I just got done with an interesting journey this morning and yesterday, fueled by commenters on the post below. I’ll go through the links one by one, and urge you to follow my path for your own entertainment. Otherwise, I will summarize.
440 vs 435: Tyrone took us to this link. His comment was in part
“Separating emotion from critical function is the mandate of all pop culture, corporate division. “
That’s an important insight. I have long avoided advertising in all forms for that very reason, that the object of advertising is to distract us with one message while subtly inserting another. Of course, most often that “other” message is simply “buy this product.” The larger point is, however, that advertising is never straightforward. As one young ad executive told me once in a candid moment, the purpose of advertising is to get us to change our behavior. TV has long been the best medium for dispensing this message and altering our behaviors, as we are in a mild hypnotic state while watching.
Music has the same ability as advertising to bypass our censors and insert messages. While we are busy with the musical notes, words are slipping by to infect us in our semi-hypnotic state. Even when I was in my teens, our parents were being warned about “songs of subversion,” this during the time of the Beatles and later the Laurel Canyon scene. Indeed, music was the force that changed our hair and dress styles, and most importantly, built a wall between parents and children. Parents hated the music, and the kids, knowing this, would turn up the volume. That is still going on. I am amazed at the low quality of music that is turning kids on these days, and at the same time remember how much my parents hated the Beatles. It was an effective wall that separated the generations, in effect stealing kids from their families.
Back to 440/435: That is what is referred to as a “pitch standard.” All symphonic orchestras tune their instruments beforehand to the same standard. I am told they use the oboe as the instrument that most clearly emanates a 440 A pitch. I have listened to the same piece of music played in 440 and then 435, and cannot tell the difference. That could be because I don’t have high quality equipment. I also had the feeling that the webcast I was listening to was merely suggesting a difference to me that did not exist. But I do not know, for sure. (Also note, 440 is an expression of 8.)
Interesting, however, in that when listening to classical music, the oboe always grabs and holds me, its tone hauntingly beautiful. There was a TV series on Amazon Prime called Mozart in the Jungle. I watched it with great anticipation, only to be disappointed in the casting and characters, all of them boring and self-involved. There was not a whole lot of music, just a lot of drama. But most interesting, two of the prime characters were Hailey Rutledge, an oboist who would magically transform into a conductor (in a too-brief period), and Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, played as a vision seen only by Rodrigo De Souza, the supposed real-life conductor of the New York Philharmonic Orchestra. Mozart in this production turns out to be a really nice guy.
I digress. I always do that.
B. Müller took us to this link, a Rocknerd offering claiming that Theodor Adorno wrote all of the Beatles music. Adorno, who was news to me, was supposedly a gifted artist and cultural Marxist who despised not only the Beatles, but also the rock genre in total. He is said to have supplied all the Beatles music with enough left over to fuel the rock groups of the era through 1975, at which time bad music took over and has held on since. Since Adorna died in 1969, it is asserted that this is why the Beatles had to break up that year.
What’s right with this picture? The Beatles were assembled and trained in Hamburg, where tryouts for the various parts were held, it appears. Stu Sutcliff and Pete Best were eventually jettisoned. The training was simply onstage performing, the ability to play their instruments in front of a noisy drunk crowd via muscle memory. They were also trained in voice projection, learning to sing in key in the same setting. It could be that Adorno was part of the Hamburg experiment and was tagged to supply the “Lennon-McCartney” tunes that would later take the world by storm. Remember, none of the Beatles could read or write music, that is, from or on a piece of paper.
What’s wrong with this picture? Plenty. This whole idea that one or a few people are supplying all of the music performed by popular artists is hard to swallow. In our own era, this video claims that almost all of the music is written by two men, a Swede named Max Martin, and American Lukasz Gottwald, or Dr. Luke. (Anyone but me note the “MM” there, perhaps a signal that a committee is at work?) There is also the idea that modern music is formulaic, as our own writer, Maarten Roessaert, asserts in parts of his Otohelminthiasis series (beginning at that link and which can be found by clicking on his link at the very top of this page). If it is formulaic, it is not genius. It is merely repetition of a pattern, so that anyone knowing the formula can do it. Dare I say … a computer could write our popular music?
The Adorno piece took me to another Rocknerd piece, this having to do with Schoenberg’s twelve-tone technique. This is the formula. There are twelve notes in the western musical scale, and the pattern of song writing is to use all twelve notes, but only in a certain fashion that I could not explain even under hypnosis. But that piece introduced me to Vi Hart, who does explain it, or rather demonstrates it in this video. Vi Hart is a serious delight, funny, bright, witty, engaging, and having some serious musical training. She has done a number of videos. I intend to watch every one.
Finally, S.Volpetti led us to this link, a Nuke Lies discussion thread titled “Do Famous Bands Really Write Their Own Songs?” Commenter Rerevisionist tears apart the Adorno theory in this very long, very interesting comment.
The thread devolves thereafter, though not to the Hitler level. It does, however, sink down to Dave McGowan and Laurel Canyon, and left me screaming “Get a clue!” The thread ends with Cowan Bellarmino re-posting what appears to be the entirety of McGowan’s Weird Scenes Inside the Canyon. Bellarmino doesn’t get it. McGowan, wherever he is, is laughing at us. I mean, look at that photo! Is that a shit eating grin, or what?
Here’s the inside joke: McGowan treated every Laurel Canyon death as real in his book, only slightly questioning that of Jim Morrison. Then he left the building, faking his own death! Cowan Bellarmino not only buys into the McGowan premise that all of the Canyon deaths were real, but also that McGowan’s was too! I generally avoid exclamation points, but the Nuke Lies thread screamed out for them.
What to make of all of this? I think that the Theodor Adorno suggestion, that one man wrote all the Beatles music, is misdirection, getting us to ask the wrong question. So too is the idea that Max Martin and Dr. Luke are doing it now.
The correct question is the title of the Nuke Lies thread, do famous bands really write their own songs? The answer is, obviously, no. Expand on that – do famous authors write their own books? No. Are are movie stars really skilled actors? No. (Shut up, Meryl. Just shut up.) No. Do famous politicians, all the way up to president, really make public policy? No. Do famous news organizations really report news? No. Is the alternative media really an alternative? No.
Is the so-called “conspiracy” community really composed of people in search of truth? Well, yes, but only partly. Only partly.
34 thoughts on “An interesting journey fueled by our commenters”
WordPress won’t let me simply “Like” this post for some reason, so I will leave this comment saying so.
Funny – I turned on my computer to find I am logged out of all of the sites I am normally logged into, including POM. I think Microsoft was busy during the night, updating our computers whether we like it or not.
If the musicians, authors, actors, politicians are the surface (pond scum) we can see, meant to see, another question is this: What’s all that scum floating on? Something underneath all this evidence of hoaxing supports our audio-visual “reality.” It floats all of our boats and the scum too. It is our common “flat-earth” view. Just a few feet below the surface it gets dark very fast. The deeper you go, the darker it gets. May the light always be with you, deep divers.
MUSICIANS are all just” POND SCUM”floating on the surface, Really, Steve ? Maybe you should take a deeper dive, and when you get down there…Take a look up to the surface at your own REFLECTION…Looking down at yourself at the BOTTOM.
“All” musicians: Your words, not mine. Ad hominem/strawman reaction is weak and off target. Ad hominem argument generally projects, and reflects, poorly. Legit argument on the position and/0r substance is always welcome. The rest is, IMO, a waste of everyone’s time.
Is your false name based on Triggerman Beat — “one-bar drum loop” (bounce)?
You’re right…You didn’t say,” ALL.”
Steve, Point taken. I see you mean no disrespect,I’ve followed your comments,But I thought you were heaping “all musicians” in with a pile of Excrement…I enjoy reading material on this site.The False name is because I’m still very much involved with what I’ve been a part of for over 50 yrs. To use my real name would leave open,only repercussion. I came across this blog a while back and thought at first it was just lunacy, yet interesting.So I kept coming back on my down time and started to find that Tokarski was onto a few things, he had a good group of writers that held my attention..So here I am. I think a few points are a bit out in left field because everyone is over excited because you guy’s are making some head-way,But who am I to judge ? I’ll try to keep my comments at a minimum and just sit back and enjoy the ride…I apologize if I offended you, Hope you don’t take it personal.
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I could tell hundreds of stories about my experiences in the low levels of the music scene as well as every other facet of this system and make revealing points in any one of them but to keep this as short as possible I will relate just one story, witnessed with my own eyes and ears. Some years ago, my wife and I made a vacation trip to Nashville. I took along a guitar and some of my original songs thinking that maybe I would play at an open mic. We did some of the tourist things like the Greek Parthenon which was closed, went to see a show, ate some overpriced food and saw multiple open mic performers in different locations. I had read about an open mic at a hotel, so we checked out of one hotel and went to the other one. That evening we went down to check out the music at the open mic in the hotel lounge. 3 performers at a time would take the stage and each would get a turn to play 2-3 songs. While sitting there, John Rich walked in with 2 blondes and sat down at the table next to my wife and myself. He watched the performance as we all did and I remember thinking that one of the songs written by some young man from Alabama was particularly well written and apparently so did John Rich. After he was done playing, one of the blonde women with John Rich walked up to the young man and told him that John Rich wanted to talk to him. After a very brief conversation, they all went outside and the young man gave his last homemade CD to John Rich, who drove away in his Cadillac Escalade with the 2 blonde women and the CD. The next morning I ran into the young man in the elevator and asked if he had any CD’s of his music and it was then that he told me he had given the last copy he had with him to John Rich. I got his contact information as I had planned to order a CD from him though I never did. My point is that if that song ever made it onto a recording, it would have been written by somebody that may not have had any real connections in the music business. I suspect that any “nobody” would be thoroughly vetted before any of their music would ever be heard on the RaDio and recorded by a mainstream artist. It is also possible that if the songs on the CD had not been copyrighted (or even if they had) they could simply be re-recorded with different lyrics and slight changes, with no recognition to the original writer. I can tell you that if you decide to copyright a CD of original music, that the Library of Congress will take exactly 2 years to write back to you to confirm that they have received your submission. Makes me think about how Albert Einstein worked in the Patent Office in Switzerland and is credited with so many great discoveries. Now, the following link is very important because the Script Writers (Scribes) cannot resist the temptation to “tell you the truth” in the form of a joke. I will resist the temptation to go into the numerology of the English Language that confirms the words of Sofia Vergara in every facet of this system.
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Another way sanctioned musical acts get their material is outright theft. Accusations against team Ga Ga, for instance, have “her” being one of the most prolific thieves in the business, much like Robin Williams blithely stealing jokes and routines from lesser known comics, some of whom latterly would refuse to go on stage if he was present.
Jungle Love by Steve Miller was the product of a lesser musician stealing the song from his band mate* and selling it to the Miller people. They rewrote the lyrics to try and cover the trail. It is indeed a jungle out there.
*A high school acquaintance was the brother of the victimized composer-
Picking through this forum is like hunting for truffles, but I like this topic- http://letsrollforums.com//psychological-warfare-depressing-music-t32620.html
Interesting Tyrone, I remember hearing Terry Jacks’ single “Seasons in the Sun” in ’74 when I was a wee bairn at school. Gave me nightmares for years and years. (Fun band Nirvana also covered it.)
It was based on Jacques Brel’s “Le Moribund” – recorded 22/02/1961. (Bowie did one of his other ‘happy’ songs “My Death” as did Scott Walker) .
The Beatles’ White Album is being rereleased as a 7 disc set including a 13 min version of “Helter Skelter” (I’ve got blisters on my ears) it says in this month’s Mojo magazine, with some interesting answers by Faul including this one ‘I know I was there,but I was unconscious at the time!’
Slightly off-target, not music, but depressing all the same:
Gee whiz … how could he write all of that and not mention Elton John’s Sad Songs? Very interesting, however. Are the pop charts, like everything else, fake? Of course! Kasey Kasem is no surprise, and Dick Clark’s role in Moore’s Bowling for Columbine showed me that he was in on the game too.
Lou Reed had a whole album of dreich and depressings songs on his third solo LP Berlin. One of the songs was called “Sad Song” and it doesn’t disappoint in that regard!
It was the follow up to his most successful album “Transformer” (Trannyformer? – see back cover photos) which touched on controversial topics of sexual orientation and drugs, like some of his 60s tunes he did with The Velvet Underground.
A hypothesis to run up the flagpole, regarding pop music as psychological conditioning. Ignore it if you don’t think it flies.
There are up-years and down-years for happy music vs. depressing (demoralizing?) music. Review lists of top 100 songs in the USA year by year. It is my perception that the years with lots of upbeat songs at the top are years that the US was at war. Whereas in years leading up to wars, there are more depressing songs towards the top. (This is based purely on my own judgment of songs being upbeat or downbeat.)
If you also perceive a correlation … could this be Pavlovian training? Stimulate the masses to feel up and happy in wartime, so they subconsciously equate militarism with personal satisfaction. Prep them with angst in peacetime so they feel an itch for change at a national level.
This psyop began after the Vietnam War, of course. During that war there were plenty of protest songs on the radio: One Tin Soldier, Billy Don’t Be a Hero, Simple Song of Freedom, …. But what about the Gulf War or the Iraq War or the War in Afghanistan? Name me two well-known protest songs from those wars. Instead, we find those eras filling the airwaves with happy-clappy junk.
Discuss amongst yourselves ….
There is also another anomaly, that they let “anti-war” journalists and photographers have the run of Vietnam, in addition to all the anti-war stuff at home. Those guys and their many books are all part of a larger psyop, spooks. It gives the lie to My Lai.
Yeah, I thought maybe you guy’s were onto something. Maybe,just maybe starting to make a breakthrough onto something real…and then it takes a turn into outer space like the hapless rat trying to negotiate the maze for the meal…then along comes all the Carl Jung,Ivan pavlov…and the B.F Skinner,Reinforcements,and the Classical conditioning,Behavior Modifications, the rats slapping the lever for the nuggets, and the disc in the wall for the pigeons to peek away…and come up with a stimulus paired with a previously neutral stimulus…Man, Chris Sale threw a better curve Ball than that to take us towards the pennant…Then it’s off to the world series for BOSTON.
CORRECTION..For the pigeons to..”PECK”..away. But,I suppose it’s O.K. to “PEEK”..away..seeing how they’re “peeking” that way, “anyway.”
I still like this “anti war song”, though it can be interpreted as “innocent”. Just now I see it was actually written in 1981 (months before the Falklands War) by famous Dutch music producing brothers Bolland & Bolland:
It has been covered in, I must say, not a good version by Swedish metal band Sabaton, that I like from other songs (though seen as glorifying war, I take it as satire too):
The title “You’re/We’re in the Army Now” is not new, see this version released at the time the US entered WWI (years after the Ludicrous Lusitania, widely pushed as “the reason for the US to enter”, but 2 years later doesn’t make sense).
But some were more critical of this film, starring many US veterans, released right in the “Summer of Love” during the Vietnam War:
Sarcasm is one of the best weapons against all these crazy con-spirators.
In the past, music was used to make war more “bearable” of course, with these military march music with happy tunes. Seen also in other cultures, with war drums, etc.
More “uplifting” happy (I still like Elvis) war songs and reinforcing the close relation between Hollywood movies, music, “sexiness” and war:
Produced 1.5 months after Elvis Presley’s military time in Germany. Welcomed home by Nancy Sinatra…
Voor jouw, Gaia!
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Lyrics like that are unseen in the world today. What an artist, dank je, Maarten!
I like Elvis too, Gaia, but I also dig this –
The vocalist has a fine voice, makes a change from today’s pop singers.
Gaia that Elvis piece is hilarious … no amplification, no microphones, yet the whole room hears a slick and heavily produced piece of music. I especially liked how the two guys, guitar and bass, were able to be a male and female background group. It does not get better.
[Also, your first link would not play in the U.S.]
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I must say I didn’t watch the video, just had it playing in the background while writing, but indeed. The “drummer” is just doing the same thing all the time, the “pianist” mismatches with everything and Elvis’s playbacking is horrible.
Ah, interesting. I had the same with Jackie’s link here above, didn’t play here.
If you use a VPN, Epic browser has its own inbuilt, they should all play. You may have to select a different country though.
I must say, I never thought that Adorno angle made any sense. You must be into music in some way to be able to write songs. Adorno was a political “thinker”, smart enough to pretend to be very smart but not smart enough to ever produce anything of value. His writings seem to be made by others, at least to me. Musically he was kind of pushing classical music into the modern art. Not much into pop culture. It must be some kind of an inside joke that this meme about Adorno writing the Beatles’ songs became so popular. I also don’t by this 440 Hz theory. One Hz means one time per second, 440 Hz means 440 times per second. Second is derived from splitting the day in 24 hours, the hour into 60 seconds, etc. which can be pictured as a form of a 360° circle. 24 hours day was already known to ancient cultures. All based on real laws of nature and by no means accidental. In this context 440Hz makes more sense to me than 435. Our hearing works logarithmic or loga-rhythmic and covers 10 octaves (=8 logarithmic scaled tones). See, music is encoded in mathematics.
Adorno collobrated with Thomas Mann to write the latter’s Dr Faustus (published ’47) which is the most boring book I’ve ever read, and I’ve read some. (I’d read Felix Krull and Death in Venice previously.) It explores the Devil’s chord, the 5th, which used is in almost every heavy metal/hard rock song, in great depth (as I remember), which I suspect is Adorno’s main contribution.
I like comedian Bill Burr. But is he related to the third U.S. vice President President Aaron Burr (1756-1836)?:
If so, then the Peerage’s tentacles extend even into comedians. Who would’ve thought?
There’s a site called http://www.famouskin.com which shows sportsmen, comedians, inventors, presidents, spies, and even outlaws, are all related to one & another.
It’s a small world if you’re famous.
Eg Accused Murderess Lizzie Borden-
Related to Kings, Presidents, Mayflower passengers, Orson Welles, Tennessee Williams, Duane Eddy……………………….shazam, what are the odds??????????
More than two links puts a comment in moderation, in case you are wondering. Not my policy, but that of WordPress.
I watched The Legend of Lizzie Borden the other week, starring Bewitched actress Elizabeth Montgomery. The surnames Mongomery, Montgomerie, and Montgomery, all appear in Lizzie Borden’s surname index. Coincidence?
It wouldn’t surprise me if quiz show contestants are minor relatives of the PTB too. I saw a contestant on The Chase and he was the spitting image of a famous footballer, but no one on the show pointed this out.
Louis CK, C is the third letter of the alphabet, k the eleventh, 3 x 11 = … spook!