Wednesday, January 21, 2015

A tl;dr on music. Don't mind me. Just venting a little.

NEW BELLE & SEBASTIAN ALBUM!! You have no idea how happy this makes me. I don't know if I've recounted my full history with Belle & Sebastian but I feel in love with them way back in 1998 when If You're Feeling Sinister landed on my college radio station playlist. I've seen them many times in concert and will see them twice more this year.

The thing is… a new Belle & Sebastian album also makes me kind of sad because I remember the days when I used to get excited about new albums from new bands landing in my inbox at the radio station. I realized that I don't have a single outlet that I trust to find me music that I might like from America or the UK or basically anywhere not in Asia.

Bollywood and the other Indian industries can display their songs in film. I watch the film, listen to the songs, and maybe I like them and buy the soundtrack and make note of when they're touring. That's how I first figured out who young Anirudh Ravichander was. That's how I just found Sean Rolan a few weeks ago. Japan has shows like Music Station where they bring on a variety of musical acts every week--rock, pop, soul, rap, you name it!--and I can hear new bands and get reminded of old bands. And Japan and Korea have lots of opportunity for different artists to do the themes to dramas and animes every season. There are lots of ways to get exposed to new songs.

Not only do I not know of any American program that would do something similar, I don't trust American music critics. Like, at all. There is this attitude that must have emerged with the punk/grunge scene that nothing can be too commercial (i.e. if the plebes like it, it's bad) and nothing can be too "fancy" or slick (i.e. IT'S FAKE AND YOU'RE A SELL OUT). And the worst thing with most of these music critics is that they know nothing about music!!! It's not professional musicians who might be able to give insight writing reviews. No, it's too hip for you j-school dumbasses writing to sound cool for other hipster dumbasses. Great. No wonder the music industry is in trouble over here with the entire critical class salivating over that AWFUL band Haim. (THEY ARE SO MEDIOCRE) And/or trying to pretend to like whatever the cool "urban" *cough* song is so they don't get called racist by that New Yorker critic. You know what I'm talking about.


Because here's the thing… most people don't really care about music. Not really. That's what the success of things like Spotify say to me. Most people are happy to have low-fidelity music pumped at them at random. If it sounds familiar-ish, that's good enough. (*cue all country music sounded the same in 2014).

Because here's the other thing… most people don't like unfamiliar sounding music AT FIRST. That's why movies, shows like Music Station, and drama soundtracks are so great. You are forced to sit and listen to things you don't know. The whole way through. Many times. Sure, maybe you end up hating it but maybe something weird sounding ends up growing on you and you find a new favorite band. That's happened to me quite a few times.

AND on top of that, because most people don't really care about music, visuals are important for people to latch onto a song or a band. Whether it's a picturization or an album cover or a pop idol lip-syncing her latest hit. People LIKE to have a visual to go with their songs. WE LIKE IT, OKAY?! AND THERE'S NOTHING WRONG WITH THAT.

I went out on a few dates with an utter douchebag recently--seriously, why do I always feel the need to "try" dating again every few years?--after me talking about how much I loved concert DVDs (Did I mention I love concert DVDs?) I brought up Justin Timberlake's 2003 Live From London, which is fantastic. And the douchebag was like, "Oh, I'm so glad to hear you say that. I thought you only liked weird/old stuff." (I forget which it was.) BUT the implication was the same. I don't get it. I like the Beatles, I like Nirvana, I like Dolly Parton, Donny & Marie, Pharrell's "Happy," Daft Punk, BRITNEY SPEARS. I mean, if my tastes are too old/weird I just don't get it. Where is the American music for me that's not just that one Daft Punk album from last year and "Happy"?

Sometimes I feel like all of American music bought into that awful, smug Sondheim song making fun of the idea that people want a tune to hum as they're leaving the theater. YES. I WANT A SONG TO HUM WHEN I'M LEAVING THE THEATER. Is that a crime?

You can keep boring Haim, I'm listening to Boys Republic.


Apex said...

Haha agree same here
That's y this is being churned out for the closing reels
Try it --liked the vocals & sound

Apex said...

Sorry just checked --
Folks--the above clip contains some relatively explicit stuff and provocative images
Not for minors and prudes
Ps: this is Only for lovers of meaningful 'mature' cinema (like myself)

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