We’re no longer called Sonic Death Monkey. We’re on the verge of becoming Kathleen Turner Overdrive, but just for tonight, we are Barry Jive and his Uptown Five.
Let’s start with some light stuff before we get into the realm of the heavy:
#1. Have you ever gone through a McDonalds drive thru window and ordered a Mick Fleetwood or a Mick Jagger? It’s really, really fun!
#2. I don’t get the popularity of Tom Waits, I never cared for his particular ’blend’ of voodoo rock, and that’s sayin’ something ’cause I have always had a very high tolerance for the weird, left of the dial stuff. I think he’s boring, repetitive, derivative, and his music (for me) is disorienting to the point of making me nauseous. Same goes for Captain Beefheart.Just had to get that off my chest. Now on to the important stuff…
#3. Do you think the music being released today by new bands is inferior to those released when you were in your teens, twenties and thirties? Well I do, overall (there have been a dozen or so really amazing albums, but not much more) and I thought that it was just because I’m getting old(er) and crotchety, turning into the very music fan I told myself I would never become. “Bands were better back in my day! They haven’t released a decent album since The Queen Is Dead! They sound just like Joy Division, why would I want to listen to a cover band when I can listen to the original?”, etc. But I’m actually starting to believe it now and I don’t know what’s changed. I can count on two and a half hands the amount of albums released since 2000 that have really affected me, really meant something to me, and that I’m sure will be with me the rest of my life.
But why is this happening? I’m probably listening to more music now and I believe I’m actually becoming more obsessive about music, so why do I find it so hard to get into new stuff?
This questions has been bugging me for quite a while now, but thanks to Paul Allen’s detailed and thoughtful dissection of this very topic it is no longer a mystery. I mean, I’m still horribly depressed over it and everything, but at least I have a reason for the “why”. Here’s an excerpt:
“Obviously we’re still able to make emotional connections beyond our teenage years. We fall in love, we have children, etc. Likewise, certain bands and songs do still find their way to my heart, and I’m sure they’ll continue to do so. But I’m ready to accept that new songs are unlikely to give me that overwhelming rush of memory and emotion that I get from the best songs of my golden age. And lately I’ve that the new artists and songs I like best are ones that remind me of older artists I like. I’m now convinced this is how rock critics keep up their careers going. They write about how established artists just aren’t as good as they used to be or about how this new band sounds a lot like this old band.
I’ll pause to let that marinate a little bit.
There are other, smaller, possibly dismissable factors in my music quagmire. First is the Hornby Effect, which says, basically, that once I became romantically happy (I met my wife in 2006), my ability to truly identify with music (the best of which is about romantic discord) was lost. Or a more recent thought centers on how analysis of a work of art can intensify our appreciation of it, but at the same time distance us emotionally from it. It’s destruction by deconstruction. Too often since I started this blog I’ve approached an album already starting to write a review of it in my head, rather than experiencing the music viscerally in the moment.”
#4. Paul is a wonderful writer and a passionate music fan, and he seems to be considering the possibility of quitting, or at least slowing down and that is unacceptable. Don’t let him do it. The blogoshere needs people, like Paul, who have a real passion for music, and who can articulate it with real intelligence and thoughtfulness. Other than the horrible and sad fact that he considers Madonna’s Immaculate Collection the best “greatest hits” package ever created (he he he!), Paul Allen is really one of a kind, and we need him around. So go visit his sight, tell him “Uncle E sent me” and tell him to stick with it for just a little longer.