ever read here (I'm not even going to start on the somewhat racist comments on both rap and country music).


Image

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markfiend
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Re: 0988: "Tradition"

Postby markfiend » Wed Dec 14, 2011 12:18 pm UTC

I'll just leave this here...
Attoc dna Sublab evol eht teews secoiv fo eht slrug
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Re: 0988: "Tradition"

Postby Nergye » Wed Dec 14, 2011 4:55 pm UTC

Noone even mentioned "Christmas Time (Don't Let The Bells End)" by The Darkness. :( Granted, this is likely to be largely confined to the UK, since that's where they're from, and I wouldn't for a moment expect to see it represented on anything like this. But it's by far the most listenable Christmas song I know, to someone who is predominantly into rock music, and the only one I have actively acquired for my music collection.

Then again, 'easy listening' music (Worst. Misnomer. Ever.), including swing and big band styles, is the only type of music in which there are no songs that I can listen to and enjoy, or even listen to without getting angry (I'm prepared to listen to classical, punk, rap, metal, dance, and many things in between, as background to attempt to appear open-minded and/or tolerant), and sadly much of the Christmas song scene involves this aggravating genre. But just occasionally, I hear a Christmas-themed song that is original in some way, and it restores my hope that there are still talented people writing music, and that one day they will cease to be drowned out by the Frank Sinatras, and the Simon Cowells' latest performing pond life.


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