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Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 6:14 pm
by julius
When the first Campus Five album was recorded, Hilary had not been singing very much yet (certainly she did not have the experience she does now). I think she sounds pretty stiff and even a little bit nervous on the album. She's definitely a lot looser these days live. Jonathan, I think you'll just have to recognize that a lot of people who haven't heard your band live a lot base their impression on your albums.

Have you guys ever heard early Diana Krall? Her vocals are hilariously inept and unpolished. Of course these days they're too polished and perfect...

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 7:41 pm
by funkyfreak
Thread in Reprise:
Campus Five wrote:Titan Hot 7 kinda sucks, but some are good.

On that note, why is Dixie and Groove so popular?
Other People wrote:Campus Five's singer kinda sucks, but the rest of your band is amazing.

On that note, where's Dixie being played?
Campus Five wrote:**** this, I didn't ask for critique!
I love this board.


Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 8:13 pm
by Campus Five
At no point did I say the Titan Hot Seven sucked. I said they weren't the greatest thing ever. Two of the members are really great, the rest are not at their level. That doesn't mean "please tell me about my band". I didn't ask for a personal attack. A couple of people just decided to pick on Hilary today - I've learned already that everyday is open season on her.

Besides, if you don't think there is enough dixiestuff, or that my perception of how much trad is out there is wrong, you could say just that. Its not like I go insulting your friends or dance partners if I don't like what you played or how you danced in a contest.

For the record here's all I said about the THS:
I have to say I'm a bit mystified by everybody going gaga over the Titan Hot Seven. They play loud and fast - is that all anybody cares about anymore? Bob's great, Jeff's great, but honestly rest of the band is just getting by. I guess they do roll around on their backs when playing - guess I've just seen to it too many times.

Those modern "jazz" or "rat pack" bands aren't Swing bands. Just as neo-swing and jump blues bands aren't. But, neither are Dixieland bands.
Just because there aren't good swing bands doesn't seem like a good reason to laud non-swing bands.
C'mon this is just bullshit. Geez of all the other crap that people write on here everyday and nobody cares about.
Thanks, I'll just keep "ruining perfect songs" and "sucking the life out of swing tunes" from now on. Fuckers.

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:04 pm
by GemZombie
Hey Jon, don't lump us all in there. You know I dig your bands and what you do.

When you make a comment, no matter how small, about another band, I think it's fair to say that others are going to critize yours as well. That's the music industry I would think. Some of us won't agree with your critics, while others will. *shrug*

Oh, and I agree the "Hilary Sucks" comments were out of line, it's not like Jon said that about the band. Some of the folks were offering criticism, which I again think is fair, while other(s?) seemed to be making it personal.

Posted: Fri Mar 11, 2005 9:48 pm
by Nate Dogg
I own Crazy Rhythm, I play songs from it from time to time.

I think I will play it more, especially the songs that Hilary Alexander sings on.

I hope Jonathan does not get discouraged and leave the Board.


Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 6:55 am
by funkyfreak
Campus Five wrote:I said they weren't the greatest thing ever.
I interpreted "rest of the band is just getting by" incorrectly then, my apologies on that.

Although the following posts to yours weren't handled with as much tact as yours, there's still nothing wrong with your consumer commenting on how they feel about your services, eh? Perhaps another thread would be better and make it feel less like you were blindsided?


Posted: Sat Mar 12, 2005 11:50 am
by falty411
falty411 wrote:
Campus Five wrote: I feel like if there's no tuba or washboard, or if there's no organ nobody's interested.
actually its more like, if there is a Hilary Alexander involved, nobody is interested.

don't get on your high horse about people caring about swing when you ruin perfect songs by adding a vocalist that sucks the swing right out of it.
lets get this straight

nobody said anybody "sucks", I did say that somebody "sucks the swing right out of it". She doesn't swing as a vocalist and makes the rest of the band sound flat. I found it completely ironic that you were doggin on people for not caring about swing when you yourself are adding an instrument (be it a washboard, tuba or vocalist) that doesnt swing to your own music.

I am not attacking your band at all actually i said the songs were "perfect", in fact I would of bought both of your albums had hilary's vocals been completely removed, in fact they would probably be 2 of my most played albums. But because I care enough about swing, I havent purchased them.

I understand this isnt a thread about critiquing your band, nor did you ask for it. But if you are making a product that is released to the public, you are going to get critique. Also, if you dont like what I have to say, ignore it. But you have to also think that I am one of your potential customers (and its obvious I am not the only one that feels this way).

I am sorry if i bashed on you, but just like "nobody caring about swing anymore" pisses you off, vocals that IMO ruin a great swing song piss me off.

If you want to talk about it in person, I am teaching at The Oberlin Jazz Dance Festival where I think you are playing and DJing, we can talk about it then.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:19 am
by Marcelo
Gurureuben wrote:I never ask for criticism either, but boy do I get it... and boy do I ignore it.
paging Kevin Van Meter...

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 1:32 am
by Marcelo

I will say two things:

1) Jonathan has done more than any person in recent memory to bring great live swing music to Los Angeles. Yeah, he's set in his opinions about trad jazz and bands like TH7, but that's his right. Regardless of Jon's opinons on other forms of jazz, you simply cannot seriously question his dedication to keeping live swing music alive and of a high caliber.

2) I respectfully submit that a lot of people (not necessarily you, Mike) bash Hilary's singing for reasons that have nothing whatsoever to do with the way she actually sings. There's a big fat lump under the rug of LA dancing that no one actually ever talks about publically, so instead the people on either side of this sordid tale take turns bashing each other in various unrelated arenas. I wish the people who try to bring Hilary down by trashing her singing were truly honest about the reasons they disliked her as a person, and would leave her singing, which is actually pretty decent, out of it.

*finishes his obligatory post in swingdj's for the first quarter of 2005*

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 2:51 pm
by Ryan
Marcelo wrote:I wish the people who try to bring Hilary down by trashing her singing were truly honest about the reasons they disliked her as a person, and would leave her singing, which is actually pretty decent, out of it.

I actually just dislike her singing, and I'm someone with a history in L.A. that has no beef whatsoever with Hilary. Honestly I don't think it's about the conspiracy theory dude.

Posted: Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:29 pm
by Marcelo
Well then you're not who I'm talking about. :)

Posted: Mon Mar 21, 2005 6:53 pm
by djstarr
Getting back to Titan Hot 7, I got their new CD last week - it's called "Out of the Box". And the drummer even hand wrote a little note to me, that was very nice.

Really like Rose Room (the track Jim had on his show), Love me or Leave me, and Minor Swing. Nice CD.

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 10:28 am
by julius
Amusingly I was just given a sack of CDs bought from an estate sale, and it contained "Jam In Music City" by the Titan Hot Five (at the time, they were a separate band and Draga/Barnhart were not in it).

It's pretty sweet, but not as sweet as this discussion from 2005.

Anyway, I wonder if this CD is incredibly rare given that it appears self-produced and dates from 1998. Gonna go through the rest of the CDs soon.

Posted: Fri May 17, 2013 2:44 pm
by kitkat
I missed this one the first time around. :shock:

Aside: Julius, that's an awesome gift.

It is amazing now that we have so many small combos around the country that are dedicated to right-in-the-middle swing for lindy hoppers. (Not too groovy, not too trad-ey.)

Live music has really changed for us since 2005.

(Come to think of it, Youtube has also changed how such a band gets its "what sound to expect" message out to swing dancers. :idea:)

Posted: Sun May 19, 2013 11:21 am
by julius
I'm not privy to the national scene's live music situation anymore, but from my perspective there are certainly still many times more "trad jazz" bands than swing bands like Jonathan's. Now that I'm playing in one of the former, it's obvious why. Swing music requires an immense amount of work vis a vis arrangements, unless you have a regular group of musicians who can rehearse together (i.e. head arrangements).

With the more common trad approach, it's basically "play the head, do ensemble choruses or solos, play the head again" with maybe some ornamental frippery. That requires virtually no work in comparison.

It seems to me jazz started that way, then went to more heavily arranged music with swing, then went back to the head/solo/head process with post-war jazz and stayed there. I wonder if that had anything to do with its relative popularity -- once the swing craze started, the money to hire enormous bands and write complicated charts was there.

(Well, I guess I'm ignoring post-war big band music, which is always heavily arranged. Will have to think about that one.)