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Author Topic: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre  (Read 11540 times)

ScrambledGregs

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'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« on: 21 Dec 2007, 19:11 »

I feel like Devendra Banhart, if he wasn't doing it already, got finished with Cripple Crow and said to himself "what if I recorded an album while smoking so much pot I don't remember how to write an interesting or memorable song?"?

Bizarrely, my friend loves this album, which proves my theory that he only likes mediocre, un-challenging music with mild-to-moderate hippie undertones.
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #1 on: 21 Dec 2007, 19:31 »

If I want to listen to folk music from 'wierd america' I have some perfectly acceptable Charles Manson albums.
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Jackie Blue

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #2 on: 21 Dec 2007, 21:32 »

Devendra Banhart has been getting steadily less interesting with every album.
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Chrasstor

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #3 on: 21 Dec 2007, 23:05 »

I downloaded this album a couple weeks back and was unimpressed.

It was the first Devendra Banhart album I've ever downloaded. I don't think I even bothered to listen to all of the songs all the way through yet.
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SeanBateman

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #4 on: 21 Dec 2007, 23:06 »

I honestly never thought he was that interesting. He is okay, but he is not the best shit like all the hipsters think.
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #5 on: 21 Dec 2007, 23:36 »

If I want to listen to folk music from 'wierd america' I have some perfectly acceptable Charles Manson albums.

Charlie mostly just played blues really badly though.
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Jackie Blue

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #6 on: 22 Dec 2007, 06:29 »

I disagree, I think many of Charles Manson's songs were very good.  Particularly some of the stuff he has written in prison.
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #7 on: 22 Dec 2007, 06:31 »

I liked the album. That is all.
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #8 on: 22 Dec 2007, 08:21 »

Admittedly, I like Oh Me Oh My... and Cripple Crow a lot, but I kind of feel like everything about the guy is some kind of overly precious act.  It's not that you have to actually mean your songs to be good, but you have to at least seem or sound like you do.
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Kai

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #9 on: 22 Dec 2007, 09:01 »

I really enjoy a few of Manson's tunes, and despite being a slight nut he was a rather interesting (if sloppy) musician.

As for Devendra, I really liked Rejoicing In The Hands. Cripple Crow was okay. Smokey Rolls is pretty boring, and as Gregs said, pretty mediocre and unchallenging.

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but the music sucks because the keyboards don't have the cold/mechanical sound they had but a wannabe techno sound that it's pathetic for Rammstein standars.

tommydski

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #10 on: 22 Dec 2007, 10:47 »

Never got into this dude or that other dude that was hip last year.

He is the dude who makes records about the different states, right? I don't get it. It's not bad music, I just don't get it at all.
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #11 on: 22 Dec 2007, 13:32 »

You're thinking of Sufjan Stevens, Tommy.
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tommydski

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #12 on: 22 Dec 2007, 14:02 »

Either/Or.

Meh.
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SeanBateman

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #13 on: 22 Dec 2007, 14:14 »

No, Either/Or is Elliot Smith.
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #14 on: 22 Dec 2007, 14:47 »

Love and War is either/either or or/or.
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #15 on: 22 Dec 2007, 17:58 »

That same friend who loves this boring album loves Sufjan Stevens, which has thrown my love of Sufjan Stevens into harsh, questioning light.
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Ishotdanieljohnston

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #16 on: 22 Dec 2007, 18:45 »

I don't like Sufjan or Devendra. Devendra always came across as a bit of a self important, self indulgent wanker to me.
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #17 on: 22 Dec 2007, 18:47 »

That same friend who loves this boring album loves Sufjan Stevens, which has thrown my love of Sufjan Stevens into harsh, questioning light.

Oh, for goodness sake . . . Listen to the music you like listening to. Stop questioning why you like it. Enjoy your life.
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #18 on: 23 Dec 2007, 00:50 »

But...but...my tastes - they're correct, right?
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #19 on: 23 Dec 2007, 00:56 »

yes they are *pats on back* and to you, they always will be.....
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #20 on: 23 Dec 2007, 08:31 »

As for Devendra, I really liked Rejoicing In The Hands. Cripple Crow was okay. Smokey Rolls is pretty boring, and as Gregs said, pretty mediocre and unchallenging.

Niño Rojo is really splendid.
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ScrambledGregs

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #21 on: 23 Dec 2007, 08:31 »

That same friend who loves this boring album loves Sufjan Stevens, which has thrown my love of Sufjan Stevens into harsh, questioning light.

Oh, for goodness sake . . . Listen to the music you like listening to. Stop questioning why you like it. Enjoy your life.

Tell me I'm a good boy, pleeeeaseeeeee
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #22 on: 23 Dec 2007, 09:48 »

I don't have all of Devendra's stuff, and I haven't actually heard Niño Rojo.
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but the music sucks because the keyboards don't have the cold/mechanical sound they had but a wannabe techno sound that it's pathetic for Rammstein standars.

Jackie Blue

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #23 on: 23 Dec 2007, 10:31 »

Devendra's eccentric personality can be excused by the fact that he made three excellent albums (the first three) and one decent one (Cripple Crow).

Sufjan Stevens, on the other hand, has no such excuse for being such an insufferable douchebag.  He's the indie rock equivalent of an awkward hand-job in the back of your mother's car given by a fat girl.
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Johnny C

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #24 on: 23 Dec 2007, 10:51 »

Sufjan Stevens has created multiple records' worth of immaculately arranged, gloriously intricate and markedly catchy orchestral pop music. It's no small feat.

Besides, Iggy Pop was certainly an insufferable douchebag around the time of Funhouse, yet that record is superb from beginning to end.
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Jackie Blue

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #25 on: 23 Dec 2007, 10:59 »

Sufjan Stevens has created multiple records' worth of immaculately arranged, gloriously intricate and markedly catchy orchestral pop music

God damn it, I thought we already had the "musical taste is subjective" argument twice this year.

Your definitions of "immaculate", "glorious", "intricate" and "catchy" might differ from mine, or anyone else's.

I would use those terms to descibe The Olivia Tremor Control, never Sufjan Stevens.  That doesn't mean I think I'm right and anyone who disagrees is wrong.
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jimbunny

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #26 on: 23 Dec 2007, 12:06 »

Right now, I am reduced to shaking my head in wonder. You are truly a remarkable person.
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Johnny C

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #27 on: 23 Dec 2007, 12:08 »

God damn it, I thought we already had the "musical taste is subjective" argument twice this year.

Sure, but taste and quality are two different things. We've already had this argument too.
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Jackie Blue

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #28 on: 23 Dec 2007, 12:15 »

There is no such thing as on objective standard of artistic quality.

When you declare that something has quality, all you're doing is declaring that according to your rules of taste, it has quality.

If you can prove to me in some mathematical or logical way that Sufjan Stevens is good, go for it.

But you can't.

It's art.

Art =/= science.
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SleeperCylon

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #29 on: 23 Dec 2007, 22:44 »

I agree it's mediocre.
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Spinless

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #30 on: 24 Dec 2007, 07:45 »

Let's apply what JC is saying to painting, perhaps this will make it easier for you.

If I hand painted a picture perfect copy of Da Vinci's 'The Last Supper' that was ten times the size of the original, you couldn't possibly argue that I wasn't a skilled painter without looking extremely ignorant. Similarly, if I couldn't paint at all, but I drew a really scratchy drawing of a somebody using crayon, you could still argue that I was a good artist. Even if I don't have the technical skill required to draw a supersized copy of 'The Last Supper'. 

Technical skill and artistic vision are not the same thing, as technical skill isn't something that is subjective.

This applies to Sufjan Stevens in that technically, his records are meticulously arranged and massively intricate. In this sense, he is undeniably a good musician. His records ARE catchy, in that they are immediately accessible to the casual listener. That's what 'catchy' is.
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Jackie Blue

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #31 on: 24 Dec 2007, 09:51 »

I am so not having this discussion, because it always ends with the undeniable conclusion that Steve Vai is a "good" guitar player just because he is technically proficient.

People need to stop confusing "skilled" with "good".  If someone likes Sufjan Stevens, that's fine.  But to argue that someone else should like him because he is skilled flies in the face of the very basis of human experience, which is subjectivity.
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De_El

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #32 on: 24 Dec 2007, 11:49 »

Niño Rojo is really splendid.

"Little Yellow Spider" is the best song he's written.

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #33 on: 24 Dec 2007, 12:39 »

I think my favorite song of his is probably "The Charles C. Neely".

I liked him better when nobody knew who he was and M. Gira personally sent the pirate radio station I was Senior DJ at a copy of the first album and upon listening to it my immediate reaction was "Wow, this is one weird chick."   :-)
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De_El

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #34 on: 24 Dec 2007, 13:00 »

I must humbly confess I haven't heard anything earlier than Niño Rojo. Mediafire something for me? But I am a greedy bastard, you don't have to do that.

ScrambledGregs

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #35 on: 28 Dec 2007, 16:53 »

I think my favorite song of his is probably "The Charles C. Neely".

I liked him better when nobody knew who he was and M. Gira personally sent the pirate radio station I was Senior DJ at a copy of the first album and upon listening to it my immediate reaction was "Wow, this is one weird chick."   :-)

You mean 'The Charles C. Leary', right??

I liked him better when he actually was freak folk and worshiped at the altar of what's-her-face instead of trying to be a hippie shaman.
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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #36 on: 28 Dec 2007, 17:01 »

I saw Banhart in August and he was a bit boring.
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Johnny C

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Re: 'Smokey Rolls Down Thunder Canyon' is mediocre
« Reply #37 on: 29 Dec 2007, 01:01 »

I liked it better when he wasn't trying to be the avatar of this whole musical movement and instead just wanted to make songs.
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