Do you really need more than three chords?…or she came in through the bathroom window

Entry 09 – March 5th, 2017

Do you really need more than three chords?…or she came in through the bathroom window

There’s a fantastic scene in Jack Black’s movie School of Rock where he is going to great lengths to explain the history of Rock n Roll to his students; complete with exploded branching diagrams of how each band influenced countless others and gave birth to enough genres and sub-genres to make your head spin. This is me any time I get a chance to speak with someone and share my musical passion…if you give me a few minutes and let me talk about any subject that I please it will either be Jesus, comics/movies, or music…so you have been warned. I have found that my love of multiple musical styles has kept me sane on long road trips and provided me with interesting conversation with people from all walks as pretty much everyone has a favorite band, artist or style that they identify with and the chances are pretty good that I’ll find something to identify with in discussing it with you even if it doesn’t happen to be something that I’m particularly interested in or familiar with. Contrary to popular belief I haven’t heard everything there is out there and I’m constantly finding new music to enjoy and new artists to consider…even if their records are not exactly recent.

Why do I identify with that scene so much? I guess it’s because whenever I hear a new artist…particularly in rock…I’m not just hearing them but all the bands that might have influenced their sound. Some wear their influences proudly; while others only hint at them subtly…either way it makes for interesting and entertaining listening. It also means that whenever someone mentions to me that they really like a particular band or artist I often think of three or four others that they might like just as much or that really played a part in the development of that particular style. I’ll give you an example: a few years back a friend of mine told me that they really enjoyed some of the 80’s pop that they had heard but didn’t know much other than what was on a bunch of the one hit wonder compilations. All of that stuff is fun and cool but I told her there was so much more that came out in the 80s that might seem more meaningful than just A-Ha’s Take on Me or Your Love by the Outfield. She was intrigued so I pulled together some music from Bauhaus, Love and Rockets, The Cure, Siouxsee and the Banshees, REM, My Bloody Valentine (yes I know this is technically 1990), The Police, etc…and that was really just one corner. It’s hard to sum up a musical decade, but the point was to show that it was way more interesting and appealing than just the stuff that gets branded with the nostalgia tag.

I suppose this might make me sound like some kinda hipster trying to sound like I knew it all first but I’m far from that. I dislike the whole “I’m cooler than you because I heard them first, I was a fan when they were still practicing in the garage and giving away cassette demos” attitude that some people take with their favorite bands and I honestly don’t see the point. Every band makes music to be heard in some capacity, and the vast majority wants to be heard on a large scale. I’m not saying that every band or artist is aiming for arena tours and a billion albums sold on a major record label – and that model is dying anyway…a subject for a whole different post – but they all want to be heard on some scale. The ones that don’t want to be heard that are really just writing and playing for catharsis aren’t being heard because they don’t share their work. If they made a point to record songs and post them online or put them on a CD or Record then you can put money on the fact that they want someone to hear it so please stop with the ‘holier than thou superfan’ routine.

Anyway, in attempting to make some kind of point to all of this rambling I guess I’m saying that music is meant to be shared. You should take the time to find new tunes and then tell your family or friends…find like-minded people who are into the same stuff and turn the volume to 11 and rock out or dance until you can’t feel your limbs anymore. Look at the bands that your favorite artist listens to and check out their stuff too; you might find that you like the same stuff your parents liked at your age. Above all, keep exploring beyond what you already know. Music is universal and somewhere out there is another person feeling the same way you do and about to press play on a song that just might change their life…and maybe change yours along the way.

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