Musings on music, old, new, popular and obscure. Post punk, metal, hip-hop, funk, and rock in general. A music fan with a desire to lose boundaries on what should and should not be listened to writes about experience in music from a listener's perspective, hopefully unhindered by prior expectation.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Hello, It's Me (Again) -- Artists Cover Themselves

I thought of writing about this as I was listening to The Move's B-side to "California Man," "Do Ya." Of course, it became more familiar when it was a single five years later by Electric Light Orchestra. In and of itself, not a surprise. Plenty of covers, like remakes of movies, become far more famous than their original incarnations. Even those of us who know often forget there were two versions of The Maltese Falcon before Humphrey Bogart's, because the others just pass out of the public conscious, even when they might be preferred by many who see or hear them (which isn't the case there, barring some random dissenters, but the point remains).

The Move

Electric Light Orchestra

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

It's in the Past...And Now, We Toast -- At the Drive-In

While I can't say that mixed emotions, hormones, and a bit of over-thinking weren't at the root of the final outburst, there was only one band's end that brought me to tears. Yeah, it was high school. Yeah, it was one of the rougher years of high school (though my years in it were not all that bad, to be honest). Still, I never saw them live, and I likely never will, unless their reunion turns into something more than a handful of festival shows. I've known other fans without having to seek them out, converted various friends, and even know someone from their hometown--with all of this, no one has ever (if I recall correctly, at least) recognized my (rather minimalist, to be fair) shirt advertising them. That's not an exclusive claim, of course, but for a band that got this big--even if it was a flash when they were big--it's a bit surprising all the same.

They basically had one, one-and-a-half big hits that went around the country and the world openly. They were both off the same album, and it came out twelve years ago. The band has faded to a footnote (similar to how The Skids--see poll on the right, if you haven't--are mentioned, despite the impression I've gotten that they were well-thought of during their existence) in many ways, to the acts that followed in their wake from the splintered elements they left behind them. It's weird, really, as they feel more lost and faded than a lot of the much older (and also defunct) bands I listen to. Not in the sense of ingenuity, so much as the feeling that their impact on the public conscious, even the "indie" one, was minor, and more of a name than an associated music.

Doubtless, at least a few people who know me could guess exactly who I am talking about right now. It's possible, too, that some people will guess with some semblance of dread, though I don't think one ought to. Still, tastes are tastes, and there's no accounting for them, etc., but I ask--as always--that you approach this music, new, loved, old, hated, with an open mind and listen to it to hear what there might be in it to love for those of us who do, if you don't know already.

Here's that seemingly unrecognized shirt:

Monday, April 9, 2012

I Gotta New Sensation in Perfect Moments, So Impossible to Refuse -- Discussing Music Before It's Digested

For about a year of my life, I wrote movie reviews of all kinds, always after watching a movie, almost always for the first time, and usually while watching or listening to its special features if there were any. I had a passion for movies that was not quite the same as the one I've had for music, though it may simply be that it's a younger one. Or maybe it relates to the ability to chop up a lot of music into separate songs and break up an experience, or the ease of switching, or the fact that a lot of those things make them more readily accessible--certainly, there ought not to be anyone watching movies as they drive to and from, well, anywhere.

Yet, interestingly, in contrast, I write about music at about the same rate but at nowhere near the same "return" rate. Sometimes "you have to listen to it a few times" is code for "it's not that good but you get used to it," though I personally wouldn't swear to this being a majority or minority split (or even an even one). My experience tends to be that it's generally something true on some level for most anything. Once in a while new sounds reach past your ears to your brain--heart, if you must--but often they are just so foreign as to be too difficult to quite process the first time around, and the is a sense of conditioning involved.

In light of this, I very rarely write on bands new or old that are new to me until I've spent time with them for a while. Music-wise, of course. If I were out hanging about with some of these bands...I don't even know how that sentence ends. I'd be too away from computers too long and too often to be writing here? I'd be a life-mangled drug addict? I don't know. Nor does it much matter--the point is that it makes it hard to write about them when I'm still getting past that first point where, sometimes, all the songs might sound the same, or my brain might be clamouring for this or that familiar sound from a band I already know, or even simply to do something other than listen to music (though that isn't very common at all).

Sunday, April 8, 2012

The Dangers of Obsessive Detailing

Normally, there's a huge affair to be had in a post I make--I set aside time, I focus on whatever artist, genre or concept I'm going to talk about by listening to it, and build from there. Right now, I'm taking a sentiment intended to be a brief blurb on my (personal) Facebook account and realizing it was simply too long to fit there reasonably (even if they've removed the limitations that used to exist).

This, however, is merely to sort of let anyone who happens to read this in on how intensely, obsessively, and ridiculously in-depth I can get with arranging my digital music collection (physical music less so, though I have my days there as well).

So, I was working from in order to parse out the tracks from the Thirty Years of Maximum R&B set I recently found exceptionally cheap and used (even though much of it has been overtaken by deluxe edition reissues of the Who's albums, there are exceptions, even some not on Odds and Sods or anything). It's a lovely site, with a pictorial discography of every Who release you could possibly imagine--down to minute differences between international releases, re-releases and so on. It's kind of scary, really, but it's building a public database, isn't it?

Now, having gotten a set of 'cover art' for all my Who (digital) 45s, I decided that my other "45rpm" MP3s ought to have nice images of the sleeved labels, rather than the 45 Catalog approach of labels with cropped grooves. Uniformity, and all that.

So, this is already sounding bad enough, no?

It gets worse.

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