don’t you lick the things you love…

January 25, 2004 — Leave a comment

i love music. i`m a fan. i can`t say i never played air guitar, but i was more prone to play air`bass.

my fantasy job in the music business would be sound engineer however. i love good quality sound where you can hear the individual components contributing to the overall harmony.

most of my music collection is on my laptop, 20Gb of mp3s that run the gamut from metallica and tool to ella, miles, nina and the duke to wagner, bach and beethoven to fatboy slim, moby and paul oakenfold to stevie and marvin to slick rick and missy to johnny cash plus a large collection of soundtracks that allow me to indulge in my musical eccentricities.

i`m a child of the 80s, so i grew up with the big hair bands and the popular music of the era, but i also had a  large brit pop influence. we had a six hour countdown show every saturday, the host was a british expat and would cover billboard pop and country as well as the british charts. i remember getting my first `job` in the early 80s so i could buy a radio to listen to the show. my mother didn`t want to listen to six hours of `that noise` every saturday so she struck a deal with me, if i was willing to do the chores i could get my own radio. i did and for years whatever i was doing on a saturday i was locked on to it.

but that wasn`t the be all and end all of my musical education, on sundays my mother would go through her fairly extensive record collection and introduce me to a variety of things. we had a record player where you could stick in five lps at a time and as one finished, the other drop onto the turntable.

bob marley, miles davis, ella fitzgerald, marvin, aretha, the sounds of motown, soundtracks from the sound of music, my fair lady, singing in the rain. i would be on the couch reading while my mother made lunch and the records would play on. when i got to high school and everybody was `discovering` marley and the conscious lyrics, i was amazed, because the first bob marley record i`d heard was punky reggae party which was pretty much a party song.

i also spent a great deal of my formative years at my aunt`s house and her children were already in their late teens by the time i was aware of music, so i had their musical influences as well, abba, hendrix, pink floyd.

added to all of this was the music i discovered on my own, prince, metallica, doug e fresh, run dmc. my basic rule of thumb for music is that i was willing to give it a listen, not for the lyrically quality a lot of the time but for character of the music. it`s how it affects me on a visceral level.

i can`t make a blanket statement like a lot of music today is shit, but it certainly lacks a lot of charm and character, i don`t listen to much of today`s r&b because when you`ve been weaned on the classic most of the stuff out there is just a waste of studio time. it`s formulaic crap and that tends to go across the board.

the mass commercialisation of music and shorter attention spans have lead to mass production, it`s not art any more it`s about what sells. take it inagadda da vida, it`s a 17 minute drug and alcohol fuelled opus. in today`s three minute airplay ready market it would have never gotten made. same thing for concept albums, yes there is there`s the new outkast double album but that isn`t norm. in the 70s, a band wasn`t a real band until they`d done a concept or experimental album.

even though metallica has become the bane of music downloaders everywhere and became in my humble somewhat soulless and unoriginal after the black album did a magnificent piece of work with s&m which features them play with the san fransisco symphony orchestra, it`s an amazing piece of work and shows a level of creativity that is notable absent from the industry.

god i`m just going on. and i haven`t even covered the local music scene. my hands hurt and i`m hungry, so i`m going to stop here and continue later.

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