Evolution of Music Scene

Share your views on the policies, philosophies, and spirit of Burning Man.

Evolution of Music Scene

Postby mars » Wed Sep 15, 2010 12:30 pm

I'm just curious about how rave/electronic music became so prominent at burning man. I'd love a discussion here that isn't full of judgement and disdain, but just to explore how the 2 (burning man and rave/techno music) became and continues to be so connected.

It seems to me that there are tons of people at bm who don't like "rave" music (for lack of a better description--being a psychedelic rock afficionado myself, I'm not even versed in all the different electronic styles and categories). Why do you think there aren't huge sound camps that do other styles of music? Was it ever different?

What are your theories? Is it cuz the older crowd goes to sleep earlier now???? So the all-night large sound systems play the music of the younger crowds? I have no idea. I just know that while in the default world I am a major music lover, when I go to burning man, the music really takes a back seat cuz it just isn't what moves me.

Would love to hear your thoughts on why it is the way it is.
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Postby Nitevenus » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:16 pm

I do think that age does play into the evolution. I've heard comments from closer to thirty somethings that they are starting to enjoy smaller venues of their music and not the huge ones. I don't think that we are necessarily going to bed earlier. When you find a group thats fun to hang with and the music is equally good (and more your taste), you're headed to camp with the sunrise.

From the five years that I started going, it seems there are more large rave music camps and the stages getting progressively more high tech. The larger numbers of ravers of course being a product of word of mouth and the popularity of youtube.

I hope one thing though, is that those of us who aren't ravers, we can manage to recruit people and let them know that it's not "just a rave" out in the desert.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:17 pm

The dust is mush less likely to screw up digital music and electronics then a guitar or drums.

Who wants to watch a person selecting songs off their ipod?

Take those 2 things and what do you get? DJS!


Why people don't mosh to metal sets or skank to some ska i dunno.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Sep 15, 2010 1:34 pm

Don't know about you, Mars, but my first Burns were in '96 and '97. In one of these or the other, there was a "Rave Camp" seemingly about a mile away that I never visited. I could hear the electronic music just fine from where I was.

In both of these years, I heard plenty of live drum music. There was a troupe of hippies from Santa Cruz that turned out with djembes and darabukas and other portable ethnic drums. They were so endemic that we caught ourselves rolling our eyes whenever they showed up.

Check out an old Burning Man documentary and you'll see lots of acoustical instruments. In 2009 I saw and heard almost nothing. Are we getting lazy? Do genuine musicians feel that their gift is not appreciated? Maybe it's just too much trouble to care for an instrument on the playa. It's certainly easier to push buttons, but then it's also easier to stay home.
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Postby Fire_Moose » Wed Sep 15, 2010 2:01 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote: but then it's also easier to stay home.



yeah....aren't you the grand master of that?
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Postby teardropper » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:18 pm

My partner brings all her drums and music makers out there. She carries it all on a trailer on her bike. Lots of stuff and it does take some time to clean playa out of all the nooks and crannies. But she likes the Fire Conclave and Critical Tits. I heard more stuff that wasn't techno this year. Blues, rock, even bluegrass from artcars. And some live music. Techno doesn't make me completely insane. Not my first choice, but I had a good time dancing at a few raves. It is the ambient music, the heartbeat of the playa. But it's nice to have some choices.
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Postby mars » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:22 pm

Ya, I get it that pushing buttons is easier than tuning strings, but why is the music in the large sound camps the genre it is? Why isn't it a mix of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles,...or 90's rock...Red Hot Chili Peppers, 3rd eye blind, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Where have all the rockers gone...long time passing...
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Postby mars » Wed Sep 15, 2010 3:23 pm

More importantly perhaps...why is it all the SAME?! (It reminds me of TV in this regard).
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:22 pm

mars wrote:Ya, I get it that pushing buttons is easier than tuning strings, but why is the music in the large sound camps the genre it is? Why isn't it a mix of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles,...or 90's rock...Red Hot Chili Peppers, 3rd eye blind, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Where have all the rockers gone...long time passing...


Mars you are asking the questions of others that you should be asking of yourself.

If you have a vision, bend over and shit it out yourself. That's how everything is done on the playa.

And FM, I WILL be back! You can count on that.
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Postby teardropper » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:35 pm

mars wrote:... a mix of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles,...or 90's rock...Red Hot Chili Peppers, 3rd eye blind, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Where have all the rockers gone...long time passing...


Yeah, make a great sound camp. But rock isn't all looking back. Techno is created by the DJ. It's not all recorded. You'd need live music. Instruments. A band. I'd love to see a major sound camp on the Esplanade doing live rock.

Music isn't where I, personally, would put my project energy, but, Mars, I believe you may have identified a need.

What you doing the other 51 weeks?...
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Postby gaminwench » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:40 pm

Inspired by the 'rockstar librarian', who has compiled all of the DJ performance info for the last couple of years...
I/we (you can help!) am going through this year's camp list to find contacts for live stages & musicians, with the ultimate goal of a comprehensive live music performance schedule for BRC 2011...
Any stages/musicians you know of? PM me with details & info...
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Postby marcher5877 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:41 pm

If you think it all sounds the same you just arent paying attention to the differences. Thats fine, you can do whatever you want, but it is different.

I think Burning Man is a popular place for electronic music for a few different reasons:
1) People that are at Burning Man have let go of a lot of thier inhibitions which allows them to dance. They want to dance to music that has a strong beat and deep bass, and thats dance music.

2)Dance music today is called eletronic music. 50 years ago it was called Big Band, and 70 years ago it was called jazz. Its just what is out there that people are dancing to, and in 2010, people dance to electronic music.

3)Music with a strong beat and deep bass is a lot easier to play on an ipod or computer than having a band set up and perform. Getting a band to Burning Man, all together at the same time, in the same headspace, with the same goal, with instruments that work and are all in tune-at the same time is a lot more difficult than you might think. Weird things happen in the desert and when you are in a band and you cant find your drummer, the band isnt going to play.

On the other hand, if you are a DJ and you cant find your electricain, you can ask around and say "anyone know how to run 110Volts to this?" and odds are, at least at Burning Man, someone will know someone who can. Whereas a drummer in a band, if the band is any good, only that one drummer will know the songs that the band has ready to play and knows the guys in the band on a muscial level that just takes practice and time to develop to perform at a level high enough for people to enjoy it and dance to it. Its just a convience factor.
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Postby marcher5877 » Wed Sep 15, 2010 4:41 pm

If you think it all sounds the same you just arent paying attention to the differences. Thats fine, you can do whatever you want, but it is different.

I think Burning Man is a popular place for electronic music for a few different reasons:
1) People that are at Burning Man have let go of a lot of thier inhibitions which allows them to dance. They want to dance to music that has a strong beat and deep bass, and thats dance music.

2)Dance music today is called eletronic music. 50 years ago it was called Big Band, and 70 years ago it was called jazz. Its just what is out there that people are dancing to, and in 2010, people dance to electronic music.

3)Music with a strong beat and deep bass is a lot easier to play on an ipod or computer than having a band set up and perform. Getting a band to Burning Man, all together at the same time, in the same headspace, with the same goal, with instruments that work and are all in tune-at the same time is a lot more difficult than you might think. Weird things happen in the desert and when you are in a band and you cant find your drummer, the band isnt going to play.

On the other hand, if you are a DJ and you cant find your electricain, you can ask around and say "anyone know how to run 110Volts to this?" and odds are, at least at Burning Man, someone will know someone who can. Whereas a drummer in a band, if the band is any good, only that one drummer will know the songs that the band has ready to play and knows the guys in the band on a muscial level that just takes practice and time to develop to perform at a level high enough for people to enjoy it and dance to it. Its just a convience factor.
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Postby teardropper » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:22 pm

marcher5877 wrote:If you think it all sounds the same you just arent paying attention to the differences. Thats fine, you can do whatever you want, but it is different.


... in 2010, people dance to electronic music.

.


Couple of things. Sounds the same. I think my grand parents said that about rock n'roll. No worries, dance to what YOU want to. Just be sure, electronic is not what everyone is dancing to in 2010.
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Postby unjonharley » Wed Sep 15, 2010 5:49 pm

teardropper wrote:
marcher5877 wrote:If you think it all sounds the same you just arent paying attention to the differences. Thats fine, you can do whatever you want, but it is different.


... in 2010, people dance to electronic music.

.


Couple of things. Sounds the same. I think my grand parents said that about rock n'roll. No worries, dance to what YOU want to. Just be sure, electronic is not what everyone is dancing to in 2010.


Teckno is in cuz there is no talent writing/producing danceable music..

I have to catch a beat and feel it in order to dance..

That's followed by assholes that want to cuz trouble.. So the sound is cranked just to fuck with people that are not interested in there noise..

Drove the drunk teckno nieghbor out of his mind.. With my 8-10 watts of mid century music.. So he got very drunk and nasty.. All his friends left the camp.. He was out in the middle of the street begging people to come and play with him.. Next day same as the the last.. I played mid century music.. He was dieing of a hang over when I asked him to hold my shade as I untied the ropes See there are all sorts of degrees of fucking with others..
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Postby teardropper » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:02 pm

Not bad.

Mid century music... Chuck Berry in there?...
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Postby unjonharley » Wed Sep 15, 2010 7:44 pm

teardropper wrote:Not bad.

Mid century music... Chuck Berry in there?...


1945 to 1955.. low on the 40s stuff but working on getting more.. there is a lot of fun and dancable stuff in those years.. Then Jimmy tuned up his electric and the world of music was changed forever

Bunches of people per hour stoped by my camp.. Just to tell me how much they like the tunes..
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Postby mars » Wed Sep 15, 2010 8:31 pm

Ugly Dougly wrote:
mars wrote:Ya, I get it that pushing buttons is easier than tuning strings, but why is the music in the large sound camps the genre it is? Why isn't it a mix of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles,...or 90's rock...Red Hot Chili Peppers, 3rd eye blind, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Where have all the rockers gone...long time passing...


Mars you are asking the questions of others that you should be asking of yourself.

If you have a vision, bend over and shit it out yourself. That's how everything is done on the playa.

And FM, I WILL be back! You can count on that.


I hear ya, and I knew people would say that. But I'm not about producing sound, I'm not into electronics and equipment...I'm into serving coffee to the playa and I do it well. I love the sound of the playa, don't get me wrong. But sometimes I just wanna go out and dance late at night, and everywhere I go it's pretty much the same channel. And while I sort of force myself to open up to it and I do have a few good moments here and there...I would so appreciate some good rock.

There did seem to be a wee bit more variety this year.

But mainly, here, I'm just pondering how it got the way it is...very curious about what people know about the evolution of the rave music scene. How did it go from one dome way out there to lining the city and almost every art car???
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Postby teardropper » Wed Sep 15, 2010 11:21 pm

unjonharley wrote:1945 to 1955.

.. Just to tell me how much they like the tunes..


I really don't mean to highjack this post... You don't bring down vinyl, do you? I have some special music tastes, but I just digitize to play there. What do you do?
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Postby Mosin » Thu Sep 16, 2010 1:46 am

mars wrote:Ya, I get it that pushing buttons is easier than tuning strings, but why is the music in the large sound camps the genre it is? Why isn't it a mix of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles,...or 90's rock...Red Hot Chili Peppers, 3rd eye blind, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Where have all the rockers gone...long time passing...


Outside of BRC I generally listen to the above (give or take a few... I'm a huge Ben Harper and Black Crowes freek...and an old skool Deadhead) rathere than electronica. After a few years at BM the electronica really grew on me, primarily because it is killer to dance to, and not usually lyrically oriented. Like, when I'm in my car on LA freeways I get off on Eddie Vedder gloriously belting out epic Tales of the Angst or Kurt Cobain reminding us that there will be "NO RECESS!"...or Ben Harper warning oppression that he is coming to bitch slap it. When I'm high as a fucking kite at the Burn, lyrics either seem to impose on the amazing things I am witnessing and experiencing, or just aren't relevant to the experience. Of course, I love songs/lyrics that are relevant (or that I find relevant) to the burn...just not at the burn! For example, Dio lyrics might make for a good eplaya sigline, but I generally don't wanna listen to Ronnie James (RIP) screaming about the man on the silver mountain when I'm on the playa. I wanna hear varieties of Unst Music and see/touch/smell the lyrics/narrative. Does that make sense?
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Postby velocirafter » Thu Sep 16, 2010 6:08 am

I would agree with Mosin. Lyric driven music tends to suck you in and involve you in the song, electronic music sets the scene and the vibe while allowing you to interact with your surrounds( dancing, visualisations, fire spinners etc..) to make the complete experience.

The link between MDMA and dance music probably needs to be mentioned also but that has been around for as long as burning man so I dont know if its relevant to more recent trends.
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Postby Ugly Dougly » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:13 am

Electronic music is easy to do, that's why it takes over. Modern culture seems to put value on seeking the path of least resistance. So simple to throw an MP3 player into the truck and instant "interactivity": people will dance to it.

Just curious: how many synthesizers or other electronic keyboards were out there? How is it that electronic music is better for dancing? It's the drumbeat that you dance to, isn't it? So who brought a drum? :)
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Postby jerroc » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:16 am

There was a time when being a dj was a talent. sadly it has come down to crappy downloaded music put into cd players that will sync the beats automatically. I gave it up 6 years ago. There is a ton of electronic music avalible its upbeat and fun to dance to not to mention there's plague of djs avalible to play. It would be very hard to run a large stage for live bands. Finding the good bands to cover the time to make it worth it is a problem. Getting them to show up on time. And trust me when you start bumping time slots shit gets nasty. Protecting equiptment is an issue. The fundrasing would be a bitch. There would be a lot of out of pocket expense. It helps to have a live sound guy to keep levels adjusted. The whole logistics of live bands is not easy. Running an electronic stage is hard work but the vast amount of music and Dj's make it easy. cd players and mixer can cost upwards of $5,000. Most headline djs will not play unless there is top of the line equiptment. That's the basics of it really. Oh and electronic music has always been a night event and that is when everyone crawls out of their holes at BM.
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Postby alt12 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:20 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:
mars wrote:Ya, I get it that pushing buttons is easier than tuning strings, but why is the music in the large sound camps the genre it is? Why isn't it a mix of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles,...or 90's rock...Red Hot Chili Peppers, 3rd eye blind, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Where have all the rockers gone...long time passing...


Mars you are asking the questions of others that you should be asking of yourself.

If you have a vision, bend over and shit it out yourself. That's how everything is done on the playa.



Amen brother....(or sister?).... I love electronic music but also love much non-electronic music. The lack of the latter inspired me and my camp mates to throw a Latin music party where we play exclusively salsa, afro-cuban, merengue, cumbia, etc. We started doing this about 7 years ago and it has blown up over the years to a big event with repeat visitors who come year after year. The main comment I hear is "thank you for doing this, all I hear out here is techno..."
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Postby alt12 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:24 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Electronic music is easy to do, that's why it takes over. Modern culture seems to put value on seeking the path of least resistance. So simple to throw an MP3 player into the truck and instant "interactivity": people will dance to it.

Just curious: how many synthesizers or other electronic keyboards were out there? How is it that electronic music is better for dancing? It's the drumbeat that you dance to, isn't it? So who brought a drum? :)



I would just like to point out that many of the headline "DJs" at the big sound camps actually write and compose their own music. As someone with experience doing this, trust me, its really fuck hard and takes a tremendous amount of time. It can take a month to create one track..... I personally go to see people who perform their own material because its more interesting and it feels more authentic. Its the difference between seeing Led Zeppelin and seeing a cover-band for Led Zeppelin.
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Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:33 am

Ugly Dougly wrote:Electronic music is easy to do, that's why it takes over. Modern culture seems to put value on seeking the path of least resistance. So simple to throw an MP3 player into the truck and instant "interactivity": people will dance to it.

Just curious: how many synthesizers or other electronic keyboards were out there? How is it that electronic music is better for dancing? It's the drumbeat that you dance to, isn't it? So who brought a drum? :)



Drummer are few.. Even fewer good ones.. I have lived next door to three young drummers.. They practised for hours on end dayly. Very few people are willing to put that much into following there dream.. Two ended up in big time music gruops.. The other moved to the UK and become a base player.. Mick Jag style.. Is now a school teacher on a indian res.

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Re: Evolution of Music Scene

Postby Bob » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:36 am

mars wrote:I'm just curious about how rave/electronic music became so prominent at burning man. I'd love a discussion here that isn't full of judgement and disdain, but just to explore how the 2 (burning man and rave/techno music) became and continues to be so connected....


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Postby EmilyD » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:41 am

mars wrote:Ya, I get it that pushing buttons is easier than tuning strings, but why is the music in the large sound camps the genre it is? Why isn't it a mix of Led Zeppelin, Rolling Stones, Beatles,...or 90's rock...Red Hot Chili Peppers, 3rd eye blind, Smashing Pumpkins, Pearl Jam, Nirvana.

Where have all the rockers gone...long time passing...


YEAH!!! Where is the rock and roll and punk music? I think I posted on another thread that we were next to DPW's gate camp on Detroit and 5:30ish. On Sunday night after the temple burn they let loose with some rip roaring, EXCELLENT punk music. It was loud and good and such a relief to that throbbing sameness that followed us everywhere and every day. I love to dance and would happily dance to rave music because it has such a deep pounding beat but it's the sameness that was so hard to take. I agree mars, it's a lot like TV.

Before anyone says "go out and set up a music camp" I have to say I'm not an audio creator and would prefer to put energy into visual art and gifts, but I do greatly appreciate sound art. I found myself craving originality after hearing the same sound so often.

I know this thread is meant to discuss the evolution of the music scene rather than be a complaint thread but by having this discussion (and thank you for starting it mars) maybe we can help the scene evolve into something more revolutionary as the visual art has on the Playa.
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Re: Evolution of Music Scene

Postby unjonharley » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:42 am

Bob wrote:
mars wrote:I'm just curious about how rave/electronic music became so prominent at burning man. I'd love a discussion here that isn't full of judgement and disdain, but just to explore how the 2 (burning man and rave/techno music) became and continues to be so connected....


Money. They buy tickets.



Great ansewer.. May I quote you on that?

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Postby alt12 » Thu Sep 16, 2010 10:56 am

EmilyD wrote:
YEAH!!! Where is the rock and roll and punk music? I think I posted on another thread that we were next to DPW's gate camp on Detroit and 5:30ish. On Sunday night after the temple burn they let loose with some rip roaring, EXCELLENT punk music. It was loud and good and such a relief to that throbbing sameness that followed us everywhere and every day. I love to dance and would happily dance to rave music because it has such a deep pounding beat but it's the sameness that was so hard to take. I agree mars, it's a lot like TV.

Before anyone says "go out and set up a music camp" I have to say I'm not an audio creator and would prefer to put energy into visual art and gifts, but I do greatly appreciate sound art. I found myself craving originality after hearing the same sound so often.

I know this thread is meant to discuss the evolution of the music scene rather than be a complaint thread but by having this discussion (and thank you for starting it mars) maybe we can help the scene evolve into something more revolutionary as the visual art has on the Playa.


FYI - If You were camped at 5:30 and Detroit, then you are referring to Gate, Perimeter, Exodus headquarters i.e "The Black Hole." They are not DPW. That's a whole other volunteer organization. Also, Best Camp Ever, usually at 2:00 and H, has live punk rock bands playing on the roof of their bar almost every year.....Its pretty fun. They also serve the shittiest drinks on the playa (everclear and tang, etc.) fitting with their punk ethos.....
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