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Sting calls X Factor Karaoke

Jack Blandiver 17 Nov 09 - 03:23 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Nov 09 - 02:25 PM
Jack Blandiver 17 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM
Smokey. 17 Nov 09 - 12:22 PM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Nov 09 - 12:08 PM
Jack Blandiver 17 Nov 09 - 11:21 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 17 Nov 09 - 04:59 AM
Suegorgeous 16 Nov 09 - 09:24 PM
Smokey. 16 Nov 09 - 08:19 PM
Smedley 16 Nov 09 - 07:57 AM
Connacht Rambler 16 Nov 09 - 07:51 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 16 Nov 09 - 07:45 AM
melodeonboy 16 Nov 09 - 07:09 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Nov 09 - 05:53 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Nov 09 - 05:48 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 16 Nov 09 - 05:39 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Nov 09 - 05:31 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Nov 09 - 05:26 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Nov 09 - 05:22 AM
Dave Hanson 16 Nov 09 - 05:22 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Nov 09 - 05:07 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Nov 09 - 05:02 AM
Jack Blandiver 16 Nov 09 - 04:53 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 16 Nov 09 - 04:52 AM
Spleen Cringe 16 Nov 09 - 03:15 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 15 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM
Lox 15 Nov 09 - 05:53 PM
Tootler 15 Nov 09 - 05:50 PM
Jack Blandiver 15 Nov 09 - 01:25 PM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Nov 09 - 11:57 AM
s&r 15 Nov 09 - 11:53 AM
WalkaboutsVerse 15 Nov 09 - 11:43 AM
GUEST,Big Elk 15 Nov 09 - 08:09 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Nov 09 - 08:00 AM
melodeonboy 15 Nov 09 - 07:02 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Nov 09 - 06:53 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Nov 09 - 06:45 AM
melodeonboy 15 Nov 09 - 06:39 AM
Crow Sister (off with the fairies) 15 Nov 09 - 06:30 AM
Jack Blandiver 15 Nov 09 - 04:51 AM
Smokey. 14 Nov 09 - 06:46 PM
Edthefolkie 14 Nov 09 - 08:56 AM
Will Fly 14 Nov 09 - 07:55 AM
Spleen Cringe 14 Nov 09 - 07:33 AM
Marje 14 Nov 09 - 07:00 AM
Will Fly 14 Nov 09 - 06:48 AM
GUEST,Steamin' Willie 14 Nov 09 - 05:19 AM
Will Fly 14 Nov 09 - 04:57 AM
mandotim 14 Nov 09 - 03:38 AM
the lemonade lady 14 Nov 09 - 03:08 AM
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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 03:23 PM

Of course Louis Armstrong crafted the first magical Horse Folk-Patronus

Oh yes!!!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 02:25 PM

Evil Flying Folk Pigs?
Can I get some to stick over my fireplace?
Of course Louis Armstrong crafted the first magical Horse Folk-Patronus, though I think mine is possibly an Otter, or maybe a Crow - I'm yet to discover for sure.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 01:57 PM

lively, musicians joining in together, spontaneous harmonising, original material, daft parodies on keyboards, group a'capella trad. songs, solo unacompannied trad., blues, spirituals etc.

Tread carefully, CS - it's that sort of talk that has the Folk Dementors swooping around intent on sucking out soul and souls. Needs must I keep practising my Patronus...


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Smokey.
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 12:22 PM

Crow sister, you're right about singarounds and sessions, but many venues now book a karaoke instead of live entertainment because it's cheaper and it sells more beer. I wasn't really talking about folk music, although I completely agree with Suibhne's comment on 'tradition'.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 12:08 PM

"So is what happens at in folk clubs & singarounds - often cheesier, and invariably more formulaic."

Yes, and I've seen that too, tho' I didn't want to be the first to say it considering the monstrous battles such statements appear to provoke here! ;-)

However, having also been to a few of the sessions that Melodeonboy attends, I've also been spoiled by quite the opposite of such a scenario. Just as he describes it: lively, musicians joining in together, spontaneous harmonising, original material, daft parodies on keyboards, group a'capella trad. songs, solo unacompannied trad., blues, spirituals etc.
So I think he's quite right, in as much as there's an extremely restricted scope for either individual or group musical creativity involved. However much fun it might be, Karaoke is still to music making, what Ladybird books are to reading. And entertaining as it can be for a bit, it'd probably become frustrating after a while. Same as Mum shopping at Iceland, initially exciting goodies can start to make you feel a bit squiffy - especially after a few too many prawn puffs and Findus crispy pancakes..

That's not to knock it tho', as I think it's a great thing that people just want to get up and entertain each other - which is certainly in the perennial spirit of people and indeed of 'folk'. It's just got an inbuilt rigidly fixed ceiling of potential, which no real instrument or free voice has.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 11:21 AM

Karaoke may indeed be cheesy and formulaic

So is what happens at in folk clubs & singarounds - often cheesier, and invariably more formulaic. We've had some vivid testimonies to the contrary on this thread, but in the end it all comes down to whatever floats your boat. The only traditional thing about music is that it's something we've been doing for the last 50,000 years and as long as people are engaging with it on whatever level then that's okay by me.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 17 Nov 09 - 04:59 AM

"I will never condone something which puts fellow musicians out of work."

Singarounds & Sessions? (do hope me singing a couple of folk songs last time we met in the upstairs function room, didn't put any professional performers out of a job!)

Singarounds & Sessions are amateurs getting up and doing it for themselves. Karaoke may indeed be cheesy and formulaic, but ordinary non-musicians who wouldn't otherwise 'have a go', do it for a bit of fun and camaraderie, and that's all.

I think that's the "spirit" of folk music anyway, even if the creative options and results are more limited.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Suegorgeous
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 09:24 PM

Oooo Eric Burdon... swoooon..........


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Smokey.
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 08:19 PM

Maybe I should explain my description of karaoke as 'detestable'. It was no more than a personal opinion based on a single experience of the real thing, and not intended to carry any weight outside its context. I simply did not enjoy it.

However, on principle I will never condone something which puts fellow musicians out of work. I feel the same way about the use of backing-tracks, and after many years supporting the MU's 'Keep Music Live' campaign against the public use of recorded dance music I left in disgust when they allowed DJs to join.

Here endeth Smokey's 'Jobs for Musicians' campaign..


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Smedley
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 07:57 AM

If anyone is interested enough in the Simon Cowell/X-Factor phenomenon to read further, look at this website:

http://www.popjustice.com/

- in particular the article titled "Subtle hints....." a little way down the page.

This site is written by someone who is as passionate about pop as Mudcatters are about folk. It's instructive. And funny.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Connacht Rambler
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 07:51 AM

"A stunningly original insight from Sting, surely a breakthrough moment in critical thought & indubitably the first time anyone has ever reached those conclusions.

Coming soon: Sting identifies the Pope as a Catholic! Sting's groundbreaking discovery that bears poop in the woods!!"

C'mon. I bet you got a hangover.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 07:45 AM

Well I want this class traditional collection for Christmas, surely a folk essential?
Irish Karaoke Classics!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: melodeonboy
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 07:09 AM

"The folk singaround is no better or worse than the karaoke night. Surely both serve the same purpose: people getting together to sing songs they like and to enjoy themselves."

On a very basic level, yes. But I want more than to "sing songs that I like".

The fortnightly folk nights that I help run provide a meeting place for a wide variety of singers and musicians as well as audience. At these sessions I can hear original material, non-original material that singers/ musicians have made their own and songs and tunes that I haven't heard before (and might wish to do myself). I can sing and play along with others using my own harmonies and musical accompaniment. This is what I'd describe as a creative environment, people constantly engaging with each other, learning from each other and sharing ideas. I've learnt a lot from these sessions, and have consequently improved significantly as both singer and musician. And apart from anything else, it's bloody good fun! Not a po-face in the house!

On the other hand, standing on a stage with a microphone in my hand, imitating something that I've supposedly seen on a music video, recreating every burp, fart, "oooh" and movement would be about as interesting for me as watching paint dry. There is no musical space or freedom; no opportunity to create; no way I could make the song my own. For me, karaoke is the hand of death musically. Everything is pre-determined, the script is already written, the space for creativity non-existent. It goes no further than cliche.

I therefore do not accept the notion that there is no qualitative difference between a singaround and a karaoke session.

(This is not to say that every folk club or session is as good as the one I refer to above. I've been to some pretty dire ones that I'd not wish to revisit!)


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:53 AM

Watch out SO'P, or you're going to get a note from Teech!

I'm off for a smoke behind the bike sheds. See you there!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:48 AM

I find it ironic that you used your 3-minutes of Free Thinking in an attempt to attempt to repress Free Thinking. Equally ironic as the shores of the Tyne have acted as a Cultural Interface for millennia, where indeed my own great-grandfather arrived from Co. Cork to establish his tailor shop on The Castle Garth Stairs - as remembered in the old Newcastle folk son ...the Quayside for sailors, A U Hinney burd / the Castle Garth for tailors, A U A.... In the days of yore the blues arrived & found a home in Newcastle; it was taken home by a young Geordie by the name of Eric Burdon who was one of the finest. One of his band mates, Chas Chandler, brought home a young blues singer and guitarist by the name Jimi Hendrix who briefly made his home in 2nd Avenue in Heaton causing quite a stir and recognising that Durham was somehow fairyland. Celebrate the realities, WAV - it's a world of wonders & no mistake!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:39 AM

I'd just like to say "Bum" at this point - or maybe even "Bums".
Both are good by me, feel free everyone to be insulted by whichever you prefer.

Watch out SO'P, or you're going to get a note from Teech!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:31 AM

During the BBC's "Free Thinking" season at the Sage, I got 3 minutes to present a talk called "If you're not American, don't Americanise - for the love of our world being multicultural." It was recorded, I'm told it may be broadcast early in the new year, and I'll try and remember to let you know, S.

P.S: I quickly mentioned the difference between being anti-American and anti-Americansiation, of course.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:26 AM

You silly buggers, WAV has achieved what he set out to do and nothing more, get you talking about him again, good or bad makes no difference as long as it's him.

So fuck?


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:22 AM

Just answer the fffffing question, WAV. What does it matter if a person chooses to sing in a different accent? After all, you are a Naturalised Australian who attempts to sing in an accent that is most certainly not your own - much less the songs you attempt to sing, or else the culture with which you attempt, however so bizarrely at times, to assimilate yourself. One would think that your much publicised anthropological training would have given you a fascination in human culture as being the things that people actually do, rather than the things you think (for whatever crazy) that they ought to be doing. I'm in this latter school myself - it's called The Live and Let Live School of Living which is founded on the ideal of the Human Individual being free to do whatever they are moved to do and for culture to be a reflection of this, rather than the other way around, which isn't very good at all. You are one such individual, WAV - enjoy your freedoms in the name of the greater freedom of all!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Dave Hanson
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:22 AM

You silly buggers, WAV has achieved what he set out to do and nothing more, get you talking about him again, good or bad makes no difference as long as it's him.

Dave H


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:07 AM

You're in fffffine form today, S.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 05:02 AM

From the bits of karaoke I've seen on TV here in England, it's always American pop and rock songs that are being performed. E.g., during "Around the World in 80 Days" (BBC), the English newsreader, whilst aboard a ship, sang an American rock song in an American accent.

So fuck?


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 04:53 AM

I believe that karaoke in the form we now know it actually originated in Japan and that the word Karaoke itself was originally Japanese.

So fuck?


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 04:52 AM

From the bits of karaoke I've seen on TV here in England, it's always American pop and rock songs that are being performed. E.g., during "Around the World in 80 Days" (BBC), the English newsreader, whilst aboard a ship, sang an American rock song in an American accent.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 16 Nov 09 - 03:15 AM

I'm with SO'P and Crowsis: of course X Factor is an abomination, but it ill behoves (god I love that expression!) folkies to use it to attack the music of the people by the people for the people that is karaoke.

The folk singaround is no better or worse than the karaoke night. Surely both serve the same purpose: people getting together to sing songs they like and to enjoy themselves.

Neither serve a higher purpose or have an innate superiority. 'Sall a matter of personal taste.

'Snot like singarounds are about preservation or unbroken continuing traditions or anything so lofty, is it?

Innit though?


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:01 PM

"the word Karaoke itself was originally Japanese."

Yeppers, just like Vindaloo comes from India..
Kurryoke of course, is quite definitely quintessentially English..


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Lox
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 05:53 PM

Tootler - 100%


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Tootler
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 05:50 PM

I believe that karaoke in the form we now know it actually originated in Japan and that the word Karaoke itself was originally Japanese.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 01:25 PM

Karaoke - if it's good enough for as a weather beaten an old traddy as Sailor Ron then that's enough of a stamp of approval as we need!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 11:57 AM

Perhaps to some extent, Stu - but I have seen bits of karaoke on TV, over the years.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: s&r
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 11:53 AM

My daughter sings karaoke - very well. She also sings jazz, pop, rock, folk, lullabies children's songs. She writes tunes and lyrics at a more than competent level and plays guitar.

I would hate to try to explain this thread to her.

I have been to karaoke venues; I have run karaokes in prisons. Not my first choice but not my worst choice.

Music is music. The more it is live the better.

WAV not having seen karaoke invalidates your understanding

Stu


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: WalkaboutsVerse
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 11:43 AM

As an English repatriate, I've enjoyed several English folk clubs and have never been to a karaoke; and, if I ever VISIT Japan, I'll avoid karaoke in Tokyo and head for a Japanese tea ceremony/chanoyu in Kyoto.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: GUEST,Big Elk
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 08:09 AM

When Skiffle started the world was earmarked for demolition.

When punk started it was the end of civilisation.

When Tecno arrived it was devastation

Guitar Hero arrived it was an evil manifestation

Is Simon Cowell really the "Dark Lord of The Apocalypse".

The easiest thing in the world is to sit on the side lines and sneer. X Factor is about Pop Music, an idiom where performers are managed, groomed and frequently manufactured. As Walsh and Cowell are fantastically successful at what they do they are worth listening to.

I seem to remember the police being held on a tight leash by Stuart Copeland's Dad. They were styled crimped and pimped and forced to play pop and not Jazz, back in 1979, when they started out.

Perhaps the biggest thing folk has over pop, is the concept of singers nights and sessions where people can learn, get involved, grow and serve an apprenticeship. However the grey brigade sit and tut if anyone gets a note wrong or approaches a tune from a different angle, so its still hard even for folk to be inclusive. Let us not deceive ourselves most sessions or clubs have the deluded who think they are good when they are anything deeply flawed.

Anything, I repeat anything that gets anyone up of their backsides and gets them singing and playing is to be applauded. I can think of many established "Folk " people who came up through Skiffle, Punk, Techno and pop.

I wait to see if Sting accepts Simon Cowell's invitation to be a guest on the show


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 08:00 AM

I am only speaking of the Folk Clubs I've been to, but in 35 years of attending any amount of them I think I'm well acquainted with the limits of The Revival and the various delusions going down as a consequence - delusions which, I might add, I've only got a problem with if they get passed off as being somehow superior to more natural forms of popular cultural expression of which Karaoke is but one of the more recent manifestations. Sing your Child Ballads and 1954 Approved Folk Songs (as I do myself) - just don't go thinking that what you are doing is any way, shape or form more Traditional or indeed Worthy than what goes on at your local on Karaoke night.

The X-Factor manipulates this natural quality of human musicality by feeding on the equally natural emotions of both performer and audience alike; by offering a fast-track to celebrity status it perverts something which is fundamental to our humanity.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: melodeonboy
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 07:02 AM

"Folk Clubs tend to be....."

I'm afraid you can only speak for the ones you've been to, not for the ones I go to.

Ease off on the inverted snobbery!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:53 AM

Really??? Well, I think it's rather different from the ones that I go to!

I don't doubt it - seeing as Folk Clubs tend to be full of folk-pig pedants so hung up on a precious sense of cultural superiority that they regard what they do as some form of Sacred Holy Communion rather than just cutting loose, getting pissed and having a ball. I'm as guilty as anyone in this respect, but I'm well aware of the bullshit going down here.

The problem with X-Factor is not the people taking part, it's the way their hopes are manipulated by way of a Sex Olympics spectacle.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:45 AM

Careful, CS - or the Folk Pigs will raid the party and smash the place up for being so very detestable! Thing is, lots of Folk Singers I've heard sing to their own inner backing tracks which only they might hear as they replicate their favourite songs & singers from their favourite albums in a Stars-in-Their-Eyes style come-all-ye. And tonight, Matthew, I'm going to be - Peter Bellamy being Harry Cox! We all have our heroes, do we not?


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: melodeonboy
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:39 AM

"It's no different to what happens in a folk club or singaround..."

Really??? Well, I think it's rather different from the ones that I go to!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Crow Sister (off with the fairies)
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 06:30 AM

I've done Christmas Karaoke round friends houses when everyone is totally smashed at very silly O Clock. It's a real hoot, that's why people love it. Down the road there's even a pub that have a regular Kurryoke Night! And with reference to the constant 'English insecurity' threads that do the rounds here, not only is it IMO an example of ongoing 'folk process' or wotnot, it also sounds to me quite the most Englishy innovation imaginable.. Gotta love the bastard children of English culture.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Jack Blandiver
Date: 15 Nov 09 - 04:51 AM

I must admit to being very alarmed at Karaoke being called detestable on a folk forum. It's no different to what happens in a folk club or singaround as passionate amateurs cover their favourite songs in a state of (invariably inebriated) un-selfconsciousness. This is what people have been doing in public houses since the first ever landlord e'er tapped a barrel, and remains a regular feature of folk-life to this day - everyday people singing songs they know and love. What's the problem?

Soon enough, no doubt, Karaoke punters will be singing the real folk songs from Sting's latest album and in so doing will be returning them to a more venerable tradition than that which Wor Gordon got them from in the first place.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Smokey.
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 06:46 PM

I agree with Richard Thompson, who called it 'crap' several times in a recent interview. Detestable though it is, karaoke at least has the decency not to pretend to be quality entertainment.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Edthefolkie
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 08:56 AM

Second pint from me, Will.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 07:55 AM

Cheers SC - mine's a pint of Norman Conquest - winter-style dark beer, 5% ABV, nice and nutty!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Spleen Cringe
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 07:33 AM

It wouldn't matter to me if the whole of the UK watched the X Factor. I still think it's crap. It's also possible to be critical without sneering.

Mr Fly, I've just ordered you a virtual pint!


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Marje
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 07:00 AM

And if Simon Cowell were to hold his auditions in the upstairs room of a backstreet pub, while folk clubs and sessions were broadcast on Saturday night television, the balance of public attention might shift somewhat. It might even inspire us all to polish up our act.

But I also have to say that I have, quite recently, seen a couple of club floor spots that were every bit as breathtakingly bad, and the performers every bit as deluded, as the early rounds of X-factor.

Marje


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 06:48 AM

It wouldn't matter to me if the whole of the UK watched the X Factor. I still think it's crap. It's also possible to be critical without sneering.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: GUEST,Steamin' Willie
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 05:19 AM

Yeah... The facts bear it out.

The millions of people who crowd out folk clubs, versus the couple of dozen who watch X Factor....

Enjoy your music, even agree with His Stinginess, but sneering is kettle calling of the funniest order...


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: Will Fly
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 04:57 AM

Talent competitions on radio and TV have been around for a long, long time. Those of you of a certain age, like me will remember the "Carrol Levis Discovery Show" on the BBC in the 1950s - a later version of which was "Opportunity Knocks" Hughie Green) - and then there was "Thank Your Lucky Stars".

Both the Caroll Levis and Hughie Green shows were cash-spinning opportunities for the two presenters, with tie-in contracts waiting for the ultimate winners. Some years ago, I toured for a bit with a very talented singer and nice chap called Bernie Flint - winner of Opportunity Knocks. Bernie and his equally talented brother Mike got lots of work doing social clubs, gold clubs, etc. - but Bernie was always remembered for just the one song from the Opportunity Knocks programme ("I Don't Want To Put A Hold On You"). And he was one of the lucky ones who made a reasonable career from the talent show opportunity.

Lord knows what happens to all the rest. At least these old shows weren't quite as ghastly as the X-Factor.


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: mandotim
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 03:38 AM

Hi Sal; I can't speak for all schools, but it's much too general to just refer to 'schools' in this context. Painsley School, where both my daughters went up to age 16, has open access to the music rooms for any pupil who is interested, and actively encourages lunchtime and after school music making. My younger daughter spent a lot of time playing piano for unamplified vocalists and singing herself. Music made by pupils was part of every assembly, and the school shows were done without any taped music whatsoever. This included the best amateur performance of the notoriously difficult Les Miserables I've ever heard, with a pit band of pupils to match any I've heard in the professional theatre, and some serious voices in the lead roles. The young man who sang the role of Valjean would have graced the West End stage, both as an actor and singer. The school has 850 pupils, and boasts a 100 piece orchestra, a 100-strong main choir, a male voice choir, a barbers shop group, a traditional music group playing Celtic stuff, a wind band, a jazz big band, any number of rock bands and even a parents ensemble. The Christmas concerts involved virtually the whole school, and were just brilliant events.
Much of this depends on the Headteacher, and the quality of the music department staff. Government education policy has very little effect; some schools will always do the minimum, and some will stretch the boundaries, like Painsley. Oh, and Painsley is not some kind of Performing Arts academy; it's a local comprehensive school with specialist status; as a Science specialist!
Painsley justified the huge time and effort they put into all this by making the link between the confidence to perform and the confidence you need as an adult in other areas of life, and that makes sense to me.
The other area for encouragement (for me) is folk sessions. Check out the average age next time you are in a session. Are we folkies doing enough?


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Subject: RE: Sting calls X Factor Karaoke
From: the lemonade lady
Date: 14 Nov 09 - 03:08 AM

Live unplugged performance should be encouraged in schools. Lunch time singarounds and music sessions. Reintroduce chorus songs etc. Make it part of the music lessons. The 'traditional' songs and the art of singing without a mic and without backing tracks, are being lost.   
Sal


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