Wednesday, July 29, 2009

A touch too late

I can't really play the saxophone. But I was watching a bit of The Lost Boys the other day (what an excellent movie) and saw the bit at the start with the oiled-up guy and his saxophone solo.

Isn't it odd how the saxophone fell out of favour?

And it's not like it was replaced with another obvious instrument. We didn't get rock bands going around with clarinets or bassoons. The death of the saxophone in music heralded the death for all woodwind instruments.

Yeah, I know it's not made of wood but apparently the saxophone counts. I think.

And I wonder if a whole generation of saxophone players thought they were going to hit big in rock bands only to be laughed out of their Nirvana audition?

That must have been a right kick in the crotch.


susan said...

Maybe it's because my grandmother and her generation are enjoying Benny Goodman, Artie Shaw, Glenn Miller, etc, in Heaven?

Saxophones are kewl. Clarence Clemmons is like a God to me,. when he plays with the Boss.

And as for songs played on the sax that still give goosebumps- the sax solo in Foreigner's 'Urgent".

But as for saxes, clarinets and what not- maybe it's because, imho, this generation coming up as teens and twenties are more into video games like Guitar Hero, than playing actual instruments.

And I can tell you as someone who played Clarinet from 5th grade through college-one of the befits of having a good ombroshure is it makes you an awesome kisser. Or so I have been told.

Red Pill Junkie said...

The real culprit was Zalman King.

With the "Red Shoe Diaries" series featuring pre-Mulder Duchovny, the sax became synonymous with "light porn" :-P

PS: And then came another dofus that made the sax uncool...

Brian Sibley said...

You can't beat pure, visceral SAX appeal! No wonder then (as Susan maintains) a good ombroshure gives one a boost in the love stakes.

Niffiwan said...

I think it's the synthesizer that caused the death of wind instruments in Western popular culture.

Now, me, I mostly can't stand music that uses synthesizers (yep, this means that I can't stand most Western popular music at all). Synthesizers are still not good enough to match the sound of traditional instruments. The sharp, unnatural edge is still there. They are, however, LOUDER, which seems to count for a lot more these days.

And the study of acoustics today sucks, too. For thousands of years, all great civilizations from the Romans to the British placed a premium on architects who could build places in which music sounded beautiful. Now, suddenly, the most perfect acoustic environment is supposed to be an open field (or, barring that, a sound-dampened little room).

So, where exactly are brass and woodwind instruments still widely used in popular music? Bulgaria seems to be one such place:

Anywhere else?

Anonymous said...

A friend of mine used to play sax in his punk band Bladder Control, and not one ska song came from it thank fuck. They did do a kick-ass cover of 'Charlie Brown' though.

Red Pill Junkie said...

A Swedish group called Movit appeared on the Colbert Report recently. Check them out.

Niffiwan said...

Wow, is "thank fuck" the new thing that kids are saying these days?

That doesn't even make sense. Why would you thank a fuck, and which particular fuck are you thanking?

susan said...

Hmmm, I am in a real silly mood but here it goes.....

I've had f****s that I have been very thankful for, the kind that move the ground, popping up on the Richter scale, that got rid of anxiety, worries, plus after a whole weekend, burned off some serious calories and made you feel fantastic.

Is that what you are referring to? And is there too many other things in life better than that? ;-)

(Yeah, I guess I m really over my former relationship ending, i am back in the dating pool, ugh).

Ahed said...

it's considered a brass instrument..
no real rocker would deny another flute in play with reasonable taste
so woodwinds hypothetically are not out of the picture