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RE: [embos] Re: songs

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  • katharine
    I have to reply that punk bands like Johnny Rotten-Lydon of Sex Pistols, Mark E. Smith of The Fall, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, Howard Devoto of Magazine had
    Message 1 of 14 , Jan 3, 2007
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      I have to reply that punk bands like Johnny Rotten-Lydon of Sex Pistols, Mark E. Smith of The Fall, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, Howard Devoto of Magazine had meaningful social commentary in all of the songs I can remember off the top of my head, which are actually quite a few. Not to mention Patti Smith, Elvis Costello and Iggy Pop, --- Then there was Gertrude Stein, one of Picasso's contemporaries and not a rocker, (by the way the show at the Whitney in NYC is superb) who worked diligently to create word strings that were nonsense.  Perhaps meaning is in the mind of the listener -like the Rorschach image is in the mind's eye of the viewer.


      From: embos@yahoogroups.com [mailto:embos@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of joseiw@...
      Sent: Saturday, December 23, 2006 11:07 PM
      To: embos@yahoogroups.com
      Subject: Re: [embos] Re: songs

      In a message dated 12/23/2006 1:55:07 P.M. Central Standard Time, jilldm@swbell. net writes:
      More often the not, the words were nonsense and didn't mean much.  It seems like sort of a surreal time,  doing things that didn't have any deeper meaning.  Perhaps we just weren't that deep?
      Exactly!  Part of the "punk" sensibility was a reaction to two prior music trends:  vacuous disco and too-earnest singer-songwriter music that was imbued with layer upon layer of personal meaning.  More than anything, the lyrics struck me as clever jokes, for the most part.  And we breathed cynicism like oxygen.
       
      Some of the lyrics reminded me of good country music lyrics, or some of John Prine's best stuff--not to say they were similar, but they had the same sensibility of not taking it too seriously and having fun with the words, and rejecting the need to have lots of meaning, or any meaning for that matter.
      Joe

    • stockextra
      Thanks you hit it on the head i think ... Fact is some crit-type mentioned ms. stein as way to explain embo lyrics, and John s self-professed love
      Message 2 of 14 , Jan 4, 2007
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        Thanks you hit it on the head i think ...

        Fact is some crit-type mentioned ms. stein as way to explain embo
        lyrics, and John's self-professed love of/fascination with the
        sound/feel of words (spa-tu-la) has quite a bit to do with it ...

        Then again, some of the songs (or portions of some songs) seem to be
        pretty straightforward storytelling ("Jim took the bus" ... or "The
        music sounds gooooooddddd ... ," fer instance. Um, er, that is, id est.

        d.hitchcock



        --- In embos@yahoogroups.com, "katharine" <katharine@...> wrote:
        >
        > I have to reply that punk bands like Johnny Rotten-Lydon of Sex Pistols,
        > Mark E. Smith of The Fall, Henry Rollins of Black Flag, Howard Devoto of
        > Magazine had meaningful social commentary in all of the songs I can
        remember
        > off the top of my head, which are actually quite a few. Not to
        mention Patti
        > Smith, Elvis Costello and Iggy Pop, --- Then there was Gertrude
        Stein, one
        > of Picasso's contemporaries and not a rocker, (by the way the show
        at the
        > Whitney in NYC is superb) who worked diligently to create word
        strings that
        > were nonsense. Perhaps meaning is in the mind of the listener -like the
        > Rorschach image is in the mind's eye of the viewer.
        >
        > _____
        >
        > From: embos@yahoogroups.com [mailto:embos@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        > joseiw@...
        > Sent: Saturday, December 23, 2006 11:07 PM
        > To: embos@yahoogroups.com
        > Subject: Re: [embos] Re: songs
        >
        >
        >
        >
        > In a message dated 12/23/2006 1:55:07 P.M. Central Standard Time,
        > jilldm@... writes:
        >
        > More often the not, the words were nonsense and didn't mean much.
        It seems
        > like sort of a surreal time, doing things that didn't have any deeper
        > meaning. Perhaps we just weren't that deep?
        >
        > Exactly! Part of the "punk" sensibility was a reaction to two prior
        music
        > trends: vacuous disco and too-earnest singer-songwriter music that was
        > imbued with layer upon layer of personal meaning. More than
        anything, the
        > lyrics struck me as clever jokes, for the most part. And we breathed
        > cynicism like oxygen.
        >
        > Some of the lyrics reminded me of good country music lyrics, or some
        of John
        > Prine's best stuff--not to say they were similar, but they had the same
        > sensibility of not taking it too seriously and having fun with the
        words,
        > and rejecting the need to have lots of meaning, or any meaning for that
        > matter.
        > Joe
        >
      • afterthedisco
        Genius. ... not ... of ... thus ... one s ... cass,
        Message 3 of 14 , Jan 9, 2007
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          Genius.

          --- In embos@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Wall" <matt_wall_of_pa@...>
          wrote:
          >
          >
          > In dim memory I remember somebody describing great architecture as
          not
          > being about the columns and the lintels and so forth but about the
          > spaces between them that are thereby created. It's the nothingness
          > that's the somethingness.
          >
          > I believe that's what also makes great songwriting, and why so much
          of
          > the Embos' corpus is great and fresh many years later. The lyrics
          > aren't as literal as blueprints, the way most pop songs are, and
          thus
          > it's hard to say what they're "about"; they're water color sketches,
          > they're architectural fragments, that suggest something else. As
          one's
          > perspective shifts from moving around (I suppose, in most of our
          cass,
          > as we age) they seem both familiar and new but never precisely the
          > same thing as when we first heard them.
          >
          > "Viewmaster" is one of my favorite illustrations of this kind of
          > songwriting...
          >
          > "I'll take you to Hoover Dam...you may not like what you see...
          >
          > Puppets parting the red sea...a false scene of debauchery...leer at
          > the ground...this is the reel..hear not a sound...this isn't real...
          >
          > [Then the music fills in without lyrics....]
          >
          > See What I mean?"
          >
          > ...and so forth.
          >
          > - Matt
          >
        • toddelkin
          Very strange to be on the same wavelength as you all- I listended to Viewmaster yesterday on my ipod- In Artworks, negative space is the space above, below,
          Message 4 of 14 , Jan 9, 2007
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            Very strange to be on the same wavelength as you all-

            I listended to Viewmaster yesterday on my ipod-

            In Artworks, "negative space" is the space above, below, between and
            within objects in a composition (2-d or 3-d) I absolutely agree that
            the Embarrassment are all about negative space. Lyrically,
            melodically, rythmically, etc etc

            --- In embos@yahoogroups.com, "afterthedisco" <digthefuzz@...> wrote:
            >
            > Genius.
            >
            > --- In embos@yahoogroups.com, "Matthew Wall" <matt_wall_of_pa@>
            > wrote:
            > >
            > >
            > > In dim memory I remember somebody describing great architecture
            as
            > not
            > > being about the columns and the lintels and so forth but about the
            > > spaces between them that are thereby created. It's the nothingness
            > > that's the somethingness.
            > >
            > > I believe that's what also makes great songwriting, and why so
            much
            > of
            > > the Embos' corpus is great and fresh many years later. The lyrics
            > > aren't as literal as blueprints, the way most pop songs are, and
            > thus
            > > it's hard to say what they're "about"; they're water color
            sketches,
            > > they're architectural fragments, that suggest something else. As
            > one's
            > > perspective shifts from moving around (I suppose, in most of our
            > cass,
            > > as we age) they seem both familiar and new but never precisely the
            > > same thing as when we first heard them.
            > >
            > > "Viewmaster" is one of my favorite illustrations of this kind of
            > > songwriting...
            > >
            > > "I'll take you to Hoover Dam...you may not like what you see...
            > >
            > > Puppets parting the red sea...a false scene of debauchery...leer
            at
            > > the ground...this is the reel..hear not a sound...this isn't
            real...
            > >
            > > [Then the music fills in without lyrics....]
            > >
            > > See What I mean?"
            > >
            > > ...and so forth.
            > >
            > > - Matt
            > >
            >
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