[ExI] music survey

Dan TheBookMan danust2012 at gmail.com
Sun Jan 16 18:37:56 UTC 2022

> On Jan 16, 2022, at 9:51 AM, William Flynn Wallace via extropy-chat <extropy-chat at lists.extropy.org> wrote:
> Many thanks to those who posted their favorite pop songs.  I encourage others to contribute.  I will NOT be posting any opinions of mine regarding the selections.   It is possible that I limited myself:  I divide things into classical and popular, and others may enjoy genres that they regard as not of those two.  If so, let me know your genres that were not included.   bill w
> On Sat, Jan 15, 2022 at 9:17 AM William Flynn Wallace <foozler83 at gmail.com> wrote:
>> I have not listened to pop music for a long time and wonder what it's like.  So I am asking all of you to send me your favorite songs of whatever genre so I can hear what they are like.  Post 90s songs please.  Thanks! bill w

Well, the big problem is what people mean by ‘pop.’ When I talk about stuff like this to my friends, generally I think we (my friends and I) agree something like the songs of Billie Eilish or Patrick Wolf are pop, but not, say, Alien Ant Farm (they’re nu metal) or Future (he’s a rap artist often classified as making trap or mumble rap — two different if overlapping genres of hip hop). So, pop means something different than simply popular when applied to music. (Think of pop art. Perhaps the most popular artist is Van Gogh, but I wouldn’t categorize him as pop art. Andy Warhol and so is Robert Rauschenberg pop art, and they’re both popular, but so Van Gogh, Monet, Picasso, and Da Vinci. But none of the latter four are said to have made pop art. So be careful of the label.

A friend of mine even said he classifies his music more by decade than genre because there are too many overlaps between the genres and sub genres. So he thinks it’s easier to go by decade, despite that being arbitrary in many respects. It’s more a pragmatic decision: how can I find stuff easily.

(Another thing is you’re now using ‘pop songs.’ Well, do you mean just song music? In which case, almost all pop music is song music, so you’re on safe ground. But is almost all popular music — differentiating pop and popular and still not including, say, classical and jazz music that’s popular — song music? Yeah, but there’s a lot of popular dance music that’s not. Astronomia by Tony Ig is extremely popular but it’s not song music (at least the Vicerone remix isn’t). Same applies to Sandstorm by Darude (trance?), which has brought in a lot of money (around a billion USD since it came out in 2000).)

When I responded with my list, most of my selections were dream pop or synthpop. A few were rock/pop, which is distinguished if fuzzy from just rock. Of course, you left out jazz and all its subgenres, and there’s the question of how clearly one draws the line between pop music and stuff like hip hop, dance music, electronica, folk, alternative, punk, etc. Heck, I left these out, for the most part, because when I think pop, I think Katy Perry and not The Killers.


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