Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

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    Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    PBS's recently aired an excellent Rocumentary "Woman in R@R," which explored the many roles Woman have played in the modern R@R music scene. From gospel singer Mavis Staples to Joni Mitchell's music poetry, Adele's amazing voice and Lady Gaga's metioric rise, the show aptly describes how Women have not only made their mark in the once Male dominated industry, they now almost completely own it based on record sales, YouTube hits and music downloads.

    No more evidence is needed than last night's somewhat curious AMA Awards show, where Taylor Swift, not exactly Janis Joplin, but who has her own unique talents, won Entertainer of the Year. And, the most talked about performance was not Justin Bieber's inability to hit even the most basic notes, but Jennifer Lopez's provocative dance/sing number. 

    I know this esteemed group of music enthusiasts recently touched on Women in R@R in the Passion thread, but do you agree with the premise that Women have now become the undisputed masters of the mainstream music scene, and which women do you think Adele, Gaga and Taylor Swift, owe their good fortune to? 

    Thanks. 
     
  2. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    Don't forget Katy Perry.  I think she has 5 hit singles on her latest album.
     
  3. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    I think Lady Gaga obviously owes a lot to Madonna, but she seems to be emerging as a writing talent in her own right.

    Adele has a tremendous voice and Taylor Swift is a good songwriter, so I think it's talent that has gotten them where they are for the most part.
     
  4. You have chosen to ignore posts from newman09. Show newman09's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    They have, because talent takes a back seat to sex today.. bottom line sex sells. It makes better videos, it looks better on the CD cover and it puts butts in the seats.

    Now I'm not saying that Taylor Swift or Katie Perry have no talent, they do. But you combine that with the sex portion of things and you have one very powerful machine to push sales. I mean come on, how many guys sitting on a stool strumming a guitar acts can one take before one reaches for the remote.

    Something has to keep them watching, and a somewhat talented twenty something looking fine on stage will trump most acts all day long.
     
  5. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?:
    They have, because talent takes a back seat to sex today.. bottom line sex sells. It makes better videos, it looks better on the CD cover and it puts butts in the seats. Now I'm not saying that Taylor Swift or Katie Perry have no talent, they do. But you combine that with the sex portion of things and you have one very powerful machine to push sales. I mean come on, how many guys sitting on a stool strumming a guitar acts can one take before one reaches for the remote. Something has to keep them watching, and a somewhat talented twenty something looking fine on stage will trump that all day long.
    Posted by newman09


    I think you nailed a good part of it. Sex sells, but I really do believe that once you get past looks, the talent has to be there. Joni Mitchell, Aimee Mann, Polly Jean Harvey, these are all beautiful woman, who have an immense amount of talent, and extremely influential, but will they ever sell as many records as say Taylor Swift, Katy Perry, or Beyonce, Probably not because they don't fit the  conventional image of what sells today.
     
  6. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    I agree with newman.

    These airheaded babes of today are making it on looks and sex.

    They couldn't hold a candle to the female artists that managed to have some decent success in the male dominated era of the late 60's , early 70's ( we'' call it the pre Pat Benatar/Heart era).

    It wasn't about "sexy" in those years because rock was generally just on the radio.

    Grace Slick ( although a beautiful girl) was a terrific songwriter with a razor-sharp voice....unforgettable. Janis Joplin had passion and emotion coming out her pores, Joni Mitchell was a real cool lady with great songwriting skills to go along with a wonderful stage presence...she was my first real favorite female music artist ( 'Blue' and 'Court and Spark' still rank as a couple of my favorite LPs). Deborah Harry has also always been a favorite....love her voice.

    AMA awards?....excuse me while I barf. Maroon 5 ? Justin Beiber ? Katy Perry ? these are award winners?....what has happened to this country is even worse than I feared. I wonder if Katy Perry could show up to a show without purple hair and halloween costumes and focus on the artistry of music instead of being a clown ( Lady Gaga , too).Carly Simon,Janis, Joni and Grace didn't need to do this...they were real singers.
     
  7. You have chosen to ignore posts from Hfxsoxnut. Show Hfxsoxnut's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    Good looks never hurt.  But as with most issues I think you have to be careful not to over-generalize.

    I don't think Lady Gaga or Adele are where they are because of their looks.  Lady Gaga is 'unusual-looking' to put it kindly.
     
  8. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    Perhaps.

    However, unless that extends to the music company executive board rooms, the battle for equal rights is only half-won, at best.

    I'd like to see more female moguls, producers, agents, and talent originators.

    Tough to do when arts education funding is slashed to the bone and when the industry takes a generally "profit first, artistry last" approach to their product.

    I also agree that here, mainstream = most profit-oriented.  There aren't many rock acts high up on these lists (much less female-led groups), because rock music no longer sells that well.
     
  9. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    As I stated on another thread, here is a female who really rocks:




    Orianthi, and she's beautiful , too!

     
  10. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?:
    I agree with newman. These airheaded babes of today are making it on looks and sex. They couldn't hold a candle to the female artists that managed to have some decent success in the male dominated era of the late 60's , early 70's ( we'' call it the pre Pat Benatar/Heart era). It wasn't about "sexy" in those years because rock was generally just on the radio. Grace Slick ( although a beautiful girl) was a terrific songwriter with a razor-sharp voice....unforgettable. Janis Joplin had passion and emotion coming out her pores, Joni Mitchell was a real cool lady with great songwriting skills to go along with a wonderful stage presence...she was my first real favorite female music artist ( 'Blue' and 'Court and Spark' still rank as a couple of my favorite LPs). Deborah Harry has also always been a favorite....love her voice. AMA awards?....excuse me while I barf. Maroon 5 ? Justin Beiber ? Katy Perry ? these are award winners?....what has happened to this country is even worse than I feared. I wonder if Katy Perry could show up to a show without purple hair and halloween costumes and focus on the artistry of music instead of being a clown ( Lady Gaga , too).Carly Simon,Janis, Joni and Grace didn't need to do this...they were real singers.
    Posted by ZILLAGOD


    I agree, that with a very few exceptions, today's female artists cannot hold a candle to the true pioneers of Rock music, Grace Slick is a great example.

    While I cannot discount the talents of some of last nights performers, the AMAs was a poor showing of what is considerd good music by today's standards, and one has to wonder just how bad it will get before the public says enough with the showmanship and let's get back to what really matters, the music, or maybe that ship has already sailed.
     
  11. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?:
    Good looks never hurt.  But as with most issues I think you have to be careful not to over-generalize. I don't think Lady Gaga or Adele are where they are because of their looks.  Lady Gaga is 'unusual-looking' to put it kindly.
    Posted by Hfxsoxnut


    I am with you on the over-generalization point, but when you see pictures of Adele when she first hit, she was rather plain looking, and over time as her music got bigger, so did her looks.  Her talent is so great that she could easily get by on her voice alone..
     
  12. You have chosen to ignore posts from ZILLAGOD. Show ZILLAGOD's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    We live in a world where many women celebrities are bimbos. I blame reality T.V. for most of this. Kardashians, Snookis, etc.

    Women celebs of the past were either talented ( Joni Mitchell), elegant (Raquel Welch , who was a sex symbol without being a bimbo) or smart (Kate Jackson). Comediennes like Carol Burnett and Lucille Ball were attractive ladies who retained a certain level of respect as you knew they were comic actresses but the real woman behind the role was a genuine real caring and extremely intelligent person.

    I haven't got a lot of respect for a women who has no brains and thinks looks will carry her through life. There will come a day when those looks fade ( unless you are Jane Fonda...never seemed to happen to her, but she was no dummy , either.) and then what?

    I have drifted away from the 'mainstream music" topic and I am sorry. I just have little use for the term "mainstream" anymore. In this time period "mainstream" seems to be aimed at "stupid." Network T.V. and "pop" music are so loaded with mindless cr@p , reality shows, dopey music with no substance. If that's "mainstream" , I hope to h*ll that I can stay left of center, right of center or "underground."
     
  13. You have chosen to ignore posts from EnjoyEverySandwich. Show EnjoyEverySandwich's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?



    I just wanted to thank polar123 for reminding me of Aretha -- I should have included her on my list (in another thread) of women whose voices are awesome, regardless of material.  She's someone who in my dreams I've wanted to sing like.

    Also, I could have included Annie Lennox.  It's really not a short list, when I think of female voices that move me.

    I know I'm in the minority here on the Music forum -- and I have to admit I don't even own an album by her, but I think Melissa Etheridge has a great rock-n-roll voice.  I like her stuff almost purely for her voice, actually.  She has that RnR grit.  And that song she put out post-breast cancer was moving on many levels.

     
  14. You have chosen to ignore posts from yogafriend. Show yogafriend's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?


    I know this esteemed group of music enthusiasts recently touched on Women in R@R in the Passion thread, but do you agree with the premise that Women have now become the undisputed masters of the mainstream music scene, and which women do you think Adele, Gaga and Taylor Swift, owe their good fortune to?

    Polar,
    First, I think you have truly choice taste in music, based on your posts to the forum.   I didn't see the program that you mentioned -- I'll catch it or watch it online.  Sounds excellent.  

    It's still a male-dominated industry --  I don't think it matters as it pertains to this discussion, but I do believe this to be true.  Statistics may show that the babes have evened out the mix to a certain extent, and they have -- but if they are the masters of the mainstream, it is because they are being cut out of cookie cutters -- the music sounds the same, the messages are the same, and yes, sex sells.  More than ever, in fact.  I did a thread of this nature a while back and believe me, I have to agree with most of what I got for input in that thread.  If Jessey posts, I know I will agree with him; and I agree w/Newman.

    I also did a thread on Adele last year; I contrasted her to Lady Gaga in my thread b/c I saw Adele as a vocalist who was making it without gimmicks and without being cut out of a cookie cutter: she's beautiful, but she's not slim, she does not dress provocatively and she's down to earth.  Her talent is pure.  She is the exception to the rule.  

    Male RnR singers show up on stage in t-shirts, jeans, boots, some don't bother to bathe, don't need to shave, don't need to worry about their appearance.  Sure, the audience will judge, but it is more rare and less harsh than judging women performers.  Can females show up like that?  Seriously.  

    Tori Amos, Aimee Mann, PJ Harvey, the one and only Sarah McLachlan, Sara Bareilles, Loreena McKennitt, Alicia Keys, Kim Deal, Alison Krauss -- I mean the list goes on and on, old and new.  But they are not the ones that are the masters of the mainstream -- and that's alright with me, you know?  Bet it's alright with you, too.    :)
     
  15. You have chosen to ignore posts from jesseyeric. Show jesseyeric's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    I am going to avoid this conversation. But I will say that you can no longer compares generations and decades. Music is a completely different entertainment media now as opposed to pre - MTV years.

    FTR - Rock Chicks Rule!
     
  16. You have chosen to ignore posts from leafswin27. Show leafswin27's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    I am very biased to the great Kim Deal when it comes to women in Rock..Also a fan of Chrissie Hynde and even like the music of Courtney Love.. Those bubble gum pop stars who seem more show than music make me vomit
     
  17. You have chosen to ignore posts from shumirules. Show shumirules's posts

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    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?:
    I am very biased to the great Kim Deal when it comes to women in Rock..Also a fan of Chrissie Hynde and even like the music of Courtney Love.. Those bubble gum pop stars who seem more show than music make me vomit
    Posted by leafswin27


    Spot on, to many women in music today seem to be looks first and talent 2nd, if at all. 

    Give me a Linda Ronstadt any day, yes she was great looking.  But she could also falt out sing and that used to matter more.

    I dont know if a women who was not that good looking could get anywhere today in music without acting like a freak ( I am looking at you Lady Gaga).


    Could the Mamas and Papas get a record deal today with Mama Cass, I really dont think so.
     
  18. You have chosen to ignore posts from phsmith8. Show phsmith8's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    I saw Katy Perry unplugged, and she seemed extremely comfortable without the pop arrangements of her songs...she has a very delicate falsetto, all too rare for female pop singers who shout out most of their high notes.  She seemed very comfortable acoustic.

    From what I remember reading about her, she grew up in a very religious family with a pastor for a father, and she started songwriting and singing/playing acoustic at a young age.


     
  19. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    Not for nothing...


    ...but these referenced female pop stars are also part of the reason for women taking more control over the industry.  Artists like Madonna, Mary J Blige, Lady Gaga have seized the reins of commercial music and are more able to create work on their own terms.

    Not surprising either is the fact that the Arts in general have afforded more creative freedom to its female practitioners - from film/theatre to music to fashion to poetry and literature.  This is because the arts are traditionally based upon the quality of the work result and less on the individual persona of the artist.  But, the commercialization of the arts is built in to our much larger consumer culture - tough to avoid.

    There are frequent exceptions to the above, but it's worth noting that mass appeal can occasionally intersect with work of a high artistic quality.  It doesn't happen often, but it does happen.

    Ergo, Walmart playing Back In Black...the song is still an all-time classic and no  more worse for the wear, really.
     
  20. You have chosen to ignore posts from p-mike. Show p-mike's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?:
    It wasn't about "sexy" in those years because rock was generally just on the radio.
    Posted by ZILLAGOD


    Bruce Wooley was right, and while I don't begrudge anyone their success, I find much of today's music bland and interchangeable, in much the same way I found a lot of the "hair" metal that MTV spawned bland and interchangeable.

    Video did, indeed, kill the radio star.


     
  21. You have chosen to ignore posts from DirtyWaterLover. Show DirtyWaterLover's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    I think Women own the Pop charts, but not convinced they dominate rock and roll.  Women charting on the pop charts is nothing new.  Martha and the Vandells, The Supremes, Connie Francis, the list is long if you focus on Pop.

    The number of Women in Rock and Roll is rising, but I wouldn't say they dominate.
     
  22. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?:
    I know this esteemed group of music enthusiasts recently touched on Women in  R@R  in the Passion thread, but do you agree with the premise that Women have now become the undisputed masters of the mainstream music scene, and which women do you think Adele, Gaga and Taylor Swift, owe their good fortune to? Polar, First, I think you have truly choice taste in music, based on your posts to the forum.   I didn't see the program that you mentioned -- I'll catch it or watch it online.  Sounds excellent.   It's still a male-dominated industry --  I don't think it matters as it pertains to this discussion, but I do believe this to be true.  Statistics may show that the babes have evened out the mix to a certain extent, and they have -- but if they are the masters of the mainstream, it is because they are being cut out of cookie cutters -- the music sounds the same, the messages are the same, and yes, sex sells.  More than ever, in fact.  I did a thread of this nature a while back and believe me, I have to agree with most of what I got for input in that thread.  If Jessey posts, I know I will agree with him; and I agree w/Newman. I also did a thread on Adele last year, I believe, before she was a name brand in the USA.  I heard about her on an international board I read.   I contrasted her to Lady Gaga in my thread b/c I saw Adele as a vocalist who was making it without gimmicks and without being cut out of a cookie cutter: she's beautiful, but she's not slim, she does not dress provocatively and she's down to earth.  Her talent is pure.  She is the exception to the rule, as she is very young.   Male RnR singers show up on stage in t-shirts, jeans, boots, some don't bother to bathe, don't need to shave, don't need to worry about their appearance.  Sure, the audience will judge, but it is more rare and less harsh than judging women performers.  Can females show up like that?  If they do, how long will they last and who is going to pay attention?  Seriously.   Tori Amos, Aimee Mann, PJ Harvey, the one and only Sarah McLachlan, Sara Bareilles, Loreena McKennitt, Alicia Keys, Kim Deal, Alison Krauss -- I mean the list goes on and on, old and new.  But they are not the ones that are the masters of the mainstream -- and that's alright with me, you know?  Bet it's alright with you, too .    :)
    Posted by yogafriend


    @Yoga

    It is alright with me as well!! All of the female artists you mentioned are personal favorites of mine, with a with heavy bend towards Loreena McKennitt and Aimee Mann.  With Mckennitt, there is something very mystical about her music, which can pretty much fit any mood I am in. Aimee Mann in my opinion is one of the most underrated songwriters of any genre today.

    I am also a huge PJ Harvey fan http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CrCQbrFCQ1I 
     
  23. You have chosen to ignore posts from polar123. Show polar123's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?:
    I saw Katy Perry unplugged, and she seemed extremely comfortable without the pop arrangements of her songs...she has a very delicate falsetto, all too rare for female pop singers who shout out most of their high notes.  She seemed very comfortable acoustic. From what I remember reading about her, she grew up in a very religious family with a pastor for a father, and she started songwriting and singing/playing acoustic at a young age.
    Posted by phsmith8


    I saw that show as well, and was kind of surprised by her talent. No question she can sing, but why all of the showmanship, shouldn't her voice speak for it'self, or is it as Newman said Sex sells. Hell this is nothing new, tell me Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronsdstat, The Wilson Sisters, Olivia Newton John etc. didn't exploit their looks as well as their tremendous talent.
     
  24. You have chosen to ignore posts from MattyScornD. Show MattyScornD's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    Ani Difranco is one of the best examples I know of an artist taking complete control over her work, her likeness and her creative faculties.  Her refusal to compromise is awe-inspiring, and her dedication shows in her music.

    She is literally a self-made artist in the best, most organic sense of the term.
     
  25. You have chosen to ignore posts from newman09. Show newman09's posts

    Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?

    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard?:
    In Response to Re: Women and Mainstream Music. The New Gold Standard? : I saw that show as well, and was kind of surprised by her talent. No question she can sing, but why all of the showmanship, shouldn't her voice speak for it'self, or is it as Newman said Sex sells. Hell this is nothing new, tell me Stevie Nicks, Linda Ronsdstat, The Wilson Sisters, Olivia Newton John etc. didn't exploit their looks as well as their tremendous talent.
    Posted by polar123



    I too saw that show and no doubt she can pull off an acoustic solo act, and sound pretty good doing it. But the difference between her exclusively performing like that, and the Katie Perry we saw at the AMA's
    and all know, is about 20 million records. 
     
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