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Music 2II3 Nov 25th notes.docx

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McMaster University
Simon Wood

November 23, 2011 - Yesterday we talked about the characteristics of Motown before talking about other center of soul music production STAX records o Stax was producing the same genre as Motown, and there were similliarites (using a house band) t o There were differences in  ways they approached recording process  Integration of musicians and workers - Now talkabout musical content is different o Otis Redding “Try a little tenderness” (1966)  Died tragically in plane crash, but this is his biggest hit in his career  But shortly before he died, he released sitting on the docks which most people remember him as  Bar k’s were the B league house band, back up band for OTIS Redding’s band (from the video) on the listening list is booker t and the mgs.  Organist- Isaac hayes, Booker T was on the piano (the combo of piano and organ came from black gospel churches)  Video Performance:  Watch not just how he sings, but how he physically presents himself  Generalities:  Most Motown performances the band is in background, in silhouette in darkness or invisible  STAX artists the band is upfront clearly visible, much more likely for band to have the spotlight  Smokey and Miracles, very well dressed- much more timeless  Otis- looked sharp but in a very modern contemporary way – much more culturally in the moment  Physical presentation: o Smokey- always had his eyes open and at the audience- even followed the cameras to look and project outwards  Motown artists never contorted body  Always focused on the audience o Mr. Redding- he was closing his eyes, contorting body  Focused on the music  Intensity o Motown- had control… always under control and thought out  They always know whats going to happen next  Overwhelming emotional and energy o Otis- he just followed the energy  He sweat, something that Motown never did. Atlantic records sweat a lot, but Motown artists were always dry.  White culture always valued dryness and control. Black culture values intensity more. o STAX- about the performance and the moment. Is the music right for that moment right now. Motown- about intentionally thinking about it and performance is doing exactly what they did. I have an idea of the perfect song sounds like and they reproduce it. o Process orientation- black culture. Product orientation- White culture. o Beatles follow product orientation, rolling stones were process orientation. No longer a racial thing after elvis and chuck berry. Not white and black anymore, but two white groups do that. Now we come back to the states and see that the exact same thing is happening in black artists as well (Motown vs. Stax). No longer a racial thing but this line is open to everyone.  AABA- TPA song written in 1920s  Hit for Bing Crosby in 1933 o Aretha Franklin also had a hit with it before Otis o Wasn’t a soul song, soul isn’t a way of writing music but a way of performing it o  Carthartic performance- African retention – unrestrained energy o Same and Dave : “Soul Man” 1967 o Still the opt
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