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Pop Stars Tend to be Bright These Days
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I’m an old man who hasn’t kept up with popular music since the 1990s, but even I have noticed that girl singer/songwriter pop stars in the 21st Century are often obviously bright, such as Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey. Looking up Lady Gaga and Lorde, I see that both are mentioned for acing IQ tests to get into gifted programs as children. I’ve only heard a handful of Billie Eilish recordings on the radio, but she’s clearly a gifted artist.

This is a change from the later 20th Century, when gal singers tended to be either God’s own athletic vocalists, like Whitney Houston or Mariah Carey, cunning forces of nature like Madonna, or dancing queens like Britney Spears. Now you have a bunch of good blood, good bone types, much like British actors like Benedict Cumberbatch and actresses like Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley now tend to be from the upper crust of society: e.g., the Swintons (Tilda) are one of the three surviving Anglo-Saxon aristocratic families from before the Norman Invasion.

We used to have British actors like O’Toole (whose father was a bookie), Caine, and Connery (whose pre-acting jobs included coffin polisher). But not so much anymore.

Being a pop star is for girls kind of like being a movie director/screenwriter is for guys: it’s the big time. Yeah, the Coen Brothers are verbally smarter than you or just about anybody you know are. Tarantino is only semi-literate due to dyslexia, but he’s also astonishingly gifted in unconventional ways. Etc etc.

 
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  1. Taylor Swift, per wikipedia:

    When Swift was around 12 years old, computer repairman and local musician Ronnie Cremer taught her to play guitar. He helped with her first efforts as a songwriter, leading her to write “Lucky You”.

    And then:

    To help Swift break into country music, her father transferred to Merrill Lynch’s Nashville office when she was 14 years old

    So naturally, the ungrateful hag writes songs about how awful men are.

  2. Bright girls, but the music is shit.
    Not a patch on old Joni Mitchell.

  3. I’m an old man who hasn’t kept up with popular music since the 1990s, but even I have noticed that girl singer/songwriter pop stars in the 21st Century are often obviously bright, such as Taylor Swift and Lana Del Rey. Looking up Lady Gaga and Lorde, I see that both are mentioned for acing IQ tests to get into gifted programs as children.

    Alas, “smart” does not necessarily translate into “entertaining.” Listen closely to some of Lorde’s lyrics and you will see what I mean; they are not that impressive for someone who is supposedly bright.

    According to this article, older songs (e.g. two years old or more) now vastly outsell newer ones:

    https://www.theatlantic.com/ideas/archive/2022/01/old-music-killing-new-music/621339/

    Is this happenstance? Or is it, perhaps, the music lovers of today letting the world know that they have picked up on the vapidity of current offerings and are looking for something different?

  4. Nodwink says:

    The record industry is completely different now compared to the pre-internet era. Predatory managers would have been able to sniff out the gifted-but-naive types, and swindle them. Today you can just upload your music to whatever platform, and for most artists the middleman is superfluous. That doesn’t stop the streaming platforms trying to diddle people, the whole industry is pretty crooked.

    • Replies: @Here Be Dragon
  5. You’re getting IQ confused with intelligence.

    You’re also an old man confused about mainstream modern culture being anything but 100% directed from above (Juliet Echo Whiskey Sierra)

    Still, I love it when you’re drunk.

    Here’s to you, us and democracy!

    • LOL: Gordo
    • Replies: @anon
    , @John Frank
  6. Where does Claire Boucher (a.k.a. Grimes) fit into this?

    Apparently she’s capable of mind tricks:

    Boucher was born and raised in Vancouver, British Columbia. She is of French Canadian (including Québécois), Italian, Ukrainian, and Métis descent. She was raised Roman Catholic, and attended Catholic school. Her mother, Sandy Garossino, is a former Crown prosecutor and arts advocate; her father, a former banker, works “in the business side of biotech”. In 2006, Boucher graduated from Lord Byng Secondary School and relocated from Vancouver to Montreal to attend McGill University focusing on neuroscience and Russian language, but left the university in early 2011 before finishing her degree.

  7. Madonna supposedly has a very high IQ.

  8. Wilkey says:

    Bright girls, but the music is shit. Not a patch on old Joni Mitchell.

    The result of almost every child now growing up in an extremely sheltered environment. Kids don’t even mow their lawns anymore – that’s all hired out to illegal Hispanics.

    In my state there’s apparently a major lifeguard shortage – a *lifeguard* shortage. What reasonably attractive teenage guy doesn’t want to hang out at the pool, get stared at and get to stare at (and work with) attractive teenage girls, all in their swimsuits – and get paid for it? These days apparently no one does.

    Even then, Taylor Swift can write some extremely clever lyrics. Billie Eilish is less impressive, and in many cases barely listenable.

    Acting and music have always attracted some number of upper class types. Helen Mirren’s father was from Russian nobility, and she’s nearly 80. Jimmy Stewart graduated from Princeton. He was born in 1908. Meryl Streep’s father was a successful businessman and she went to Yale. Laura Linney and Laura Dern (I often confuse the two) are both descended from major politicians who bequeathed to them their surnames.

    Mirren’s background especially may point to why the upper class goes into entertainment – because the old nobility is gone, and entertainers are the new nobility. The most successful ones earn as much as if not more than the old nobility, often buying up expensive castles and country manors from bankrupt earls and dukes. In the UK they are often knighted. Some actresses even marry into nobility (Grace Kelly, Megan Markle). They spout their political views – and some people listen to them – as if their training and experience had anything remotely to do with how the world actually works.

    Entertainment has always attracted an odd blend of society’s best, worst, and weirdest, and it probably always will. That’s because, apart from connections and verbal ability, the talents, narcissism, shamelessness, and knack for self-promotion needed to succeed in the business are distributed fairly evenly across the classes.

  9. @Jimi Savaloy

    Be open to the possibility that it’s not all shit.

  10. Wilkey says:
    @Drive-by poster

    According to this article, older songs (e.g. two years old or more) now vastly outsell newer ones:

    Music used to be dominated by radio, and radio stations played new songs over and over and over, so that’s what people went out and bought. Nowadays you can listen to a song you like anytime you like just by streaming it. So people may wait awhile for the light to go off inside their head and realize “maybe I should buy that song.” Or it may take them that long to get around to hearing it.

    • Replies: @Feryl
  11. Jay Fink says:

    I am probably her oldest fan but I really like hip hop artist Doja Cat. Her songs are really fresh and catchy sounding and I like how ultra-femme and sexy she sounds. I am amazed how much she appeals to me because my favorite genres are classic rock, classic alternative and soft oldies.

    I didn’t know anything about her other than the fact that I like her radio hits. Her Wikipedia was a lot more interesting than I expected and right up Steve’s alley. For one thing I was shocked that she is my fellow Jew. I know there are tons of Jews in entertainment but not too many in hip hop. Her mother is Jewish and her father (who left her while young) is South African…I would guess black. For several years in her childhood she was raised in some kind of Hindu compound. She dropped out of 11th grade, she claims due to ADHD. I would still guess she isn’t stupid to be able to create or fit into such a larger than life persona. She is totally an artist of today meaning she was discovered on SoundCloud and TikTok clips that went viral.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doja_Cat

    • Replies: @Nathan
    , @Dave Pinsen
  12. @Buzz Mohawk

    She’s also very smart, having connected with Elon Musk when they both made the same pun about Roko’s basilisk. I like the part at 36 seconds here where she waives through the considerate Hispanic guy whose hesitant to step between her and the camera. https://youtu.be/JtH68PJIQLE

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
  13. @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    not men. boyfriends.
    how awful her ex-boyfriends are.
    Alternating with songs about how great her (current) oyfriend is.
    That’s the market for pop songs

  14. Arclight says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Agree – will cop to having several Lana Del Rey albums, there are some legitimately good songs on each.

    • Agree: slumber_j
    • Replies: @Mike Tre
  15. @Buzz Mohawk

    Excluded from the sample. She’s more famous for dating Elon Musk than she is for her music.
    Pretty sure Sailer only listed artists with either a song he he could name, or say the chorus to

    • LOL: mc23
  16. AceDeuce says:
    @Wilkey

    Stewart was not from the “upper class”, even though he went to Princeton. His dad owned a small hardware store in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania. (Famously, when Stewart won an Oscar, he gave it to his dad, who put it on display in the front window of the store, where it remained for years.)

    • Replies: @Daniel H
    , @mc23
  17. @Drive-by poster

    Gonna have to disagree with you about Lorde. She’s loaded with subtext.

    “Living in cities you’ll never see on screen.
    Not very pretty but we sure know how to run things.”

    That sounds like a lost outtake from Steve’s 80s new wave band.

    That said, I don’t understand the appeal of Billie Eilish. Her whispering/ mumbling vocal style is unlistenable.

    • Agree: Je Suis Omar Mateen
    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  18. prosa123 says:
    @Wilkey

    In my state there’s apparently a major lifeguard shortage – a *lifeguard* shortage. What reasonably attractive teenage guy doesn’t want to hang out at the pool, get stared at and get to stare at (and work with) attractive teenage girls, all in their swimsuits – and get paid for it? These days apparently no one does.

    In many areas it’s a minimum wage job, yet the responsibility is very high.

    • Replies: @Wilkey
    , @AceDeuce
    , @Daniel H
  19. Steve–Tarantino semliterate? Check out his interview with Brett Easton Ellis:

    “cunning forces of nature like Madonna”? Are you serious? Madonna is well known to have a sky high IQ. She cowrites all her songs and has incredibly good taste: she’s been photographed by every bad-ass photographer on the planet, including Paolo Roversi.

    Billie English talented? Have to strongly disagree with you there.

    My favorite Del Rey song:

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
    , @J.Ross
    , @mc23
    , @Ian M.
  20. Not sure what her IQ is, but Emily Haines of Metric is also a talented songwriter/performer.

  21. Wilkey says:
    @prosa123

    In many areas it’s a minimum wage job, yet the responsibility is very high.

    Allegedly \$15/hour, according to a recent article. I don’t think the responsibility is too high. Standards now require them to hire a fairly large number of lifeguards, so they certainly aren’t overworked. It’s hard to imagine that there is any shortage of teenagers who would want these jobs.

    • Replies: @Paul Mendez
  22. Feryl says:

    Would the IQ boost come from the fact that being a pop star is very lucrative these days, thereby incentivizing smart people to dominate it? It used to be that musicians would get swindled by unscrupulous managers, promoters, and labels (almost every single artist from the 80’s said that their first record contract put them on the hook for recording, marketing, and touring expenses so inevitably you had to have a double platinum record in order to make a decent living). Is there any “net worth” tracker or what have you for pre-1990 artists? The general impression I get I that most of them didn’t do that well, or rather, took many years to build wealth if they did manage to hang on (not helping matters is that when young, less than sensible musicians will blow money on drugs, cars, mansions etc.)

    Also, the fact that many musicians tend to incessantly tour well into middle age and elderhood doesn’t give one confidence that these people are financially set. Compare that to actors who tend to slow down a lot as they go through middle age.

    Whitney was a crack head who needed help. Mariah is a headcase who apparently had some mental breakdowns. But historically musicians have often been mental defectives. In fact, musicians have a very elevated rate of early mortality. Perhaps that’s because the industry has generally tolerated decadence and a total lack of professionalism (is there any other industry where people so frequently show up to work late, with a bad attitude, and/or drunk/stoned out of their minds?).

  23. George says:

    “Pop Stars Tend to be Bright These Days” Is it true pop stars are smarter now than back then?

    Her father’s frequent relocation as the president of Greyhound … With the Goya guitar that she received for her 16th birthday (Her bio implies she was likely smart or better)

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Stevie_Nicks#Life_and_career

    He studied at the London School of Economics before abandoning his studies to join the Rolling Stones.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mick_Jagger#Early_life

    Her father, Richard L. Simon, was the co-founder of Simon & Schuster[25] and a classical pianist
    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Carly_Simon#Early_life

    So it might be interesting to read through bios for evidence of high IQ required pursuits. Other evidence of extreme high IQ might be how they spent, grew, lost their wealth. The Behind the Music rockumentary series showed a mixed bag or long term financial success to immediate wastage.

  24. anon[207] • Disclaimer says:
    @Pat Hannagan

    an old man confused about mainstream modern culture being anything but 100% directed from above

    So’s almost everybody on this forum although age doesn’t matter so much. It depends on how hypnotized you are. Huge areas of the developed world have been in a hypnotized state. Very few seem to know what’s really going on. Some actually seemed to believe the covid nonsense and the predictable series of “vaccines” promoted by the manufacturers, despite reputable scientists and doctors providing facts to show the hoax (admittedly suppressed by Youtube and google, and the media in general.) Confusing.

  25. At one time becoming a pop singer was a bit like being a boxer or soccer player–a way for working class youth to make some money without going to University or college.

    However the amount of money made by successful recording artists and performers today, has meant that this kind of career has become attractive to upper middle class kids with ambitious parents who support their careers in pop music.

    People got into music because their parents were into it. Paul McCartney’s father was a musician. Eric Clapton’s adopted mother played the piano at the local pub. Julie Andrews came from a circus family.

    The prototype of the more wealthy popstar, strangely enough was Mick Jagger. Although it is known that his father was a phys ed. teacher, what is often overlooked was that his father had his own TV show, the first of its kind, and that his father wrote a leading textbook, so not just your average teacher. Young Mick grew up hanging around backstage in TV studios and became media savvy at a young age.

  26. Anon[246] • Disclaimer says:

    I’ve never heard a Billie eilish song, but seeing a clip of
    Her speaking I thought she might be mildly retarded.

    • Agree: Meretricious, Right_On
  27. Feryl says:
    @Wilkey

    I think the digital and mechanized electrolysis given to music since circa 1998 makes it sound weird, unnatural, and unpleasant. Vocals are put into perfect tuning, and drums are perfectly in time. As I understand artists are neurotic about their music sounding “flawed” and uncompetitive, so they demand to producers that their music must be put through these computer processors. But ironically they end up destroying any sort of organic feel to the music and nobody really resonates with such phony music.

    Oh, and music sounds very samey over the last 20-25 years precisely because of the processing done to it. It used to be that a production or style novelty would last 4-5 years then we’d move onto something else. But that doesn’t happen anymore. Stuff produced before the late 90’s tends to sound very particular to a short lived period. On a similar note, before digital cameras movies tended to have a very distinctive look tied to the film stock of the era. Nowadays movies look much more samey. I miss how movies from say,1986, look like movies from that years simply due to the unique film stock that was only used for a couple years before that batch was used up and a new type of film stock was then put to use.

  28. @Feryl

    “musicians would get swindled by unscrupulous managers, promoters, and labels”

    A lot of 60s artists ended up poor as their managers robbed them. Don Arden was one of the worst.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Don_Arden

  29. @Discordiax

    She did write a song specifically against men in general though.

    • Replies: @Charon
  30. @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    I don’t see how Swift is so swift other than to make money writing & singing weird songs. Frequently the pronoun usage in Swift’s lyrics is off-putting as is the case for some other popular musicians like Mumford. Also this has been a trend since the late 80s. Remember Tori Amos.

    • Agree: Richard B
    • Replies: @Richard B
  31. slumber_j says:

    We used to have British actors like O’Toole (whose father was a bookie), Caine, and Connery (whose pre-acting jobs included coffin polisher).

    And the lesser but absolutely great Ray Winstone. His parents sold fruit and veg., and I recall reading that he’s a former hod-carrier.

    • Replies: @Jim Don Bob
  32. slumber_j says:
    @Jimi Savaloy

    Lana Del Rey does a very good cover of Joni Mitchell’s “For Free” on her excellent album Chemtrails Over the Country Club. I recommend a listen.

    Other obviously very smart pop women of today include the mistressminds behind Wet Leg, my absolute favorite band from the Isle of Wight. It’s pretty hard not to like their filthily catchy Internet hit “Chaise Lounge” for example:

  33. Mark G. says:

    Billie Eilish is especially impressive because she wrote and recorded her first album, with help from her brother, in her bedroom when she was only sixteen years old. This became a number one best-selling album and won the best album of the year Grammy award. One song off it, “Bad Guy”, won best song of the year. She again won the best song Grammy the next year for “Everything I Wanted”. The next year after that she had another number one best-selling album which she received seven Grammy nominations for and won an Oscar for her James Bond movie song. All this by the age of twenty.

    We have yet to see what she does in the future but it’s possible she’s a one in a million musical talent. Paul McCartney, who is definitely a one in a million musical talent, has called her “something special”. She is a big Beatles admirer, having done “Yesterday” at the Oscars plus a version of “Something”. She also likes old fifties artists like Julie London, Peggy Lee and Frank Sinatra. The songs on her albums are written in multiple musical styles. She is not a typical teenager. She said in an interview that when she was growing up the other kids would ask her if she was aware of how weird she was because she spent literally all her time on music. Her parents were firm believers in homeschooling and letting children pursue their interests and she never set foot in a public school.

    She comes across in interviews as bright and articulate. She tends to be a politically correct liberal, but her brother said this is mainly just a desperate desire to be liked. The implication there is that he knows something about her the general public doesn’t. She got in trouble one time for making fun of the bragging of black male rappers on their songs. She got in trouble another time when it was discovered her boyfriend had made racist and homophobic remarks in the past on Twitter. She got in trouble a third time when an old recording surfaced of her talking in a mock Asian accent. She apologized and said she was only twelve then and didn’t know any better.

    • Replies: @Nathan
    , @Thoughts
    , @kaganovitch
  34. No Dua Lipa, who’s currently pulling down \$3 million a month and has a side gig as the face of French fashion house YSL?

    • Replies: @Mr. Fussy
  35. Mike Tre says:

    Isn’t there a similarity with pop rock bands of the last 20 years? The rock bands from the 60’s were kids from low or middle income families, and now they are all college graduates.

    And like someone else said, all those brains sure didn’t make the music any better.

  36. tyrone says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Easily smitten by those Tallulah Riley types.

  37. zylo says:
    @Jimi Savaloy

    If you are attracted to kind-hearted, beautiful women with amazing voices and top flight artistry who sing about their love of men, and pay homage to American culture, then what is not to enjoy about Lana. She is the most seductive, ethereal songstress in my 48-year lifetime. If you desire your women to be like men, then probably not for you. If you like women to be feminine, chaotic, sexual and mysterious, then there you go.

    • Replies: @Spartan
  38. JimDandy says:
    @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    She’s a vile human being. Just ask her.

    Screaming, crying, perfect storms
    I can make all the tables turn
    Rose garden filled with thorns
    Keep you second guessing like
    “Oh, my God, who is she?”
    I get drunk on jealousy
    But you’ll come back each time you leave
    ‘Cause, darling, I’m a nightmare dressed like a daydream

  39. On travel visiting sons. I mentioned to them the East Dayton bluegrass music from back in the day when we were into jazz-rock fusion and sneered at all other forms. Later in life realized it was undanceable and insufferable tedium. Searching the Dayton scene on youtube found these local gems with all of 300 views. They were produced by Dayton area bluegrass musician Jack Lynch. Not much internet info on him. Contemplating picking up banjo, which is really a redneck sitar.

  40. Curle says:
    @Discordiax

    Ever read a ‘woman’s magazine like cosmo or one of those bodice ripper paperback romances? Curious to know what a gal pal found interesting, I read just enough of one of the latter to ascertain that men are beasts, beasts I tell you! And they, the readers of these books, like it that way.

    • Replies: @ATate
  41. @Wilkey

    There have always been some wealthy and educated folks in entertainment, true. Carly Simon for example.

    This especially seemed to be true among British rockers. While Paul, George and Ringo were very much working class kids, quite a few of the British rockers were well educated and classically trained. Hence the whole prog rock scene.

    These days a certain number of female singers are marrying very rich men. MIA comes off as a Marxist ethnic revolutionary in her songs, but married a white billionaire. I don’t know what sort of financial arrangement Grimes has.

    • Replies: @Jonathan Mason
    , @Wilkey
  42. @slumber_j

    And Brendan Gleeson, who was outstanding in Michael Collins, The Guard, and Calvary.

  43. @Discordiax

    Alternating with songs about how great her (current) oyfriend is.

    I’m way behind on Celebrity Awareness — is that a typo?

  44. dearieme says:
    @Wilkey

    Some actresses even marry into nobility (… Megan Markle).

    Be careful, she’ll sue you – she married into royalty.

  45. Mike Tre says:
    @Arclight

    Del Rey was stunningly beautiful and has since destroyed her face with plastic surgery.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  46. Altai says:

    We used to have British actors like O’Toole (whose father was a bookie), Caine, and Connery (whose pre-acting jobs included coffin polisher). But not so much anymore.

    I’ve been saying for a while, actors tend to be made these days rather than found. Which has the result that screen charisma is at all time lows.

    In the early days of the film and TV industry people would be pulled out of the pools of extras or from the street even. Directors and others knew how what a star looked and acted like. People like Veronica Lake literally went out as a teenager with no experience to Hollywood and succeeded based on their looks and screen charisma. Those days are gone and the pool is much much smaller.

    Today it’s all very credentialised and the increasing centralisation of media makes making a career out of screen acting much more difficult. So you get rich kids going to drama schools and acting, people who have a sense of monetary safety net and connections. A similar thing happened to F1 racing where the modern drivers are just not inspiring or exiting personalities but dull rich kids rather than the more working class or adult to racing backgrounds of old.

    Even the most celebrated supposed lineout casting of recent times, Daniel Radcliffe as Harry Potter was not the result of the mass screen tests of children but through Radcliffe’s parents industry connections (His mother was even a casting director) and his pre-existing child acting.

    The short Radcliffe was fine to play the teenager Potter but his lack of genuine screen charisma means he could never escape the shadow of his previous role. (Not that anyone was knocking down doors for a 5’5 hirsute nebbish guy for leading roles anyway)

    This has opened to the door to actors from places like Australia, which, due to rules on a certain amount of domestic TV and film production, give low risk chances to try acting to a much larger proportion of the population and get them credits.

    Generally I think casting is the most unproductive aspect of Hollywood and if they were serious and not utterly corrupt they’d be going around Northern Europe with it’s near total perfect English proficiency and try to cast people with screen charisma and acting ability.

    • Thanks: Cortes
  47. Pop Stars Tend to be Bright These Days

    Bright enough to forgo mouthing woke inanities?

    Name one.

    • Agree: Liza
    • Thanks: Right_On
  48. Twinkie says:

    Everything is more competitive these days. Being intelligent helps.

    • Disagree: Trinity
    • Replies: @RSDB
  49. Dream says:

    America the beautiful.

  50. Adept says:

    Pop Stars Tend to be Bright These Days

    There is zero evidence of this in their music, which is duller and less original than it has ever been.

  51. Gordo says:

    Long ago music and boxing were great ways to escape the British working class.

    To get into music you now prety much have to get accepted by a good university.

  52. Stanford grad K.Flay thought hip hop was misogynistic and clownish and after making some parodies decided to write “Laptop Hip Hop” with intelligent and insightful lyrics.

    Sometimes she tours with fellow Stanford grad MC Lars.

    I guess it counts as “cultural appropriation” because she is pretty white. But then again there wouldn’t be hip hop without Kraftwerk, so …

    https://bannedhipster.home.blog/2022/04/06/what-the-girls-call-murder/

    • Replies: @SunBakedSuburb
  53. @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    PLEASE, this is a Swiftie safe space.

    Anyone remember when Taylor Swift, who I always have a bit of a soft spot for, was criticized as some sort of nazi avatar? That was really weird, but the media ran with it. This was only a few years ago.

    https://www.wnycstudios.org/podcasts/otm/segments/taylor-swift-alt-right-icon

    https://www.npr.org/sections/goatsandsoda/2015/09/01/436653602/taylor-swift-is-dreaming-of-a-very-white-africa

    • Agree: SIMP simp
  54. Mike Tre says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “She’s also very smart”

    We’ve been hearing this about female pop stars for pretty much ever going back to Madonna.

    They all turn out to be vapid turnstiles.

    • Replies: @AKAHorace
    , @Dave Pinsen
  55. @Buzz Mohawk

    Grimes music actually sounds high-IQ. In general, I despise techno/EDM/EBM/whatever the kids are calling it these days because it’s so dumbed-down and repetitive, but I like Grimes. She’s able to come up with 10-12 different vocal patterns to sing over each riff and then she layers, combines and recombines them. It’s very cerebral for pop music.

    Too bad she and Elon split up. Grimes would have made an excellent Queen of Mars.

  56. Nathan says:

    The fact that pop music is dominated by smart young women likely has something to do with the fact that every aspect of society is dominated by women.

    Most pop stars come from wealthy backgrounds, and young women are afforded the opportunity to do things that would otherwise ruin a young man’s life. Kesha dropped out of high-school, Lana Del Rey bummed around coffee shops as a singer with her family’s support, Lady Gaga also hung around New York clubs with her dad’s money. Parents simply tend to invest more in their daughters than their sons these days, which makes socioeconomic sense when you consider the advantages that women currently have. Sons are more of a liability, even if they’re successful.

    In fact, there aren’t really any successful American male pop artists these days. If there are, I can’t think of them. Ed Sheeran and Harry Styles are British. Justin Beeber is Canadian….

  57. “Generally I think casting is the most unproductive aspect of Hollywood and if they were serious and not utterly corrupt they’d be going around Northern Europe with it’s near total perfect English proficiency and try to cast people with screen charisma and acting ability.”

    There’s a ton of Swedes acting in Hollywood right now.

    There’s that one darker skinned woman whose apparently still a full Swede who gets naked in all her roles.

    There’s the whole Skarskgard family of 6’3″+ men.

    Also Joel Kinnaman, Rebecca Ferguson, Noomi Rapace.

  58. Based on Tarantino’s interviews, he seems to read a lot.

  59. duncsbaby says:
    @Buzz Mohawk

    Scratch a Canadian white girl and lo and behold there’s always a little Metis or Algonquin in the family tree, somewhere, far off in the mists of time, that’s where she gets her close kinship to nature and the spirit-world, don’t cha-know. I’ll believe it when I see the 23 and Me results.

    • Replies: @Corn
  60. Thoughts says:

    It’s just a reflection of society

    It’s impossible to get somewhere if you aren’t already close to the top already

    Furthermore, none of their songs are ‘good’ in that you really connect with them.

    It’s like Cate Blanchett. Excellent Actress. Amazing Woman. Unique Beauty. Totally Forgettable.

    The other thing is, all of the girls you listed are heading towards childlessness. Lady Gaga…not looking good. Taylor Swift…if Gossip is to believed, that’s not good…Lana Del Rey…See the latest photos? After her engagement ended her weight ballooned. Billie Eilish…too young but if she stays the way she is now…nope.

    So at the end of the day…what did Daddy buy them but loneliness?

    I think they are all tragic figures at the moment.

    Britney, with the dead eyes, at least had 3 kids and her songs are legend because her voice is so ‘her.’

  61. @Nodwink

    Before the internet people had to sign a contract to make a record, since it was not only very expensive to finance, but also impossible to sell without a record label behind. Now it is possible to make a record in a home studio and distribute it through the internet, but it does not help anybody.

    You need to make money with your music to be able to continue making it and with streaming services you can only get a little bit of promotion, but not money. All the money now is made from live performances, and this again leaves no chance for those who don’t have a contract with a record label.

    Before the internet an artist was getting one dollar from a record sold. Now they don’t get anything.

  62. AceDeuce says:
    @prosa123

    In many areas it’s a minimum wage job, yet the responsibility is very high.

    Well, hasn’t that always been the case?

    • Replies: @prosa123
  63. @Paleo Liberal

    This especially seemed to be true among British rockers. While Paul, George and Ringo were very much working class kids, quite a few of the British rockers were well educated and classically trained. Hence the whole prog rock scene.

    Indeed. Most British kids of my generation (baby boomers) were familiar with popular classical music and church organ music, whether through TV, churches, or school.

    They would be at least somewhat familiar with Bach fugues, Beethoven symphonies, Mozart concertos, and selected tuneful works such as the New World Symphony and the Karelia Suites (theme tune of a BBB sports program), the 1812 overture, the 4 Seasons, Air on a G String, Claire de Lune, The Planets, various patriotic works by Elgar, certain operatic arias, many stage musicals, and so on.

    This undoubtedly influenced prog-rock with a growing audience of university students who wanted something a bit more cerebral than Sugar Sugar by the Archies.

    Musical genres used to change rapidly. The whole Big Band era hardly lasted a decade, and quickly died once World War II came to an end and it became too expensive to take large bands on the road. Yet hip-hop, which almost never includes any instrumental virtuosity or truly universal sentiments, has been around for 40 years and is still going strong.

    In the 1960s it was still possible for Louis Armstrong (b.1903) to have a #1 hit single with Hello, Dolly!, a version of a song from a musical, and although bands like the Stones were blues-influence, original first-generation blues performers like Howling Wolf and Muddy Waters were still active in the 60’s.

    Today’s music DOES all sound the same (to me) which is what my father said about pop music in the 60’s.

    I guess music just means more to younger folk. Although I still listen regularly to my favorite jazz and blues artists, I noticed just a few years ago that most older folks in the city where I lived and worked preferred to watch Jerry Springer or Maury Povich on TV rather than to listen to music. Perhaps the music from their youth brings back memories that make them sad?

    This is deliciously politically incorrect:

    • Replies: @Paleo Liberal
  64. “I’m an old man who hasn’t kept up with popular music since the 1990s”

    should have stuck with that.

    most pop ‘stars’ in 2022 are raging morons – notably less intelligent even than rappers from the 90s. less complicated music, deeply stupid lyrics, abrasively dumb public behavior and social media posting.

    all you have to do is turn on the music award shows to realize how tremendously idiotic they are and how much less talent they have than pop stars from even 20 years ago, let alone 40 years ago.

    • Agree: Kylie, Right_On
  65. ATate says:
    @Curle

    Thankfully my wife is not into crotch warmers like many women. I remember laughing hysterically with her trying to read the first 50 Shades book, holy shit that book makes my opinion of any women who likes it plummet.

    Her sister is into cliterature big time, with a pretty unhappy marriage too.

    • Thanks: Curle
  66. They don’t make Jews like Kinky anymore.

  67. Barnard says:
    @clifford brown

    Taylor Swift was mortified by those articles and denounced the right. She also followed up with a video celebrating the alphabet soup community in part as a way to distance herself from any sort of conservative politics at all.

  68. @Dave Pinsen

    Thank you.

    My own favorite:

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  69. Annie Clark of St Vincent has a number of good albums. I also like Annakalmia Traver of Rubblebucket.

    I generally think cinema and music is in a decline phase, but my general observation is that there’s a lot of female talent represented at the top.

  70. Trinity says:

    Rod Stewart worked as a grave digger before striking it rich with that unique raspy voice of his, always thought Kim Carnes and Bonnie Tyler were the female versions of Mod Rod’s unique voice.

    Cue: First Cut Is The Deepest by Hot Rod, the best version of this highly covered Cat Stevens song. Second place goes to Linda Ronstadt followed by Sheryl Crow.

    Ever hear the late Joe Frazier butcher, Rod Stewart’s, “Tonight’s The Night?” Yep, that Joe Frazier, that guy had to be one of the worst singers ever next to Bob Dylan.

  71. Russia has the folk-singing girl group Beloe Zlato, which translates as White Gold:

    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
    , @Yahya
  72. Mr. Anon says:

    Pop Stars Tend to be Bright These Days

    Why are their lyrics so stupid then? And why are their songs autotuned garbage?

    The vocabulary of pop songs seems to have declined a great deal in the last thirty years, in the number and sophistication of the words used.

    • Replies: @Dave from Oz
  73. Mr. Anon says:

    Any discussion of modern pop music should address why it seems to be in the thrall of Satan. Or at least why the people who run it are pushing occult/satanic imagery all the time.

    https://vigilantcitizen.com/musicbusiness/charli-xcx/

    It’s frequent enough that it isn’t just a coincidence.

    • Thanks: JohnnyWalker123
    • Replies: @Muggles
    , @AceDeuce
    , @Truth
  74. Young lady Emily Linge can sing, play an instrument and write.

  75. Nihil humanum nec tanget Steve.

    I don’t know that the testing and sorting mechanisms were quite as developed in the old days, so they might not have identified the naturally gifted as well as they did more recently.

  76. I keep thinking that Lana Del Rey is the girl who gets murdered by Naomi Watts in “Mulholland Drive.”

  77. Ralph L says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    “Do you mind if I smoke?” asked Morticia.

  78. Ralph L says:
    @Discordiax

    They’re all beards, allegedly. Some, like Jake and Tom, were mutual beards. Allegedly.

    • Replies: @Joe S.Walker
  79. @slumber_j

    I recently discovered Wet Leg (I think just through the randomness of the YouTube algorithm) and, yeah, they’re the Bees Knees.

  80. @Wilkey

    It’s hard to imagine that there is any shortage of teenagers who would want these jobs

    Skin Cancer.

    When’s the last time you saw a really tanned blonde? I sure as hell wouldn’t want a job where I had to cover myself from head to toe in sunblock every day.

    • Replies: @Corn
    , @Veteran Aryan
  81. JimB says:
    @Jimi Savaloy

    Bright girls, but the music is shit.

    I’m pretty sure the trend of high IQ female pop stars from good breeding applies mainly to young white women, mostly from the NYC metropolitan area and L.A. Probably because at most elite schools there is at least one parent who is a music executive who will show up at school musicals and notice any standout girl whose stay-at-home stage mother drags her to music lessons and competitions.

    However, musicians who overwhelmingly dominate the style of current pop music tend to be non-white and definitely not from snobbish backgrounds. For example, Beyoncé was born to a Creole hairdresser and a black xerox repairman, and Selena Gomez was born into a Hispanic working class family.

  82. Liza says:

    Truly great singers died out with Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline.

    • Replies: @Kylie
    , @JimB
    , @Jim Don Bob
  83. Anonymous[862] • Disclaimer says:

    Talking of working class British actors of the 1960s and 70s, sadly, the great celebrated Dennis Waterman died last week.
    Waterman starred in two of the best ever shows to grace British television in its Golden Age – ‘The Sweeney’, the king of all cop shows, and ‘Minder’, simply the best TV show, bar none, of the 1980s.

  84. Hodag says:
    @Feryl

    There is not a lot of money in music nowadays. Hardly anyone buys music/albums. The streaming services pay a pittance. The only money is touring – which is a grind. My neighbor is in the band of a musician everyone here knows. He is gone half the year – and made nothing during Covid. They have a kid. That is stressful. When he is not gone he picks up work (in the union) playing backup for whoever comes through town. He says Barry Manilow is a great dude.

  85. @Jonathan Mason

    There used to be quite a bit of variety for radio stations in those days. In the late 60s and early 70s I lived in NW Arkansas and traveled very often to Tulsa is eastern Oklahoma, going through the former Cherokee and Creek nations. We would listen to the radio along the way.

    The same stations would play the Beatles, Three Dog Night, the Guess Who, the Carpenters, the Captain and Tennille, Johnny Cash, Glen Campbell, Otis Redding, etc. Oh, and the song “Cherokee Nation” was huge in those parts.

  86. Corn says:
    @duncsbaby

    Lol. Is a “a bit of Metis” the Canadian equivalent of the “Cherokee great-great grandma”?

    • Replies: @duncsbaby
  87. prosa123 says:
    @AceDeuce

    Today you should have two lifeguards to cover every shift, with each one doing 30 minutes on/30 minutes off for the duration of the shift. Safety studies have shown that even the best-trained lifeguard cannot concentrate for more than 30 minutes and still spot swimmers in distress. Most swimmers in trouble do not wave their arms and scream “Help!” They’re more likely to slip quietly under the water, and even in a relatively small pool untrained people will not notice.

    • Agree: Jim Don Bob
  88. Corn says:
    @Paul Mendez

    When’s the last time you saw a really tanned blonde

    Good riddance to ‘em. The “orange skin and blonde hair” look always was a bit over the top. Nothing wrong with pale skin

  89. Kylie says:
    @Liza

    “Truly great singers died out with Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline.”

    Matt Bellamy.

    • Thanks: Liza
    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  90. Muggles says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Any discussion of modern pop music should address why it seems to be in the thrall of Satan. Or at least why the people who run it are pushing occult/satanic imagery all the time.

    This tired and untrue intellectual cliche (though not actually intellectual) is trotted out by deranged Christian types and others who want to label people they don’t like.

    Virtually no one other than a few mentally ill and some vapid attention seekers bother to trot out Ole Scratch or Mr. Horns as some kind of symbol. Very lazy. Horror films have done that to death.

    The heavy metal bands, some, were into that for supposed shock value. The way low IQ bikers use devilish imagery to appear scary or “evil” to again, scare normies. Ho-hum.

    Like Sci-Fi aliens or dragons and Conan the Barbarian, certain tropes are heavily used since they appeal to the ever present “horror” genre of many. The IRS is actually scary, but it is merely The Banality of Evil personified.

    To me, when I see Ly’n Jen (now off to some obscure left-wing Fake News outlet) or Sleepy Joe and his backstage Mafia, or Nancy Pelosi’s coven of political witches doing their NKVD bit, that’s when I see “Satan” and his minions at work.

    Evil certainly exists. You see that every day in the News. But it seldom if ever wears a red body suit and horns. A bad look for Nancy P and her feminist-commie harpies and stooges.

    The real horror stories are seen in destroyed buildings and dead soldiers and civilians. No matter who is doing the killing. Satan doing that usually wears a suit and often, a red tie.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
    , @Truth
  91. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    That last sentence is one of the greatest sentences I’ve seen on this site for a long time

    • Agree: mc23, kaganovitch, Charon
    • Replies: @Charon
  92. This all is vapid.

    Females always talk about “passion”, but there is little passion in music they produce.
    Nothing comparable to this:

    All these ladies: forgettable music, forgettable themes, something conformist and shallow about it all. Perhaps not vile, but lifeless & superficial.

  93. JimDandy says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Madonna’s IQ is, at best, 5% of her body count.

  94. Nathan says:
    @Jay Fink

    I also like Doja Cat, and will be disappointed if she follows through on her promise to quit music and go back to a quite personal life. Her dad is a well-known South African actor.

    For no reason, here’s her video for Get Into It, which nobody else here will probably like.

  95. Arclight says:
    @Gunnar von Cowtown

    I don’t think they are split up, they just don’t live in the same house together because they are both kind of weird – they recently had a 2nd child.

  96. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    “That said, I don’t understand the appeal of Billie Eilish.”

    Boobs. She did provide the vocal for the title track from the most recent Bond extravaganza: breathy, cryptic. Kind of interesting but I don’t share Steve’s and apparently the majority of the iSteve club member’s interest in bubblegum pop that appeals mostly to young females. Otherwise, Ms. Eyelash has a healthy, sexy figure; unusual and refreshing in an industry filled with homosexuals and other deviants intent on desecrating the magnificent female form.

  97. Nathan says:
    @Mark G.

    What’s interesting to me is that Billie Eilish is essentially a brother/sister act with her older brother Finneas, except these days the brother isn’t just in the background the way Richard Carpenter was, he’s completely off the stage.

  98. Mr. Anon says:
    @Muggles

    This tired and untrue intellectual cliche (though not actually intellectual) is trotted out by deranged Christian types and others who want to label people they don’t like.

    I’m an atheist. I don’t even believe in Satan. But evidently some people do, or want other people to do so.

    The amount of occult/satanic programming (and that’s what it is – programming) in popular culture, especially the “music industry” is simply getting impossible to deny. When Grammy Award shows become full on occult-rituals, you have to ask yourself: Why are they doing this? Because it sells? What are they selling? The music? Or the occultism?

  99. AKAHorace says:
    @Mike Tre

    “She’s also very smart”

    We’ve been hearing this about female pop stars for pretty much ever going back to Madonna.

    They all turn out to be vapid turnstiles.

    Being vapid might be an intelligent move for a female popstar. They cannot disappoint their fans.

    • Replies: @Paul Jolliffe
  100. @Wilkey

    In my state there’s apparently a major lifeguard shortage – a *lifeguard* shortage. What reasonably attractive teenage guy doesn’t want to hang out at the pool, get stared at and get to stare at (and work with) attractive teenage girls, all in their swimsuits – and get paid for it? These days apparently no one does.

    It pays poorly and the classes of kids from which lifeguards used to be drawn are in a post-Tiger Mom world. Whereas “lifeguard at such and such pool May to September” used to be a perfectly fine thing to have on one’s college resume, it does not compete with “volunteered with the shelter for battered AAPI transwomen” or other nonsense in making college applications today. This will get even worse as college admissions offices eschew standardized testing.

    This is all, of course, making the upper classes into very strange people with less and less of an ability to relate to much of the population.

  101. @Trinity

    “Rod Stewart worked as a grave digger before striking it rich …”

    You mean you can actually get paid for grave digging?

  102. JimB says:
    @Liza

    Truly great singers died out with Roy Orbison and Patsy Cline.

    Texas and Appalachia have always been incredibly fertile areas for white musical talent, but this generation of talent is being decimated by Chinese fentanyl, thanks to Obama, Joe Biden, and Alejandro Mayorkas.

    • Thanks: Liza
    • Replies: @Corvinus
  103. Wilkey says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    Yes, Carly Simon’s father cofounded Simon & Schuster. James Taylor, to whom she was married for a time, didn’t exactly come from a family of hillbillies, either.

    Paul Simon (no relation to Carly, I guess) was the son of a college professor. Billy Joel’s grandfather was quite a successful businessmen in Germany before he had to flee the Nazis. Billy Joel’s cousin was/is the head of Yeshiva University.

  104. @BannedHipster

    “there wouldn’t be hip hop without Kraftwerk, so …”

    There wouldn’t be Devo without Hot Butter’s Popcorn.

  105. Anon[445] • Disclaimer says:

    “Taylor Swift can write some extremely clever lyrics.”

    Taylor’s Swift’s lyrics are written by two White men, one of whom is a Swede IIRC. Probably the answer to Steve’s inquiry is that modern pop stars are created by other people rather than grown and promoted organically. In the past, musical talent was found & played on the radio, then it blew up. Now through autotune and mass media promotion it is created by smart White guys who tend to gravitate to people like themselves — smart people. Taylor Swift, after all, is helped by modern tech and her songs are written for her. It’s really the face that counts for marketing purposes, and there is a link between physical attractiveness and IQ. Thus, ugly old singers and nice attractive young girl singers of today.

    • Agree: JimB
  106. njguy73 says:

    This entire thread on popular music doesn’t even mention this guy. A case could be made that 21st-Century pop music is more or less his tastes writ large.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Max_Martin

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  107. J.Ross says:

    Pop stars now are the children of the wealthy receiving the present-day equivalent of a birthday pony. This has already been the case in the third world and is a confirmation of our transition to third world status.

    • Replies: @Thoughts
  108. @Ralph L

    Entirely credible. There’s no bitch like a lesbian bitch.

    • Agree: JimDandy
  109. AceDeuce says:
    @Mr. Anon

    That kind of reminds me. Anybody here know much about the conspiracy theory about 60s rock stars from military families–not just the commonplace “dad was drafted into the Army for a few years during whatever war”, but “dad was a high ranking officer who went to one of the academies, or dad was into some classified program, or dad was a high level scientist who did some way out stuff.”

    Jim Morrison, John Phillips, David Crosby, Steven Stills, Frank Zappa (and his wife Gail), Joan Baez, Peter Yarrow of Peter, Paul, and Mary, Jackson Browne, etc. all had fathers with very interesting backgrounds. Several of the males (the kids) attended military schools in their youth, as well. Sharon Tate’s dad was a also high ranking intelligence officer, FWIW.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  110. We used to have British actors like O’Toole (whose father was a bookie), Caine, and Connery (whose pre-acting jobs included coffin polisher). But not so much anymore.

    I say:

    Connery and Caine are better than Cumberbatch, the Barbados bastard, but, Cumberbatch’s wife, Sophie Hunter, directed the Shackleton Project/69 Degrees South, with music by Kronos Quartet, and the Shackleton puppet play is just about the Whitest thing I have ever seen performed live.

    Cumberbatch is a cheap knockoff of Ralph Fiennes and Fiennes is pilfering from James Mason, and, as always, it starts in Barbados and ends in Yorkshire.

    Van Morrison ain’t singing Huddersfield, he’s singing Orangefield, but it’s still good:

  111. @slumber_j

    That track would hardly exist if Neu hadn’t been around in the 70s. Or possibly it owes more to that tedious Neu tribute band of the Nineties, Stereolab.

  112. Anonymous[284] • Disclaimer says:
    @clifford brown

    I remember that. It seems to have started with the 4chan clowns. (The same people who plagued Ben Garrison for years.)

  113. SIMP simp says:
    @Gunnar von Cowtown

    True. Also compared with the word vomit lyrics of her early career she now sometimes has pretty interesting lyrics like in We Appreciate Power which is about AI. Not an usual pop topic.

  114. Thoughts says:
    @Mark G.

    Seriously?

    If I can’t sing the song then it ain’t that good

    I only know ‘Bury a Friend’ because of the JoJoGomez/Russian Ice Skater made me watch both videos

    Music is supposed to be Catchy and Fun to Listen to

    None of that is true with Taylor, Billie, Lana, and anything past Poker Face and even that its just Mymymypokahface

    It’s my Life, It’s now or Never, I don’t want to live for Ever! I just wanna…—

    That’s a song. That’s Bon Jovi. That’s a good song.

    I’m a slave for you…I cannot hide it, I cannot deny it, I’m a …slllave for you…

    That’s music.

    Else Go Classical and drop the weird attempt at adding lyrics to elevator music.

    She’s got leeggs and she knows how to use them!

  115. @Trinity

    … one of the worst singers ever next to Bob Dylan.

    If you only hear Dylan’s voice live it’s pretty bad.

    In the studio, in days gone by, he’d get it uniquely right.

    “I Pity The Poor Immigrant”
    — (https://youtu.be/0RJ_HsMfBfE)

    I pity the poor immigrant
    Who wishes he would’ve stayed home
    Who uses all his power to do evil
    But in the end is always left so alone
    That man whom with his fingers cheats
    And who lies with ev’ry breath
    Who passionately hates his life
    And likewise fears his death.

    I pity the poor immigrant
    Whose strength is spent in vain
    Whose heaven is like Ironsides
    Whose tears are like rain
    Who eats but is not satisfied
    Who hears but does not see
    Who falls in love with wealth itself
    And turns his back on me.

    I pity the poor immigrant
    Who tramples through the mud
    Who fills his mouth with laughing
    And who builds his town with blood
    Whose visions in the final end
    Must shatter like the glass
    I pity the poor immigrant
    When his gladness comes to pass.

  116. @AKAHorace

    I’m not so sure about that.
    A fraternity brother of mine graduated from Rochester Adams high school a few years after Madonna Ciccone. His older brother said she was actually pretty good in some English class – and not really weird or anything.
    I was thinking about Steve’s anecdote about the girl who knew both Joan Jett and Barak Obama in school – she said they both made conscious decisions about their later, distinctive public personas.

    How many pop stars’ personalities are the result of deliberate decisions made during their formative years?

    I’ll bet quite a few.

    • Agree: mc23
  117. @Meretricious

    The interview is crammed with interesting stuff, – thx. – Not least the Pauline Kael referendce 52 minutes in ff. …
    (That he lets classical Dylan end with John Wesley Harding I don’t quite get, but then – – – the world is big enough for such idiosyncracies (just in case it would turn out to even be one)).

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  118. Thoughts says:
    @J.Ross

    Yupp

    I have a friend who had a semi-hit song about 10+ yrs ago

    Parents bought all the songs on the album

    A couple of the music videos were good

    I got invited to a record company party filled with rap stars at a very nice mansion close to Steve

    Of course when I started singing karaoke everyone left the room…not joking…

    I’m still embarrassed by that. Imagine a bunch of black rappers leaving a room en masse when whitey took the mic

    Massive fail on my part…almost as big of a fail as me trying to pick up members of the opposite sex that night too…

  119. prosa123 says:

    OT: Eight dead including the gunman in a supermarket shooting in Buffalo. The gunman carried a rifle and was said to be wearing body armor, though who knows if that will turn out to be true. It happened at the Tops Family Market on Jefferson Avenue, not far from Canisus College. I don’t know the neighborhood but it doesn’t look too bad on GSV.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
    , @SafeNow
  120. Joanna Newsom is brainy and a taste worth acquiring. More a story-teller than a song-writer.

  121. @njguy73

    Has Max Martin collaborated with any of the pop stars Sailer mentioned?

    • Replies: @njguy73
  122. Thoughts says:

    One more comment…

    In the midnight hour…she cried more, more, more!

    Did Lana Rey or Taylor write a line that good?

    F-No!

    I think Lana whined for hours and hours and then took a liquor bottle into the bathroom…while Taylor wrote something about a boy dumping her and then Shaking It Off…and Ellie Is Burying Her Friends in a Straight Jacket while trying to hide the fact that she’s 18 and Fat

    They are just all weird now.

  123. OT

    8 dead in store shooting–guessing Negro shooter (look at crowd) used a submachine gun. I think it’s time we started to refer to African Americans as American Africans, don’t you?

    https://nypost.com/2022/05/14/multiple-people-shot-at-buffalos-tops-friendly-market-in-ny/

  124. SafeNow says:

    On occasion I have heard a pro athlete go off-script (script e.g.: “It was a team effort”) during a misguided moment, and he didn’t seem very smart once he was outside his familiar territory. I think the same is true of entertainers. This phenomenon is exacerbated by the fact that their egos require them to try to sound smart in the new territory.

  125. prosa123 says:

    Update: Buffalo shooter in custody, not dead, may have livestreamed the attack.

  126. J.Ross says:

    (I don’t know anything about the video but just heard the song on the radio and it’s good. This is “No Angels” by Big Pink.)

  127. RAZ says:
    @Trinity

    Once heard Joe in person sing Mustang Sally and Joe was pretty good on that.

    • Replies: @Trinity
  128. J.Ross says:
    @prosa123

    PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, WE’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE EVIL BILL OF RIGHTS!

    • Replies: @AnotherDad
  129. J.Ross says:
    @Meretricious

    Pre-fame Tarentino cold-called Leonard Elmore to tell him he was Tarentino’s favorite author, that Tatentino had actually stolen an EL book, and succinctly explain why; as a result Elmore gave him some advice and they’re sort of friends.
    If anything Tarentino’s dialogue is authorry in the worst sense, like the more overworkshopped Warren Zevon lyrics; but Steve thinks semi-literate is a class jab (as opposed to meaning what the words mean). And Tarentino in his millions is a sort of proudly trashy guy.

    • Replies: @Anonymous
    , @Meretricious
  130. @clifford brown

    Taylor Swift is not a talented songwriter; as a performer she creeps me out

  131. @The Wild Geese Howard

    If Slavic folk is your thing I don’t think you can beat Bulgarian female singers. I know there’s a Westerner (Lisa Gerrard of Dead Can Dance, who’s also done some great Hildegarde of Bingen covers) on the second one – she’s the one with the amazingly deep voice.

    • Replies: @Wade Hampton
  132. @AceDeuce

    The Cold War was a big employer in California. The Skunk Works and the Sunset Strip were no more than 10 miles apart.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  133. @Jimi Savaloy

    People spend way too much emotional energy on pop music.

    I like music as much as a typical guy. And there are some songs that I really think capture a particular emotional state, or a particular experience really well. Other’s that are just catchy and fun.

    But it is not you. And it is not thought.

    Some people do not grasp this. Heck, we’ve got a few commenters here, who can barely comment without posting some tedious video of some boring band they like that they must insist is “deep” or “meaningful” or “has something to say”. LOL.

    No. It’s just some music. Anyone intelligent should be able to bang out a few sentences or paragraphs to adequate express the gist of any thought worthy of the name. Obviously, you can go book length fleshing out the idea, making the argument, adding examples or data. But a simple paragraph is sufficient for way more actual thought/ideas than is in almost any song.

    Furthermore music–a good bit of its power–promotes feeling over thinking. And the West has been suffering from way, way, way too much of that.

    ~~

    I’ve argued before that one of the problems we have has stemmed from the ability that this new technology of motion pictures, allowed Hollyweird’s Jews to beam their–anti-traditional, anti-national–ideas directly into people’s brains, bypassing both their families and local communities, but also the natural filter humans have for normal conversation, presenting to people’s eyeballs, things that did not and do not actually happen.

    Likewise, the electric age has allowed far off people to beam their thoughts and ideas into millions of people’s brains through the powerful medium of music. And the people doing it are not generally people with the most levelheaded personalities and ideas and they certainly are not people who are “on your side” and looking out for your interests.

  134. Buffalo shooting update:
    white shooter (possibly white nationalist and racially motivated)

    • Replies: @Carol
    , @Corn
  135. Daniel H says:
    @Hapalong Cassidy

    Madonna supposedly has a very high IQ.

    So she says. Nobody else has reported or said so.

    • Replies: @Anon
  136. Tony says:

    You talk about high IQ pop stars with no mention of Nicki Manaj or Cardi B.

    • LOL: Trinity
  137. SafeNow says:
    @prosa123

    Buffalo Joe, please tell us you and your loved ones are okay. Thank you.

    • Agree: Corn
  138. Trinity says:
    @RAZ

    Joe might have done a pretty good job with that tune but he butchered one of Stewart’s classic tunes. YouTube probably still has that old Miller Lite commercial where Joe enters a bar “sanging.”

    Ali on Joe, “who told him he could ” sang.”

  139. OT:
    Apparently an 18 yr old White guy shot up a supermarket in Buffalo, NY:

    https://www.rt.com/news/555495-buffalo-shooting/

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
  140. @AnotherDad

    People differ. And most people find their emotional-mental-spiritual highs in works of popular culture. I think it is perfectly natural.

  141. Daniel H says:
    @prosa123

    Lifeguards can make up to 200K in California. In New York city, all your time lifeguarding counts toward your pension vesting, and pension vesting time. Work as a lifeguard at 18, get a city job at 22, lifeguard on the weekends. It all adds up, you easily qualify for a big fat prole pension at 45. Not bad.

    I think that lifeguarding will always remain a white man’s/woman’s job. Other cultures do night have the sense of inter or intra-communal altruism. They just don’t give a flip beyond the immediate.

    https://www.ocregister.com/2011/05/10/lifeguarding-in-oc-is-totally-lucrative-some-make-over-200k/

    • Replies: @prosa123
  142. Daniel H says:
    @AceDeuce

    Stewart was not from the “upper class”, even though he went to Princeton. His dad owned a small hardware store in the hinterlands of Pennsylvania.

    It was just a hardware store in a small town in western PA, but Stewart said that on Saturday mornings you would think that it was the center of the universe.

  143. @Mr. Anon

    The amount of energy the people at the top spend in performing occult-like ceremonies and rituals and promoting its imagery and morality is too large to merely be a parody, joke, or ironic.

    Kind of how you know the Church of Satan folks really do believe in Satan, even though they claim they don’t and its all just a parody of Catholicism. When you’re literally spending energy and time every week to mimic Christian ceremonies and statutes, most of which occurs only in front of your own fellow Satanists, it belies any claim by you that you’re an atheist or nihilist.

    • Agree: Here Be Dragon
  144. Anonymous[375] • Disclaimer says:

    Meanwhile, 13 shot, 10 dead at a supermarket today.

    Before hitting the link, applying “Sailer’s Law,” the correct guess of the race of the perp is…

    https://buffalonews.com/news/local/ten-killed-in-mass-shooting-at-jefferson-avenue-supermarket-shooter-in-custody/article_6e8132fa-d3b7-11ec-a714-2b3fbeaf848c.html

    • Replies: @Cagey Beast
    , @Colin Wright
  145. @Drive-by poster

    I pay zero attention to Lorde,except to note that a couple of years ago she refused to play A show in Israel,which made me very happy. I don’t know what the upshot was,if it hurt her in any way. I hope not.🤗

    Billie Eilish does that ‘I’m depressed and on heroin’ look that I can’t stand.

    • Replies: @Pat Kittle
    , @Art Deco
  146. mc23 says:
    @AceDeuce

    When I visited Stewarts, small, out of the way, home town of Indiana in western Pennsylvania in the 90’s there were constant reminders & placards dedicated to his memory. It became humorous after a while. They were quite proud of the small town boy who made it big.

  147. @Jay Fink

    She does make catchy songs. If I ran Roomba maker iRobot, I’d buy this song of hers for an ad campaign. To my ears her “woman” sounds like “Roomba” anyway; changing the lyric would be a piece of cake.

  148. @Mike Tre

    She doesn’t look like she’s had any plastic surgery. Her weight does fluctuate though.

    • Replies: @Muggles
    , @Mike Tre
  149. @J.Ross

    PAY NO ATTENTION TO THE ECONOMIC COLLAPSE, WE’VE GOT TO DO SOMETHING ABOUT THE EVIL BILL OF RIGHTS!

    I’ve got a warning for all those who think “economic collapse” is going to WTSHTF us back to sanity.

    There is not going to be any “economic collapse”.

    What there is going to be is inflation. (We’re printing way more money than we are increasing our production of goods. And the dollar’s preeminence as the world’s reserve currency will change.) And there will be recessions. And lots of dislocation. Americans consume about 5% more than they produce–with millions essentially parasites of one form or another. That has to get worked out.

    And … slumpage. As our demographics slump toward Brazil, so will our economy and relative position in the world. (Where we can CRISPR our way out of this at some point, i don’t know.)

    And the AI and robotics revolution is really going to generate some serious turmoil in the labor markets. Making redundant huge swathes of all this wonderful diverse “cheap” labor we’ve imported to “do the jobs Americans won’t do”. Which will require … welfare. So more huge dislocation from that.

    But dislocation is not “collapse”. We’ve learned how to do a bunch of stuff better and more efficiently than we did before–and how to do other stuff we didn’t know how to do at all–and we aren’t going to unlearn it. And we understand money and avoiding monetary contraction.

    If you’re looking for “economic collapse” to bring the West to its senses … you are going to be disappointed. No, it is going to take the hard political work of getting people to grasp the toxic insanity of minoritarian–changing people’s minds.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  150. Paul Adrian Dirac was really smart…supernatural smart….and he thought Cher was at the apex of musical talent…

    In America…Beyoncé’s butt is the apex of musical talent and genious…..and I always thought fiddler Mark O’Connor was…..

    In fact, if you YouTube Mark O’Connor’s live performance of Bonaparte’s retreat to Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Performance you see the massive discrepancy in talent that favors Beyoncé’s butt…

  151. @Kylie

    Matt Bellamy of Muse is arguably the most talented combo of singer and guitarist in rock history.

    Here’s Brandon Flowers of The Killers trying and failing to hit Matt’s notes in their cover of Muse’s “Starlight”.

    Here’s Matt Bellamy hitting those notes live:

    • Agree: Kylie
    • Disagree: Mike Tre
    • Replies: @Kylie
    , @J.Ross
    , @Kylie
    , @Curle
  152. The four members of Coldplay are all smart guys from the upwardly-mobile UK middle class. Good schools, then UCL (Americans, that’s a very good university). A couple of them studied math or engineering; lead singer Chris Martin got a First (Americans, that’s like a summa cum laude when he got it, since then a bit devalued) in Greek or something like that.

    Christopher Nolan has a similar background; also went to UCL.

    • Replies: @Brutusale
  153. @Gunnar von Cowtown

    Too bad she and Elon split up. Grimes would have made an excellent Queen of Mars.

  154. @War for Blair Mountain

    And if you YouTube Mark O’Connor’s live video of Midnight on the Water-Bonaparte’s Retreat to Beyoncé’s Super Bowl Performance…..the evidence of superior musical talent favors Beyoncé’s butt even more than previously thought….

    Only someone living in an Idiocracy would seriously believe that fiddler Mark O’Connor is a superior musical talent to Beyoncé’s butt…..

  155. @Mr. Anon

    As far as I know most pop music producers and record label people are Freemasons and apparently most pop artists as well. Since the mid seventies and from then on increasingly they have been pushing homo and later open Satanism.

    And who anyway are the members of the Church of Satan, they did not build that temple in Washington for an aesthetic value. They say that Satan is an archetype and not a being and that Satanism – their version of it, begins with atheism.

    Liberalism is Satanism.

  156. Muggles says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    I read sometime ago, a few years, that Doja Cat was attacked on Twitter because she had been posting on some supposedly “far right” blog. (She later stopped, so it said.)

    I always wondered if that was here on iSteve.

    Probably not, but it made me feel more kindly towards her.

  157. @Anonymous

  158. Steve Sailer:

    “actresses like Carey Mulligan and Keira Knightley now tend to be from the upper crust of society:”

    Carey Mulligan is upper crust, which is exactly the reason why she is fantastic at portraying the quirks of the upper middle liberal classes, which are actually remarkably similar on both sides of the Atlantic.

    This SNL skit says it all. This is *the* best representation of an upper middle-class girl from liberal families that I have ever seen, The way that she says:

    “Stop gaslighting me!”

    That is the epitome of an upper middle-class liberal teenaged girl/young woman. Of course, upper middle-class liberals don’t have many kids, being strongly K-selected slow life strategists, but when they do they tend to be the most loving and doting parents that you’ll ever see. These are the people, after all, that invented “helicopter parenting” back in the 80’s. Of course, the haute-bourgeoise liberal class produced the current generation of teens/young adults that is destroying Western Civilization with their hyper-sensitivity and self-indulgence. Because kids from all walks of life and from all classes across the country mimick the mannerisms of the upper middle-class kids from big cities like NYC. And because these families have so much power and influence, they are the ones who’s beliefs and values guide Society at the very top. Recently, many Boomer/Gen-X upper middle-class liberal parents have expressed regret over having coddled theid kids so much, producing the current generations of Millenial and Gen-Z weaklings that have no chance of survival in the real World. Like a rich NYC Democrat-voting attorney that I know put so succintly to me when we discussed the clash of generations:

    “We are the clouds that produced the snowflakes. Hard times are coming, and I feel that this bunch will not make it.”

    His 24 year-old daughter is a pill addict that dropped out of college, and his 33 year-old son graduated as a doctor from a top university, but left if all to become a ski instructor making like 30K a year.

    This skecth is gold:

  159. Anon 2 says:

    Ukraine won Eurovision 2022 with 631 points! No one else even
    came close. The two large countries in continental Europe – France and
    Germany – got virtually no points, 17 and 6, respectively. This year’s
    Eurovision was a collective F*ck You to Russia (which had been banned).
    As usual, with Eurovision it’s mostly politics. Germany came dead
    last, which shows that 77 years after WW II Germany is still far from
    winning the Europeans’ hearts and minds.

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  160. Also OT and happening now:

  161. @Hapalong Cassidy

    Madonna supposedly has a very high IQ.

    Perhaps she should let her mouth know,

  162. @Bardon Kaldlan

    Billie Eilish does that ‘I’m depressed and on heroin’ look that I can’t stand.

    I had the misfortune of being exposed to her talking. I can’t stand people abusing the word “like.” She’s the worst.

    During the George-Fentanyl-Mostly-Peacefulness (((she))) (and (((others)))) said anyone who says “All Lives Matter” should be punched in the face. I could go into personal details about that.

    Her generation excels at extreme sports, that’s about it.

  163. mc23 says:
    @Meretricious

    When I first heard Billie Eilish her style reminded me of some of Del Rey’s work.

    I don’t think she has anywhere near Del Rey’s talent but she washes up nice. Still very young though.

  164. Anonymous[284] • Disclaimer says:
    @J.Ross

    It’s probably generational. Italian-Americans of the older generation were concerned about not coming across as trashy and low class because of all the old stereotypes. Younger guys like Tarantino don’t care. They don’t have to prove anything.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  165. Not one of your better efforts.

  166. @Liza

    I saw Roy in a small club in Houston in the early 80s and still remember it vividly. Died way too young.

    • Agree: Liza
  167. Corvinus says:
    @JimB

    I thought the fine white folk there took responsibility for their actions rather than blame others. Probably is the moonshine talking on your part.

  168. Kylie says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Matt Bellamy is a god.

    Well, a minor deity anyway.

    Here he is covering “Feeling Good”, which isn’t easy to to sing well due to its tricky intervals. His breath control and dynamics are just amazing.

  169. jamie b. says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Did nothing for me. How about this?…

  170. Anon[407] • Disclaimer says:
    @Daniel H

    I once heard, back in the day, that Madonna loves her vagina.

  171. Corn says:
    @Meretricious

    Let me guess, on the FBI’s radar too? But they never got around to stopping him because reasons

    • Agree: J.Ross
  172. Art Deco says:
    @Bardon Kaldlan

    Why would it make you ‘very happy’ that she would not perform for an audience in Tel Aviv?

    • Replies: @Bardon Kaldlan
  173. Truth says:
    @Mr. Anon

    Any discussion of modern pop music should address why it seems to be in the thrall of Satan. Or at least why the people who run it are pushing occult/satanic imagery all the time.

    Well, I don’t think it takes a Lana Del Rey IQ;

  174. Mike Tre says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Wow. I thought her nose and lips were obvious.

    https://betheknockout.com/lana-del-rey-plastic-surgery/

    Eyes a possibility but harder to tell by the way she does her make up.

  175. J.Ross says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    >here’s Brandon Flowers of the Killers trying and failing

    Kek. Flowers had a huge selling-out moment after the election of Trump and dedicated his band to leftist propaganda, to include a bizarrely self-directed sort of voodoo assassination, in which he very gayly sought to mock Trump by representing different personas and showing them failing without recovering. It’s hard to imagine Trump seeing it and “getting” that it was meant in a Medeanishly twisted and feminine way to be “about” him.

  176. @Art Deco

    Because here is a pop star who had the guts to defy political correctness and risk some money rightfully criticizing Mother Izrael.
    You think Doja Cat is gonna do that?😮

  177. J.Ross says:
    @AnotherDad

    … okay cause what I was associating with collapse wasn’t coming to our senses, it was half-fake terror events with real deaths to enable tyranny.

  178. @J.Ross

    Tarantino’s major innovation was mixing genres in his screenplays but it wasn’t until his last film, Once Upon a Time in Hollywood, that he took the advice of the European masters like Fellini and Antonioni and constructed an emotionally powerful ending. That’s the film people will be screening in 100 years, not Pulp Fiction

    • Agree: Charon
  179. @Paul Mendez

    I sure as hell wouldn’t want a job where I had to cover myself from head to toe in sunblock every day.

    I worked for a few years at a beach resort in Florida. There was another guy there, a subcontractor, who sold Hawaiian Tropic out by the pool all day. He was the happiest man I’ve ever known.

  180. prosa123 says:
    @Daniel H

    NYC lifeguards make big money because it’s a union scam. Like everything else in the city.

    Meanwhile, Walt Disney World is actively recruiting lifeguards. Current starting pay: \$15.25/hour for shallow water, \$16.25 for deep water.

  181. I apologize in advance for a long comment, skip it if you want, but if you decide not to skip it, read it twice.

    Most people know that celebrities are a a not quite random assortment of humans.

    I have spent a lot of time trying to figure out if the claims certain celebrities were geniuses were true.

    Not enough time to get right answers I am confident of, but that being said … in my humble opinion —-

    Yes, Orson Welles understood Shakespeare better than any literature professor of his day.
    Yes, that actress who we are told “invented” radio skipping during WWII (Hedy Lamarr) could have written a decent popular book on Maxwell’s equations, but so could thousand of other Americans, and much of the praise she got is fake news.
    The actress who claimed she wanted to read Finnegans Wake – she won an Oscar a few years ago – has extremely high intelligence but, having read several interviews in which she discussed things that were important to her – having read several of those interviews I have to say, no she is probably not the sort of person who can tell other people what Finnegans Wake is really about, but she could be close if she put in the effort, and to be fair, Joyce himself was not all that bright except for the fact that he was almost supremely gifted at putting words together in near-perfect ways.
    Several people as famous as Madonna are as smart as poor Warren Buffet but not as smart as poor Munger, and of the guys who won or should have won Oscars and who also are famous for being really good Shakespearean actors, only Donat and Ralph Richardson were actually geniuses.
    Artie Shaw is known for having spent a few years studying quantum mechanics but he was not really a physicist, but yes he would have been welcome at almost any university of his day as a physics teacher if that is what he wanted to do.
    John Ford would have been close to Dickens if he had chosen to be a novelist instead of a director, but he would not have been so close to being an American Dickens that anybody who paid attention would have thought he was almost an American Dickens.
    Of all the USA presidents and presidential candidates, only Ulysses Grant (and not Jefferson, although that is a close run issue) was anywhere near being a genius —- that being said, to be a human being who seeks to be a good politician in a country like the USA is no humble goal. Of the USA Supreme Court justices, no geniuses, but Learned Hand, at the Second Circuit, was awful close.
    Moe Berg was very bright, among the 100 or so most talented intelligence (spy) officers of the last century.
    W.C. Fields, and Curlie from the Stooges, and Wodehouse were all inimitable.
    I could be wrong about all those assessments. Except for the Fields and Curlie and Wodehouse assessments. I’m right about that. Even if I am not really middle-aged and not really a veterinarian.

    • Thanks: AceDeuce
    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  182. AceDeuce says:
    @Steve Sailer

    The Cold War was a big employer in California. The Skunk Works and the Sunset Strip were no more than 10 miles apart.

    True enough, but even allowing for that, there are some weird connections and juxtapositions.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  183. Jay Fink says:

    The worst new pop song by a female artist is ABCDEFU by Gayle. If a young woman is that angry and bitter towards a man already she is doomed to be depressed for life

  184. J.Ross says:
    @Anon 2

    You’ll never see this coming but Feyd Harkonnen has won his gladiatorial combat!

  185. @Pat Hannagan

    What made you think of this underrated gem from the B-52s, an underrated band?

  186. @AceDeuce

    My mom’s best friend’s husband was the chief designer of the SR-71 for the CIA. But, for some reason, I never got my free electric guitar from the Deep State.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
    , @cthulhu
  187. duncsbaby says:
    @Corn

    Yeah, what I meant to say was scratch a Canadian white girl’s EGO. I think it’s funny that the further one gets from one’s native heritage genetically the more one embraces one’s native heritage as identity. One of my best friends is almost full-blood Indian, born in Winnipeg and the amount of times his native heritage has come up is perhaps maybe once or twice.

  188. @Feryl

    Whitney was a crack head who needed help.

    I have always wondered if Whitney was already going that way before she met Bobby Brown or if Brown introduced her to drugs and it was downhill from there.

    • Replies: @Corn
  189. AceDeuce says:
    @middle-aged vet

    Interesting post.

    Not sure if I agree 100% but still….

    Artie Shaw was indeed a polymath. Amazing musician who sold > 100 million records, Nationally ranked marksman. Expert fly fisherman. High school dropout who learned enough advanced mathematics to befriend and interact with the leading minds in the field. Successful painter. Writer of critically acclaimed nonfiction and fiction. Oh, and all the beautiful women he bedded.

    Charlie Chaplin, who many considered a genius himself, and who met pretty much everyone, said that he had only met three geniuses in his life: Einstein, Churchill, and the eminent classical pianist Clara Haskil.

    • Replies: @middle-aged vet
  190. AceDeuce says:
    @Steve Sailer

    I had you pegged for a sitar man.

    • LOL: JohnnyWalker123
  191. @Dave Pinsen

    Dave Pinsen wrote:

    Be open to the possibility that it’s not all shit.

    Of course. As I have pointed out before, the Pentatonix are truly talented (a cappella is hard).

    On the other hand, there is a guy on Youtube, Fil from “Wings of Pegasus,” who uses modern software to analyze some of the old greats and some of the high-flying current stars. Here is Garland singing “Over the Rainbow”:

    A couple messages that come through his various analyses:

    The old greats could not and did not use autotune.

    The old greats had great vibrato.

    Use of autotune and lack of vibrato is not good for lots of current stars.

  192. cthulhu says:
    @Steve Sailer

    …chief designer of the SR-71 for the CIA.

    The CIA airplane was the A-12; the Air Force variant a few years later was the SR-71. The airplanes were very similar, but the A-12 was a single seat vehicle and weighed a bit less than the SR-71; consequently, the A-12 could fly a bit higher and faster.

    Few people can tell the difference with just a casual look, so, for example, most people think the airplane outside the San Diego Air and Space museum is an SR-71. It’s actually an A-12 though.

  193. @Mark G.

    She again won the best song Grammy the next year for “Everything I Wanted”. The next year after that she had another number one best-selling album which she received seven Grammy nominations for and won an Oscar for her James Bond movie song. All this by the age of twenty.

    Aha! So she is the one stealing Grammys that rightfully belong to Beyonce.

  194. @Dieter Kief

    (That he lets classical Dylan end with John Wesley Harding I don’t quite get, but then – – – the world is big enough for such idiosyncracies (just in case it would turn out to even be one)).

    O Gott, wie groß ist dein Tiergarten! Noch so viele Denkmäler haben dort Platz.

    • Replies: @Dieter Kief
  195. @AnotherDad

    I’ve argued before that one of the problems we have has stemmed from the ability that this new technology of motion pictures, allowed Hollyweird’s Jews to beam their–anti-traditional, anti-national–ideas directly into people’s brains, bypassing both their families and local communities, but also the natural filter humans have for normal conversation, presenting to people’s eyeballs, things that did not and do not actually happen.

    Couldn’t the same be said for the novel as well? Indeed for the Gutenberg revolution itself? Are you arguing that all communication should be mediated by ‘families and local communities’?

  196. @Mike Tre

    Madonna never snagged one of the world’s richest and smartest men by making a pun about an AI info hazard, but feel free to keep being cynical and closed minded.

  197. @European-American

    A\$AP Rocky as JFK cracks me up.

  198. Nodwink says:
    @Jimi Savaloy

    I can’t use the [DISAGREE] because I haven’t posted here recently, but:

    Ignoring the gunk at the top of the charts, music is generally better today than it was in the 1970s. I subscribe to Stephen Jay Gould’s theory of the “spread of excellence.” In this case I believe there are fewer classic tracks now, but there are more good songs today than there were in the old days.

  199. @Truth

    It’s not, but I posted it because it’s the most common “gateway drug” to Lana. She’s got lots of good songs, e.g.,

  200. @Mr. Anon

    The amount of occult/satanic programming (and that’s what it is – programming) in popular culture, especially the “music industry” is simply getting impossible to deny.

    Actually, it’s negligible. Popular culture is aggressively materialistic- the opposite of occult. QAnon type conspiracy theories are where most esoteric and occult people have ended up these days.

    Whether materialism is actually Satanic is certainly a theological debate worth having.

    • Replies: @Mr. Anon
  201. Mr. Fussy says:

    You are conflating high IQ with being born of privilege. Yes, the two are often related. Gaga, Lana, Taylor are clearly very intelligent. But so is Madonna, probably more than any of the others. She is certainly the richest. Whitney was notoriously sharp-tongued and witty. Listen to how fast her comebacks are in this infamous interview, it’s almost as if it’s scripted (it’s not):

    Mariah may come across as the “dumbest”, but I don’t think an unintelligent person can go from living close to the poverty line to being worth \$300 million.

    The three of them were not born to wealth, but it’s impossible to achieve what they achieved without carefully navigating high-stakes relationships with millions of dollars constantly on the line behind the scenes for decades, carefully balancing the interests of all the different financial interests and stakeholders that determine success in that industry, through changing managers and labels throughout the years. Anyone that reaches the uber superstar upper echelon level in entertainment is more likely than not to be very smart. It’s the one-album-wonders that are less likely to be intelligent and more the product of a savvy manager or marketing person. But to keep it going for decades like those three did, the star needs to know what they’re doing too.

    • Replies: @Steve Sailer
  202. Charon says:
    @Feryl

    (is there any other industry where people so frequently show up to work late, with a bad attitude, and/or drunk/stoned out of their minds?)

    House painters, journalists, congressmen.

  203. Charon says:
    @Loyalty Over IQ Worship

    Didn’t watch, but I’ll go out on a limb and say that us white guys who would never take a seat on the train if there was anyone standing? We probably don’t have any music videos made about us.

  204. Mr. Fussy says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Agreed. Billie is an excellent lyricist cutting to the core of the existential malaise of today, as in this anti-pornography song (a very rare position for a public figure in entertainment to take these days):

  205. Charon says:
    @Paleo Liberal

    Yeah, clever! I just looked it up. Two years ago on reddit.

  206. Mr. Fussy says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Dua Lipa’s family are Albanian gangsters who made money trafficking artworks during the Kosovo War. In interviews she comes across as not having a single spontaneous thought in her head. Hard to tell if it’s due to lack of intelligence or simply being media trained to death in the age of getting cancelled for saying one wrong thing. She does not write her own songs. As far as where that money goes, it’s anyone’s guess, the record label spent a fortune trying to make her into a star and only succeeded after several years.

  207. Art Deco says:
    @Anonymous

    Per Quentin Tarantino, his parents separated in 1962 and he’s actually never met his father. His mother isn’t Italian. Sort of odd of the moderator to refer to him as ‘semi-literate’. He began writing screenplays when he was 14.

    He’s said he cannot be bothered to communicate with his father. He’s been known to slice up his mother in interviews. (Dame’s kind of a mess; three divorces and a history of trouble with the IRS; but what actually rankles is that she ridiculed his writing hobby when he was an adolescent; not the most forgiving of souls, he).

    • Replies: @J.Ross
  208. Mike Tre says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    ” but feel free to keep being cynical and closed minded. ”

    LOL – you’re taking this a bit too personal. Calm down.

    Whatshername “snagged” Musk with her va-jay-jay, the way just about all female pop celebrities snag the high profile men they hook up with. That’s not cynical, it’s reality. And I don’t even mind because it seems like a fairly natural occurrence.

    But let’s not sell crazy with the “really smart” stuff. Women are programmed by nature to use charm and flirting to attract a mate. Even the dumb ones.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  209. Curle says:
    @Jimi Savaloy

    I’m partial to mostly forgotten ‘60s waif Vashti Bunyan who recorded some great songs and disappeared to the Hebrides Islands.

    • Agree: YetAnotherAnon
    • Replies: @YetAnotherAnon
  210. J.Ross says:
    @Art Deco

    >the moderator.

    Savage.

    • LOL: Kylie
  211. @Dave Pinsen

    And you feel free to keep simping for this bimbo and her billionaire babydaddy. Elon Musk may be rich and he may be smart, but he is certainly not any good for humanity. He has taken billions of dollars in government grift to help promote an electric car fantasy which, if implemented the way its designers want, would result in mass tyranny, immobilization, a crashing economy, and hundreds of millions starving to death. Musk is horrible, a monstrous avatar of globalism gone nuts.

    All the slavering going on over these female pop singers in this thread is just ridiculous. I would think that grown men, especially those who claim to take an active interest in defending civilization, would have more important things to care about. Apparently not, though. It always seems to be the case that all you paragons of the Alt-Whatever-Sphere are always larping betas trying to posture your way into some sort of social significance. If you were real men, you wouldn’t even know who these women are.

    • Thanks: Mike Tre
  212. Richard B says:
    @Unintended Consequence

    I don’t see how Swift is so swift other than to make money writing & singing weird songs. Frequently the pronoun usage in Swift’s lyrics is off-putting as is the case for some other popular musicians like Mumford. Also this has been a trend since the late 80s. Remember Tori Amos.

    I do remember Tori Amos. Unfortunately. But, fortunately, just barely.

    What a nothing post from Steve. What happened to him?

    Yeah, the Coen Brothers are verbally smarter than you or just about anybody you know are.

    WTF?

  213. Rick Beato, musicologist, musician, story-teller & teacher:
    — (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCJquYOG5EL82sKTfH9aMA9Q)

    “Why Gen Z Doesn’t Care About Music”:
    — (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ag4iFa6E_yY)

  214. Corn says:
    @Drive-by poster

    If my memory serves me correctly Bobby just speeded up a train she was already on.

  215. Kylie says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Matt Bellamy is also an excellent and largely self-taught pianist.

    • Agree: Dave Pinsen
  216. @Curle

    Back in the the 60s Donovan Leitch bought a chunk of the Hebrides with his new-found wealth and decided to make it into an artists commune. So Vashti and boyfriend travelled up – in a horsedrawn van with their dog.

    Of course by the time they arrived months later the commune had split up, but the journey produced a wonderful, fey, childlike (or nauseatingly sickly depending on your taste) LP which sold almost no copies but became a cult record among the rainbow sweater/circle dancing/card your own wool crowd.

    • Replies: @Curle
    , @Curle
  217. there was barely any discussion of modern pop music in this entire thread. pop music today is very black and very rap, and has been that way for years. it’s ok to not know that, because pop music is pure shit now, the worst it’s ever been, and it’s not worth knowing anything about. but if you are going to talk about a topic, at least know what you’re talking about. black rappers utterly dominate modern pop music, and they’re terrible. Ice Cube was a genius compared to these guys. there’s a term, mumble rap, specifically to describe the music they make. it’s barely even recognizable as music, and more like noise.

    the 3 or 4 white women that were talked about, are not very representative of 2022 pop music at all. these are just the 3 or 4 somewhat recent pop musicians that the Sailer crowd even knows about. aside from Taylor Swift, they aren’t even that relevant, and for all of them, their peak was a while ago. and Taylor Swift is a twit. a not very smart woman who has her songs written for her by other people. she has droned on and on for a over decade about the same thing, how bad men are. if she’s dated that many famous guys and can’t marry one of them, maybe it’s Taylor Swift who sucks as a person and not every man.

    it’s actually been a while now since Katy Perry and Adele and other white women were selling millions of units of studio pop music. even that era has passed, and today music sales are about 75% garbage rap. i posted about this a few years ago on here, how even the white woman pop musician is disappearing on Billboard 200.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
    , @Jay Fink
  218. @Drive-by poster

    Listen closely to some of Lorde’s lyrics and you will see what I mean; they are not that impressive for someone who is supposedly bright.

    For those who aren’t familiar with her, Lorde’s breakout (and still biggest hit) is “Royals”. She recorded the song when she was 15 and wrote the lyrics herself, with cowriter Joel Little writing the music.

    I think you are underrating her talent. The writing ability of most 15 year olds is absolute garbage. And this isn’t Brittany Spears where her primary ability is being cute and guys wanting to fuck her; while there is nothing wrong with the way Lorde looks, “cute” or “attractive” don’t come to mind when seeing her. So she must have some ability to sing or songwrite in order to become so popular.

    I will say that it seems like a non sequitur, but in a way it is apropos that on South Park Lorde is actually the stage persona of Randy Marsh, the father of one of the South Park kids.

  219. AKAHorace says:
    @Intelligent Dasein

    And you feel free to keep simping for this bimbo and her billionaire babydaddy. Elon Musk may be rich and he may be smart, but he is certainly not any good for humanity. He has taken billions of dollars in government grift to help promote an electric car fantasy which, if implemented the way its designers want, would result in mass tyranny, immobilization, a crashing economy, and hundreds of millions starving

    You may think this, and you may even be right, but the majority of the world does not. You can hardly blame women for being impressed by him.

  220. Curle says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Is there a reason anyone would want such a combo? Here’s the Ramones for no particular reason except they make most everyone look bad by comparison (except Elvis).

    • Replies: @Gordo
  221. Jay Fink says:
    @prime noticer

    Olivia Rodrigo is selling a lot of units. She’s not white, she’s Filipina I believe, but her music sounds white…like a Taylor Swift wannabe.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  222. Curle says:
    @YetAnotherAnon

    I also find Karen Dalton’s unique voice affecting.

    • Replies: @Liza
  223. njguy73 says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    Taylor Swift collaborated with Martin for three songs off her album “Red” (2012) and about half the songs off “1989” (2014) and “Reputation” (2017.)

    • Thanks: Dave Pinsen
  224. @AceDeuce

    Chaplin did meet many people, including WC Fields, with whom there was a great rivalry. I think if he thought Fields was a genius, he wouldn’t say it, just out of spite. I own about 50 LPs, and Clara Haskil and Arthur Grumiaux performing Mozart is one of them – she is really good, but who knows how much of the genius on that record is Mozart and how much is Grumiaux and Haskil?

    I try not to read about jazz too much – I’d rather play it (badly) or listen to the radio shows (jazz seems to have really good radio hosts) or play my records – but I’m tempted to read more about Artie Shaw.

    • Replies: @AceDeuce
  225. Yahya says:

    Biggest pop star in the Arab world over previous 2 decades was/is Nancy Ajram. She is a beautiful and elegant lady, but her songs are mostly crap. Only passable exception I can think of:

    [MORE]

    Compare her with he top-selling artists in the region during the 1960s and 1970s.

    Umm Kulthum (Egyptian Muslim):

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ul4z6sLnXYY&ab_channel=UmmKulthum-%D8%A7%D9%85%D9%83%D9%84%D8%AB%D9%88%D9%85

    Fairouz (Lebanese Christian):

    Or the 80s and 90s.

    Julia Boutros (Lebanese Christian):

  226. Liza says:
    @Curle

    I had never heard of Karen Dalton before you mentioned her. So, I listened to Something on Your Mind. I right away thought that she could be described as a poor man’s Janis Joplin and that is not a bad thing. (I love Janis.)

    • Replies: @Curle
  227. I don’t care much about modern pop music but I’m an old guy so no surprise. I will tip my hat to Lana Del Rey because she is such an unrepentant smoker or at least she was. Now that I think about it so is Joni Mitchell. I guess I like her as well.

    • Replies: @Jay Fink
  228. RSDB says:
    @Twinkie

    Being intelligent helps

    Unfortunately, in this case it doesn’t seem to help to produce good music. This may be a good argument that intelligence is a tool, rather than an end; the swiftest mover in a race to the bottom is not much to be applauded.

    Of course, before that argument could be made, one would have to follow the advice of Lady Cotton and make some effort to ascertain that the premise that successful pop stars are unusually intelligent is actually true.

    A while ago on this site, there was much discussion of the low average Afghan IQ and what effects that might have; at any rate, regardless of those effects, Afghan music at least is music.

    (Well, as long as their government doesn’t arrest them for playing it, that is.)

    [MORE]

    • Replies: @Twinkie
  229. Yahya says:
    @The Wild Geese Howard

    Russia has the folk-singing girl group Beloe Zlato, which translates as White Gold:

    Russian folk music is the best of its kind:

    [MORE]

    Troika:

    Boring, Sad:

    Kalinka:

    • Thanks: The Wild Geese Howard
  230. Mr. Anon says:
    @Peter Akuleyev

    Actually, it’s negligible.

    Clearly, you are unaware of what the “music industry” or Netflix has been pumping out recently. There is not reason for any Grammys performance to look like an occult ritual, let alone most of them.

  231. Spartan says:
    @zylo

    If you are attracted to kind-hearted, beautiful women with amazing voices and top flight artistry who sing about their love of men, and pay homage to American culture, then what is not to enjoy about Lana.

    She’s come up a number of times in this thread so I spent five minutes on her. I found the typical longing for bad boys who leave her after the deed, promoting sexual congress with black men, and that “[d]uring the first year of Trump’s presidency, Del Rey confirmed that she used witchcraft against Trump.” I guess you could call that an homage to American culture if you mean the one we have today, which is produced by carny trash. Her voice is fine but far from “amazing.”

    We’re all immersed in the larger culture, so we’re going to have a few guilty pleasures, but don’t get lost in the glamour.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  232. Liza says:

    Go watch the eclipse of the moon!

  233. @Mr. Anon

    Why are their lyrics stupid? Because thats what makes them rich.

    Also, you cant rollerskate in a buffalo herd, guilty feet have got no rhythm, and any one of a kajillion other pieces of dreck from the oh-so brilliant past.

  234. Jay Fink says:
    @Enemy of Earth

    and perhaps surprisingly all those decades of chain smoking didn’t shorten Joni Mitchell’s life. She is 78. Her song “Help Me” is one of my favorite 70s songs by a female artist, I love the jazz vibe.

  235. @Jay Fink

    She’s talented. Half Filipino, half German-Irish.

  236. @Spartan

    You might need to spend more than 5 minutes.

    Lana’s homage to American culture includes Hollywood golden age and Ralph Lauren-style yachts and country club stuff.

    Lana is likely more right-leaning politically than she lets on publicly, considering that her ex-boyfriend was an NYPD cop, but if you’re going to use politics as a litmus test, you’re going to severely constrain yourself when it comes to enjoying music and other arts.

    As for “promoting sexual congress with black men”, I’m not sure where you’re getting that. She’s friends with and has collaborated with two black male performers, but I think she was being obviously ironic casting A\$AP Rocky as JFK and herself as Marlyn/Jackie in National Anthem.

  237. @Mike Tre

    You’re imputing emotional responses to me that aren’t there. I take no offense at your dismissal of any of the acts mentioned here; I just think it’s unfortunate for you to be reflexively curmudgeonly instead of being open to enjoy new things.

    • Replies: @Mike Tre
  238. Twinkie says:
    @RSDB

    I wasn’t suggesting that higher intelligence made better music, but rather than in a more competitive environment, higher intelligence helps to outcompete and also to be more successful.

    • Replies: @RSDB
  239. @Intelligent Dasein

    I’m actually not a huge fan of Grimes (I like a couple of her songs), but she is objectively smart. And Musk blocked me on Twitter, suggesting I haven’t been an unalloyed supporter of him, but your characterization of him is ludicrous.

    Tesla isn’t “a fantasy”—it generated \$55 billion in revenue last year. And he’s not some green nut: he’s publicly called for more oil drilling.

    And your conceit that men should “defend civilization” while being completely ignorant of their civilization’s most popular artists is an odd one.

    • Replies: @Art Deco
  240. Art Deco says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    And your conceit that men should “defend civilization” while being completely ignorant of their civilization’s most popular artists is an odd one.

    Sorry, never heard of her.

    This is civilization:

  241. RSDB says:
    @Twinkie

    I wasn’t suggesting that higher intelligence made better music, but rather than in a more competitive environment, higher intelligence helps to outcompete and also to be more successful.

    Precisely; I was suggesting in turn that, if this is true, it supports the proposition that higher intelligence is valuable only as a means to higher things; if it becomes a means to lower elements, it becomes a detriment.

    However, I was also suggesting that Mr. Sailer’s thesis here is far from being proved by the several anecdotes in the post.

    • Agree: Twinkie
  242. @Curle

    Vashti stayed in Scotland and had three kids, discovering as they grew up that her one LP was selling for a fortune. I had a tape copied from a tape copied from a tape – never clapped eyes on the vinyl.

    She’s doing concerts again 50 years after JADD came out and she’s still a sweetie. She’s 76!

    • Thanks: Curle
  243. Ian M. says:
    @Meretricious

    [Madonna] cowrites all her songs and has incredibly good taste…

    ‘Good taste’ is not a phrase I would have expected to see associated with Madonna.

  244. Curle says:
    @Liza

    I always thought of her as an folk Billie Holiday.

    • Replies: @Liza
  245. Liza says:
    @Curle

    That might be a better comparison than what I made. I also thought she could be called a poor man’s Maria Callas (in her later years).

  246. AceDeuce says:
    @middle-aged vet

    Vanity Fair did a pretty good piece on Shaw about 20 years ago, while he was still alive.

    https://archive.vanityfair.com/article/1999/6/artie-shaws-solo-beat

    Will all the diverse interests, genius, decency, assholery, wisdom, and craziness of the man, in varied doses, the fact remains, he was one hell of a musician.

  247. Mike Tre says:
    @Dave Pinsen

    ” I just think it’s unfortunate for you to be reflexively curmudgeonly instead of being open to enjoy new things. ”

    All I took exception to was the declaration that these female pop stars “really smart.” Those are facts not in evidence. Kesha, Katy Perry, Rhianna, some others all put out some catchy tunes a few years ago, but I’m not going to call them geniuses for it. if I never had daughters I might not have ever heard of any of them.

    Here’s drumming phenom Thomas Lang laying a drum track down to a Katy Perry song.

    Your definition of “new things” appear to be limited to the most overplayed and overrated pop music acts shoved in your face by ad content overload.

    Here are some “new things” I prefer – not really going to find many on the Billboard charts or at the Grammy’s, but I like them.

    Groove Armada
    Satin Jackets
    Neteta
    Gregory Esayan
    Vallis Alps
    L’Impératrice – see below.

    etc, etc

    Most of the new rock sucks – Shinedown and Volbeat aren’t bad, but I’m good with the classics. I don’t care what any of the above acts look like or what their politics are as long as it’s not shoved down my throat.

    • Replies: @Twinkie
    , @Dave Pinsen
  248. Twinkie says:
    @Mike Tre

    All I took exception to was the declaration that these female pop stars “really smart.” Those are facts not in evidence.

    There are certain kinds of people – often women, but occasionally men – who are mesmerized by music (especially popular music) and overestimate the intelligence of those who create the said music.

    • Replies: @Dave Pinsen
  249. @Intelligent Dasein

    If you were real men, you wouldn’t even know who these women are.

    Sometimes real men have daughters.

  250. Gordo says:
    @Curle

    There’s a hint of the Bay City Rollers in the Ramones, and a good thing too.

    • Thanks: Curle
  251. @kaganovitch

    “O Gott, wie groß ist dein Tiergarten! Noch so viele Denkmäler haben dort Platz.”

    My grandmother was chtolic and (an even shorter vriant of) this sentence she loved dearly and wholeheartedly. – So I learned it from her at a very young age. She was a Sudeten German. Not far away from a saint (my grandfather, her husband, was an atheist, avid reader of western novels and a chain smoker with a very dry humor – they got along very well). Sigh.

    • Replies: @kaganovitch
  252. @Dieter Kief

    My mom is very fond of it. I only know it from her and I’ve heard it from her dozens of times.

  253. @Mike Tre

    Your definition of “new things” appear to be limited to the most overplayed and overrated pop music acts shoved in your face by ad content overload.

    Considering that Metric has been around for ~20 years and I just learned about them this month, they must not be that overplayed.

    Here’s a thread for you and other curmudgeons here of some good 21st century music, including theirs.

  254. @Twinkie

    I gave an explanation for why Grimes is intelligent that has nothing to do with her music.

  255. Dumbo says:

    Who cares? They are irrelevant anyway. Pop stars and pop music are for teenagers. The proof of this is that most people who are now middle-aged remember or listen to the music they listened to in their youth, and don’t really follow new pop stars. It’s more important if they are pretty and have a nice voice (although that second thing can be tuned by electronics these days).

    The IQ-fetishism in this blog is strong.

  256. MEH 0910 says:

    Rick Beato:
    A Warning On the Future of Music: with Author Ted Gioia | Podcast #1

    May 19, 2022

    Ted Gioia is an American music critic and historian. He is author of eleven books, including Music: A Subversive History, The Jazz Standards: A Guide to the Repertoire, The History of Jazz and Delta Blues. He is also a jazz musician and one of the founders of Stanford University’s jazz studies program.
    Episode links:
    Ted’s Website: http://tedgioia.com/
    Ted’s Twitter: @Ted Gioia
    Ted’s Substack: The Honest Broker | Ted Gioia | Substack https://tedgioia.substack.com/

    https://www.youtube.com/user/tedgioia/

  257. MEH 0910 says:

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/may/19/vangelis-greek-composer-chariots-of-fire-blade-runner-dies

    https://www.theguardian.com/music/2022/may/20/vangelis-film-composer-pop-music

    Vangelis – Playlists – Albums & Singles:
    https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCNms80n59AltHVQuPgGrKkg/playlists?view=50&sort=dd&shelf_id=17666223384013636065

    Blade Runner (Music From The Original Soundtrack) playlist:
    https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=OLAK5uy_kwWYbJ9MI9ALMqJdjVZ_cNJmOROOMc2Y0

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