Fandango’s Provocative Question #201

And the question is:

What is your favorite music genre? Why is it your favorite? If you have more than one genre that you prefer, what are they?

Yes, we watched, but I doubt we will ever watch the Grammys again. I was actually doing okay until they moved from music that at least had some kind of melody and occasionally recognizable words, to all rap all the time. I get that it was the 50th anniversary of hip-hop, but this show is supposed to appeal to a wider audience.

It’s not a race thing, either. Garry was totally turned off by the music. Its not very veiled sexuality and pornographic dance routines. “And what,” Garry asked, “Is all that crotch grabbing about?”

Neither of us understood the words, even with captions.

At least we knew the host: Trevor Noah

I agreed to watch it because there wasn’t anything else to watch. We are between seasons and between shows. New stuff isn’t up yet and we’ve seen the old stuff, in some cases multiple times.

Our friend Ben, from Arizona, called to find out if we had watched it and he and Garry talked about how offensive they both found it. Apparently being a person of color doesn’t make it less offensive. I understand the roots and concept of the genre, but to me, it’s not music. It could be some kind of theater with background music, but music? I don’t think so.

Beyonce, the all time Grammy queen. She may not be the best, but she’s better than the rest which might not be saying much

So what music does Garry like? He’s a pretty middle of the road guy, musically. Very fond of Sinatra and other great ballad singers. He also likes country and folk music and classic rock.

Me? Classical music but to be fair I spent most of my young years performing classical music, so that should not come as a surprise. When Billy Cyrstal referred to Vladimir Horowitz, I got all misty because I used to have all his records. He was my favorite piano performer, even though he was — to some ears — overly pyrotechnic.

After that, there were the Beatles, Doors, Stones, CCR, and most of the classic rock groups. I also love folk and country music and old cowboy songs. I was glad to see Willie Nelson get an award.

The show was designed to lure older people in by giving them some upfront recognizable people and material — Smokey Robinson, Stevie Wonder, etc. — and then making a sudden sharp turn into music we don’t understand or like.

We have both tried to like “new” music, but it isn’t going to happen. To me, it is not music. A lot of the performers can’t carry a tune without AI electronics to fix their flatness. I’m sorry to bring this up, but when you are up for awards for singing at the Grammys, you are supposed to be able to sing. Artificial Intelligence software can fix your vocal errors, but it doesn’t improve the music.

I think that was my last stab at trying to find something redeeming in that music. Oh well. We really tried.

Categories: #FPQ, Music, Performance, Provocative Questions

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12 replies

  1. Today’s music means very little to me and the “artists” remind me more of internet influencers than of musicians. So I’m done with the Grammys. And I don’t think I’m missing anything.


    • I don’t know why we even turned it on. Curiosity, I suppose. The music isn’t interesting, exciting or frankly, NEW. Worse, the singers are flat and many of the musicians aren’t particularly skilled. They aren’t too new for me. They are not good enough for me. We had so much better music and so many really great musicians. Half these “new” singers can’t carry a tune.

      I have no future Grammy plans either.

      Liked by 1 person

      • It’s something about who is getting through to the Grammys or being showcased. 🤷‍♀️

        Maybe some musicians actually don’t care about catching the music academy’s eye these days. I wonder.

        I have to find my music elsewhere. There are a couple newish artists I like who have happened to show up there (one nominated this year and one who won in another year, or two different years I think, but wasn’t there or involved Sunday). I didn’t find either of them through the Grammys. Oh… the song I’m thinking grabbed their notice about the guy nominated this time around is something I skip when I’m listening to him.

        Lots of other music is “out there” in the world.

        Something else that can be fun is to hear favorites done by someone else. Here is David Crosby a few months ago with some youguns. Even a whole fresh take can be enjoyable without the original artist at all. I’ve found it surprisingly touching when a oldie is lovingly presented. (I came across Mercy Street by Peter Gabriel done by a Ukrainian young lady with a choir of kids, for example, on YouTube.)


  2. I used to roll my eyes when people complained about generational gaps … until the music got further and further away from me. I think it was when 2000 rolled around when it began. And now, I don’t even listen to the radio unless it’s the oldies station (these days it mean the 90s🤪) and classical music. 😳 so very much feel what you are saying.


    • I suspect people misunderstand me. I don’t not like the “new music” because it’s so new. I don’t like it because it’s not good music. It’s the same old music, but the vocalists are flat and the musicians less capable and everything sounds like a bad copy of the old stuff. I prefer the originals.

      Music hasn’t developed much since I was young. There was a real burst of creativity in the late fifties through the 70s and even into the early 90s. But since then? Art has a way of coming around in spurts. I’m hoping I see something REALLY new and interesting and unique. So far, I see some of it in jazz and blues, but not much else is really “happening.”


      • I think I am looking for in music a kind of musicality that fills a space, a comfort of sorts. Just like in visual art as well. I have found that the more I understand the language of a form, the better I am able to enjoy it. I think I just haven’t put much effort in the newer popular music going around.


  3. Yeah, I found the replay without commercials last night. So I ended up “watching” it (often skipping through). Not entertaining to me. I had seen the last ten or so minutes already. A jazz singer (true singing) won best new, so that had been encouraging. Then there was a group who “did“ (very little singing involved) a last act that I experienced as performance art (in the realm of visual arts more than music). The table laden with fruits, silver candelabras, and so forth was remiscent per an iconography of indulgence or wasteful wealth from white-dominance. And the rhymers were making a statement of having arrived at gaining wealth and notoriety while “the academy” hadn’t satisfied their desire for recognition (or, depending upon perspective, the nominators didn’t notice the earning power it was their job to notice). I “got” it. But it was a moment, not quite music for playing. Later (a few days later when watching the full show) I figured out the whole piece is called “God did” — now I feel a little concerned that they were saying the signs of money are because of God. Who knows… maybe so in some way. Yet, I’m not a health and wealth (“gospel”) sort.


    • I think, when hip hop was new, it was commentary about equality, inequality, etc. It might not have been music to my ears, but at least they had a position and it described their lives. Now, it’s as far as I can tell, it seems to be about whether or not the award ceremony is paying them sufficient attention. I’m not sure they really know what they are saying. This might account for my lack of word recognition. The “lyrics” (were they really lyrics?) was disjointed, inarticulate, and if there was a meaning in there somewhere, I couldn’t see it. I think next year we’ll skip it. Entirely. I’ll be a happier viewer NOT watching.


      • I, too, wasn’t impressed with the lyrics in the last act. Other than here and there (which doesn’t sustain a sense of music or even poetry), they seemed hodgy-podgy.


  4. A huge ongoing debate in my world right now…old(ies) vs new “music”.

    But for me, it’s like comparing an old Princess dial phone to my new Samsung Galaxy S23. (Best camera I’ve ever owned! And it’s in my PHONE!) There IS no comparison because the cultures and societies represented by each of these phones are way too different.

    It’s not like comparing apples and oranges. It’s more like apples and broccoli.

    Sure, just like my 2 phones, these examples are under the same umbrella titles, “food” or “music”, but the vast variety under those titles has always been there.

    Witness music in say, 1968. (I’ll let you decide if you want to listen)

    I can hear the disgust and distain in my elders voices about all three of the above selections! (And I remember vowing to never be that judgmental of another generation’s music.)

    I apologize for such a long answer. I blame it on it being the first free time I have had in so long, but also on how hot this debate is in my life and household right now. (I live with three generations of hard core musicians!!!)

    All I know about the Grammys this year is that they honored my personal all-time favorite performer, Bonnie Raitt. Bless her heart. And look at all the flack she got!!!

    Whew! OK done. Thanks for reading!
    (Miss you guys!)


    • Is the “new music” better than our older music? No. The musicians are (mostly) less capable. Their voices are not as good and without electronics, they can’t even sing on key. They are FLAT. Is their music unique? Innovative? Exciting? Creative? Some is, especially jazz. There are also some excellent country and blues singers. But for the most part, modern music is less capable copies of the stuff that was created 50 years ago. Music has not moved along. Even the hip hop I so dislike is not new. They are trying to somehow make it sound new, but it ISN’T new. It’s the same stuff, just without a coherent message.

      We — my generation — was lucky. Pop music was reborn from the late 50s through the early 70s. It was creative and exciting. Everyone was attempting to make their music unique and new. It didn’t work for everyone, but it was gangbusters for others.

      I don’t think my problem is the newness of modern music. It ISN’T new and that’s exactly what’s wrong with it. It also isn’t very good. It’s mostly copies of older music, just not done as well. The singers don’t have great voices and the musicians aren’t exceptional.

      The problem isn’t trying to compare a cell phone to a dial telephone. It’s comparing great apples to tired old apples from the bottom of the bin.


    • Bonnie’s acceptance on stage was graceful, and I’m happy for her.


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