PLEA - To all creators of a cappella music.

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PLEA - To all creators of a cappella music.

Postby D.L.P.A » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:16 pm

Hi everyone!

I've been a huge fan of a cappella music, specifically collegiate a cappella, for about 4 years now. I'm a sophomore in college, but I'm sadly not talented enough to be in a group myself. However, it is refreshing to know that people my age can truly inspire my ears and creativity with their unbelievable talent and hard work.

I've just registered for the forums here, and have eagerly been searching for at least one opinion that mirrors mine on the forums. However, there is one opinion that I am not seeing, and it is closely tied in to my opinion of the newest Bubs album "Play the Game" which everybody seems to love.

The Bubs are amazing. I enjoyed "Shedding" a lot (specifically the song Hurt), but for some reason I skipped on Pandaemonium. I recently downloaded "Play the Game," and while I can notice the huge difference between the sound of their album, and the sound of almost any other album that tries to imitate theirs, I also notice one element of the album that is very disappointing to me, so much so that I can't go on without getting this opinion out.

There is a difference between the quality of the songs, and the quality of the album. I think that this applies to all groups intent on recording, and I will not simply use this message to bash the Bubs. They don't deserve it.

What I mean when I say "there is a difference between the quality of the songs, and the quality of the album," is that just because the songs are of a high quality and musicality doesn't mean that I will necessarily like the album. I say this with several points in mind:

1: What is the story that the album is trying to tell? As a good example of this, I mention the Harmonic's "Escape Velocity." With this album, I can recognize an OVERALL arch to the album that most others seem to lack. There is a reason that they started with "Battle without Honor and Humanity," and then moved on to the next track and the next track and so on. Whereas it seems with the Bubs that they could have chosen any 12 tracks to fit the album. What do Ben Folds, Nine Inch Nails, and Pink Floyd have in common? The answer is, "not much." This makes the album less appealing to me. Their songs have polish, but I just don't think that the songs mesh.

2: How do the songs you choose represent the group as a whole? I am always amazed to find so many groups of college kids (people MY AGE) singing songs that I, frankly, hate. Why are they doing this? These people are all my peers, and yet sometimes I cannot recognize a bit of college spirit in any of the albums that are coming out. If I could arrange any song and put it out for all to hear, it certainly wouldn't be a Billy Idol song. I know that this is a matter of song preference, and I know that my tastes do not match everyone's, but I am amazed to find so many people my age that are firmly stuck in music of the 70's and 80's. If that's what you are passionate about, fine. But if you choose songs that are all over the spectrum, then they better have a common thread of some kind, or a specific goal or purpose among the other songs, or else the album will sound jarring as a whole, even if the songs are well produced and well performed throughout.

3: Collegiate a cappella, for me, is 2 things. It is fresh, and it is humorous. Both of these do not have to be apparent in an album, but I would appreciate it if at least one of them were. Collegiate a cappella is humorous by its very nature. The groups are taking hit songs and mutilating them, singing "wop doo-chu bow wow" and trying to pass it off as original music. I say this not to mock, but to implore you to see the inherent humor of it. I'm asking groups to stretch their creative muscles in a way that recognizes this inherent ridiculousness. The reason I prefer a cappella to regular music is because it often tells two stories. The first is the story that the song itself was originally telling. This is what the original artist intended. The second story is the one that the group is telling to get you to listen to their song INSTEAD of the original. The Bubs seemed to ignore this concept with their latest album because, when I listen to it, I can only hear one story. It is not fresh, or humorous. It is a cover of a song. I'm looking for more than just a cover of a song. I'm looking for an original expression within this ridiculous world of covers.

My plea is for future recorders of a cappella music to keep these points in mind as they decide on songs, arrange the songs, sing them, record them, and mix them into albums for me to listen to. I apologize for the lengthy-ness of my comment (and for any rambling that I may have done), and to the Beelzebubs if I have shared opinions that they do not appreciate. However, I think that they will be just fine regardless. I mean, is anyone even going to read this?
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Postby dekesharon » Thu Jan 07, 2010 7:55 pm

DJ,

I, for one, read your review and thoughts. Many people will.

Your perspective is appreciated and your thoughts were respectfully presented. A cappella needs listeners with a critical ear and mind to help push creativity forward and bring the best out of musicians.

I understand what you're saying, and agree with the idea that college a cappella groups should be thinking of all of these concepts, but don't personally agree with your specific example.

I deeply respect Charlie Forkish and the envelope-pushing work he did on Escape Velocity, but I have to admit I don't listen to it for pleasure repeatedly. To me, it's kinda like a collection of essays that were fascinating to read, but I'll likely not reread. Play The Game, however, to my ear is like a movie you want to watch over and over again.

Agreed: the Bubs album doesn't have a clear overarching theme, but frankly most college albums don't. But it does take each song for what it is, and as such makes for a superlative collection.

Humor? Dog Problems is perhaps my favorite track from last year on any album, and I find it laced with humor, yet still complicated and emotionally dense and extremely satisfying. And I see great dark humor in ending the album with Goodbye Cruel World the way they do. And Party All The Time makes me laugh, as does the intro to the Beck tune. Tongue in cheek delivery without making fun of it or losing the musicality.

And fun: Who are you is genius, and Vehicle is a pure joy ride.

I think the album represents the group as a whole beautifully, as it's diverse, thoughtful, complex and brilliantly executed. It's likely much like one of their iPod playlists, or frankly any college student's playlist. Which is why other college students (in large) have enjoyed it.

As for freshness, I always love hearing a new Bubs album because I never know what will happen. Granted, I'm deeply biased, and yet as an alum I'm also deeply critical (the current guys always say that alums are their harshest critics as well as most ardent supporters, and it is true).

The guys know I will tell it as I see it at all times, and whereas I will say I would like a heaping helping of pioneering in the next Bubs disc, the albums since Ed Boyer has taken over production have been truly amazing. Professional quality. Frankly, I can't think of another college's albums I think are more consistently superlative laced with moments that are breathtakingly beautiful or shockingly amazing.

So, it's kinda hard for me to harsh their buzz too badly when they're raising the bar album after album.

That has not always been the case. Before I worked with them on Next, I was honest in saying they were not making the best albums in the country. Off The Beat and a couple other groups were outpacing them. They have turned that around.

All that said, that's just my opinion. I don't think that everyone should share my perspective, as it's music, and completely totally subjective. We agree that it's technically accomplished, but disagree on the emotional takeaway. Completely reasonable.

I agree more than you know on the topic of groups thinking and planning before they make music. I can guarantee you that the Bubs do. Sit up all night figuring out how to make amazing music and performances. It's not easy. And they're most certainly not the only group, by a longshot. In fact, that's the thing that gives me the most faith in the future of collegiate a cappella: music directors and arrangers are losing sleep trying to figure out how to blow people's minds with a bunch of amateur singers on an album they'll record in their spare time between chem lab and econ 202.

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Re: PLEA - To all creators of a cappella music.

Postby billhare » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:01 pm

DJ Littell wrote:I mean, is anyone even going to read this?


I read it, and I was the one who mixed ALL the albums you talked about! :-)


It might surprise you though, that not much more thought went into the sequencing of Escape Velocity than Play The Game, Pandaemonium, or Shedding. I was there for all four.

Yes, "Battle" was always destined to start the album, but only because it's an "intro" kind of thing (much like starting an album with "Let's Get it Started" - the title tells you to do that, which we did in Shedding's case). We had no idea how any of these songs (especially a crazy soundscape like "Sound of Silence") would turn out, so there was no intentional arc or story in choosing the album - it just turned out that way. -B

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Postby D.L.P.A » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:10 pm

Wow! Very interesting! Thanks for letting me know. I am such a huge fan of Escape Velocity because every song seems to take me through a journey. The Bubs selection is a lot more lighthearted. It's interesting how the same mixer approaching two entirely different groups. One is west. One is east. One is coed. One is all guys. There's so many more differences, and yet all the albums are award winning.

Thanks again!
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Postby billhare » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:48 pm

DJ Littell wrote:Wow! Very interesting! Thanks for letting me know. I am such a huge fan of Escape Velocity because every song seems to take me through a journey. The Bubs selection is a lot more lighthearted. It's interesting how the same mixer approaching two entirely different groups. One is west. One is east. One is coed. One is all guys. There's so many more differences, and yet all the albums are award winning.


Well, that maybe wasn't the original intent (or maybe it was), but the process itself (for Escape Velocity) was a journey - both in the recording and mix, so maybe that's why it feels that way to the listener as well. We didn't know how these things would turn out, just worked on them until they were done (I remember having NO idea what I was going to do with the tracks we collected for "Sound of Silence", but we played around with it until it turned into the monster it did).

On the other hand, the Bubs knew exactly what they wanted to do, what they wanted to sound like, from the git-go. Both approaches can work very well.

"Battle" was just me throwing people into the recording room and saying "sing something like this" and letting them take it the rest of the way - no arrangement, just spur of the moment energy. I even got an arranging credit on that one, but it wasn't really arranging - it was just directing a jam, really. I wanted it to be rough, spontaneous - I wasn't thinking "journey" personally. I want to feel something from music, but don't necessarily care if it tells me a story.

As far as the same mixer approaching groups differently, it's more about the differences between the groups. Just as you can't treat all your friends exactly the same - each has their sensitivities, likes, dislikes, etc, so things you can talk to John about you can't discuss with Sarah. Last year in addition to doing the albums we're talking about I also mixed The Swingle Singers, Cluster, Talisman, Raagapella, Jazzanova... Barbershop groups, songs in many different languages... the list goes on(click here), but the point is none are like any other and the experience of working with each is totally different. This makes the result totally different.





-B
Last edited by billhare on Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:03 pm, edited 2 times in total.

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Re: PLEA - To all creators of a cappella music.

Postby jmille22 » Thu Jan 07, 2010 8:57 pm

DJ Littell wrote:What is the story that the album is trying to tell? ... How do the songs you choose represent the group as a whole?

As Deke pointed out, most collegiate albums won't have this overarching theme. Consider for a moment the general case: Groups record songs in their repertoire; songs in their repertoire are arranged by members; and members tend to arrange what they want to, not "what's needed". Also realize that each group has its own personality which will cause it to attract certain kinds of people who listen to certain kinds of music.

By and large, these tracks won't (and often can't) be put in the perfect order to create an emotional arc. I agree with you in principle that this should be done! But it's an idealized case. The rarity of this kind of artistry is what makes Overboard's "HELP!" album so incredibly special.

You're not the only one to ask questions about an album's track order (whether good or bad) and emotional arc (whether present or missing). Especially with professional groups, RARB reviewers have been known to comment on these things.

DJ Littell wrote:Collegiate a cappella, for me, is 2 things. It is fresh, and it is humorous. Both of these do not have to be apparent in an album, but I would appreciate it if at least one of them were.

"Freshness" is difficult to quantify. If you take the same backing block and ask ten different soloists to sing with it, you're liable to get ten different interpretations. Is each one a fresh take on the same song? Similarly, if you take the same lead vocal and ask ten different arrangers to write a backing block, you’re liable to get ten different interpretations. Is each one of those a fresh take? This is a difficult question.

It's hard to capture humor—at least, overt humor—on an album. There's an old BOCA called "BOCA Humor: Wasting Our Parents' Money" which is comprised solely of parody tracks; it didn’t do so well. And barring outright parody, I think it’s pretty difficult to put much humor into an album. For one thing, there’s no visual, and most of the time I find the humor in collegiate a cappella is on the stage, not in the speakers. If there actually is anything funny buried in the music itself, it’s probably in the background lyrics, which most listeners won’t be able to pick out. That’s can be difficult to bring to a recorded medium. More nuanced humor like Deke was talking about is abundant.

DJ Littell wrote:The first is the story that the song itself was originally telling. This is what the original artist intended. The second story is the one that the group is telling to get you to listen to their song INSTEAD of the original.

You might not want to listen to "Code Red" then, haha.

Kidding aside, you have some great points here, and they fall under the guise of interpretation. Sometimes an arranger will want to interpret a song as a direct transcription—i.e., exactly as an original (see Boyer, Ed:"Paranoid Android"). Sometimes they will do something insanely risky and completely reinvent a song (see: Forkish, Charlie: "The Sound of Silence"). Those examples are at the extremes, and most songs fall somewhere in the middle.

As for why one should listen to a cover version over the original, well, that’s personal choice. Some people will listen simply because it’s a cappella; others want to hear a faithful recreation; others want to hear a complete reinterpretation. That’s such a personal choice that I don’t think there’s any one answer.

DJ Littell wrote:My plea is for future recorders of a cappella music to keep these points in mind as they decide on songs, arrange the songs, sing them, record them, and mix them into albums for me to listen to.

Good! We should all be so lucky as to have fans like you to keep us on our toes and motivate us to greater achievements.

DJ Littell wrote:I mean, is anyone even going to read this?

We like respectful intelligence here, especially when it makes us step back and take a good, hard look at our art. If you have anything else that might stir up some healthy debate, do share it. We're grateful for the input.

DekeSharon wrote:Collegiate A Cappella: How to Blow People's Minds Between Chem Lab and Econ 202.

I know I paraphrased, but... can this be our motto?

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Postby Ed Boyer » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:12 pm

DJ Littell,

I agree that most collegiate arrangements (Bubs included) could afford to be more original. Tho, In defense of Play the Game, "Don't Think Twice" and "Goodbye Cruel World" are vastly different from their originals. More so than most collegiate stuff...and certainly more than anything on Shedding.

As for album arc, there are a lot of reasons why it's not very common among collegiate albums. For one thing, there are several, more important factors taken into consideration when choosing songs (solo capabilities, live repertoire needs, what other groups on campus and around the world are doing, etc.). More importantly, even though the album will be presented as one cohesive product, it will have been developed piecemeal by a large group of people with clashing ideas and (and this is huge) a rotating membership. The guys who start an album may have one vision, but, two years later when 50% of the group's makeup has changed, it's not very likely that people will be on board for the same vision (especially if the original vision was centered around songs that were hot at the time but now are totally played out).

Retooling a group's operational approach for the sake of making a more cohesive album arc just isn't that practical. Especially in today's world, when listening to an album from front to back is exceedingly rare. Most people skip around from track to track, or just hear tracks from compilations, or a random track from iTunes, or even just clips on a website.

It can be done. And it does happen from time to time. But, as guys have mentioned, most of those are either flukes or professional albums.
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Postby D.L.P.A » Thu Jan 07, 2010 9:47 pm

Interesting! Thanks, guys.

Bill - Thanks for putting me in my place. If "Escape Velocity" was thrown together without a clue of what was happening in terms of aesthetic goals, then I simply made some up. But my point still stands, even if the example was completely unfounded.

jmille22 - You're right about the overarching theme concept. It's a repertoire thing, and not a concept thing. However, I think that a group should go the extra mile to make sure that a track is not out of place before taking the time to record it. I know that it's difficult, and that there are a lot of members, and a turnover every year, but I feel that, if the groups all sit down and plan the album much ahead of time then they can ask themselves, "what do we want our album to sound like?" It's hard, but I feel like an album shouldn't just be a collection of a repertoire on tape. If the repertoire doesn't make an album, then maybe they should expand their repertoire and find songs that reach their musical objective. I know it's incredibly difficult, but the best groups out there seem to be able to do it.

Also, I think you misunderstood me when I talked about humor. I don't mean that the group should tell jokes with their songs. In fact, you don't need a sense of humor at all to make the music. Even a hardcore metal song can be done with an element of humor. I think it's all about recognizing that your recording is different, and then playing to that as a strength, rather than trying to cover it up. I'm not a purist. I promise. I know that that's how I'm coming off, but it's simply not true. My favorite group, Off the Beat, plays to their strengths when recording songs with no humor whatsoever. They find what is unique about their arrangement and they highlight it. They constantly strive to make their recordings texturally more interesting than the originals. I always find their arrangement funny, even if the surface of the song is rough and emotional.

And again, I think that you misinterpreted what I meant when I said "fresh". When people cover a song like "For the Longest Time," (as they do often) often they try to make it sound as though it's the first time anyone is hearing it. That's simply all I meant. A straight up cover band with instruments play every song and I imagine that they know that every song pales in comparison with the real group. A cappella groups, I think, should not take this attitude. And most of the time they don't. I didn't stress that part of the argument because, like you said, it's hard to quantify and most of the time I have been pleased with it.

Deke - I'm sorry, I missed your comment at first. Whoops!
Thanks for reading it! You said it perfectly when you mentioned that it was more a matter of "emotional takeaway." I simply don't take as much away from "Play the Game" as you do. There's nothing wrong with that. Maybe it's just because I'm looking for more angst than "Party all the Time." There's not much to take from that song other than a 4/4 beat. It's a great arrangement, but the song choice is weak for me.[/quote]
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Postby D.L.P.A » Thu Jan 07, 2010 10:09 pm

Ed,

Thanks for commenting! You're right. I understand the difficulties. I know I'm asking for a lot. It's hard to make a clear point when you're talking about music because music is so generally hard to explain. For some reason, I like "Shedding" more than "Play the Game" I can't explain why, but I do.

And their arrangements are amazing. The amount of individual elements that go into making the arrangement sound full is impressive. You can hear new musical ideas with every listen. But although Goodbye Cruel World was different from the original, it wasn't a strong ending to me because it didn't seem to logically follow All the Love in the World. It seemed like they had the song ready to go, and they put it at the end because it has "Goodbye" in the title. Honestly, now that I think about it, I would have probably been more impressed if they had thrown it in at the beginning, and then had it lead into Typical. That just might have blown my mind.

The problem I have is with this concept of "repertoire." I've seen too many groups very lazily recycle songs every year simply because they don't have the time or talent to find something new to sing. It bugs me, but, as you said, it has to be done sometimes. And there's also the fact that there are many groups with members that do not even plan to pursue musical interests after college. When you put them in a group where they might have creative control over a musical group, it becomes easy to see why there are lots of groups that can't rise above mediocrity.
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Postby Ed Boyer » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:16 am

Thanks for commenting! You're right. I understand the difficulties. I know I'm asking for a lot. It's hard to make a clear point when you're talking about music because music is so generally hard to explain. For some reason, I like "Shedding" more than "Play the Game" I can't explain why, but I do.


That's just your preference. You don't necessarily need to explain it. For the Bubs, they're just excited that people are hearing their stuff and drawing their own opinions, which is the main goal of recording in the first place.

But although Goodbye Cruel World was different from the original, it wasn't a strong ending to me because it didn't seem to logically follow All the Love in the World.


It's funny you say that because they're the only two songs on the album with any connection to each other. A song about feeling depressed and isolated from the world followed by a suicide note addressed to that very world. If it doesn't work for you, that's fine. I'm just sayin.'

The problem I have is with this concept of "repertoire." I've seen too many groups very lazily recycle songs every year simply because they don't have the time or talent to find something new to sing.


Hmm...I guess it's just hard to hear someone (who's never attempted to do what he's criticizing) call people (who work extremely hard at what they do) lazy. Would be like if I wrote an open letter to scientists and researchers telling them to get off the couch, put the potato chips down, and cure cancer.

Groups don't recycle songs out of laziness. In fact, keeping a song in your rep for several years can be extremely valuable. And, when your membership rotates, it's not an easy thing to do. You have to re-teach parts to new singers, have old singers learn new parts (which is harder than learning a new tune) and, sometimes, even find a new soloist. Had you been in a group, these are things you'd know.

The Bubs, for example, learned "Come Sail Away" almost three years ago. They re-learned it this year because an alum's grandmother requested it for a private gig. (Random, I know, but these are the things that happen that prevent groups from just sitting around and saying "How can we pick songs that will make a perfect arc for the 3% of people who will actually listen to the album straight through") 10 of the 15 guys who originally sang the tune had graduated (including the solo and duet), so it certainly wasn't easy bringing it back. Two months later, they end up singing it on national TV, and, because it was a recycled song that'd been previously recorded, viewers went right to iTunes and download it. Had the Bubs been too stubborn (or, i guess, not lazy enough) to re-learn an old tune, they would have missed out on a lot of cash.
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Postby dave sperandio » Fri Jan 08, 2010 5:42 am

So much one could say in reply to your post, DJ. Starting with the fact that one understands your sentiment, however lofty and rather unrealistic it may be, wondering what metric you're using, how you're really comparing apples to hadrons, and how ~85% of college groups probably shouldn't exist at all (where exist = make a record, at least). But no real time to address all that in detail right now.

I do, however, have to comment on you saying 'Play The Game' is light-hearted, and inferring that it doesn't take you on an emotional journey (as EV did for you). That's your opinion, and you're entitled to it. But in light of it, I have to wonder what cold, black, grinch-like heart is beating in your chest...

Or perhaps you just skipped over "Don't Think Twice"?

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Postby jmille22 » Fri Jan 08, 2010 6:02 am

DJ Littell wrote:Also, I think you misunderstood me when I talked about humor. ... And again, I think that you misinterpreted what I meant when I said "fresh".

I thought that might be the case, heh. I figured I'd take a stab at it anyway. Now that you've further clarified, perhaps someone will offer a better answer.

DJ Littell wrote:And there's also the fact that there are many groups with members that do not even plan to pursue musical interests after college. Then you put them in a group where they might have creative control over a musical group, it becomes easy to see why there are lots of groups that can't rise above mediocrity.

I'm going to illustrate my point by changing this quote around a bit. Emphasis mine on the edits:

DJ Littell wrote:And there's also the fact that there are many teams with players that do not even plan to pursue athletic interests after college. Then you put them on a team where they might have an impact on a game, it becomes easy to see why there are lots of teams that can't rise above mediocrity.

Do you see what I'm getting at here? College athletes certainly aren't majoring in baseball and football, and the majority of collegiate a cappella singers aren't majoring in music and vocal performance. This is our hobby. It's fun for us, and that's our primary goal. Except for a lucky few like Deke, Bill, and Ed, this isn't a career path.

There are lots of reasons why bad groups are bad, but good groups all have the same things in common: Incredibly dedicated, talented people in the ensemble and a few visionary leaders to guide their way. That does NOT imply that everyone involved is a trained musician or even wants to be. If you dug around the Bubs or OTB's membership lists, I doubt you'd find a high percentage of music majors, and I bet you'd find even fewer who have gone onto careers in music. Take the Hullabahoos, for instance: If you believe the reports in Pitch Perfect, they have a long history of members who can't even read music. But they're still wildly successful.

Look, when you get down to it, most groups' recordings are primarily for us and our friends and families. It's a record of the ensemble's history, a record of its members, a record of their friendships and escapades. If that's too mediocre, then I'm sorry, and you should stick to pro aca albums and the few collegiate groups that are consistently great (Bubs, OTB, Clef Hangers, etc.). But please keep in mind that we're all amateurs. There are just some that are more amateurish than others.

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Postby Ed Boyer » Fri Jan 08, 2010 8:30 am

DJ,

I'll add that we're not trying to change your opinion. Specific song/album likes/dislikes aside, I think virtually everyone here agrees with your observation that there is a lot of unexplored headroom for originality in the medium.

What were ARE contesting are the assumptions you make based on your observations. It's not because nobody's thought about it (we have, are, will). It's not because anyone's lazy. And while it has something to do with the fact that participants are mostly amateurs, I don't think even that correlation is as strong as you think (We've all seen bands with amazing chops and no direction...or mediocre musicians [Madonna] with incredible vision).

I also think it's a mistake to assume that all albums should have an arc-like flow. Any ride at The Magic Kingdom will take you on a nice journey, which is great if you're in that mood. But sometimes it's just more fun to go to the local fair, eat fried pickles, and ride the Zipper 'til you barf. I think you have to be in that state of mind to enjoy an Eddie Murphy cover leading in to a Dylan cover.

BUT, the fact that we're even talking about stuff like album flow and groups' stylistic identities is a good sign. It proves that the medium has the potential to be taken seriously. And that we are, in fact, moving out of the "let's try as hard as we can to not suck" era and into the "let's make music that expresses something" era.
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Postby whataboutrob » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:10 am

DJ,

Can't emphasize enough the difficult nature of group turnover for college a cappella groups. Ed's right -- different people run a group from year to year, and everyone has different goals/objectives/styles. Even in groups with talented leaders that hang around for a few years, it's VERY difficult to get 16 people to do anything (come to rehearsal on time, agree on song choices, etc.), and with the amount of money, time, energy that goes into a cd, it's near impossible to get the kind of "album arc" that you're looking for here.

There are a lot of overdone songs in our genre (which you lament, DJ), but since Deke's time in the Bubs (and with the leadership of people like Ed, and now Alex), they've gone out of their way to pick rep that's pretty outside of what most of the college aca-universe is doing. And their arrangements (even when not departing much from the original) are always interesting and well textured.


You know, most groups get pretty comfortable in what they do, and end up doing the same thing, year after year, cd after cd. The few groups that buck that trend are held by most of us in this community in high esteem for being able to accomplish something so difficult. Let's not forget that the group you've chosen to single out here, DJ, is one of those few groups.
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Postby D.L.P.A » Fri Jan 08, 2010 9:48 am

Yeah, you guys are right. I can verbalize the difficulties because I've read them before, thought about it, and have experienced my own difficulties in other performance groups. However, I have never actually experienced them for myself. Thanks for being so adamant and understanding when making your points, and feel free to continue discussing it. I hate that I continue to talk about the Bubs because, really, I tried to make my point whilst mentioning them as little as possible. The only reason I talked about them at all is because I knew that most everyone who read this would probably have heard their music. That's it. This isn't a campaign against them and I find myself enjoying their stuff more and more, if only because I have gained a more in-depth understanding of the group as a result of this discussion.

A cappella groups can do whatever they want. I tend to go to it more for inspiration than for easy listening (and, as you continue to tell me, I realize that 'Play the Game' is more than just that. I wasn't referring to them). I'm so inspired by the genre, and I wanted to share one concern I had in regards to how I (perhaps falsely) perceive the groups to be approaching the genre. I'm referring specifically to the groups at my own college. They seem to have no knowledge of the legacy they are a part of. Some of the members barely even know what a BOCA CD is. With these things in mind, I made a plea that rashly attempted to outline what I think the genre should be for other people. I'm ecstatic to find so many people agreeing with me on some points. I'm more ecstatic to know that people are thinking critically about it.

Thanks for reading. I have taken all of your comments to heart, and I would be glad to continue discussing it.
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