Thursday, 5 April 2012

The Doors are ajar to enter my musical world Ud 03/11/13

Ask yourself, what is good music taste?

I personally have a particular musical diet and it's not what most eat and drink.

My taste may be questionable to those who gargle the common and accepted flagon of mainstream and relish the constant repeats being played time and time again on the wireless.

This was never going to be an epic read but I merely intend to share with you my thoughts and insight into music and introduce artists which most will consider probable unknowns compared to the common mainstream that exists in society today.

I'm with the opinion that nobody's musical taste can be 'shit' although many will argue unless you're bang up to date with all this awful chart bollocks, you're an arsehole and have no taste.

Some state the following and 'this is how it is and any other opinion is bullshit'.  

Wrap your head around this:

1. I haven't heard of it so it's automatically shit;
2. It's depressing and/or not particularly uplifting and during it; I didn't feel immediately cheerful - so it's shit; or
3. It had no beat, so I couldn't dance to it - do I have to keep repeating the word 'shit'.

So if this really is sound logic, how do you know if you hate a particular type of food and/or drink until you try it (allergies excepted)?

If you've made that bold step and tasted it, you may not like it, but persevere and in time, it may grow on you like an overgrown beard and while initially itchy, you may even begin to like it.

So to me, music (or anything) cannot be immediately dismissed unless you give it a chance.  Now that logic has been presented to you, is it possible that you'll now have a broader sense of direction?

The mainstream mob look at each other with an expected look of exhaustion and dread and predictably say "Who are they - they must be shit?" and/or "Never heard of them so I don't care."

When this happens, it is senseless to try and educate as their mindset is set in concrete and cannot be chipped out.

Some music will never be popular so if it's not of this mainstream world, it will never be belted out on the radio or from a DJ deck.

A CD or digital audio is the only way to satisfy my needs.

This is something I accept, but this isn't 'shit', it's actually 'the shit'.

I have tried to delve into the world of mainstream music and have sadly just been doused with a heavy drenching of disappointment.

Some modern day music can be good, but it's when the repeated nonsense commences and the instrumental just has a garbled backing vocal, that's when my ears begin to bleed and I shake my head in solitary despair.

But to me, much of the 'brilliant and uplifting' mainstream music of today just insists on repetition, resulting in irritation.

I just don't see the attraction in some guy or woman voicing offensive and senseless lyrics against a banal instrumental.

With backing of "Yeah", "C'mon", "Uh, Uh", "Baby".  Or something to that effect.

My personal hatred is "Not, Not, Not, Nothing on you babe."

I could never get into the world of artists such as Rizzle Kicks, One Direction, Bieber, Kanye West etc etc.  I want lyrical content to mean something and not just an endless stream of bollocks.

Mama do the Hump?  What a wonderful song.  The chorus is sang with such eloquence and fluidity.  Err, no!

I just can't get it out of my head - when having nightmares.  This is torture to my ears and forget about Van Damme's nipples talking to him, my ear drums are begging for mercy....

Good luck to them, people are gonna listen to it and more than likely help them break record after record.  Personally, I'd like to break all their records, into smithereens.

Music does not have to cheery for it to be superb.  Nor is it a requirement for it be able to have some kind of beat so lots of crazy, brainwashed people can gesticulate with almost robotic movements when the chorus is repeated for the 68th time in the same breath.

Millions will disagree, but I wanna know, what is there to like about this shit?  I seriously wanna know.  

This isn't the only thing that grinds my gears.  Boy bands - JLS and The Wanted et al.

I'm not going to even start on manufactured groups...

Also my cogs of frustration really turn when bands decide to butcher and cover a classic song.

Hmmm, All Saints covering Under the Bridge by the Chili Peppers?  Louise doing Stuck In The Middle by Stealers Wheel?

On the flip-side it is possible for a very good cover.  An example is Nirvana doing Bowie's The Man Who Sold The World.

Here's a common misconception I wish to point out.  Atomic Kitten covered Blondie's The Tide Is High and while it was spectacularly bad and Blondie's was infinitely better, contrary to popular belief, the original was not by Blondie.

It was in fact written and performed in 1967 by The Paragons.  It remained little known until Blondie blasted it out in 1980 and so it became a myth that it was originally their song.

Still, they won't care as it was a massive hit and went to #1.  So now you know it was actually a cover version.

Also, it was the same for principle for Mr Tambourine Man himself, Bob Dylan.  It was really made famous shortly after by The Byrds.

The music that I live and breathe has meaning, (IMHO of course) and will mostly never be played on the radio - i.e not mainstream.

That's obviously bad right as nobody has ever heard of them and must be total and utter horse doo doo.

If this is so, why do Youtubers post comments like "Hands up/thumbs up if fantastic musical taste has brought you here?" or "Fuck this mainstream shit, this is proper music!"

I admit, I do like some modern mainstream, but to me, this is what 'mainstream' should be but will only be appreciated by those who are willing to dip into the bucket or obscurity.

It can only be described as innovative, and cooler than a snowman's cold bits.

If you went to a fictitious club and the DJ cranked up the obscurity dial, it'd do one of three things: 

Empty the place; encourage endless requests for mainstream; or have that select crowd baying for more of the same.

I suppose music is like any interest - many and most will never agree and some will avoid some music like the plague because it's not in the accepted public domain.

Most of the bands you are about to see may not be familiar to you but of course can be researched and available to buy either on the Internet or in music shops, but like me, you've got to get up off your arse and do extensive play-testing.

The radio isn't going to help unless you're happy to serve a life sentence and be Mr Mainstream's bitch...

I've spent many hours and a day sieving through these artists and boy was it worth it as I now have my own alternative mainstream.

Many have released album after album so they can't be that bad, right?

Who can deny that many mainstream albums by mainstream artists just have a few 'good' songs and the rest is just bilge.  These my friends, have escaped this mediocre epidemic. 

I will provide a further angle, the way I see it is that some things (like musical taste) is similar to world cinema - it's far too much effort to adapt and instead some choose to ignore it as it'll be different and will eat the usual crash, bang wallop shit storm that local radio has been feeding to us since as far back as I can remember.

Very boring as oh, what's that expression?  Yeah - 'variety is the spice of life'.

When I was younger, I too avoided subtitled films as watching a film in any other language than my own was clearly insane but now, no film of any other language could put me off as I broke my cinematic cherry with Troll Hunter for being the first Norwegian film I had the pleasure of viewing.  I wasn't disappointed...

I nearly fainted when it was actually announced to be shown in Hull because it's not an American blockbuster.

I wish I could remember the first foreign film I watched but my best guess is Switchblade Romance.  After that I was hooked and the rest as they say, is history.

Of course, music sang in another language (other than your own) is totally different....

The most important and most influential music of all, forever and a day, is classical.

Try and say with a straight face, that adverts, many past and present films and/or games don't use legendary compositions such as Mozart, Bach, Beethoven, Strauss etc etc as an advertising tool.

Resident Evil - Moonlight Sonata, The Apprentice using Prokofiev's Dance of the Knights or aka Montagues and Capulets which he wrote for his ballet Romeo and Juliet.

Can you imagine horse racing without Rossini's William Tell Overture?

These incredible works from the geniuses of centuries (sometimes decades) ago should be appreciated by the world and although the younger generation may not know of them, this should quickly change.

I hope that most of the artists I am about to reveal will inspire the mainstream mob to climb out of the generic pit and dive into my world of 'unpopular' lovelies.

Some are just great to chill to, free from a dance routine and just encourage relaxation.

Melancholy and macabre can also prominently feature.  Radiohead, where are you?

Don't be coy as I know you're there.  Don't worry - I've sold my length of rope and all the razors are blunt.  

But wait, is that mainstream?  Of course it is but how can it be?  It's depressing!

Thom and co begin Exit Music and all of a sudden, blunt razors have a purpose again....

Before my musical taste is spilt, I wouldn't be human if I didn't like some modern mainstream, but most are modern but WTF are they?

Oh, that's a new variation on 'What the Fuck' and instead, 'Who the Fuck'.  Yes, that's now a new expression.

Please take my advice, don't ignore my preaching because that level of intrigue will always hang over you like the sword of Damocles.

At the absolute minimum, at least be prepared to give them a passing glance and who knows, you may even be persuaded to stare into this new breed of hypnotism.

Once drawn into this unearthly universe of crack induced mayhem, your take on music may never be the same again.

Oh, many will probably never headline and may not even feature at yer' Glastonburys and V Festivals et al but I know what you're thinking, if they're apparently so good, why not?

I have no fucking idea as I cannot control taste and popularity....

Apart from the obvious ones, you may eventually as I do - happily inhale and exhale it.

It's a curious and daring mix of 60s, 70s, 80s, 90s, 00s and '10s'.  Is 10s even an term? 

Twenties, thirties etc fit like a glove and even the made up Noughties works but I mean tensies and/or 10sies?  Whatever eh?

Once introduced, I hope you will Linger as hopefully, you'll be such a fool for them.

The 'obvious' ones will stick out more than an audience of bruised thumbs.

So that's my rant, opinion and basic overview on what I generally think of today's music.

Okay, I like some of the very 'popular’ stuff...

I can't even pin down which style I am most taken with.  I guess it's Indie but judging by what's listed, I suppose it's a taste of chalk and cheese.

Who knows as I certainly don't.

I used to mark each new band and/or artist with a * but decided that was pointless.

I've very recently got rid of The Vaccines night as while I do go and see bands, recalling what I can remember on these pages is unnecessary as apart from different songs, music concerts don't really surprise.  They do however remain a great experience.

Songs will be sung, people will jump about and some will get chucked out by bouncers for crowd surfing.

You'll also notice that some famous leads dabbled in solo careers.  Although Brett Anderson and Thom Yorke experimented, this didn't mark a split from Suede or Radiohead respectively.

Jarvis penned some great tunes after Pulp.

Life after The Stone Roses went in different directions for John Squire and Ian Brown.  Squire formed The Seahorses and Ian Brown enjoyed a very successful solo career.

Bernard Butler insists he left and wasn't 'fired' from Suede.  Admittedly, his solo career wasn't a total disaster.

According to Brett Anderson, they are on good terms.


This list is subject to expansion and is not exhaustive.  Any future additions will be added at the bottom so look for the date change in the title of this post.

Inevitably, some of these additions will more than likely have been out there for a bit.

Album coverage is a complete waste of time.

Playlist button pushed....

The Killers
The Ataris
The Prodigy
Mumford & Sons
The Cranberries
Elbow
Super Furry Animals
Hot Chip
Neutral Milk Hotel
Detroit Social Club
The Beatles
The Hoosiers
Inspirial Carpets
David Bowie
Jet
Turin Brakes
T-Rex
The Verve
Villagers
The Drums
Headswim
The Lightning Seeds
We Are Scientists
Scouting For Girls
Madness
Queen
Pendulm
Manic Street Preachers
Keane
Radiohead
Muse
Paul Weller
Razorlight
The Fray
Nirvana
Oasis
Ocean Colour Scene
The Raveonettes
Glasvegas
James
Jarvis Cocker
Jet
The Feeling
Joy Division
Alanis Morissette
Anberlin
Broken Records
Kaiser Chiefs
Ian Brown
Portishead
The Answer
Suede
Gay Dad
Lou Reed
Midlake
They Might Be Giants 
Passion Pit
Pavement
John Lennon
The Velvet Underground
The Clash
Adam And The Ants
Fleet Foxes
30 Seconds To Mars
Arcade Fire
Besnard Lakes
Biffy Clyro
The Wannadies
Happy Mondays
Bombay Bicycle Club
Kings Of Leon
The Doors
Bernard Butler
Paper Tongues
Barenaked Ladies
The Airborne Toxic Event
Vivian Girls
Wild Beasts
Ash
Friendly Fires
Pulp
S.C.U.M
Puressence
Primal Scream
Queens Of The Stone Age
R.E.M
Get Cape. Wear Cape. Fly.
The Stone Roses
Our Broken Garden
Snow Patrol
Stereophonics
Panic! At The Disco
Paradise Lost
Paramore
Passion Pit
Animal Collective
Arctic Monkeys
The Association
Athlete
The Wombats
The Bluetones
Them Crooked Vultures
Bowling For Soup
Franz Ferdinand
Hard-Fi
Hole
The Phantom Band
Mystery Jets
Electrasy
Embrace
I Am Kloot
Band Of Horses
The Rolling Stones
Vampire Weekend
White Denim
White Lies
Feeder
Starsailor
The Gaslight Anthem
Kula Shaker
The Stranglers
Preseidents Of The USA
Blondie
Aztec Camera
The Buzzcocks
Television
The Fiery Furnaces
The Fratellis
The Good, The Bad And The Queen
The Holloways
The Jam
The Kinks
The Last Shadow Puppets
The Rifles
Kasabian
The Levellers
Light Pollution
Lowgold
Mansun
Mgmt
The Courteeners
The Cribs
The Dead Weather
The Divinyls
Red Hot Chili Peppers
Richard Ashcroft
Shed Seven
Shiny Toy Guns
Simian
The Script
The Cure
Good Charlotte
Supergrass
Ok Go
The Only Ones
We Were Promised Jetpacks
The Twilight Sad
Warpaint
The Automatic
The Caesers
Doves
Broken Bells
Katy Perry
The Bravery
The Coral
Tired Pony
Cast
Crocodiles
Kisses
Gene
Guillemots
Ian Brown
Sleeper
Supergrass
Menswear
Garbage
Echobelly
The Boo Radleys
The Charlatans
Marion
I Am Arrows
The Klaxons
Of Montreal
The Raconteurs
The Smiths
Delphic
Echo & The Bunnymen
Florence + The Machine
The Hundred In The Hands
Two Door Cinema Club
Foals
X-Ray Spex
The Kooks
Gomez
The Hives
The Magic Numbers
The Young Knives
Underworld
Longpigs
Embrace
The Shins
The Tempest Trap
The Undertones
Iggy Pop
The Who
Tapes ‘N Tapes
Frightened Rabbit
The National
Iron & Wine
The Unwinding Hours
The Decemberists
The Sand Band
Chapel Club
J Mascis
Mirrors
The Naked And Famous
The Strokes
The Go! Team
Thirteen Senses
Beady Eye
Semisonic
The Vaccines
The Pigeon Detectives
The View
The Boxer Rebellion
The Joy Formidable
Noah And The Whale
TV On The Radio
Washed Out
Bright Eyes
Girls
The Horrors
The Rifles
The Subways
The Dears
Foster The People
Bon Iver
Metronomy
Noel Gallagher
Crystal Stilts
Deerhunter
The Duke Spirit
Feist
Low
The Black Keys
The Rakes
Pink Floyd
Everything Everything
Jimi Hendrix
The Antlers
Human League
Duran Duran
Soft Cell
Lady Gaga
Gotye
Cage the Elephant
Still Corners
Editors
No Age
Placebo
Slow Club
Son, Ambulance
The Twilight Singers
Tribes
The Pierces
Brett Anderson
Thom Yorke
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart
Cymbals Eat Guitars
Air
Atlas Sound
Beach House
Future of Forestry
Sea of Bees
Seabird
Sparklehorse
Deastro
Field Music
Mercury Rev
Goo Goo Dolls
Real Estate
Sleigh Bells
The Seahorses
Surfer Blood
The Calling
Cashier No.9
The Chap
The Young Veins
Tindersticks
Smoke Fairies
The Big Pink
Owl City
First Aid Kit
Death Cab for Cutie
Blood Red Shoes
Chapterhouse
The XX
The Staves
Dry the River
Great Lake Swimmers
Ultraista
alt-J
Screaming Trees
British Sea Power
The Wedding Present
Miles Kane
Imagine Dragons
Fossil Collective
The Pineapple Thief
Paper Aeroplanes
Daughter
Passenger

So that's my easy listening.

It's really difficult to single out and recommend as I obviously have no idea what kind of music pushes your buttons.

Of Montreal, Washed Out, The Duke Spirit, Boxer Rebellion, Tindersticks, Deerhunter, Low, We Were Promised Jetpacks, Chapel Club, The Pierces, Thirteen Senses, Owl City, First Aid Kit are just a few nudges to research.

The rather funny and crude Hall Pass by the Farrelly brothers, starring Owen Wilson, Jason Sudeikis, together with Stephen Merchant did feature Quiet Little Voices by We Were Promised Jetpacks.

Also, Due Date also featured Is There a Ghost by Band of Horses.

So that's something to be going on with but if you're like me, song credits featured at the end of a movie is an excellent source to research a 'new' band.

I could further try to influence and persuade by singling out certain tunes but really, that's up to you...

Eventually, I'll have an epic set of visual posts and I really can't wait when they're all finally finished.

Or should I say, at least when one of them is finally finished... He He!

I've had these in beta form for ages now, but I sensibly chose not to rush them through and won't be made available until I'm truly happy with them. 

They unfortunately still require a huge amount of editing but I'm getting there.

Patience is a virtue but sometimes, a really frustrating one.

So in the meantime - I may revisit familiar roots as something remains incomplete.

I'm now making The Great Escape.

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