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Feb 15th, 2010 Comments: 8

East Meets West 194: Aim for the Modesto

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Roger and Tom review the Olympics opening ceremonies, discuss the coverage, chat about Greece’s financial troubles and finish with some commentary on film music’s value.

Get the show at this link: http://www.podtrac.com/pts/redirect.mp3/www.archive.org/download/EastMeetsWest194AimForTheModesto/eastmeetswest194.mp3

  • jpatel

    Hey guys,

    First, a short point: I think you read into my first comment a little too deeply. Film music isn't classical music because it's contemporary…the opposite of “classical”. However a lot of people tend to use “classical” and “orchestral” as synonyms. I didn't really mean much by that statement.

    However, I have to say, I think you guys misrepresented my position a little. My comments on film music were primarily musical in nature, not social, but a lot of the comments were about the evolving social nature of music. As you mentioned, plenty of classical music was written as accompaniment rather than for solo performance, but that wasn't really my point. When we're talking about “geniuses”, the names we think of generally revolutionized concepts of music in their respective times.

    Claude Debussy, for example, was a French composer who created music which sounded unlike anything before it, practically inventing a new harmonic language which was then taken up by other composers. The difference with film scores is that most mainstream film music is based directly off classical idioms and orchestration. If you listen to a typical John Williams action score and then turn on some work by Holst or Stravinsky, you will see what I mean. It reminds me of a class trip I had taken when I was younger, to see Holst's “Planets”. The most frequent response from the class after the first movement was that it sounded “just like Star Wars”.

    I like John Williams' music, but when you're describing people as the new “Beethovens” of this era, you really have to see whether their accomplishments match up, musically speaking. John Williams has written great scores, but he hasn't revolutionized the Western music tradition. I personally think a comparison with jazz is fitting, because jazz music truly does build onto the existing traditions to produce a style of music that is completely unlike those which came before it, just as Debussy did at the beginning of the 20th century. I just don't feel the same can be said of much of the popular film music by composers such as Horner.

    I've tried not to get too geeky in this post, so I hope nothing comes across as musical gobbledygook.

  • Tom, you're just looking for a Boiling Point-inspired Olympics…. which will make me eligible for the Caribbean Alliance bobsledding team in 2014.

  • harpoonGill

    Tom, next time you're in Vancouver I'm buying. And if I hear of anyone hiring here in Vancouver I'll let you know as I work in 'the biz' too.

  • coolb

    I actually really enjoy movie scores and will often times notice them when watching movies. In fact there have been times the score was the only thing about a movie I liked.

  • PG_Kelly

    Tom – Roger,

    When will Yeast meet East Meets West?
    Yes, I am talking about everyone's favorite Crazy Bloated Lesbian, Madge.
    Would you be willing to release a Wednesday episode called Yeast Meets West?

    I have never watched the Olympics on TV and with this tape delay, I must say it sucked! I wish Tom had passed around some live feeds if he found any.

    Tom, Have you heard about any one giving their iPod a very long name??!
    Lexi G didn't leave space for her music… :-)


    (I'm going broke in California)
    (My sister is going nuts in California.)
    (How do we get Arnold out of our Government?)

  • techpriest

    The hidden road to reform?

    Gerrymandering APPEARS to be the single-biggest factor in the “polarisation” (IE, loss of the center, increasing shift to extremes) of US Politics, making certain people's votes count less than others, and “rippling” deadlock up the political ladder (see the california state legislature, and the US senate).

    There is of course, a simple fix to this: Independent electoral/boundary commissions. These are non-partisan, non-elected, commissions designate electoral districts in the interests of fairness and common sense.

    Question is, how to get said commissions into existence, and into power. Politicians (especially in the highly gerrymandered US) will never vote for them, as this is equivalent to Turkey's voting for early christmas.

    However, there remains a method for the American people to bypass the politician, and make a relatively small, tentative step that could have huge ramifications in “fixing” america's increasingly dysfunctional politics- State Ratifying Conventions.

    As used in the passing of the twenty-first amendment (and hence delivering the death blow to prohibition), over the course of a year, each state would hold a convention, made up of ordinary people, to ratify, or vote down, the amendment.

    The amendment could be relatively simple to enact, too:

    “The [Newly created] Federal Boundary Commission shall control the boundaries for all federal elections, and shall create and change them in the interests of electoral fairness. It shall also appoint, or empower [where existing commissions exist] commissions to govern the electoral boundaries for state-level elections”

    Choosing the membership for these commissions would the major issue, but it is probably best that the “presidential appointment” method is avoided to depoliticize the office and prevent the commission itself performing gerrymandering.

    What do you think?

  • techpriest

    Might also be an idea to, at least at first, make the amendment apply ONLY to the states, and not the fed- in order to garner the support of congress in “proposing” the amendment, as is necessary.

  • citizenplain

    The only thing I've really liked about the Olympic coverage so far is Vancouver itself. All of the aerial shots of the Vancouver area have got my fiancee and I talking about taking a vacation there. I don't know if I could handle living in such as cold area, but definitely seems like a nice place to visit.