listening to music this morning….

and pondering entertainment vs. substance.

sometimes i like to be entertained.  i’ll watch a brainless movie with only the expectation of laughing.  i’ll read a fiction book for pure entertainment.  i’ll listen to music that is fun to dance to or brings fond memories of the past.

sometimes i like substance.  i want what i’m watching or listening to to mean something or have some artistic merit.  i want the movie to have a message.  i want the book to challenge me to change.  i want the music to have great lyrical depth and musical sophistication.

i got to thinking why do these two things have to be mutually exclusive.  often they are.  i mean something can’t be entertaining and deep right?  or can it?

what prompted this question?  well i was listening to this guy…

i’m highly entertained by Frank Sinatra.  his songs make me happy.  i sing along…yet, his artistry is amazing.  the level of quality that the arrangements and vocals display are still the standard even today.  i mean for goodness sakes people compare Jay Z to him (although i think that is a stretch)

then i got to thinking about this guy….

John Mayer is able to transcend this entertainment vs. substance idea.  he is loved by critics and soccer moms alike.  his ability to rip on guitar impresses musicians and his songwriting is par excellent.  his boyish looks and interaction with fans makes him accessible to everyone.

so who do you think can pull this off.  which artist, movie maker, author, musician can be both entertaining and yet retain artistic integrity and substance?

let me hear your thoughts.


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