Friday, June 29, 2007

An Ever-Expanding Universe

Music is very, very important to me.

In my life thus far, there have been several instances where my musical tastes have broadened, hit a plateau, then broadened again.

By plateau, I mean that I was enjoying music still, but I wouldn't be listening to any unfamiliar music. Maybe I would come to the rather silly conclusion that there was nothing more out there, no more music that I could find to like, or no music that was worth the effort in searching out.

The last plateau happened when our eldest kids were born back in January of 2003.

This was a little different kinda plateau. It was more like all the sudden I had kids. I couldn't necessarily play just any of the music I wanted. I couldn't play Song X because its dissonance would make one of the kids cry, or couldn't play Song Y because it had the word "motherfudger" in it -- stuff like that.

Don't get me wrong, I have played and still play a helluva lot of good music for the kids, but there *was* a limit to what I could play.

As I think about it, just the sheer upheaval that having children causes is probably the core reason why my musical tastes were put on pause. Yes, that last sentence rhymed. No, it wasn't intentional.

So, my tastes languished a bit, until I started getting into music online. I feel that my exposure to unfamiliar music has grown exponentially with the use of the computer, and the use of a portable MP3 player.

In this post, I thought it would fun to share some of the songs I have only recently been exposed to with you, gentle reader.

Many of these songs are not new. You might know them, you might like them already, you might enjoy them if you give a listen. That's the music player, over on the right. Pipe up and say something, dammit. Let's talk about music, alright?

Long live music. Without further ado, here are some songs from my most recent taste-broadening. The links are just to the bands' respective Wikipedia entries -- the song "jukebox" is on the upper-right of the blog.

The Raincoats - Fairytale In The Supermarket
-- from The Raincoats (1979)
Wow, this song is so damned snotty. I love it.

Boubacar Traoré - Duna Ma Yelema
-- from Macire (2000)
It's not in English. I have no idea what he's talking about. It's still incredibly powerful, even without knowing the words. Amazing guitar-playing, an amazing voice. It is the musical equivalent of melancholy, I think.

The Clean - Twist Top
-- from Unknown Country (1996)
If I could be in any band, I'd be in The Clean. A pop band, but a pop band with great sensibilities, inventive musical playing, and the undeniable power of THE HOOK. "Three million people can be wrong, three million people can be wrong."

Pugh Rogefeldt - Colinda
-- from Ja dä ä dä (1969)
You won't find this guy on the English version of Wikipedia. You haveta go on the Swedish one. This is such a pretty song, with a nice dissonant freakout at the end. Finding this artist was the equivalent of running into a movie theater to get out of the rain, only to discover a foreign film that affects you on a deeply personal level. And no, the foreign film isn't dubbed in English, and it doesn't have subtitles.

Can - Moonshake
-- from Future Days (1973)
I had listened to German experimental bands like Faust and Neu!, but for some reason never gave these guys a try. Which was a mistake. Moonshake is a shorter, poppy song of theirs, but it's all good, people. It's all good.

We Look Like Girls - whap
Well, what the hell, I might as well as put a song recently done by Tim and myself, right? Tim and I have about ten or songs in progress, which are actually nothing like this one. But I like it, and I hope you do, too. No warbly vocals from either Tim or myself in this one! w00t, as the kids say.


Allen Lulu said...

Before my daughter died, we had a deal. She knew what "bad "words were and she never used them. But, I hated when she would sing a song by one of her favorite bands, Bowling for Soup or Dresden Dolls or Green Day and stifle herself when that word came up. So, the deal was, as long as she never used those words outside of singing, with me, int he car or at home, she could sing them as loud as she wanted. it worked out great. Unfortunately, now I can't listen to any of those bands and more because they alk remind me of her, but it was the best bonding time we ever had.
You are a lucky man.

Dale said...

Online music has revolutionized my brain Splotchy. I've always enjoyed 'alternative' but now the road winds and turns and I generally am able to stay between the lines, I love it.

Splotchy said...

allen, that sounds like a brilliant idea. It strikes me as something very respectful to do in regards to your child's mind and personality. I don't know if I'm quite ready to tackle it yet, but maybe when the kids get a little older.

dale, Viva La Revolución!

lulu said...

I love the little jukebox; you always seem to have the coolest technology on your blog. I bow to you.

Johnny Yen said...

That's funny-- I had the exact same experience. When my son was 4 or 5, I suddenly "discovered" a bunch of songs from 1994, the year he was born. One of my favorites, Stone Temple Pilots' "Interstate Love Song" was one of them. I was so damned busy with work and caring for a small child, my energy to pursue new music vanished for a while.