Tuesday, November 22, 2005

Musical notes.

I've been reflecting lately on my changing, no not changing, evolving musical tastes and how they are growing to encompass a wider and far more diverse range of styles.

I believe the reasons for this are:
A) due to my works apprentices (yes I have two boys under me,(Can't believe I just wrote that)). They are bringing into the office so much interesting new stuff, which I have no quarms in borrowing during the day.
B) There has been a huge swing in the last couple of years of new individuals & bands hitting the airwaves, that are showing some genuine originality, moving away from the steady dance beats & rap.
C)My own poor efforts at understanding and playing are developing (very) slowly.

To put some context to this a little history is needed.
I went through what I can see now was a fairly revolutionary time in the music industry, i.e. the eighties, most of which I was too young to pay much attention to, but I did listen to the popular stuff of the day, the police,madness, blondie & dare I say Adam and the ants through electro pop etc.

Looking back what I found had happened & I suspect happens to all teenagers was that as I moved on to high school I started listening to what ever my group of freinds were listening to and never strayed or considered listening outside of that box.
In my case it was the eighties hair bands, Guns & roses, Kiss, Alice Cooper, Iron Maiden & thrash bands metallica, megadeth, helloween......and on into nineties grunge.
(I was always the one dressed head to toe in black, this is a poor look for a blonde, imagine if wil a pint of guinness)
To this end I now feel I have been very shallow in my narrow band width ,if you would pardon the pun.

It wasn't until my brother threw his guitar aside in disgust and left it in my flat in 1999 that I started fiddling and looking at other music.
I found old blues form the 20's / 30's appealing & dare I say old folk music. I can't believe I even got dragged to a George Melly jazz concert and enjoyed it.
Anyway Its been like this for a few years. Give everything a chance, see if I can suprise myself.
I now will not outrightly dismiss listening to anything just on the basis of musical genre & what it represents, to the point where I now argue with people when the only srtuctured critisisum the can put forward is 'well it's crap i'nt it'.

Anyway heres my point, I think I may have finally put my finger on what I like in music and why I tend to veer away from the steady beats of dance , disco, drum & bass, etc.


Simple as that, I found I like music with a bit of chaos in it.
By this I don't mean random improvised jazz that just flys off in all directions, but structured chaos (if thats not contradictory?)
The most obvious example of this, and Im going to hate my self for saying it is Queens 'Bohemian Rhapsody"
The point is that it is structured enough to produce a pleasing melody, but it has the elements of changes in key and tempo, rythm throughout that keep it interesting for the ear. This is what appeals, not the listen once and forget stuff, but the musical changes that keep a peice interesting & wanting to return to it. If this makes sense?
Im finding this interesting chaos in so much music at the moment.
I've discovered that I'm enjoying the re-surgence of punk. Go figure that out.
I like a lot of classical,I would have laughed at this not so long ago.
Have falen in love with old progressional 70's rock like Deep Purple & Hawkwind etc.
A lot of the new indie bands have so much to offer, as well as having a raw, unproduced feel and energy to them. The new 'Arctic Monkeys' stuff that I have.....er.....obtained. Prime example.

My point is that it has taken me 35 years to suddenly wake up to the fact I my outlook had been so shallow(& by shallow I mean a puddle).
Does this happen to every one eventually?
I don't know. I'm sure it's unique for everyone. Or some just don't care.
Im glad starting to find my way.


Mind you this new insight didn't stop me going retro & spending three hours in the mosh pit at the UEA, Norwich when Motorhead played. Spanking!

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