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By clock (Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 09:23:32 AM EST) (all tags)
with a set of music lovers on one side and musicians on the other, where am i?

Every so often I get hit with just how many years have passed since whatever event in my life and it feels really weird.  Not nostalgic or tinted with some kind of strange longing, but truly odd.  Like biting into a bowl of Cheerios and finding an unexpected raisin.  It's not bad or anything.  Just a weird surprise.

I mentioned a while back that Vernon Reid has a podcast now and it's been an interesting listen.  Hearing anyone's take on the Marvel universe is always fun but it pushed me toward his music again and I've been doing some listening.  When you mention Living Colour the first track that comes to mind, probably, is Cult of Personality.  It starts off with a recorded sample (less politics, more guitar) and then lets fly with one of the most recognizable and kick-ass guitar licks I've ever heard.  And that lick takes me back to where I first heard it.

When I was in junior high school I started playing the guitar rather seriously.  As a serious student of the instrument, I was all about the monthly magazines because, well, there was no real internet outside of the BBS community I screwed around with and as such there was no other source for current information.  I remember that a buddy of mine who played bass came over with the latest Guitar $something magazine and on the cover was a guitar that looked like it had gotten the Jackson Pollack treatment.  There were painted hands over it too.  We opened it up and, as was the custom of that mag, there was a plastic record stapled inside like a subscription card.  We tore it off and put it on the record player.  That sample started and then the lick kicked in.  I think we listened to that track a dozen times before we said anything.

Google tells me that would have been 1988.  Fuck.

Climb into my head for a second and realize that what's upsetting here is not that I feel old or whatever.  It's that I can probably count on my fingers the number of times I've been hit by music like that.  That one is particularly Vivid (HA!  See what I did there?!?!).  Another was finding the King Crimson live album they recorded in Asbury Park.  That one that in vinyl had an ingot of something with something like "USA" stamped in it - I got it for $0.99 in a bin at RevCo (the dead drug store).  That live jam?  The one where Bruford starts off with the drum roll and everything starts to slowly come into play?  Gave me chills then.  Wish like hell I still had that piece of vinyl.  Maybe at my mom's place.  I don't know.

Still inside my head?  Cool.  One more thing.

Running down these musical moments as I tend to do from time to time it occurred to me while cycling the other night that I am not, in fact, a music lover.  I'm a musician.  The two sets don't overlap entirely.  I really, really love playing music.  Making it.  Creating and organizing sounds.  That totally gets me off in a way that makes no sense.  It's my thing.  But listening to music isn't all there for me.  I have tons of music that I really, really dig listening to but I don't turn on the radio or grab random shit off of the internet and blow a load every time.  I know people who love music for whom every new track is something awesome.  I'd liken it to the way I never get sick of Pringles.  The idea of a single chip is absurd.  They are eaten in stacks.  In a way, I envy the music lovers who can dive in like that.  Part of me feels that I would be a better musician or even a better person if I could be more of a music lover.  But I'm not.

And pay attention here!  I'm not a music snob!  Well, I am, but that's not the deal here, I don't think.  I'm not out there sifting for great new stuff all the time (only once or twice a month, really) and only keeping the nuggets of gold and talking shit about everything else.  I just don't dig a lot of stuff.  And the stuff I do love is suspect.  The last time you screamed along to "Space Age Love Song" during your commute was...?  You have included "Laid" by James in how many playlists?  Do you keep a stash of a-ha lying around for just the right moment when you're home alone and want to see if you can hit that pitch?  Didn't think so.  And don't start my on my Rush collection (yes, I have them all and I do plan on getting the 2112 guitar hero game thingy).

And yes, in all of that I have about a gig of good jazz and plenty of stuff that would make people think that I'm a connoisseur of the best music - but there's probably a fair chunk that I can listen to and relate fine stories about but don't really want to rock out with.  This is why I'm a horrible failure when it comes to talking about music with other people:

friend: "Hey!  Did you get the new album from $hotIndieActWithBeardsOfJustice?"
me: "You mean those dudes with the hats?"
friend: "Yeah!  It's awesome, right?  Way better than ArcadeDeathCabGrizzlies, right?"
me: "Yeah...yeah...great stuff!  I really like that one with the riff."
friend: "Yeah!  You should check out the band that opened for them.  I think they're called $ironicNonName."
me: "Cool!  I'll see if I can hit 'em up on emusic."

It's embarrassing.  Almost as bad as someone asking me to play a song without the chart because I never learn other people's tunes.  Just ask technician or littlestar - without a chart or a quick run through, I'm worthless!

Wow.  So this is a long way of saying that I put Cult of Personality on my kettlebell playlist along with Stone Temple Pilots and Linkin Park (see that?  DO YOU SEE?!?!?!).  Oh and kettlebells are a good workout.  Almost two weeks in and I'm feelin' it!

And there ya go.

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on musical venn diagrams | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback
(Comment Deleted) by aggressive cyclist (4.00 / 1) #1 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:00:53 AM EST

This comment has been deleted by aggressive cyclist

Living Color by Breaker (4.00 / 1) #2 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:13:43 AM EST
"Type" was what was released here when LC broke.  I remember listening to the opening riff and going WTF what is he doing there to get those chime sounds?

Then, why did they put that crap bit in where the guitars go all limp?  MOAR DISTORTION KTHX!

Hee hee by littlestar (4.00 / 1) #3 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:17:04 AM EST
Love James Laid, have it on all playlists, that made me laugh when you listed it. Also, STP are rock n' roll, still love to sing as loud as I can while driving in the car with them on. I am a music lover however, and listen to varied music daily, reggea, jazz, folk etc. I'm also so happy to have new music shown to me, technician is great for that, and discovering new bands or old bands that are new to me. I eat music for lunch.

re And the stuff I do love is suspect. by ks1178 (4.00 / 1) #4 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:39:35 AM EST
I was with you on this, that your taste might be suspect:

last time you screamed along to "Space Age Love Song" during your commute was...? 

But that's primarily because I've  never heard of it.

But, yes, Laid is in almost all ofmy generic good music playlists, and I love "Take on Me" (the first time I saw that video was one of those Aha moments that you describe in regards to Living Colour).

And the rest of the bands you listed I like alot too. But I'm more of a music whore, and pretty much anything with a decent beat, lyrics or melody is all good by me.

My Ipod is a total list of, I can't beleive you have that crap, when others view it.

Living Color is my favorite Black Metal band by barooo (4.00 / 1) #5 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:59:17 AM EST
See what I did there?

I should figure out how to record.  I wrote the other day what may be the most badass bass riff I've ever played that wasn't from the 1977-1978 era of Rush.  Brutal as fuck but not really super fast or super tricky, the sort of thing I could groove around all day except it would tear the pads off my fingers to play that long becuase it requires an attack almost like clawhammer banjo.  Almost makes me think there's a song around it. 

I find that kettlebells work best with stuff like the dropkick murphys or such.  Just like deadlifts work best to old metallica like Damage, Inc. or Creeping Death.

man, i need a beefy taco now.
Recording by Breaker (2.00 / 0) #16 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:59:36 PM EST
You just need an ADC which goes into your computer.  It'll take a feed off your amp and into either a firewire or USB socket.


Or even simpler at no cost for a very lo-fi recording, get some ordinary headphones, plug them in the MIC port and dangle the buds in front of the amp.  Use Audacity to record.

[ Parent ]
ArcadeDeathCabGrizzlies are so over. by wiredog (4.00 / 1) #6 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:06:54 AM EST
They're, like, so last month. All the kids these days are listening to $LatestMadonnaKnockoff.

Earth First!
(We can strip mine the rest later.)

The two sets don't overlap entirely. by ana (4.00 / 1) #7 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:14:38 AM EST
Yeahthat, only my craft is fiction. I'd rather be writing it than reading it, for the most part. There are plenty of books out there that amazed me in some way or other and I'm glad I read them. But reading other people's stuff doesn't make the little people in my head shut up.

"And this ... is a piece of Synergy." --Kellnerin

My take by Phil the Canuck (4.00 / 1) #8 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:33:19 AM EST
Are the people who get off on every new song or band really having the same experience that you did with Living Colour, or is it something less substantial?  Because, well, I'm a music lover that gave up creating it a long time ago.  I've only had a few moments where something just blew me away, everything else is just, "yeah, that's cool.  I like that".

I'd argue that you're only a music lover if you can have those moments where a specific song or riff can take you back like that, make you relive the moment.  You're the music lover, everyone else is just consuming.

I heard a story on NPR (probably) by garlic (4.00 / 1) #9 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:35:20 AM EST
about our tastes in things getting set in stone as we age, and our willingness to try new things to whither and die. So I've been trying (with some success) to intentionally go out and find new music. And I've been going to little tiny venues where very enthusiastic 20 year old music students are just starting out and it's awesome to see them succeed and improve and it's also just nice to see live music. Being in a big city means I have more options for finding the styles of music I like, but I highly recommend everyone go see what the kids are playing at the local bar sometime.


Absolutely by houser2112 (4.00 / 1) #11 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:32:28 PM EST
My musical tastes solidified during my junior year of high school, and have not changed one bit since.  Aside from discovering new bands within the very narrow genre range I consider acceptable, I don't seek new music.  And I like it that way!  Get off my lawn!

[ Parent ]
The Black Keys? by ammoniacal (4.00 / 2) #10 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 11:58:11 AM EST
The Black Keys!

"To this day that was the most bullshit caesar salad I have every experienced..." - triggerfinger

2112 in Guitar Hero?! by houser2112 (4.00 / 1) #12 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:37:33 PM EST
How did I miss this?  Too bad "Warriors Of Rock" is not being released for PS2.  I'm not about to buy a new console for one game.

I might, too by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #13 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:40:38 PM EST
as the GH with Rush also has the Killers, who fourteen year old likes.

[ Parent ]
do what, too? by houser2112 (4.00 / 1) #14 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:48:27 PM EST
I said I wasn't going to buy a new console. :)

I do have an accursed Wii, though, but that would require me to buy a Wii controller.  Is there a way to use a PS2 GH controller with Wii?

[ Parent ]
Get the GH with Rush by georgeha (4.00 / 1) #15 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 12:53:43 PM EST
I picked up an older Gh for Wii, with controller, for $10 at a garage sale this summer.

From surfing, I got a deal!

I don't know about using the PS2 controller though.

[ Parent ]
Garage sales are a possibility by houser2112 (4.00 / 1) #17 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 01:14:01 PM EST
The Wii does have USB inputs, and I'm pretty sure there are PS2->USB converters available, so that's another possibility.

[ Parent ]
Or Tigerdirect by georgeha (2.00 / 0) #20 Mon Oct 18, 2010 at 10:47:11 AM EST
They have a Les Paul Wii controller for $28.

[ Parent ]
STP? by dev trash (4.00 / 1) #18 Thu Oct 14, 2010 at 10:04:08 PM EST
I dunno man.  I'm gonna curl up in the corner

<Ahem> by Phage (4.00 / 1) #19 Fri Oct 15, 2010 at 08:30:01 AM EST
I have a collection of cheesey 80's Australian rock on the iPod. I don't like to talk about it.

Lot's of thoughts though,

  1. The past is another country. Sometimes another planet.
  2. You musicians are just plain odd.
  3. 1988 - Oooo the Bicentennial. That takes me back.
  4. Jazz ? Do you have a beret ?
  5. I fail all the arts - I wouldn't be concerned about those competitive music conversations. I find a terse 'No' at the start usually is enough to stop the gushing.

on musical venn diagrams | 20 comments (20 topical, 0 hidden) | Trackback