The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

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Harry Manback
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The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Harry Manback » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:24 pm UTC

I was listening to System of a Down today (specifically, the song X), and reflected that pretty much everything about the song was nasty, terrible, simplistic, and grating. And I loved it. It seems to me that there's an art to sounding so terrible that it's awesome, and not just in the metal genre, either. Think of the ridiculously out of place clashes in the surprise symphony or the common use of intentionally out-of-tune synth in electronica, or even just the common use of dissonance in soundtrack music to create tension.

This leads me to believe that sounding like shit is an art form in its own right.

Is this just me? Anyone got some good examples/personal favorites that fit the category?

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Microscopic cog
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Microscopic cog » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:50 pm UTC

I do know this shit music you talk of, but I think it's just as good as normal music and some of my favourite bands belong to the "genre."

I do like music that uses dissonance, mostly in things like Scott Walker ( Warning, this is creepy as fuck ) that uses it to make creepy and almost upsetting music. Also, the song will probably ruin Donald Duck for you. Forever.

I can also appreciate heavier stuff that is just about being heavy like the older Strapping Young Lad stuff. Another favourite of mine are Shining which make this combination between industrial, black and prog metal with jazz. And maybe my all time favourite of all noise bands, The Birthday Party Nick Cave's second band who just made noise because they were angry. They also had a pretty good sense of humour.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Apr 04, 2011 9:55 pm UTC

You might want to check out the noise rock thread for suggestions, if you're into dissonance in music.

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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Dream » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:19 pm UTC

Is this seriously a thread about shit music that sounds shit, in which Scott Walker is the very first artist in the very first reply?

Hang our heads in shame, people. Hang them in shame.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby TaintedDeity » Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:42 pm UTC

I think the OP is just using 'shit' to describe music that isn't traditionally nice sounding as opposed to a alue judgement.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Dream » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:04 pm UTC

TaintedDeity wrote:I think the OP is just using 'shit' to describe music that isn't traditionally nice sounding as opposed to a alue judgement.

Consider though, that the example is System of a Down. Sir, you position here is unsustainable.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby TaintedDeity » Mon Apr 04, 2011 11:11 pm UTC

Not a SoaD fan, I take it? :P
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby achan1058 » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:01 pm UTC

Harry Manback wrote:either. Think of the ridiculously out of place clashes in the surprise symphony or the common use of intentionally out-of-tune synth in electronica, or even just the common use of dissonance in soundtrack music to create tension.

This leads me to believe that sounding like shit is an art form in its own right.
I think dissonance is different than shit. We have been using the former in masterpieces for hundreds of years, and in light of 20th century avant-garde, most of the surprises and clashes aren't surprising anymore. Sounding like shit, in my view, would be something that is repetitive, common, and poorly done in general.

And, there's nothing wrong with liking "shit". I mean, junk food are nice once in a while as well.

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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Microscopic cog » Tue Apr 05, 2011 2:42 pm UTC

Dream wrote:Is this seriously a thread about shit music that sounds shit, in which Scott Walker is the very first artist in the very first reply?

Hang our heads in shame, people. Hang them in shame.


Yeah, I did not take shit literally, I took it as music that is not pretty but still good. Or something like that. More like dissonance. Which as you said does not really go for SoaD, who just have these hyperactive outburst songs, whereas Scott Walker is more about the dissonance and stuff. And by the way, I'm a fan of both Scott Walker and SoaD and I don't think junkfood is the right description. That'd be more like a guilty pleasure. Like Natascha Bedingfield.

Edit: Also note my wording: "I do like music that uses dissonance, mostly in things like Scott Walker"

But I agree with ;
achan1058 wrote:I think dissonance is different than shit. We have been using the former in masterpieces for hundreds of years, and in light of 20th century avant-garde, most of the surprises and clashes aren't surprising anymore. Sounding like shit, in my view, would be something that is repetitive, common, and poorly done in general.


Al though I don't think repetition is a bad thing when done right. But yeah, sounding like shit is just sucking at making music.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby SurgicalSteel » Tue Apr 05, 2011 4:47 pm UTC

I think the OP was using SoaD as something that in theory should sound awful but that they still enjoy
OP wrote:pretty much everything about the song was nasty, terrible, simplistic, and grating. And I loved it.
But back on topic, I've been listening to Sleigh Bells' "Treats" a lot recently and I think it fits. Most of the time it seems like it's too loud, everything is too loud, like they pegged the needles on all their gain meters. Sometimes her voice sounds it was recorded with a microphone that went through the wash. There seems to be a lot clipping, interference and bit overloading. But my god are they fun to listen to.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Harry Manback » Tue Apr 05, 2011 5:51 pm UTC

SurgicalSteel wrote:I think the OP was using SoaD as something that in theory should sound awful but that they still enjoy.

More or less this, to clarify the semantics. I was referring to the art of making good music out of bad noises.

Microscopic cog wrote: Another favourite of mine are Shining which make this combination between industrial, black and prog metal with jazz.

Hot damn. I guess I'll have to file black jazz away in my list of genre fusions I never expected to hear, right between reggae metal and accordion techno.

achan1058 wrote:I think dissonance is different than shit. We have been using the former in masterpieces for hundreds of years, and in light of 20th century avant-garde, most of the surprises and clashes aren't surprising anymore. Sounding like shit, in my view, would be something that is repetitive, common, and poorly done in general.

And, there's nothing wrong with liking "shit". I mean, junk food are nice once in a while as well.

I guess it's just a question of definitions, but I'd definitely call dissonance a bad sound. As an example, take a chord from sometime in the last 30 seconds of Mars from the Planets and play it out of context. It's awful, shrieking shit. But Holst put the song together so that it's awesome in context.

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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby zmatt » Tue Apr 05, 2011 9:01 pm UTC

Or as music teachers the world round say "you learn the rules so when you break them you do so because you don't care. not because you don't any better."

Just to differentiate, There is music that breaks the rules that sounds cool, and IMO that takes real skill. And then there is stuff like SOAD which sounds liek crap, but it still fun to listen to. I don't attribute any brilliant music making abilities to the band, some people just like loud noises. I also maintain that everyone is allowed a guilty pleasure band/genre. A band that they are embarrassed that they like, but they do anyways.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Harry Manback » Sat Apr 09, 2011 7:21 pm UTC

zmatt wrote:Or as music teachers the world round say "you learn the rules so when you break them you do so because you don't care. not because you don't any better."

Just to differentiate, There is music that breaks the rules that sounds cool, and IMO that takes real skill. And then there is stuff like SOAD which sounds liek crap, but it still fun to listen to. I don't attribute any brilliant music making abilities to the band, some people just like loud noises. I also maintain that everyone is allowed a guilty pleasure band/genre. A band that they are embarrassed that they like, but they do anyways.


What exactly would you say the difference is? Either way, bad noises, result that can be enjoyed. I guess there's some discrepancy in complexity, but I see that more as different ends of a spectrum than two separate categories.

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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby zmatt » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:38 am UTC

well take for example the Sonic Youth. Dirty is a good example of a noise rock album. There were very few actual "notes" played. It was mostly noise. It is still pretty awesome and was critically acclaimed. Years later, i heard Thurston Moore do an acoustic set with some solo material and it was beautiful. Nothing liek the Sonic Youth. They clearly broke the rules, not because they didn't know what they were, but because they could care less.

Contrast that with SoAD or Rebecca Black. Who are pretty talentless.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Ptolom » Sun Apr 10, 2011 3:04 pm UTC

Sonic Youth are wonderful. They are the only band I actually like who sound abrasive enough to bother the uninitiated/

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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Ithinkabouttrees » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:25 pm UTC

I'm glad to here that I'm not the only one who has noticed this trend, but it doesn't seem to start and end within metal or hard core bands. In fact, I'd say you can find this sub-genre spreading throughout several genres of music.

For instance, in the rock department we have:
Sonic Youth
Atreyu
Rancid
System of a Down

In Rap:
Lil Jon
Insane Clown Posse
T-Pain

Pop:
Ke$ha
New Brittney
3OH3!

And even the ones that don't really fit in anywhere like Brokencyde, Attack Attack, and Breathe Carolina have made their mark.

It seems like this genre is so popular, because it fits in with today's "liking it for ironic reasons" attitude. I mean, you can't really think that any of these bands have genuinely decent talent. I honestly think that most of these bands are a product of wanting to be so out there, that being terrible is considered "artsy."
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Dthen » Sun Apr 10, 2011 5:58 pm UTC

Hmm. I've been keeping an eye on this thread and I've read most of it.
What on earth are you people talking about? I am so confused.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby TaintedDeity » Sun Apr 10, 2011 6:13 pm UTC

The main subject in this thread appears to be bands that use dissonance, distortion and other harsh sounds in music.
There's also some people calling these bands talentless, and those folks suck.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Microscopic cog » Sun Apr 10, 2011 7:30 pm UTC

Yea, what TD said. I thought this was about noise and dissonance and not about bashing SoaD, the Insane Clown Posse or Britney Spears.


Fucking words, how do they work?!


Ps: SoaD isn't talentless.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Sun Apr 10, 2011 8:28 pm UTC

Ithinkabouttrees wrote:Sonic Youth
[snip]
I mean, you can't really think that any of these bands have genuinely decent talent.

This is the shittiest thread ever.

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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby zmatt » Mon Apr 11, 2011 12:17 am UTC

Ithinkabouttrees wrote:I'm glad to here that I'm not the only one who has noticed this trend, but it doesn't seem to start and end within metal or hard core bands. In fact, I'd say you can find this sub-genre spreading throughout several genres of music.

For instance, in the rock department we have:
Sonic Youth
Atreyu
Rancid
System of a Down

In Rap:
Lil Jon
Insane Clown Posse
T-Pain

Pop:
Ke$ha
New Brittney
3OH3!

And even the ones that don't really fit in anywhere like Brokencyde, Attack Attack, and Breathe Carolina have made their mark.

It seems like this genre is so popular, because it fits in with today's "liking it for ironic reasons" attitude. I mean, you can't really think that any of these bands have genuinely decent talent. I honestly think that most of these bands are a product of wanting to be so out there, that being terrible is considered "artsy."



Some of them do. Again, I want to make the distinction between being shallow and uninspired pop music and being innovative music that makes it own rules. Ke$ha and the Sonic Youth should not be put into the same category.
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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Ithinkabouttrees » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:35 pm UTC

I'm in shock that Sonic Youth is still popular. I thought that those guys had lost it after NYC Ghosts & Flowers and just did whatever the fuck they wanted.

I don't think that Sonic Youth is really trying. In fact, I don't think they really can anymore. I feel like they burned in a drug fueled blaze of glory a while ago.

Then again, System of a Down is insanely popular, so I can't be too shocked at this.
"When all else fails, accept the extraordinary."

Spoiler:
SNAPE KILLS DUMBLEDOR, DOBBY DIES, TONKS DIES, LUPIN DIES, SOYLENT GREEN IS PEOPLE, TYLER ISN'T REAL, PLANET OF THE APES WAS REALLY EARTH, JAKE BECOMES ONE OF THEM, BENJAMIN DIES.

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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby TheAmazingRando » Mon Apr 11, 2011 10:50 pm UTC

Ithinkabouttrees wrote:I'm in shock that Sonic Youth is still popular. I thought that those guys had lost it after NYC Ghosts & Flowers and just did whatever the fuck they wanted.
Murray Street came out two years later and it's one of their best, I think. I can't say I've cared much about anything they've put out since then, but I still don't think it's fair to put them in the same category as talentless hacks like ICP.

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Re: The Art of Sounding Like Absolute Shit

Postby Dream » Thu Apr 14, 2011 4:32 pm UTC

Ithinkabouttrees wrote:I'm in shock that Sonic Youth is still popular. I thought that those guys had lost it after NYC Ghosts & Flowers and just did whatever the fuck they wanted.

I don't think that Sonic Youth is really trying. In fact, I don't think they really can anymore. I feel like they burned in a drug fueled blaze of glory a while ago.

NYC was made about the same time as they were creating a painstaking re-recording of landmark 20th century new music, often in close collaboration with the original artists, is "a drug fueled blaze of glory"? Goodbye 20th Century says otherwise.
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