The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by JennyB » 30 May 2017, 12:44pm

Flex wrote:
30 May 2017, 12:38pm
JennyB wrote:
30 May 2017, 12:28pm
OK, I know she generally sucks, but I kind of agree with some of what she is saying. Part of me thinks she is writing it because it's now in fashion to bash Pepper, but I thought she had some decent points. What am I missing?
I don't know a single woman alive, except Amanda Marcotte I guess, who was turned off by that album - either at the time or over the passage of years. And stuff like the album cover being deliberately designed to "repel the female gaze" seems like an awfully giant stretch to me. Also, I guess I have no idea how Marcotte dances, but her assertion that Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds is one of the few songs that harkens back to the sound of Beatles dance-pop is a completely insane assertion. Also, the Beatles were never really particularly a dance-pop band, so I have no idea what she's talking about there anyways. She provides basically no evidence that Sgt. Pepper is the album, particularly, that cemented pop/rock as the music of men other than the fact she doesn't care for the cover and critics liked it at the time.

She's making a case ("rock music is often misogynistic and alienating to women") that is pretty much rock solid and going about failing to make her case by picking a particularly non-credible battle to fight ("rock is like this, specifically, because of this album which alienated the Beatles female fanbase"). It takes a special kind of disconnected contrarian hipster to try to make the case that rock is anti-woman, and actually fail at doing it.
Gotcha. Yeah, I was focusing more on her musings about disco, the Ramones (and girl groups) and Blondie, but I totally see where you are coming from now that you laid it out like you did. Also, Revolver wasn't pretentious.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 30 May 2017, 1:02pm

There are a lot of odd/dumb assertions in there—just one example: disco may have been the music of black people, women, and gay men on the US, but in the UK it was a working class phenomenon—but the basic comment about Pepper's role in the dominant ideology of popular music from the period and after is sound. The artistic ambitions of Dylan and the Beatles were used to make rock n roll into rock—which is to say, made rock n roll both more folk and more highbrow somehow, but more to the point significant and meaningful—and rock, as established by critics and fans, was for white men because it was serious and only white males were capable of that appreciation. Women and little girls liked flighty, disposable, mass manufactured and decidedly uncreative pop; black people liked black music. Rock fans contemplated; pop fans screamed and danced. Rock was for the mind; pop was for the body. And Western discourse since the Enlightenment has treated the mind as superior to the body. That's why Lester Bangs loved punk and hated the Beatles—rock n roll was supposed to be dumb and for the body. But that isn't the fault of the Beatles or Dylan or the Who or any other rock n roll musician who wanted to explore new terrain and certainly didn't seek to exclude; it's the fault of critics and white male fans who have used those records as a means of segregating music and audiences.

edit: Just to clarify, in case I'm being interpreted as agreeing with Marcotte. That she's placing blame on the album and the band is well off the mark. However, Pepper was a key moment in terms of the dominant discourse in rock n roll, promoted by (white male) critics and (white male) fans, that sought to establish hierarchies and barriers in popular music so as to idealize white males. It's not the Beatles' fault (or Dylan's or …), but celebration of that album does often ignore how it was used to marginalize and segregate music. Her argument is clumsily constructed, but not just dumb contrariness.
Last edited by Dr. Medulla on 30 May 2017, 6:30pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Heston » 30 May 2017, 1:15pm

I haven't got words for what a pile of shit that is.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Kory » 30 May 2017, 5:56pm

Heston wrote:
30 May 2017, 1:15pm
I haven't got words for what a pile of shit that is.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by coffeepotman » 31 May 2017, 12:37pm

That is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. Is it satire or is it for real?

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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Silent Majority » 31 May 2017, 1:22pm

coffeepotman wrote:
31 May 2017, 12:37pm
That is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. Is it satire or is it for real?
Sadly real. The writer was a huge, huge booster of Hillary Clinton.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 31 May 2017, 2:27pm

I'm genuinely curious now, given all the speechlessness in being appalled: what specific aspects of the piece are so contemptible?
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by coffeepotman » 31 May 2017, 3:13pm

Silent Majority wrote:
31 May 2017, 1:22pm
coffeepotman wrote:
31 May 2017, 12:37pm
That is one of the most ridiculous things I've ever read. Is it satire or is it for real?
Sadly real. The writer was a huge, huge booster of Hillary Clinton.
That explains quite a bit

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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Flex » 31 May 2017, 3:23pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
31 May 2017, 2:27pm
I'm genuinely curious now, given all the speechlessness in being appalled: what specific aspects of the piece are so contemptible?
I think I gave my answer above: I think her conclusions are broadly correct, but I think the specifics and where she places blame are both wrong and mostly just unsubstantiated assertions (I keep going back to her argument about the album art. How the hell is the Sgt. Pepper album cover alienating in a way that Revolver wasn't? My mom grew up with that album, she loves the cover. I just don't see any evidence that any of the specifics of the album she cites have much merit)

Also, this was brought up in the twitterspheres, but some women pointed out how grossly sexist it is for Marcotte to assert that women couldn't understand or connect to what the Beatles were doing during this time. The gender essentialism is a trademark of Marcotte's brand of centrist neo-liberal feminism.

I view her position as that of a Tankie when it comes to politics, sure we agree on the basic conclusion (with the tankie, that would be "communism is good") but seem to disagree wildly once we get into specifics (this article comes off like hearing a tankie talk about how great Stalin was).

There's plenty of evidence that the music industry, critics and male fans used the "seriousness" of rock music to attack women over the years. There's precious little evidence that Sgt. Pepper, as one of those "serious" albums, was itself alienating to women, or that it is uniquely and specifically responsible for an anti-pop legacy. I'd go so far as to say that Marcotte so badly misplaces the blame for rock's post-"seriousness" misogyny that she largely lets the industry, critics and male fans off the hook, which is weird but again is in keeping with her brand of counter-revolutionary feminism.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 31 May 2017, 3:40pm

Flex wrote:
31 May 2017, 3:23pm
Dr. Medulla wrote:
31 May 2017, 2:27pm
I'm genuinely curious now, given all the speechlessness in being appalled: what specific aspects of the piece are so contemptible?
I think I gave my answer above: I think her conclusions are broadly correct, but I think the specifics and where she places blame are both wrong and mostly just unsubstantiated assertions (I keep going back to her argument about the album art. How the hell is the Sgt. Pepper album cover alienating in a way that Revolver wasn't? My mom grew up with that album, she loves the cover. I just don't see any evidence that any of the specifics of the album she cites have much merit)

Also, this was brought up in the twitterspheres, but some women pointed out how grossly sexist it is for Marcotte to assert that women couldn't understand or connect to what the Beatles were doing during this time. The gender essentialism is a trademark of Marcotte's brand of centrist neo-liberal feminism.

I view her position as that of a Tankie when it comes to politics, sure we agree on the basic conclusion (with the tankier, that would be "communism is good") but seem to disagree wildly once we get into specifics (this article comes off like hearing a tankie talk about how great Stalin was).

There's plenty of evidence that the music industry, critics and male fans used the "seriousness" of rock music to attack women over the years. There's precious little evidence that Sgt. Pepper, as one of those "serious" albums, was itself alienating to women, or that it is uniquely and specifically responsible for an anti-pop legacy. I'd go so far as to say that Marcotte so badly misplaces the blame for rock's post-"seriousness" misogyny that she largely lets the industry, critics and male fans off the hook, which is weird but again is in keeping with her brand of counter-revolutionary feminism.
Right and, sorry, I didn't mean you in my question—you gave a solid critique of her piece the first time around. I was asking the people who are just appalled without any explanation. But I appreciate you fleshing things out further, and it looks like we're in agreement. She points to the album or band and essentialize it/them, makes the impact self-evident, and ignores the discourse that the album generated. And then she further falls in the trap, after embedding meaning in the album, of segregating into discrete groups how that meaning would be perceived (women would see it this way, men would see it this way, etc). So, weirdly, she ends up doing the same thing as those white male critics and fans who mooned over the album then and after. It's incredibly ego-centric—my interpretation can be the only correct one because I have correctly deciphered the code. It's a version of annoying fan arguments: "This album means this!" "No, it means this!" "You're an idiot if you believe that!" "If you were a real fan you'd know what that album means!" Etc. It confuses cultural criticism for archaeology—digging to find the objective meaning instead of realizing it's all discourse.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Heston » 31 May 2017, 3:41pm

I've just bought the remixed Pepper, looking forward to listening tonight.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Flex » 31 May 2017, 3:45pm

Heston wrote:
31 May 2017, 3:41pm
I've just bought the remixed Pepper, looking forward to listening tonight.
It's great. I picked up a new-to-me Technics SL-6 turntable the other day and have been using the new Peppers remix as my reference guide for playing around with my stereo. Tons of fun and the new mix is superb.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Heston » 31 May 2017, 3:49pm

Flex wrote:
31 May 2017, 3:45pm
Heston wrote:
31 May 2017, 3:41pm
I've just bought the remixed Pepper, looking forward to listening tonight.
It's great. I picked up a new-to-me Technics SL-6 turntable the other day and have been using the new Peppers remix as my reference guide for playing around with my stereo. Tons of fun and the new mix is superb.
Great.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Dr. Medulla » 31 May 2017, 4:12pm

Given the deserved raves this has gotten and that the White Album is scheduled for the next deluxe treatment, you have to figure that there'll be significant pressure to do all the other albums eventually.
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Re: The Beatles song you're thinking about right now thread

Post by Heston » 31 May 2017, 4:22pm

Dr. Medulla wrote:
31 May 2017, 4:12pm
Given the deserved raves this has gotten and that the White Album is scheduled for the next deluxe treatment, you have to figure that there'll be significant pressure to do all the other albums eventually.
I've been saying for years they should all get the proper stereo treatment, it should have happened with the last round of remasters. That old hard-panned stereo that they used in the Sixties was gimmicky and sounds terrible on headphones. The Beatles's releases will become as culturally important as the Mona Lisa in the years to come, and should be lovingly restored and maintained accordingly.
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