Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Musical Expansion

So its been quite a while since I last posted on here, Nation. This topic is something that I feel I would have a better time putting in the written text, but may make a video to accompany it, so be on the look out just in case that happens.

Today I've been cycling through some of my music collection, adding some new finds, a lot of them non-metal or at least non-traditional and its made me think about myself some. Its made me realize just how much age does tend to shift your music taste a little bit here and there. In reality, no music fan should listen to the same crop of artists throughout the entirety of their lives. Its actually rather impossible to do so, especially in an age where so many bands have their material available for purchase, and its actually easier to share things around than ever before. That said, one would imagine that my recent crop of buys, finds or general listens would be aimed at new bands, or hell, metal bands. Quite the opposite, really.

Heavy metal will always have a place in my heart, and I listen to it more often than I do any other genre of music. I review it for a second living, I love talking about it, and consider myself somewhat of a guru. Ok, no I don't, people have said that about me. They've come to me for advice, etc. I'm definitely not the best guy for that in my own opinion, but as my harshest critic, of course I'd say that. Recently, I've turned to various other styles of music to find my muse. Pushing 30 doesn't make your hero over the hill where young bucks should be buying me Herb Albert and the Tijuana Brass albums, but the past year has redefined a lot about my listening habits.

Lets examine the past week just as an example. Coldplay, The Black Keys, Widespread Panic, Allman Brothers, Winger, Stevie Wonder, Santana, Afghan Whigs, just to name a few. Something seems absent, doesn't it? Where's the metal? Well, that's my spare time. The review time has been ripe with metal. Agalloch, Down, Killer Be Killed, just to name a few. However, the eclectic nature of my likes and maybe, just maybe, my age are really catching up.

As you grow up, your horizons should branch out by leaps and bounds. Its fair to prefer a style of music over all the others. After all, maybe you're just listening to a few cuts here and there from a spattering of artists, but that's still, in a way, showing appreciation for the vastness of music. After all, what really is wrong with loving jam bands, or southern rock, or new wave? What's a crime about listening to Blondie right after listening to Cannibal Corpse? Nothing. In fact, its pretty damn funny to hear the transition. Why not go from doo-wop to technical death metal to disco to rap to the blues? Beardfish to The Game to Stevie Wonder to Miles Davis? Its like musical chairs, and its a damn fun experience.

So many sounds are out there. Its not a tragedy, its a blessing. If you're ever bored with your music collection or have no idea what to listen to, just type in a name, then look on the side, at the recommended videos. Find a name that's not recognized by you, then play it. Or hell, go for a name that is, but you've never dove headlong into their work. You know who Barry White is, but you've never listened to Can't Get Enough of Your Love, Babe? Tonight's the night. Didn't realize that Joe Bonamassa did a cover of Tom Waits' "New Coat of Paint?" Listen to it, its blues bliss.

I've always been an ambassador of music, a role that hasn't always been obvious thanks to my anger-laced rants...but its because I want more out of the music of today. I want the children of this generation of teenagers to be able to go back 20-30 years musically and find work just as legendary as the wealth of musical joy we have. I don't want Lil' Wayne to be defined as the artist of this generation, because then this generation is a farce, a lie, a rouse. I'd rather shout to a small audience about the insanely talented work of those not going platinum than whisper at the masses for additional profit. You start small and you foster a change of heart. Sure, you won't get everyone, and you shouldn't. Music touches us all in different ways, and it should. But how, I ask, HOW, is someone emotionally connected with, "now come on and pop that pussy for a real nigga"? HOW? And how dead inside as an artist must you be to repeat that line in multiple songs? Is it some sort of call-back joke? Almost like Wayne saying, "i can spit the same verses and these dummies still make me platinum?" Sure seems like it. I don't care for Lil Wayne that much, but I don't see him as a moron.

Remember when something was big when you were a kid, and you wanted nothing to do with it? I do. Boy bands. Fuck. One of the most annoying fads of the late 90's which, by itself, killed the momentum of alternative rock and made it where a few similar sounding bands had to be seen as the alternative to the 4 to 5 piece boy sobbing. Nu-metal. Nope, not so new anymore, and really, not that relevant anymore, too. It has its place historically, and still maintains a fanbase, but the music many of these fans have moved on to isn't nu-metal. Five Finger Donkey Punch and Avenged Sevenfold? Nope, not nu-metal. Dissimilar sounds, man.

It may not seem like they've grown up, but they have. I see them buying Vanilla Ice or MC Hammer every so often, then shock the collective local universe by grabbing a U2 record. U2, Sonic Youth, Melvins, R.E.M., indie fans, remember where you came from.

Listen to something brand new tonight, and not from your genre of choice. Take a goddamn risk. Maybe I'm in the minority in finding this to be one of the most fun ideas or ways to spend an evening. Maybe you'd rather go on a marathon of Game of Vampires or True Life of an American Idiot, and hey, I like tv, too. I have a second channel that one of these days will be covering that with some gaming. But if you claim to love music, and love "everything" then you should try something off the wall every now and again.

Off to listen to Off the Wall. Who's the artist? Come on, this is an easy one...

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