What was that?

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,371
Wow!

You have a lot to learn about art.
I'm saying it's not art. Well, I guess it was Francis Scott Key's art, but it's not Steve Tyler's art, or anyone else's art. The song is to glorify the nation, not the singer. You're right I'm not an artist so maybe I don't "get it"; all I know is when I hear someone (not necessarily Tyler) scratching & mixing their own rendition of the anthem, it pisses me off.

EDIT: Thought of another way to express what I'm trying to say: The flag of the U.S. has 50 white stars on a blue background, with 7 red stripes and 6 white ones. Now, imagine if "artists" were to start changing up the colors. If they flew a flag with alternating pink & purple stripes at half time, wouldn't that be a desecration of the flag? Well, when people take personal liberties with the anthem, it's the same thing in my eyes; they are desecrating it. There's only one way to sew the flag and only one way to sing the anthem. Maybe we've forgotten that since we've been letting people sing it however they please for a long time.
 
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justtrying

Joined Mar 9, 2011
429
I guess you wouldn't like Jimi Hedrix's version then? Anyway, check out history behind it - lyrics and music, its quite mixed up, so I'd say interpret it as long as you show respect.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
I think what bothers me most about the criticism of Tyler's rendition is the comparison to Roseanne Barr's rendition. To me this comparison is ridiculous.

Barr was booed from the stadium and even spat at the ground as she walked away. It was to most disrespectful display I could ever imagine. She treated the whole thing like a joke, and that is not something to joke about.

However, my recollection of Tyler's version is that people in the stadium were singing the Anthem and cheering. I can definitely understand that most people don't have the ear for his version, but whatever criticism anyone can make now, could just as well have been made before the event. He only took one liberty that goes beyond what he had to do to hit those difficult notes (for him). He gave a joyous scream after "land of the free". I can think of no better place to make a musical accent. Art is a form of communication, and music and poetry are even a little more direct than other forms of art. I, for one, understood his message, and it was a respectful message within the bounds of the occasion.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
I'm saying it's not art.
Statements like this pretty much define what is art. As soon as someone says something is not art, it becomes art. The question of whether it is good art or bad is different, of course. The more relevant question here is whether it is respectful art, because it is an occasion that demands respect.

I would say that an artist should be more concerned with the critics of tomorrow, not those of today. Critics use the past to judge what they see, while the artist sets new standards for the future.
 
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strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,371
As soon as someone says something is not art, it becomes art.
oooh a rabbit hole... Yeah apparently you were right; I have no idea what art is, nor do I think I have the capacity to grasp something that is by definition the exact opposite of its definition. This feels religious, like when no proof of the devil is somehow proof of the devil. I'm ill equipped to proceed so I will concede. I just hope that by saying that the flag is also not art, I haven't opened the door for for "artistic" liberties to be taken with it as well.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
I just hope that by saying that the flag is also not art, I haven't opened the door for for "artistic" liberties to be taken with it as well.
Oh, that door is wide open, and liberties can, and will, and have been taken in various artistic settings. The good thing is that a flag is also a symbol, and as a symbol it can be parameterized and defined and we can demand conformance to it in official settings.

Perfomance art, like a singing of an anthem is different though. You can't confine a perfomance artist to work outside their craft. Would Jimmiy Hendrix have been able to get up and sing the anthem in your preferred style? No, he couldn't do that. But he could express and communicate the emotion of the song with his own interpretation, in his artistic medium. Some may like it (I certainly do) and some may hate it, but that's part of what makes it art.

Similarly, a rock singer like Tyler, is also limited in how he can perform. He can only work within his capabilities in talent and training, and must stay true to his genre, which has its own language and style in expressing emotion.

My main point of joining in here is just to lend some balance to the general criticism.
 

TheFox

Joined Apr 29, 2009
66
Something musicians or singers should learn; there are times to stick out, and times to conform. Some times artists put their flair, some are just so use to singing in their style that they cannot leave their comfort zone. The Anthem is about the Glory of the US (or what other country's anthem it is), and not the singer, band, or the combination of the two. When the anthem gets ruined is when they feel that they need to "improve" it.
 
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Thread Starter

Brownout

Joined Jan 10, 2012
2,390
@TheFox - Indeed, it should be the first thing they learn. Like when you take a writing class, the first thing they tell you is to consider your audiance. People want to hear the national anthem performed with good vocal control, especially by a professional; schreeching and screaming seems inappropriate. It's comical to watch the expressions of the players when these kinds of "improvments" are being made. They are out there for a solem sort of ritual, and it looks like they want to find a place to hide!
 

TheFox

Joined Apr 29, 2009
66
@TheFox - Indeed, it should be the first thing they learn. Like when you take a writing class, the first thing they tell you is to consider your audiance. People want to hear the national anthem performed with good vocal control, especially by a professional; schreeching and screaming seems inappropriate. It's comical to watch the expressions of the players when these kinds of "improvments" are being made. They are out there for a solem sort of ritual, and it looks like they want to find a place to hide!
Sadly, with most of the "stars" they are thought that singing is about them.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
... consider your audiance. People want to hear the national anthem performed with good vocal control, especially by a professional; schreeching and screaming seems inappropriate. ...
I think it's probably true that people most want to hear good vocal control and not schreeching and screaming. I prefer that myself. However, I'm also willing to listen to alternative forms of expression without being insulted or bothered by it. I only ask that the person tries their best.

So, why was Tyler invited to perform? Was he called in to create a scandal, or set him up for a fall? What example from Tyler's past work do you want to point to that shows he would be capable of good vocal control that did not include a screechy voice? You won't find this even on recordings from his prime.

The whole thing seems analogous to people putting a hungry tiger in an arena with a lamb tied to a stake. Why is everyone so bothered that the tiger ate the lamb? Everyone acts according to their nature. If you want the lamb to be safe, then dont' put the tiger with the lamb. If you want and anthem sung with perfect vocal control, in the exact conservative style you expect, then find the person who will be capable and willing to deliver that. Anyone who expected any different from what was delivered, isn't familiar with Tyler's history, or isn't considering his present age and ability.

Those who are upset, ... shouldn't their criticism be against the organizers and not the performer? Should the performer refuse the invitation? Perhaps he would consider that a real disgrace, - to not step up and do his best when asked.
 

magnet18

Joined Dec 22, 2010
1,227
Well, I guess it was Francis Scott Key's art, but it's not Steve Tyler's art, or anyone else's art.
not that I entirely disagree with you, but it's worth pointing out that Francis Scott Key only wrote the words, and put them to a popular bar tune of the time. So, if you go by the Francis Scott Key logic, as long as they get the words right, it can be any music.

Personally, out of pure musical preference, I HATE it when people take normal/slow/serious songs and try to make it "their own"
just sing normal dammit
 

TheFox

Joined Apr 29, 2009
66
I think it's probably true that people most want to hear good vocal control and not schreeching and screaming. I prefer that myself. However, I'm also willing to listen to alternative forms of expression without being insulted or bothered by it. I only ask that the person tries their best.

So, why was Tyler invited to perform? Was he called in to create a scandal, or set him up for a fall? What example from Tyler's past work do you want to point to that shows he would be capable of good vocal control that did not include a screechy voice? You won't find this even on recordings from his prime.

The whole thing seems analogous to people putting a hungry tiger in an arena with a lamb tied to a stake. Why is everyone so bothered that the tiger ate the lamb? Everyone acts according to their nature. If you want the lamb to be safe, then dont' put the tiger with the lamb. If you want and anthem sung with perfect vocal control, in the exact conservative style you expect, then find the person who will be capable and willing to deliver that. Anyone who expected any different from what was delivered, isn't familiar with Tyler's history, or isn't considering his present age and ability.

Those who are upset, ... shouldn't their criticism be against the organizers and not the performer? Should the performer refuse the invitation? Perhaps he would consider that a real disgrace, - to not step up and do his best when asked.
Agreed.
I was at a rodeo, and they got some local high school girl to sing it. I think she came close to singing it the worse ever. If she had any skill singing, she covered it up, with "ad lib-ing", surely the organizers heard her sing before hand?

But events like that; I believe that it's more of a case of, "We need a big name, oh look, ________ ________ can do it, let's use them.
 

strantor

Joined Oct 3, 2010
5,371
So, why was Tyler invited to perform? Was he called in to create a scandal, or set him up for a fall? What example from Tyler's past work do you want to point to that shows he would be capable of good vocal control that did not include a screechy voice? You won't find this even on recordings from his prime.

The whole thing seems analogous to people putting a hungry tiger in an arena with a lamb tied to a stake. Why is everyone so bothered that the tiger ate the lamb? Everyone acts according to their nature. If you want the lamb to be safe, then dont' put the tiger with the lamb. If you want and anthem sung with perfect vocal control, in the exact conservative style you expect, then find the person who will be capable and willing to deliver that. Anyone who expected any different from what was delivered, isn't familiar with Tyler's history, or isn't considering his present age and ability.

Those who are upset, ... shouldn't their criticism be against the organizers and not the performer? Should the performer refuse the invitation? Perhaps he would consider that a real disgrace, - to not step up and do his best when asked.
I acknowledged that back in post #18...:
I think it was a minor disgrace to the anthem, but it wasn't 100% tyler's fault. Whoever put the halftime show together should have thought "what would it really sound like if steve tyler sang the national anthem?" - because what I heard is exactly what I would have expected from him.
...But, I didn't take it that step further and put myself in Tyler's position. If I were asked to sing the anthem, and I knew it was totally outside my comfort zone, and not my style, what would I do? If I say no, people could construe that to make me look unamerican; if I say yes, and give it my best shot, then people will criticize that I didn't do it right. It's a lose-lose. So now with that perspective I guess I'll be a little easier on the singers, but I really wish they would focus their efforts on singing the song as it is meant to be sung to the best of their own abilities, and not on wow'ing the crowd.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
but I really wish they would focus their efforts on singing the song as it is meant to be sung to the best of their own abilities, and not on wow'ing the crowd.
I agree, but this is no easy task for performers. The whole idea of what "meant to be sung" means is open to interpretation, and the general audience has a completely different view than a professional musician. Also, the entire meaning of "professional" is up in the air. There are formally/classically trained musicians and there are self taught musicians without formal training. I think Tyler is in more in this latter class.

I think all good musicians want to be true to the music and the intent of the composer/writer, and they want to be true to themselves and their chosen genre. They make their best plan and sometimes takes some risks and liberties. In the end the audience decides if it is success or failure. Sometimes what is perceived as an initial failure is later judged to be a person being ahead of their time. Other times a failure is just a flat-faced fall in the mud. I can't deny that this case is not likely to be viewed any better in the future, but one can imagine the Hendrix version surviving though the centuries.

I have to say that most of us can not know just how difficult it is to get up in front of a world-wide audience and put everything on the line like this. Think about that pressure. Can you be sure your voice will be there in the criiticaly difficult parts of the performance. Maybe you find yourself faltering in your original plan and have to fall back into an old comfort zone. Think about all the Anthems where the person forgets the words. Did the person just not learn the words? Hah, don't be silly. The person thought they learned them well, but their nerves got the better of them and their mind blanked out under the pressure. Many performances are made or broken in a split second. You can only know about this by having gone through it, even if only on a much smaller stage.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
Brief schreeching around 3:16 & 3:55 and a couple other places. Other than that, not bad voice control.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=73cWfFEKAfE&feature=related
Yes, I'm in basic agreement. In a previous post I said.

steveb said:
"I thought Tyler's rendition was quite good. He was in key. He was in tune. He hit all the notes ... He sang it true to his art form, ... he sang "a cappella" which is no easy thing to do, and it's not an easy song to sing anyway. Also, the rock-and-roll-roughness and screamy-nature of his voice was brought to force on the relevant parts of the song. It is a song about an intense battle, let's not forget. I would even say that his voice and style are more appropriate to the song than the best operatic tenor or soprano."
I'm not trying to be overly critical about his voice and actually gave quite a bit of credit above, but other people seem to be critical, both here and in the general media, so one has to give some ground in a discussion sometimes to help make bigger points. My ear is used to the full range - from very pure sounds in ancient music, to the rougher sounds of modern heavy metal bands. It's all a matter of taste and what the ear is used to hearing. The context is also important, which makes this a more sensitive case.

Honestly I watched it without being bothered at all. I enjoyed his singing of the Anthem and went on to watch the game with even more enjoyment, as I'm from New England!

I wonder who's singing at the super bowl? :p
 

Thread Starter

Brownout

Joined Jan 10, 2012
2,390
You have an interesting take, but I don't quite agree that screaming is an appropriate way to sing the antherm. Just because there is a battle involved, I don't think we have to hear someone screaming. Anyway, the words are describing the patriotic pride felt by the author in seeing that the flag had survived the night's battle. As the legend goes, the flag invoked a sense of hope in the author, who was being held as a war prisioner at the time. The words are a tribute to that hope and pride, so I have to disagree that screaming is the right way to go about it. Hopefully, professional sports will someday see fit to use performers who can give more respect to the anthem than to their 'genre' -- how about the Marine Corps Band? BTW, I know how it feels to be disappointed in a favorite artist, one of my favs got booted off Monday Night Football for making really dumb comments. But I've found a way to live with it.

So, you're a Patriot fan? Well congrats then on getting to the big show. It's been a heck of a year for NFL football, and the two best teams are squaring off for the finale. I'm looking forward to a very intertaining game. Also, I don't know who's singing, but I probably won't watch. I'm just not into what passes for entertainment these days. IMO, anything past the 70's isn't worth listening to. Just my take.
 

steveb

Joined Jul 3, 2008
2,436
You have an interesting take, but I don't quite agree that screaming is an appropriate way to sing the anthem.
I understand your point and it seems to be the majority view. Perhaps it was my good mood at the time, but my unconscious brain took nothing but a positive message of joy a pride from the performance. Didn't really give it much thought at the time.

I know how it feels to be disappointed in a favorite artist,
I was thinking more about how disappointing it would be to wake up the next morning as the latest artist that disappointed a nation.

Personally, I've never been a big fan of Tyler or Aerosmith, although I certainly like their music for the most part. Their most significant personal impact on me relates to the wonderful memory I have of a 7th grade dance. The song "Walk this Way" was rising in the charts and played the first time I danced with that cute girl I fell in love with, at first sight, on the first day of junior high school. Anyone contributing to that memory deserves a little bit of defending on my part. :cool:
 
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