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I don't like Genres





Jaan
It may help as a general classification but I think genres (in music) are overused in pop culture.
My pet peeve is people posting, saying "I like x genre like x band" and bands usually have varied styles.
I think music should stay "just music" without all these sub genres and styles floating around.
Magicman
There are genres in music although there is often some genre-blending. Hip hop is different from country is different from rock. There are genres of books and movies as well. A genre is simply a general classification and it helps to sort music. I don't think they can really be overused.
Chalchihuitlicue
I like genres, it helps me explain the kind of sound I like (I was searching for a way to describe it for literally years, only to discover randomly one day that it's "darkwave"). I can also say things like, "I like Visual Kei" and people will know what kind of music I mean. Granted, with VK there is no set sound style, but it's a kind of music that's paired with visual imagery, and saying "I like Visual Kei" as a genre is a lot easier than explaining "I like bands that dress up in fancy/historic/fantastic clothing and tell stories with their music".

I mean, imagine trying to describe how a certain band sounds with out having any set genres to compare it to. How would you ever describe it without classifying it? You wouldn't be able to say "it has a pop sound" or say that it's "metal" or anything.
sopetite
I like genres. coz I can avoid those bands that i hate.

Don't you think that EMO bands are hideous? Damn that genre.
Helios
I'm with the thread poster! I dislike genres and categorizing as well!
I'm a proud metalhead, and genres are a big thing in the metal scene, but they are also a headache.
I mean, when some guy comes to me and asks "Have you heard the band X? They play really cool viking folk metal with some elements of black and death metal", I seriously want to kick that guy in the nuts.
Also, why the heck should I set this barrier, and miss all the good bands that might not be a part of the genre I'm usually listening to?
I say that every band plays its own genre.
Anyway, when someone sends me a song over WLM, for example, I simply accept it, and if I dislike it, I simply delete it! At least then I'm sure I dislike that song.
Ankhanu
Genres are extremely useful... the trick is to not take them too seriously and to understand that there are shades of grey, not everything is black and white. People say that they hate the idea of genres and that music should just be music (ie. the OP)... while, to an extent that's valid, just imagine trying to describe songs without genres, to communicate their style without genres.

Hey, what are Priestess like?
Answer a) Ah, ya know, they're a pretty standard dirty rock band. Not too bad, you should check them out.

Answer b) Ah ya know, they're kind of an overdriven guitar based group, usually sticking to a moderate tempo 4/4 beat frame following a verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/chorus/verse/chorus structure with scratchy vocals and high energy. Not bad, you should check them out.

Genres are wonderful for describing, as long as you don't get too caught up in compartmentalizing everything as good or bad based on a general description. Imagine having to describe the various classical, metal, prog, jazz or fusion genres without the use of genres to do so?? oi.
David_Pardy
I think two levels of genre definition are fine, for example:

Jazz - Light jazz, dark, acid

Rock - Heavy rock, hard rock, soft rock, pop rock

Metal - Numetal, death, thrash, heavy, prog

Electronica - Dance, Techno, Trance

etc...

If someone asks me "What sort of music do the Smashing Pumpkins play?" it's quite easy to say "Well I'd say they're mostly a rock band who utilise a lot of psychadelic elements, especially in their older music." Can you imagine trying to describe the Pumpkins without using genres? "They play with distorted guitars sometimes, but not always, and sometimes use a piano. Also they have a drummer who can play loud, but he doesn't always because he doesn't need. They also used to use acid a lot so they do have some strange songs and strange videos clips. Also, the bassists were all chicks."
Jaan
But exactly - when you say "I like Acid Jazz" then where does the categorizing stop?

Us5 for some people is "acid jazz" but for me it's really a blend of hip hop, rap, with not much acid jazz going down.

And especially for DJ's as well. I think what kills lots of new DJs is that they limit themselves, saying "I only play hard trance". And its killer in the club scene as well as everyone interprets the music differently.

It's an interesting debate - they are necessary, but only in general terms, for example if you go to your local freestyle and tell em I listen to electro-house, then they won't understand. I know this is a huge stereotype but it's only an example. You would have to tell them instead that you like "techno" which is WAY off the mark but for them, they will understand it as they are probably not into the club scene.
ddukki
Ankhanu wrote:
Genres are extremely useful... the trick is to not take them too seriously and to understand that there are shades of grey, not everything is black and white. People say that they hate the idea of genres and that music should just be music (ie. the OP)... while, to an extent that's valid, just imagine trying to describe songs without genres, to communicate their style without genres.

Hey, what are Priestess like?
Answer a) Ah, ya know, they're a pretty standard dirty rock band. Not too bad, you should check them out.

Answer b) Ah ya know, they're kind of an overdriven guitar based group, usually sticking to a moderate tempo 4/4 beat frame following a verse/chorus/verse/chorus/solo/chorus/verse/chorus structure with scratchy vocals and high energy. Not bad, you should check them out.

Genres are wonderful for describing, as long as you don't get too caught up in compartmentalizing everything as good or bad based on a general description. Imagine having to describe the various classical, metal, prog, jazz or fusion genres without the use of genres to do so?? oi.
Exactly. You can't know what a certain band or song sounds like until you listen to it ... unless you have genres. I understand that some bands have labeled themselves into genres that aren't appropriate (*cough*mostemobands*cough*). But as long as you can differentiate between Hard and Soft Rock, genres are a pretty good bet for finding a band you like.
catscratches
When searching for new bands and new music it's very good to have genres. Then I know what to search for and don't have to go through a 1000 of bands and find one which plays the type of music I like. It might sound like I'm very selective and don't listen to anything except for my taste but I'm testing different genres (with many different bands from them of course, I give everything a try) but still can't think that eg. pop or rock is good.
The Mitchell
The idea of a genre cnnot be overused really. its a classification NEEDED to sort music and different styles. imagine going to a record store and having to look through the entire of the main genres for exactly what you want. it would take horrendues amounts of time to find something you might like and you would have to gamble much more of your money on music unless you only buy records you know and love. If there is a problem with genre it is a problem with the people using genres not the idea of how the term works If people overlook the fact that genre is simply a guide to help us find new music that we are likely to enjoy.
hsadmin
I like genres. I like being able to use limewire, and just search for "Metal" under the genre section. That way, I can listen to various bands, and various sub-genres.

Genre - Rock

Sub-Genre - Metal

Sub Genre - Heavy Metal
Sickness
I hate using thousands of sub-genres for metal music. I have been listening this kind of music for ages and, nowadays, I hear people talking about death-core, aggro metal, and emo-grind (Mr. Green) and I'm completely lost... Rolling Eyes
Nutteloos
I think categorizing is nice, but a lot of bands simply don't fit a category. Where's the line between even such 'simple' genres as Rock and Metal? Or is 'metal' a sub-genre of 'rock'? I don't have the answer, and everyone who answers this will disagree with the next. It just doesn't work.

Categorizing is good for your own music collection, just don't force your genres on everyone else. And stop arguing over it. You can't define bands by genre. You can't define most albums by genre. Heck, you can't even define all songs by genre without people arguing over it.
liljp617
sopetite wrote:
I like genres. coz I can avoid those bands that i hate.

Don't you think that EMO bands are hideous? Damn that genre.

Except nobody who uses the term emo actually knows its history. Not saying I like today's music, but when people deem every single current rock song they dislike as emo it gets old and is simply retarded. And, in all technicality, any good music is emo considering it stands for 'emotional' and any good song shows some kind of emotion/feeling so it's really an ignorant, stupid term to use...especially if you don't even know what real emo music was back in the day.

No, I don't like silly bands like MCR or Fallout Boy, but they're not emo. People who knew the history of emo music realize that.
The Mitchell
Nutteloos wrote:
I think categorizing is nice, but a lot of bands simply don't fit a category. Where's the line between even such 'simple' genres as Rock and Metal? Or is 'metal' a sub-genre of 'rock'? I don't have the answer, and everyone who answers this will disagree with the next. It just doesn't work.

Categorizing is good for your own music collection, just don't force your genres on everyone else. And stop arguing over it. You can't define bands by genre. You can't define most albums by genre. Heck, you can't even define all songs by genre without people arguing over it.

this is precisely my point though. genre is not meant to be set in stone. no artist is supposed to be the perfect example of a certain genre and people arent supposed to agree on what genre an artist is as everyone will read and hear different things in the music. as i said it is a simple guideline of how to describe a piece of music and how it sounds quickly. as i said before the problem is when people have decided that genre is the be all and end all of music and not simply a guideline to route out things that may be to their taste.
pudovkin
I think "genres" makes things easier to understand and we should not take this too seriously. Afterall, music is music. Wink
riv_
I think it would be easier to consider everyone's point of view if we knew what you listened to.
Personally, genre's don't help me choose which bands to listen to; which is logical, because, while I have strong tastes and preferences, they are not confines to one genre.
My music collection includes a good selection of classical, punk, blues, rock, folk, jazz, and metal.
But certainly, there's a lot of music in each of those genres that is offensive to me.

If you tend to stick to one genre, you're a lot more likely to be happy with that system of defining, describing, and categorizing your music. If your tastes are more ecclectic, that's just not going to cut it!
poly
well your are right that most bands are hard to be put in one genre folder, butgenres still help to classify music in some way..
roxys_art
Yeah, I hate genres as much as the next person. I really hate it when a band new to the music scene tries to advertise their band as some new genre. It doesn't make their music any better and it doesn't make me want to listen to them. Anyone can create a new genre, but it takes an excellent band to make new and influential music.
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