Posts Tagged ‘finding new music


Escaping boring music

  It’s funny how different types of music can either excite us or bore us. There are so many different facets to appreciating music, so many reasons why we appreciate music and a lot of the time it’s not just the music, it’s the image and the associations and the lyrics etc…

That’s why I’m skeptical about music ‘scientists’ trying to find a formula for why some music is ‘good’ and other music is ‘not good’. Music appreciation is more than just listening to a bunch of notes and ‘aural vibration’, more than just ‘the C chord’ followed by the ‘F chord’ with a nice melody thrown in.

That’s kind of what punk rock proved back in the 70’s -anyone can pick up a guitar, any kid can join a band and rock out. And they became popular not so much for their musicianship but they clicked with their audience. In fact, rather than the puncy rock stars who became separated from their audience, they were part of their audience.

And that’s important for youth -searching for your identity and people you can connect with. I was from the ‘grunge’ generation but personally I connected more with Jimi Hendrix and the 70’s punk bands, and kids today still get into Led Zeppelin and The Beatles.

But now as I’m well into my thirties I’m searching for new types of music, such as traditional Asian music. That’s a completely different appreciation -I don’t have any relationship with the musicians as such because I don’t know who they are, but I relate to the music from living in Asia and getting into things like Taichi.

Since I like songwriting I find I’ve got to keep exploring music to find inspiration, whether it’s bebop jazz, 80’s pop, hiphop, post-rock, Taiwanese indie bands etc…There’s so much out there to explore and learn, and I think it’s important to have an open mind.

Besides, rock just gets boring after a while. Unless the songwriting is good or they’re exploring interesting harmonies or bringing in an outside influences, most rock bands are boring. Especially commercial rock where they churn out the same safe melodies -they’ll be catchy for 15 minutes then thrown on the waste-pile of wannabe hits.


Searching music online…

2:24 pm

As a fan of music, it’s overwhelming how many bands and artists can come at you these days. It’s crazy. And it seems to be one of the biggest problems at the moment.
Piracy may seem like a problem -that probably is for established acts who sold in the millions when everyone was buying CDs. But for the majority of musicians it’s the monumental task of helping music fans and consumers connect with the artists and types of music they want.
This is what I’m reading and picking up from books like “Net, Blogs and Rock’n’Roll” and music industry bloggers -but I’m experiencing it more acutely. Particularly because I’m fussy about my music, and it’s often not genre based. I once came out of a CD store that had a sale with Groove Amada, 2Pac and Ice House -that raised an eyebrow from the shopkeeper.
But aren’t most music fans like that? By the time we’re into our twenties, anyway, because we’ve been through several stages perhaps -the pop stage in early teens, then classic rock, or punk, then emo, then maybe some form of metal, or hiphop, then 80’s pop, then singer-songwriter -then if you play an instrument you probably dabble in a bit of jazz or fusion etc… Because for many of us music is about exploration.
But the net has opened up so much choice -it’s both good and bad. I know there are some bands and artists out there that just suit me to a tea, but how do I find them? And it seems like every day, I mean literally every day, there are bands and artists coming at me both online and in the mainstream media that I’ve never heard of before, but journalists etc are telling me I’ve got to check out.
It’s a big world out there, and any band in any city that builds a following into the hundreds of thousands will be talked about -but the net allows them all to be talked about and it’s too much to absorb.
But is there an answer to it? Harking back to the old days of MTV, the problem was they had so much control to dictate our tastes -Do we want a monster like that? iTunes is handy for buying music from all kinds of artists and genres, but I wouldn’t want them dictating what I should buy -because then it’s back to the lowest common denominator, like Britney Spears and boy bands etc…
The way I’m coping is I write down any bands/artists I read about in the media that seem to be up my alley in a list throughout the week, then I’ll check them out (on Myspace, Youtube etc) and see if they’re what I might get into. The problem is, it’s often hard to say after one listen, and I can easily collect over ten bands in a week.
My theory is, for most music fans, they’ll become fans of particular artists because a) their friends are into it, then b) they see the band/artist at a gig or festival, and get into them from the experience. c) would be some form of radio -but these days it’s more like they would have to chose which radio -online or traditional etc… and that’s more up to the individual and perhaps whether they drive a car to work.