Go Back   Sonic Youth Gossip > Non-Sonics
Reload this Page This may very well get me ousted from the board
Register FAQ Members List Mark Forums Read

 
Thread Tools
Old 03.28.2006, 12:55 PM   #1
truncated
invito al cielo
 
truncated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,629
truncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's asses
But I just can’t help myself.

Does it ever cross your mind that when you postulate on the meaning of an SY (or any band for that matter) album/song/lyric/relationship/quote/etc., if that band were reading those theories (which may very well be the case here), they’re shaking their heads and laughing?

I realize that part of the point of ‘art’ is its subjectivity, its proclivity to interpretation. I know that’s the very purpose behind some of it.

However

When we start threads like “Do you think ‘Little Trouble Girl’ is an ironic comment on modern gender roles” blah blah blah, I can’t help but think, my god, are we presumptuous fuckers, thinking we have the right to impose our theories on someone else’s creation.

I mean really, who the fuck am I to think I can for even a MOMENT guess what’s going on inside their heads when they’re recording an album? I know it irritates the hell out of me when other people presume to know what my behavioral motivations are.

I’m picturing Thurston reading our Sonic Gossip section – “Little do they know I wrote half that album on the shitter.”

While ‘art’ is a form of universal expression, conversely, it can also be highly personal to its creator. Naturally its patrons are going to espouse theories on its various aspects, but I wonder if a band thinks

We shit it out
You ingest it
Then digest it
Fucking like it
Or don’t

These are just random unformulated thoughts that will likely get me ostracized, but so be it.
truncated is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 01:03 PM   #2
Inhuman
invito al cielo
 
Inhuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 5,842
Inhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's asses
Good post, I've thought about this quite a bit as well. We pretty much only know the original meanings to the songs when they tell it to us through an interview or whatnot, and the rest you have to assume a meaning to the song. I remember on the old board there was a thread about bashing on people trying to interpret SY song meanings on www.songmeanings.com, but personally I think that you can interpret it however you want, and that's one of the joy's of music. I'm with you for the most part. I know if I took part in a popular band or music project and people attempted to interpret the meanings to my songs, I would probably find some of them rediculous, and I probably will laugh, but I would also respect their assumptions
Inhuman is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 01:28 PM   #3
Hip Priest
invito al cielo
 
Hip Priest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Birkenhead
Posts: 9,429
Hip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by truncated
These are just random unformulated thoughts that will likely get me ostracized, but so be it.

I hope not!

I can see your point, but I think the majority of lyrics are written around some kind of form or idea, and as such there will be some kind of meaning. This is especially apparant in a song like Youth Against Fascism, where the video also ties in ideas that are complememtary to the impression that the song gives.

Apart from that, I think it's nice to see how different interpretations can arise - interpretations of a song will be a reflection not only of the song's contents but will also be an intellectual consequence of factors such as one's upbringing, education, society, personal relationships, religion etc etc etc. If I were the artist, I'd enjoy seeing what different interpretations people had of my product. I think.

I think that lyrics, such as displayed in songs like Beauty Lies In The Eye or Chapel Hill for example, are evidently not the result of freeform creation - there's a subject that's being explored, and since we each have our own experience (or impression) of any given subject, we will each percieve things in a slightly different way.

Or do I stand for everything you are railing against?
__________________

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/outsidethecamp/
Hip Priest is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 01:33 PM   #4
golden child
expwy. to yr skull
 
golden child's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: portland, oregon
Posts: 1,639
golden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's assesgolden child kicks all y'all's asses
i typically dont even try to find a meaning, i think its pointless.
__________________
pre-mature
golden child is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 01:39 PM   #5
HaydenAsche
invito al cielo
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,827
HaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by golden child
i typically dont even try to find a meaning, i think its pointless.

Nihilist!
__________________
rip
HaydenAsche is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 01:52 PM   #6
Inhuman
invito al cielo
 
Inhuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 5,842
Inhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by golden child
i typically dont even try to find a meaning, i think its pointless.

I find that meanings enhance the whole concept of having vocals and lyrics in the song. Tt can portray messages that the artist intends for you to connect with, which is a constructive way of communication. I think meanings are great.
Inhuman is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 01:54 PM   #7
truncated
invito al cielo
 
truncated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,629
truncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hip Priest
I hope not!

I can see your point, but I think the majority of lyrics are written around some kind of form or idea, and as such there will be some kind of meaning. This is especially apparant in a song like Youth Against Fascism, where the video also ties in ideas that are complememtary to the impression that the song gives.

Apart from that, I think it's nice to see how different interpretations can arise - interpretations of a song will be a reflection not only of the song's contents but will also be an intellectual consequence of factors such as one's upbringing, education, society, personal relationships, religion etc etc etc. If I were the artist, I'd enjoy seeing what different interpretations people had of my product. I think.

I think that lyrics, such as displayed in songs like Beauty Lies In The Eye or Chapel Hillfor example, are evidently not the result of freeform creation - there's a subject that's being explored, and since we each have our own experience (or impression) of any given subject, we will each percieve things in a slightly different way.

Or do I stand for everything you are railing against?

I agree with you - there's got to be something in observing the impact your 'product' has on its audience. Especially in the area of sociological observation, as you pointed out. Nor do I think that every piece, or necessarily any piece, is the result of freeform thought.

I just think that, to a degree, it takes some real ballls to presume to know what the finer points of an artist's psyche are.

What brought this all to mind was a thread asking what boardies thought about SY's relationship to the Grateful Dead, because of "Rather Ripped" (not that I'm at all criticizing the thread topic, I'm sure the person is genuinely curious). And I just thought, essentially, we can espouse all the theories we want, but in the end, it doesn't really matter what the fuck we think anyway, because unless someone from SY steps up and says, "Look shitbrains, this is why we chose that title," what's the point in surmising? We'll never know, it's just fodder for another pseudo-intellectual discussion topic.

I can forget that sometimes, you can appreciate something on a purely visceral level, and to dissect it with fabricated knowledge can taint it. While I certainly don't ignore the substance within SY's music, or fail to give them credit for experimentation, often I listen to their music and think, "This is true rock."
truncated is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 01:55 PM   #8
sellouteater
the end of the ugly
 
sellouteater's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: i am not going to tell you
Posts: 966
sellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's assessellouteater kicks all y'all's asses
I always try to find the meaning with no luck at all though
sellouteater is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 01:57 PM   #9
HaydenAsche
invito al cielo
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,827
HaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's assesHaydenAsche kicks all y'all's asses
I agree with Ben-David. Sure, some songs have cool ideas behind them but I don't really care. I can understand knowing what "Hives Hives" or something where it is very obvious about and getting attached or drawn to the song because of that but I'm not a fan of analyzing songs and figuring stuff out. Especially music like Scissor Shock, Arab on Radar, or junk like that. I don't think there really is an intended meaning other than a bunch of random lyrics about sex and promiscuity.
__________________
rip
HaydenAsche is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 02:00 PM   #10
Inhuman
invito al cielo
 
Inhuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 5,842
Inhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by HaydenAsche
I agree with Ben-David. Sure, some songs have cool ideas behind them but I don't really care. I can understand knowing what "Hives Hives" or something where it is very obvious about and getting attached or drawn to the song because of that but I'm not a fan of analyzing songs and figuring stuff out. Especially music like Scissor Shock, Arab on Radar, or junk like that. I don't think there really is an intended meaning other than a bunch of random lyrics about sex and promiscuity.

easily detect a flat-footed traitor your mom is a co-conspirator her nonsense cannot prevent the prize fighter from fist fuckin your citizens quickly remove the punk drunken faggot and maintain a flat-footed status easily deter the citizen's maneuver your mom is a dictator her curfew cannot prevent the pigeon-toed daughter from getting fucked by a meat head quickly remove the punch drunken faggot and maintain a pigeon-toed

Definately has no meaning, but still extermely enjoyable to listen to.
Inhuman is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 02:14 PM   #11
truncated
invito al cielo
 
truncated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,629
truncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by Inhuman
easily detect a flat-footed traitor your mom is a co-conspirator her nonsense cannot prevent the prize fighter from fist fuckin your citizens quickly remove the punk drunken faggot and maintain a flat-footed status easily deter the citizen's maneuver your mom is a dictator her curfew cannot prevent the pigeon-toed daughter from getting fucked by a meat head quickly remove the punch drunken faggot and maintain a pigeon-toed

Definately has no meaning, but still extermely enjoyable to listen to.

Sure it does - if you want it to.
truncated is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 02:38 PM   #12
saoq
bad moon rising
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 101
saoq is a splendid one to beholdsaoq is a splendid one to beholdsaoq is a splendid one to beholdsaoq is a splendid one to beholdsaoq is a splendid one to beholdsaoq is a splendid one to beholdsaoq is a splendid one to beholdsaoq is a splendid one to behold
There was this interview of PK Dick, where he was saying how the interpretation of his book by the academia were BS. It's easy to over-analyse music or lyrics. still, not *every* interpretation is valid. to say that Kill yr Idols bring to mind the death of Hector off the Iliad would be just crap.
Perceiving, "absorbing", a work of art is a creative process. That doesn't mean that anything goes though.
saoq is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 02:41 PM   #13
Hip Priest
invito al cielo
 
Hip Priest's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Birkenhead
Posts: 9,429
Hip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's assesHip Priest kicks all y'all's asses
On the other hand, if I may opine, I think that if one doesn't read into music, if one doesn't find representations, then how will it ever be more than mere entertainment? How will it ever mean something to the listener?
__________________

Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.



http://www.flickr.com/photos/outsidethecamp/
Hip Priest is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 03:06 PM   #14
Iain
invito al cielo
 
Iain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,559
Iain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's asses
Yeah. I rarely bother to try and read into the lyrics too much. I mean it's all down to personal interpretation and what they mean to you individually. I think you can get more than just entertainment out of music without reading into the lyrics. At least reading into them in a pro-active way....I certainly don't do that....I'm finding it hard to put it into words exactly.
Iain is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 03:12 PM   #15
noumenal
expwy. to yr skull
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 1,863
noumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's assesnoumenal kicks all y'all's asses
I rarely look for extra-musical meaning in SY. For me, I look for meaning in the music and not in "what it's about". This is part of the reason that I don't pay much attention to their lyrics.

Honestly, I don't think it matters much what SY meant by a song. What matters is what it means to you. In other words, what it means to SY isn't neccesarily the authoritative meaning.

This type of thing is discussed quite a lot in literary theory circles. I guess when you guys are dissecting the lyrics, you're doing literary criticism. I prefer to stay away from that and keep my opinions strictly about the music.

A book that would be enlightening, maybe (I haven't read it, but I mean to. I have friends that have read it, and like it):

Is There a Text in this Class? : The Authority of Interpretive Communities by Stanley Fish

Apparently, he talks in this book about exactly what Trunky is saying. The SY board is an "interpretive community"? I'm going to read this soon.
noumenal is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 03:16 PM   #16
Iain
invito al cielo
 
Iain's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 2,559
Iain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's assesIain kicks all y'all's asses
Yes....pretty much what Noumenal said is what I was trying to get at really.
Iain is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 03:23 PM   #17
Savage Clone
invito al cielo
 
Savage Clone's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 10,872
Savage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's assesSavage Clone kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hip Priest
On the other hand, if I may opine, I think that if one doesn't read into music, if one doesn't find representations, then how will it ever be more than mere entertainment? How will it ever mean something to the listener?


I hope you are not implying that only vocal/lyrical music can have any "meaning."
Savage Clone is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 03:29 PM   #18
Inhuman
invito al cielo
 
Inhuman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: Montreal
Posts: 5,842
Inhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's assesInhuman kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by truncated
Sure it does - if you want it to.

True. It would be interesting to see what interpretations people would come up with for that song though
Inhuman is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 03:41 PM   #19
jon boy
invito al cielo
 
jon boy's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Location: psycho battery
Posts: 12,274
jon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's assesjon boy kicks all y'all's asses
the lyrics and the way i interpret the music changes so much everytime i hear it. i dont, or try not to look for too much meaning in them. sometimes thats hard to do. its hard to put into words what i actualy mean which is a problem i have.

sometimes the music makes me feel a certain way and the words certainly go with it, other times i find them oppressive and they dont add to my pleasure of wht i am hearing.

its strange, i could talk about this subject a lot but i cant even begin to describe what i mean without coming accross as a total cock.
jon boy is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|
Old 03.28.2006, 03:54 PM   #20
truncated
invito al cielo
 
truncated's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
Posts: 3,629
truncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's assestruncated kicks all y'all's asses
Quote:
Originally Posted by noumenal
I rarely look for extra-musical meaning in SY. For me, I look for meaning in the music and not in "what it's about". This is part of the reason that I don't pay much attention to their lyrics.

Honestly, I don't think it matters much what SY meant by a song. What matters is what it means to you. In other words, what it means to SY isn't neccesarily the authoritative meaning.

This type of thing is discussed quite a lot in literary theory circles. I guess when you guys are dissecting the lyrics, you're doing literary criticism. I prefer to stay away from that and keep my opinions strictly about the music.

A book that would be enlightening, maybe (I haven't read it, but I mean to. I have friends that have read it, and like it):

Is There a Text in this Class? : The Authority of Interpretive Communities by Stanley Fish

Apparently, he talks in this book about exactly what Trunky is saying. The SY board is an "interpretive community"? I'm going to read this soon.

Ah, literary theory...

My college days also came to mind with this topic. I will make the blanket statement that English majors are INSUFFERABLE.

You'd sit through class after class, listening to some goatee-sporting jackass elucidate his enlightened theory about homoeroticism in Whitman's poetry. Thanks for sharing, but

1. Duh.
2. Just because the guy wrote "I Sing the Body Electric" doesn't mean he tries to cop a feel every time he goes to the harrier's.

My point being, the construct of ANY media is highly subject to interpretation, and you could literally endlessly dissect a song.

I agree, noumenal, that if any 'significance' is to be had from a song, it makes more sense for it to be personal, rather than a regurgitation of what it meant to the writer.

I think it's ironically amusing that so many literary figures recognized this tendency to extrapolate unnecessarily on their work, and began writing tongue-in-cheek bits just to watch their readers flail in an academic cesspool of bullshit.

Sometimes, things just are what they are.

As John Cage said, "I have nothing to say and I am saying it and that is poetry."

What's my underlying point? I'm not entirely sure. Maybe that John Donne is gazing down upon the millions of people salivating over his poetry, toking up a fattie, and thinking, "That poem's three lines long! Get a life, jackasses."
truncated is offline   |QUOTE AND REPLY|


Thread Tools

All content 2006 Sonic Youth