Thursday, May 31, 2012

san fran music

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The history of popular music contains many ruptures “to existing styles and genre’s. Compare and contrast two such periods of “new music”, paying particular regard to the factors which bring about such musical change. Your examination should consider the areas of musical influences, social relationships, technology, marketing, media and audiences.

Popular music evolves from the bottom up. It is nearly always pushed forward or re-defined, from within the underground and the alternative segments of society. New musical movements tend to bubble away benaeath the surface of mainstream society until I they can no longer be ignored. Breathing new air into what was once a climate of safe radio friendly songs supporting the staus quo. Rythum and blues in one form or another had been a tradional folk music of Black Americans of rock for as long as Black Americans had been brought to America as slaves. It was this music that eventually influenced and redefined music as we know it today. Creating what we now as Rock and Roll. “The rhythm and blues….laid the foundation for Elvis, the Beatles, the Rolling Stones , Led Zepplin, the Sex Pistols and most other rock and roll groups”

The birth of Rock has undoubtebly been the largest transformation of Popular music. However within Rock there have also been massive amounts of ruptures and emergence of new music.

Two of these ruptures have been the acid rock/ pscycadllia movement of San Francisco in the late sixties and conversely the Punk Movement of England in the mid-seventies. Although worlds apart in their music their beliefs and their look, both sub-cultures began as an underground movement that started small but grew to capture the worlds imagination. Both were rebelling, although in completely different ways, to the staus quo. Both set about to bring about a change within not only music but general society. Althgough both sub cultures influence was much ;larger than music, creating a lifestyle it was that was the rudimenrty element, the catalyst for the movement.

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Within this essay I will look at how both these ‘new’ musical movements came into being. How they were influnced by other movments. How their cultural and social environment shaped them. How the dealt with and effected both their audience/fans and the mainstream media and wider society.

The seed of a new movement is always ispirartion, either the inspiratrion to be like something or the inspiration to be different from something. The Punk the Hippy movement both had their own forms musical inspiration which they drew from and approarited in varying degrees. Conversely both had an established musical style in which to rebel and polarize themselves against.

In the early 160’s America’s charts had been awash with the new flavour of British Rock. Bands like the Beatles, the Rolling Stones, Gerry and the Pacemakers and the Hollies had dominated sales. Although many of these bands would soon later go on to sing more deeply lyrically at the time the ideas expressed were very light weight. With the Vietnam War being waged and the use of drugs increasing many were becoming more politically yearned for a different type of music, a music that involved ideas of drug use free love and anti-esatablishment. As Grace Slick put it we beatles hold your hand.

Like the hippies the Punks also rebelled against the established music at the time however unlike the hippy movement their rebellion was to re-simplfy the music “to an earlier age wher rockers had more exuberance than ability” Dancing in the Street) As Johhny Rotten (Dacing in the Street). To bring back music to it’s roots with a simple beat and lyrics that could be that were sharp and to the point. (put it mainstream early seventies music was “Nothing but pompus stadium rock for snobby university students, there was nothing for Joe Bloggs in the street”. At the time the music industry was dominated by bands with a large amount of musical knowledge and expertise making far out of reach for a young teenager to form a band and live the rock star dream. The music was musically complicated and the lyrics mostly irrelevant to the dis enfranchised youth. Joe Strummer of the Clash said “I felt musicans were a world apart � a secret society I could never join so I didn’t bother to try until I was to old” (175 )Stazmary.

The acid hippy movement drew on a number of predecssors for inspiration.

Many of the musicans had been involved in the folk music. Like Hippy music the more earnest folk scene had been hostile to the establishment. Many of these ideas were carried on and directly influenced the new style of music. Gerry Garcia of of the longest serving acid rock bands, the grateful dead, commented on the influence stating, “Here on the west coast, the guys that are into rock and roll music have mostly come up like I have through folk music” (118 Stazmary). Acid music also used more rock and roll and bluesy styles. “unlike the mild mannered drone of Dylan these reborn folkies ampliefied their message glass shattering levels”(118 Stazmary)

In the 50’s San Francisco had been one of the many homes to the Beat largely a lierary movemenmt that lived a bohemian existence and was fed up with the bordem of mainstream living. There ideals of spirituality and their use of drugs beacmae a dominant feature of the hippy lifestyle . A number of key beat writers were to heavily influence the scene. Allen Ginsberg was an organizer of ‘Human Be in’ in Golden Gate Park in 167. a huge musical and poerty festival. While perhaps more importantly Ken Kesy a beat writer was responsible for the Kool Aid Acid Test which practically introduced San Francisico to LSD.

Both drugs used by the two scenes seem to characterize and illustrate a number of differences to the two. Acid and Marajuana were the drugs of choice for the hippies it was a major factor and influence on the scene. “drugs were seen as a search for enlightment and an escapre from the oppressive elements of straight society” (11, Frielander). As Bass player for Big Brother and the holding company said most people “came to be hippies through drugs” (Dancing in the street). Drugs also influenced the way the audianced listened and responed to the music. As seen in the the Human Be ins the musicans wanted to break down the distinction between the audience and the band. The idea was for the band and the audience alike to take a voyage of self discovery together, it was a drug induced intellectual experience. The Punk movement on the other hand into was more into heroin and amphetamines, more of a physical than a mind altering drug. Rarther trying to create a communal environment for the audience the Punks set to directly confront and shock. John Lydons icy stares would attempt to put the audience on edge and on a number of occasions he urinated on the crowd. An article describing a Sex Pistols show stated “Rotten just hangs from the Mike stand rips open a can of beer and burns the crowd with taunting, cynical eyes….he looks like an anphetmine corpse”( Chambers 180).

Unlike the spiritual journey taken by fans of bands like Greatful Dead and Jefferson Airplane. Punk, characterized by the pogo dance, had a more physical interaction with the audience. “Punks attention to the Human frame, singualry concentrated in it’s abrasive vocal and instrunmnetal encounter …..back towards the ambiguities of the body”

the English Punks found their inspiration oversee’s. For them it was the New York sound of the Patti Smith Televison and the Ramones The idea of simplistic music was taken from new York and added upon. . Malcom Mc Alren (Dancing in the streets) tells of how he brought back the fashions their ideas and most importantly their style of music back to London where he opned a shop entitled sex selling the pvc rubber clothes made famous by the punks. The shop became a hang out for as he put it “the dispoceesed fans …who were looking for their own music”

And dispocessed they were, Between 174 and 177 the unemployment rate shot up 10 per cent. For many it deffinatley seemed like there was ‘no future’. “It was the marganalised vestmentsthe lumpen proatetariet” (Chambers 181) that punk first appealed to.

The hippies however were as Hunter S. Thompson said were white and voluntarily poor they had all gone to college o

The hippies were focused on becming creating a world of beauty

Were from the underclass lumnpen. Not university unemployment

Body movment

The main influences on the psycadelic movement of the sixties are the folk scene and rythum and blues and the folk movement. Geery Garcia’s quote. Beat generation and Rythum and blues combnation of them all.

What they wanted to be like musically.

“Detoiating British econmy” 175 rocking in time.

San fran had always been ecdcentric.

London poor

Genre’s had both of these. Hippies were inspiring against pretty love songs Grace slick. Punks against mass produced rock shows that had become boring.

Hi[[ies influenced by beat folk, ryhum blues. Took the folk sentiment and added noisy gitars. Quote from Gerry Garcia.

Punk influnced by new york. Patti Smith.



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