EvilHomer I think any "visual echoes" you may see between these two shows (what is The Cowsills? I assume this was a show?) can be simply chalked up to "the 1960s".
TeenerTot And where does the Partridge Family fall in here?
Scrimmjob This video makes me want to punch family band faces. Where is the Defranco family when you need them?
Meerkat No. They were an amalgam of what the creators thought a non-threatening 60's garage band might look like if it were to appeal to kids and their parents on a saturday morning.
Zero research went into it, I mean Reggie is strumming a bass for fuck's sake.
John Holmes Motherfucker He's strumming a bass because that's easier and cheaper than making his fingers move, and taking some footage of the cowsills and modeling it is a cheaper and easier than creating "an amalgam of what the creators thought a non-threatening 60's garage band might look like ", something which actually requires thought.
Obviously, what they look like is Archie, Reggie, Veronica, Betty, and Jughead. The point is that for everyone in the Archies I can point to someone in the Cowsills doing something that looks similar. Obviously, what the Archies are doing is a cartoon loop version.
Where you've got Archie standing to the left holding his semiacoutic guitar way up in a funny way, you've got the lead singer of the Cowsills standing to the left holding his acoustic guitar in a funny way.
Where you've got Betty standing center right dancing with a tambourine, you've got little Susie Cowsill, standing center left dancing in a vaguely similar way. Where you've got Veronica playing keyboard at right, you've got some guy playing keyboard at right.
And so on. Mind you, I'm not suggesting that this is the footage that was used. I don't even think it's the footage that I was watching when I said HOLY SHIT IT's THE ARCHIES.
The Cowsills were huge for a while, and they were appropriated hugely by Pop culture in bizarre ways. They were the inspiration for the Partridge Family, and their distinctive sound was an obvious influence for the theme from Love American Style, which ran on Friday Nights on ABC for ages.
It don't consider this to be a slam dunk, but I think it's a good solid theory.
EvilHomer o How are they holding their guitars "in a funny way"? You mean, like with a strap?
o Susie Cowsill doesn't have a tamborine, and that's totally not the same dance.
o "And so on", that's only two. You've still got three members of the Archie band unaccounted for, and the two you've analyzed so far are unconvincing at best.
I can see the Partridge Family in this - I actually thought they might be a Partridge Family rip-off band at first, but apparently it was the other way round - but I remain skeptical as to the validity of your Archie hypothesis.
Meerkat Yeah, that's the other thing. Momma Partridge has a tamborine. I would point more to the Partridges and keep in mind there was a whole dinkload of psychedelic light groups fashioned on a less druggy Beatles, such as the Monkees and Skinny Puppy.
Once again, Homer is being the Dennis the Menace to my Mr. Wilson, so no surprise there.
>> "And so on", that's only two. You've still got three members of the Archie band unaccounted for, and the two you've analyzed so far are unconvincing at best.
Actually, it's three, and I didn't think I'd have to explain that Jughead is the drummer. Reggie is the most generic, and therefore the least derivative.
I don't see any point in debating this, but I do think these objections are mostly way too literal. Why wouldn't they give Betty a tambourine, or make her dance a simple endlessly repeated cartoon loop? What
I'm suggesting is a jumping off place.
This isn't something that can be proven by me or disproven by you. You either see what I see or you don't. If you don't, that doesn't really mean anything for me, and I don't know why it should mean anything for you. It would be nice if someone else saw it, but I was certainly not expecting that person to be Homer.
This isn't something
EvilHomer Plenty of people hold their guitar high on the chest. It's not very common these days, since the MTV generation considers it a bit hokey and lame, but you saw it a lot back in the day (particularly with early rock and countetat music), and even today, playing like that is hardly unheard of (John Petrucci, anyone?). I mean, hell, take a look at this:
John Lennon, from the Beatles. Jacking the Cowsills' swag, apparently.
I don't know if you play guitar; if not then, I guess I can understand why you're confused. But on the other hand, you ARE old, old enough to have seen stuff like this before, so honestly I'm a bit surprised you don't think holding guitars way up high on your chest like Grandpa Lennon used to do is the proper way to go about things, and all these low-slung guitar kids running around today need to PULL UP THEIR PANTS. guitars.
Anyway, Veronica playing keyboard isn't even a "thing", John. You might as well argue that the Archies are actually based off of Rammstein, or even Mozart, because hey! Somebody's playing a keyboard!
So no, you've only got two reasons for making this connection, and both of those reasons are dumb.
John Holmes Motherfucker The Cowsills weren't ugly, but they weren't especially good looking people. They definitely had orthodontic issues, but they had a great pop sound.
"The Rain, the Park, and Other Things" can bring me to tears.
MTV has weeded all but the best looking people out of the music industry, and in my opinion, the music has suffered.
Monkey Napoleon I disagree. The music industry is a quickly shrinking market, and I think the internet has caused old media to circle the wagons. With a smaller pie to go around, they take fewer chances. This means that if you listen to the radio or watch MTV (does anyone still do any of those things, really?) you get a concentrated blast of manufactured crap, which has always been around.
If anything, there's more good music than there used to be I think. Not only do you have access to whatever scene is going on in your and nearby towns, but access to whatever scene is going on in any town that has one. People the industry would have ignored 20 years ago can self-publish and reach a far larger audience than they used to.
Once people reach a certain age, they only enjoy things from their youth and everything that came after is supposed to be terrible. I think a more honest assessment would lead people to conclude that a media model that functioned just fine for 60 years imploded upon and cannibalized itself the second an alternative appeared.
EvilHomer Monkey nails it. MTV weeded the best looking people of music, but then the internet weeded the MTV out of music, so I, for one, am quietly optimistic. The hoary old music industry acted as the sole gatekeeper of musical culture for decades, but the only reason they got away with their bullshit was because there were no real alternative channels for people, young or old, who wanted to consume music. The Industry controlled all access points: radio, TV, and later, record distribution. They could decide who got airplay and who didn't, who got signed and who got forced to be a studio musician. The worst that would happen is dissatisfied consumers would grumble quietly to themselves, but then they'd listen anyway, because what the fuck else were you going to do? NOT listen to the only radio station the FCC allowed in your town?
Nowadays, though, anyone - from sexy rock stars to fat old spinsters with awful BO and fifty cats - can record whatever music they fancy, and distribute it to a global audience with the press of a few buttons. That's something that's *never* been possible before, not during the RIAA era and certainly not during the largely music-less pre-radio period. So don't be glum, JHMF, the butt-ugly Cowsills you knew and loved may still make a comeback!
>>Once people reach a certain age, they only enjoy things from their youth and everything that came after is supposed to be terrible. I think a more honest assessment would lead people to conclude that a media model that functioned just fine for 60 years imploded upon and cannibalized itself the second an alternative appeared.
I didn't say, nor do I believe, that everything out now is terrible. And I didn't address anything so widespread or cataclysmic as the implosion of the music industry. I just said that I don't believe that picking musical artists for their looks is good for music.
If you were to disagree, you might say something like:
"JHM, I believe that you are wrong and that picking musical artists based on their looks IS a good thing for music."
But you said this.
>>If anything, there's more good music than there used to be I think. Not only do you have access to whatever scene is going on in your and nearby towns, but access to whatever scene is going on in any town that has one. People the industry would have ignored 20 years ago can self-publish and reach a far larger audience than they used to.
This has nothing to do with whether picking musical artists based on their looks is a good thing for music or not, so I want to go on the record as saying that I completely agree with that statement, and I, too, disagree with whoever it is that you disagree with.
I only read the first couple of line's of Homer's post, but since he agrees with you, I guess he agrees with me, too.
Monkey Napoleon It's getting pedantic, but I'll bite. I disagree because I don't agree that MTV carries the same weight it did in the 80's and 90's. They aren't choosing much of anything these days. I also disagree because what I believe you're referring to as the "industry" is a bombed out and rotting skeleton of an institution that has fallen out of relevancy. The modern "industry" is the digital marketplace where nobody gives two shits about anything other than the music and the communities that spring up around it.
The industry you're talking about has fewer ugly people not necessarily because they're weeding them out (though they probably are, like they have been since forever), but because there's fewer avenues for them to monetize their acts.
To put it another way, MTV can't do anything to hurt the quality of music if that's not where people get their music. You'll have your Biebers and your Swifts for as long as the big companies can summon the juice to prop those acts up, but kids these days have eclectic tastes that only incidentally includes acts you've heard of.
EvilHomer Since Mr Napoleon is handling things nicely on the "But John, MTV is no longer relevant" front, I'd like to veer off for a minute and say that I, for one, see nothing wrong with people picking musical artists based on their looks.
Music isn't just about music; it's about entertainment. And different people have very different priorities when it comes to consuming entertainment. It's a very subjective world - what entertains you may be trite and irritating to someone else - and I don't see the point to imposing my own set of aesthetic principles in anyone else. *I* don't pick my musical artists based on looks, I pick my music based on other factors, things like the raw technical skill of the artist (because I'm a bit of an elitist), or the lead singer's ability to cleave penguins in half. But looks are nice, too! Sexy looking musicians are understandably quite entertaining in and of themselves, and if that's the sort of thing which some other picker-of-artists wants to consume, then they should go for it! There will always be room in this world for sex-driven image-music, like Elvis, The Beatles, Britney, or Bowie, just as there is always room for the more refined, cerebral acts that *I* love; GWAR, Liszt, Mr Bungle, BABYMETAL.
In short, it's pointless to insist that one's own set of aesthetic priorities are the only ones the global market can sustain. Hate the playahs, but not the game.
EvilHomer I'd also like to point that you yourself, John, seem to take issue with the idea of a guitarist playing his instrument on a very short strap. That is an inage-based concern! You think it looks weird, and it hampers your ability to be entertained. And Golly, Mister Wislon, that's OK! You're perfectly entitled to feel that way about guitar straps, because music is about entertainment, and entertainment is about way more than just how the music sounds.
EvilHomer Or, consider a reverse case. I like the Monkees! Many people, however, do not. The main criticism leveled against the Monkees, the reason why most people dislike them, is because they were seen as being a prototype for modern, manufactured pop bands.
But this criticism is based on image! It has nothing to do with the *music* itself. The fact that Micky may not have actively participated in the crafting of all of his songs, no more changes the actual *sound* of these songs than, say, the fact that he happened to have a girl-winning smile.
Now this is not to say that such image-focused criticism is completely without merit - if you need your musicians to appear authentic, then bully on you, I guess! But for someone like myself, an individual whose primary concern lies with the music, we are able to overlook these things and enjoy the Monkee's music for what it was: catchy, finely-crafted 60s rock n' roll.
Either way works! You are not bad if your tastes are shallow and you cannot appreciate the Monkees' oeuvre, on the grounds that you don't think they behaved properly.