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Farin

Personality goes a long way?

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I was just listening again to Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries and once again had to think about this...

Does the personality, the political or social opinion, or maybe even the private life of an artist have any impact on how you perceive their music?

Or is the art just art no matter where the source comes from?

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The political or social opinion, and even the private life of an artist definitely have an impact on how I perceive their music (art).

In a pure "art for art's sake" world that probably would not be so. But I don't live in that world. Though, I like to think that I can seperate those things from my critical opinion of their art.

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I try not to let any of that get in the way of my listening pleasure. Sometimes for me it helps to understand an artist's political or personal stuff, since then I understand where the music's coming from, and if I didn't understand the song before, that'll help me to understand it and appreciate it for what it is.

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For the most part I don't particularly let someone's opinions and actions affect whether I listen to their music. For the most part.

The only time it really does affect me is when their beliefs and whatnot are incredibly prevalent in their music i.e. when I saw Patti Smith the other day all she did is talk about the government and how evil they are and then she sang about the government and how evil they are. It just gets annoying when a musician gets too preachy. A song here and there is fine, I'm not ignorant to the fact that there are many many politically charged songs out there and I happen to like some of them. But if you use your political opinions as a crutch so to say, it gets obnoxious.

Other example: I can't listen to Sinead O'Connor really anymore because she bugs me.

Example two: I can't listen to Chumbawumba (outside of "Tubthumping") because they're obnoxious. Well that and their music sucking might have something to do with it.

But to go back to Tim's example, I don't listen to Michael Jackson's music and think pedophile either. Or Spector and think murderer. Hell, I own Charles Manson's album. And it's pretty good.

I think if the opinions and personality of the performer become a main part, or the entirety, of the music, that's when it bothers me.

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I think if the opinions and personality of the performer become a main part, or the entirety, of the music, that's when it bothers me.

Interesting... is that the case even if you happen to agree with the opinion / personality?

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Yeah, I don't know about that. For example, all of Rage Against The Machine's music is politically motivated, but given that I'm angry about much of what they were angry about, I still like the music. However, if the scream-rapping was full of right-wing rants instead of left-wing rants, I wouldn't listen.

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I really liked Jackson Browne for a while. Then he came out with "Lawyers in Love" and I just couldn't take him anymore. I don't honestly know if that had to do with his agenda or the music on that particular album. Either way...

Gary Glitter is a great example (see above). Every time I heard his "Rock and Roll" played in stadiums/sporting events, A little involuntary wave of queasiness goes through my brain. It didn't years before, though.

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I would say so, for the most part.

Though I spoke incorrectly. I shouldn't have said a main part. What bothers me is when the opinions and personality of the performer becomes the entirety of the music that I get bothered. I think some musicians use political controversy as a crutch to get their music along. You can write a mediocre song that's about being of some kind of political influence and get away with it because that certain group will say "Hell yea! That guy/group gets us! We agree!" and they hand them money.

Though as I think about it, for me this is strictly related to political opinions. When singers sing about religion (provided it's no "Mine is better than yours") I don't mind it. I think it's a great thing when a religion cause such a stir within you that it makes you sing in praise of God or Hare Krishna or whatever. That's fine by me.

Perhaps I can equate it to this: I think there is a distinct difference between musicians who right politically charged songs to inspire versus those who write politically charged songs to make people angry. Musically trolling as it were. They just want to incite an argument or controversy because it's fun.

I don't think political opinions should be used as a crutch in music, but rather as an instrument. There's going to be a little bit of you in every song you write, that's one of the most beautiful and greatest things about songwriting, but there's a small line between putting a part of you in a song and just trolling.

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I was just listening again to Richard Wagner's Ride of the Valkyries and once again had to think about this...

Does the personality, the political or social opinion, or maybe even the private life of an artist have any impact on how you perceive their music?

Or is the art just art no matter where the source comes from?

I try to dissociate the art from the private person who created it. It is easier in some instances, so that probably makes me a hypocrite at worst or inconsistent at best. For example, I will still watch Roman Polanski's movies even if I know he's a child rapist. I won't listen to aerosmith because steve tyler is a child molester, though :beatnik:

Edited by Guest

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