Re: Analyze this equation: Taylor Swift=Bob Dylan
posted at 2/13/2014 3:22 PM EST
In response to yogafriend's comment:
In response to devildavid's comment:
If you really think there is no way to distinguish between them, I am surprised.
If you wan to level the playing field this flatly, it would be 'fun' to do so in another thread. We could all give examples of "this artist" = "this artist" using the same basic formula. :)
The bolded part is the point. I did not say you couldn't judge by criteria. Just because I didn't provide criteria doesn't mean you can't use any. That is the whole point. There is this thing called quality. It does exist. But quality is not proven by opinion, it is above opinion. It is not proven by accolades or popularity, it is above them. It's not proven by anything except the inherent value of whatever it is. That is the elusive crux of the matter I was trying to elicit by my bold(?) equation.
So I would argue that it doesn't matter how broad or narrow an audience for someone is. This says nothing about the quality of the music. There exist those people who correctly say that Bob Dylan can't sing very well. Is that a fact? Does it matter? The quality of the songs is not dependent on the social impact they have. That is just a by-product that doesn't reflect on the quality of the music.
Opera has limited social impact, yet the quality of opera singing towers above many forms of music. Why? Because it takes skill that very few people possess. It takes hard work and training and only the best of the best can perform it. Are these valid criteria to use or is it all just opinion?
Is this thread a take-off on the Steve Earle / Tom Petty thread? I was just thinking I liked that thread a lot better b/c when I asked for input (my original premise was similar to this, but I stated it very differently ("same sentence, same paragraph, same page ..." if you recall). I was then asked what I meant, because a few people had a "huh?" to my premise, so I tried to clarity. Then, I listened to the various opinions. I didn't tell anyone they were wrong, or argue with the words they used. Not that you can't ... I admitted that I didn't know that much about Steve Earle other than his major hits (some of which I really like). I also took a bit more seriously the opinions of people who really knew both artists well; to me, they had more 'weight' -- that's right, all opinions are not created equally, which is something that you seem to insist upon in your arguments, which is a factor you should re-think to tease apart the "weight" of an opinion, not just the idea that it is one.
And no offense, but you asked us for our "analysis" of a very simple premise, which you did not put much work into. They both write, sing, and perform their own songs; they both have many fans. Therefore, they are indistinguishable. If that was really your whole premise, then all we had to do is say, you're right. If that's all you're basing the inability to distinguish them on, we agree. There's really nothng to analyze, is there, because you gave us nothing. Instead, you got a lot more from us b/c we are thinkers and not slackers. :D (just kidding, but really, we create some good discussions here).
Look, we've discussed the notion of critical opinions many times, and you always seem to have the same issues, including a basic refusal to listen to those of us that feel strongly that there is such a thing as knowledge, training, experience, that back up "informed opinions", perhaps called educated, informed thoughts (example: even your MD will only have "advice" for you at the end of your exam, once he can tell you "factually" that you have high blood pressure, and will "advise" you to take medication -- but it's still his advice, he can't "make you" take the medicine, although he can tell you for a fact that you are at high risk if you don't).
You also seem to be moving the goal posts in some of your responses, so my last comment is in regard to your inclusion of opera as a measurement of quality singing. Again, you want to compare all forms of singing with operatic singing and training? That's another apples to oranges comparison and makes no sense. If you want to compare the level of training that's required to become an opera singer to other types of singing, fine. But to say they are automatically moved to the top of the "quality" heap above rock singers makes no sense.
Furthermore, opera might have limited social impact in your opinion, but not in mine (not that I am even certain wha you mean by social impact -- societal impact? )-- opera was the pre-cursor to musical theatre, and even the concept of the "rock opera" ("The Wall", "Tommy", Quadrophenia") would not exist without the original operas that were written by classical composers. "Rent" was based on "La Boheme" ; "Miss Saigon" was based on Madame Butterfly. Gilbert and Sullivan directly influenced and have a permanent footprint in musical theatre. "Les Mis", "Evita" and "Phantom of the Opera" are all modern day musical theatre done in the style of opera. The impact was/is huge.
In a search of both Swift and old Bob, there were lots of hits linking the two. Swift is more seen as "the next" Bob Dylan ... not his "=" .
Why can't Taylor Swift just be judged on her own merit? She's fine. A more apt comparson companion would be Sara Bareilles. But then that would not have made much of a debate. :)
The reason I use Taylor Swift is precisely because most assume there is no comparison to Dylan. If you remember on the Steve Earle/Tom Petty thread, I recused myself for lacking any knowledge of Steve Earle which rendered me unable to present an informed opinion. I think it was valid to compare the two and in fact it adresses the same issue as I do here. How do we strip away preconceptions and prejudices and truly compare the artistic value of one performer to another? For some on this thread I have elicited emotional responses that refuse to address the issue. How dare I compare Taylor Swift to Dylan! It is obvious he is far greater than her! These reactions just point up what I have said about opinion. It becomes a matter of thinking that just because I like something that is what makes it great and you dare not question that. But someone will always question that. So provide the evidence to support your view. That is all I am asking. Your evidence to support your view. At least attempt to convince me with your own analysis in your own words. Don't tell me the issue has already been decided and there is nothing at all open for debate.
We do not have to rely on experts to tell us what is great and what is not. We can use the same methods as they do to make our point. Someone can tell me Dylan is great but until I can internalize that same type of "expert" thinking I am not truly understanding what they say. By the same token, critical consensus can be saying that my favorite music is utter crap but if I can make a case with enough evidence maybe I can prove them wrong.