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Author Topic: lexicon devils
blackdogbeak
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Words that pop up in music journalism just to get on my tits (by Hansi Dogbeak, aged 13 1/2):

Troubadour - You're not writing medieval French lyric poetry, you're not even singing the sad love songs of 1940's Paris.
Singer-songwriter - If the music was interesting at all you'd be able to define beyond the terms of "not only do I sing the songs, I write them too!" Okay you have an acoustic guitar now, but I bet 18 months ago you were in a shit pop-punk and/or emo band.
Tune-smith - I don't need to justify this one.
Axe - Shut up, just shut up. Tommy Vance has been dead a long time now. Double points if followed with any form of the verb 'wield.'
Skins - As in 'thumping the..', as in 'playing the drums.' Furthermore, drums aren't 'tubs' unless you're in a jug band or are a total peasant. See also: 'Axe'.
Vokills - A small bete noir of mine. Okay, so it's death metal specific, but like most death metal specifics it's an absolute fucking travesty.
Vox - Just no.
Mane - Okay, not particularly music specific, but I'm sick of hearing about members of rock bands having 'wild, flowing manes.' They've got long hair, now fuck off.
Songstress - A terrible word. Presumably the male analogue would be 'songer'? Why not 'singstress' and 'songer'? I demand consistency.
Jazzy - a total cop-out. Listening to something that isn't in 4/4? It's "jazzy." To paraphrase MC Pitman, you wouldn't know jazz if it shagged your mam.

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G-Man
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Singer-songwriter denotes a particular (broad) musical genre. I think it's a legitimate term.

Don't particular like troubadour, except if used with some levity.

Jazzy...well, if you have an alternative term I'll not discard that total cop-out just yet. It's really shorthand for something that appears to have some jazz influence, but isn't jazzy. Swing Out Sisters, or something.

And what's wong with using the word "mane", other than its overuse? I prefer to use variations of the word "hirsuit", but woudn't get upset if somebody used "mane". Especially if the face of the person being referred to thus was equine.

I agree with the rest, though. Especially tune-smith, a dreadful cliché.

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Spearmint Rhino
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Yeah, I think singer-songwriters get the dull description they deserve.

I mean, Prince is a singer-songwriter, but when you get a press release that describes someone as a singer-songwriter, it doesn't mean that. It means some cunt with a hollow wooden guitar.

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TV's 'Mr P'
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quote:
Presumably the male analogue would be 'songer'?
'Songster', obviously. Which admittedly would be even more rubbish.

Good list, though - and I agree with the 'rockist' use of the word 'mane' - like the singer is beyond human in some way.

Another to add is 'sticksman', for drummer/percussionist. I've used it before to vary the language - but it's fughing ghastly. Shame on me, say I.

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Spearmint Rhino
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Anyway, 'seminal' is one that's always upset me.

I'm sure we've done this before. Other suggestions included "like (xxx) on acid" etc.

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blackdogbeak
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Gah, I've been sat here for five minutes writing a long post about 'singer-songwriter' and 'jazz' as inadequate terms for genres, but I deleted it because that discussion is completely boring.

Instead, I'll bring up another word I hate:

muso

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blackdogbeak
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svengali
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The Horse
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"all (xxx) and (yyy)" annoys me far more than is reasonable.
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TV's 'Mr P'
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quote:
Other suggestions included "like (xxx) on acid" etc.
Yeah, that's a more general one. I used to get sick to the back teeth with that in tellyland - ditto things being 'the bomb' or going 'pear-shaped'.

'Essential' - there's a muso's expression much-hated on OTF.

[ 25.03.2008, 11:13: Message edited by: TV's 'Mr P' ]

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Spearmint Rhino
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I think 'muso' is valid and useful.
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blackdogbeak
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quote:
I think 'muso' is valid and useful.
Contractions are a useful part of the language, sure, but why shorten 'cunt' to somerhing that has exactly the same number of letters and one less syllable. Hohoho.

Really, how valid and useful? I'd only use 'muso' as an insult; is this the point?

(disclaimer: my wholly unfounded prejudices will, at no time, be subject to any defence from myself.)

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Spearmint Rhino
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quote:
I'd only use 'muso' as an insult; is this the point?
Yes, that's the point. 'Muso' isn't just a contraction of 'musician'. It has a specific shade of meaning to it: someone who is (probably overly) obsessed with technique above all other priorities.
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TV's 'Mr P'
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quote:
Really, how valid and useful? I'd only use 'muso' as an insult; is this the point?

Well, that's something of a modern reinterpretation of the word 'muso' - like 'hippy' was twenty years or so back (I can remember all kinds of unlikely musicians being referred to thus during the eighties). I agree that, like many old school terms, it now seems to have one specific meaning, however.

[ 25.03.2008, 11:22: Message edited by: TV's 'Mr P' ]

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blackdogbeak
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(edit; to SR) Oh, I know what one is.. I just thought your earlier post may have alluded to some other secretive definition I was unaware of.

I'd go for further than an obsession with technique, and bring over-priced, under-used equipment into it. Type of people who build themselves a home studio they never use. Gah.

I've seen enough of these cunts go in music shops on a Sunday, plug in a Strat (always a Strat, the guitar of choice for boring cunts), and play ten minutes of shit Clapton.

[ 25.03.2008, 11:28: Message edited by: blackdogbeak ]

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Spearmint Rhino
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quote:
I've seen enough of these cunts go in music shops on a Sunday, plug in a Strat (always a Strat, the guitar of choice for boring cunts), and play ten minutes of shit Clapton
I've seen Eric Clapton play a lot more than ten minutes of shit Clapton, so I feel your pain.
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