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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


vintage_snowflake wrote:

tl;dr

almost but jk
but I think this contains both overanalysis and overstatement that could have been executed in far fewer words, especially without mention of our so-called ever-growing pluralistic civil libertarian culture.

For one, I think it depends on what a local level you're talking about/what region. Being on the east coast, I don't think most music journalists here have heard/paid enough attention to Eisley to conflate the two acts, especially since the barest glancing listen to A Minor Bird or any song therein will reveal that as much as they have in common, the two are really very different. And they certainly wouldn't recognize Stacy's face, or know enough to know about the band's association with Christianity which they have steadily been moving away from, image-wise, which I think you recognize.

I think you're unkind to critics too; I'd say most, music journalists are pretty passionate about listening to music and reporting on it accurately, though of course associated acts hold connotations. I'm very aware of the press procedures and deal with it quite a lot. If anything, seeing a name I recognize makes my ears perk up even more, regardless of how I felt about their previous work. The recognition alone, if it's there, begs my attention. The industry, bah, it's an industry because everything's an industry. The industry is necessary to have a national level of production of anything, so you might as well thank your stars for the industry while you bemoan its pitfalls. That doesn't mean it's a terrible place, or everyone (let alone most people) in it are machines.

There are multiple entrances into Sucre: through Eisley, Mutemath, or Jeremy Larson--or any of the music blogs who posted material for listeners who have heard none of the above.

Furthermore, there are tons of artists who don't use profanity for reasons either related or totally unrelated to religion. It just doesn't fit with some people's style, and I wouldn't call it a noticeable difference. I couldn't tell you how many of the songs I listened to today had some cussin in them, nor do I really care so long as the music's good. I don't think there's any conspiracy against Eisley for being a band which has christian members in it. Once again, I could not tell you how many of the songs I listened to today were by Christians...nor do I really care.

Sucre really very much stands on its own for me. It wouldn't so much if it were released by Equal vision, but we've seen it's very much an independent musical project and fairly free of any "baggage" from Eisley.


As far being executed in a few words: consider who we're talking about here. Longwinded is my middle name Razz

But... Laughing I'll try to be more concise.

I went into detail because in this particular issue I think details matter. As far as my reservations about the biases of journalists and the overall culture of "hipness", that's my personal perspective from my experiences as a consumer and participant in music locally and nationally in different roles at different levels. I am generalizing, but my experience isn't the only valid one, just that one fueling my apprehension.

I don't think it's a conspiracy so much as prejudice. Black Balled sounds conspiratorial, but to me it sounds better than "Jim Crowed".

As far as people knowing about Eisley, not many people here in St. Louis do either apparently, particularly in the press, since most show previews, if they {Eisley} get written up, haven't changed since 2003.

More specifically, I think the issue may just be that people don't know about Eisley, or Sucre' for that matter, so where do we all go first? Google, Wikipedia, Facebook are pretty common. I lean heavily on allmusic.com which keeps it focused on the music.

Anyway, google Sucre' (takes 3 hits to land on the band and not the shop), then google Stacy Dupree. You'll find that Eisley is the common point of reference. On the Sucre' search Eisley is mentioned immediately in reference to Stacy on the short blurb that appears with the link to the Sucre' band website. On the Stacy Dupree search, Eisley.com is the 2nd link, and Sucre' is mentioned on the 5th, and the official Sucre' page is like 11th. That may change over time, but as long as people use the preserved perceptions of the internet old-hat conversations about people will get retread again and again.

The cursing thing, I mentioned it because for some people it matters. It's not some official rule, I just know many people who respond emphatically when they get to use provocative language singing along to or quoting a song. By foregoing using it, artists sacrifice having that level of connection. In the grand scheme of things stuff like that matters when you're asking for money to support your craft. You need people on your side.

I have no illusions about the "industry" or the nature of it, good or bad. It is what it is, and serves its purpose. I just don't like cultural side effects of consumerism, or parts of my own identity or culture or taste being shat on any more than I like it when I haphazardly do likewise.

That said, I, like most here, really enjoy A Minor Bird, and all the associated artists involved in Sucre'. I, like others, am underwhelmed by the lack of critical attention the record has received in what would otherwise be "good fits" in the press (NPR, Stereogum, Pitchfork, Paste, etc.). The Industry has actually been pretty kind to them with all the affiliations they've had with clothing brands and things like that, playing promotional shows, getting Daytrotter love. I think the critical silence from the larger media outlets, let alone validation, is a little frustrating because this project specifically wasn't supposed to have any stigma. Maybe on some level some people thought that would be a factor in Sucre' doing well in terms of critical validation? I'm just explicating why that may not be the case. By nature I write exhaustively.

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vintage_snowflake
Golly, Poster


But I don't think being associated with Eisley is why Sucre hasn't gotten huge press. They don't have huge press because they don't have a well-known label (or label in general) backing them or a publicist to do outreach. It's pretty simple; not many bands break through without those tools to constantly push their name, and as it's a side project to all three involved they especially don't have the time to commit to pushing it or touring on a larger scale, especially with the baby. The best they can hope for the arbitrary viral video or the luck of a song being picked up by something big. Even though they have picked up nice spots for clothing brands or whatever, it still doesn't generate the necessary buzz to get their name to the next level.
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


They have a mAnager that handles that stuff, someone came on here about that when there were all those problems with the cds and vinyl, and i think that person has done a great job cause they have done a ton of promotional stuff, none of it breakthrough, but it's significantly more than any band on a start up boutique label of their own label could hope for, but they are not without resources and connections. I'm sorry if i undersold what they were able to do. My gripe is specific to the lack of coverage, and i'm just saying that's something Eisley has dealt with at different times. It just so happens that is a problem a lot of "Cornerstone" bands used to have, as well as the labels who signed bands that tended to play Cornerstone or tour with bands who played there.

In general tooth and nail, the militia group, BEC, Floodgate in their day, gotee, etc., seldom get mainstream coverage, and artists that get associated with them seem to have a hard time garnering any afterwards. when Copeland and MAE got picked up by the majors i thought they would get some coverage, but nope. Same as it ever was, and boom, they were oth indie again lickety split. Now here's the thing, Eisley has toured with a ton of bands that have that connotation. I don't have a problem woth that at all, but their are a great deal of people who are pretty dismissive when they get a hint of any chance the music they are listening to might be some sort of conversion tool. I know it sounds a little goofy, but i have heard ao much of it, even from Christians.

Now the whole, what does this have to do with Sucre? Well, i'ma be real for a minute:

So, Paul Meany, the lead singer of MUTEMATH was in Earthsuit ( labeled a christian band in most press i've seen) and friends with Darren, and Later they formed MUTEMATH. A lot of people embrace MUTEMATH as a Christian band for this reason, without explicitly labeling them as such. Early on they toured with a good number of bands that also fit the bill of unlabled, but accepted as Christian bands. On the DL yo!

Eisley will forever be known as a family band that may or may not still moonlight as their church band.

Jeremy Larson has always expressed his faith in his artistic output, and works with other likeminded artists fairly regularly, and bands on the DL like Eisley and Mutemath.

So that's 3 for 3. A trifecta or triumvirate, nye a trinity.

If artists like this find each other and cultivate positive working relationships to make careers without compromising their values, you better believe it's a result of necessity and there are those who are in the business of promoting values and practices contrary to theirs, and business is good.

I'm blathering on, and really you'd be better off watching teo documentaries that have a ton of superstar artists and lesser known musicians that talk about this issue and other aspects of compromising and dehumanizing things in the music business that are accepted as "part of the deal" or else:

rosanna arquette's All We Are Saying is one.

Why Should The Devil Have All the Good Music

Seriously, check them out, the major music industry, and media on that level is callous, caustic, and generally cruel, and artists are routinely punished commercially for choosing not to compromise their values and integrityfor the sake of a bottom line.

I would like to think that they don't want Sucre' to be an all consuming thing, just a worthwhile creative outlet and secondary dedicated source of income outside of their bands, which is a larger revenue split. Plus i think this is honestly the most notale thing Jeremy Larson has been a full fledged member of, so i think its success is a great boon to him.

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vintage_snowflake
Golly, Poster


I honestly had no idea Mutemath was ever considered anything close to a Christian band, and I've been generally familiar with them for a few years.

wilsmith wrote:

If artists like this find each other and cultivate positive working relationships to make careers without compromising their values, you better believe it's a result of necessity and there are those who are in the business of promoting values and practices contrary to theirs, and business is good.


See, I don't believe that. You know why they found each other and worked with each other? Because they had personal and musical chemistry, and that's why they created a unique product idiosyncratic to them. I'm not saying it never happens, but the alignment of the three members was not our of any persecuted necessity to bond together and stand strong. If anything, A Minor Bird deals with rather typical themes like love over any overt Christian values.

Maybe we're just bound to disagree, but I don't think there's a real prejudice against Sucre, Mutemath, or Eisley because of their members' personal beliefs. Mutemath's achieved a fair amount of success, and I have never seen Eisley as a project which will gain widespread recognition, much as I love it. Their sound (too indie to be mainstream, too slick to be indie) is just, at this point, not something which has superstar makings even though I think it has appeal to a lot of different people. Sucre, I think is a little different, and could be a little more popular--but once again, the limitations of it being a side project diminish the amount of energy that can be put into it.

I'm not saying Christian prejudice never happens in the music industry, but you just haven't been able to convince me this is a case where that's happened.
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wilsmith
Vintage Newbie


Smile I am being more defensive than I am trying to convince you.

Stacy toured with Darren as a member of Eisley, and he in MUTEMATH, Jeremy Larson was a touring keyboardist with MUTEMATH. Management typically puts tour rosters together, the personal relationships the come out of spending time on the road together is an act of free will. Sucre' is an act of free will. But I am also saying that in the case of Eisley, they have actively chosen to forgot the seedier sides of the business, which is part of the appeal of the band for someone like me who puts as much stock in the people making the music as I do the music.

It just so happens that Eisley played Cornerstone early on, and later played with a lot of bands on labels that normally feed talent into Cornerstone. That's what happens, it's a natural byproduct of networking. All I am saying is "wholesome" more all ages type bands tend to congregate together, and there are a lot of those bands who emerge out of the Christian Indie Rock Scene, even if they aren't "Christian" bands. Neither Eisley or MUTEMATH are "Christian" bands, they are bands that have Christians in them. I just think that the network they operate in gets kicked to the curb by the mainstream music press, and I know my generation outright rejected that kind of stuff, which is specifically why DC Talk came out with Jesus Freak, and it was such a big deal that Jars Of Clay crossed over for a while.

It cut both ways too, if a band or artist was thought to be a "Christian" artist, but evidence or statements to the contrary came out, they would get their cd pulled from religious shops that carried music or taken out of rotation on the affiliated stations etc. It's fair to say any stigma the mainstream music machine has against religious music is just apples for apples. It's pretty silly since the same industry produces both, they all bow down to Nashville (the world capital of music publishing rights).

My beef is that the old guard of music journalists are still running the ship, operating as taste makers, with old biases and grudges, which works fine because being snark is a hip thing to do, so if they just flat out ignore bands that are affiliated with a side of the industry they don't acknowledge, regardless of the quality of the output, that just cements their credibility as discerning with some people.

That may or may not be what has happened with Eisley, MUTEMATH, or Sucre.


All I know is none of the major magazines/ websites/ blogs reviwed Odd Soul, which is one of the best albums I've heard in a long time, and went places few other bands have or could. As well as MUTEMATH are doing, they are getting ignored by the mainstream too. In my head, covering Maroon 5 or the Fray, but not them??? Awww Come On!?!?! If it's really supposed to be about music, and heck even entertainment and image, well, That's bull.

http://www.metacritic.com/music/odd-soul/mutemath

Same thing happened to The Valley

http://www.metacritic.com/music/the-valley/eisley/critic-reviews

Combinations faired better

http://www.metacritic.com/music/combinations/eisley/critic-reviews

They actually cared on Room Noises

http://www.metacritic.com/music/room-noises/eisley/critic-reviews

Sucre' isn't even on metacritic.

Mad

It's not any fault of anyone in Sucre' or anything anyone with Eisley did. I know the industry operates it does for perfectly practical business reasons by their standards. I am also not stuck on stupid hoping for any project to "break big" or anything like that. I just know that there is a well documented bias against artists who embrace "traditional family values" and carry on business, or create art that reflects that, outside of genres where that's seen as ok. Rock and Roll has never been one of those genres, no matter how it's been hyphenated, and I don't think that's fair.

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