Entry 03 – January 22nd, 2017
Someone told me they were sort of Post-Metal Blues…or it’s only Rock n Roll but I Like It
I have never been one to shy away from new music. In fact, some that know me well would probably argue that I can’t be pulled away from it. I love to discover new sounds and find new material, be it a brand new band still slaving away in the garage trying to get the sound just right for the local gig in town or the latest and greatest from one of the best around. It’s not a hipster thing…I don’t revel in the knowledge of being the first among my friends to have heard of a particular band or call upon the “well I remember when they were just getting started” card…I just never tire of finding new things to hear as the 25,000+ songs on my IPod will attest to. What this does often mean, however, is that I am listening to things that a lot of others haven’t really gotten into yet and I get to share the newfound tunes with those around me…which can certainly have some mixed reactions since I have extremely broad tastes and find enjoyment in virtually every genre of music that I’ve come across. I’ve always been grateful for that since it tends to mean I can still find something to listen to even if all I have is the FM radio in the car on a long trip.
That’s not to say I don’t have favorites. Rock and Metal have been the mainstays throughout my life, but my earliest musical memories are Neil Diamond, classic country sounds, Sesame Street , and Disney sing-a-long records. Those childhood years were great for listening and I loved to get the album sleeves out and look at the pictures and lyrics while the vinyl disc spun around and the needle traced the sounds laced within. Albums were (and still are since you can still get a lot of great new music on vinyl) these amazing pieces of art and provided an experience that the modern CD or mp3 track just doesn’t compare to. Even if you get the deluxe edition with the extra packaging and pictures, it doesn’t hold a candle to the double gatefold album cover of an album like Zeppelin’s ‘Physical Graffiti.’ I could go on about the virtues of vinyl but there are others who have already done this and probably better than I could at any rate. Suffice it to say that I think the listening experience of a vinyl record absorbed through a set of high quality ‘over the ear’ headphones is something that should be had by everyone and you’re truly missing out if you’ve never done this.
So while I was exposed to a lot of country music and singer-songwriter types, I remember the first time I really stopped and listened to the radio at a time when it wasn’t the weekend top 40 was when I found the local college radio station on the dial. WFIT in Melbourne, Florida was always a great source of cool stuff in my adolescence, especially in the mid 80s. That’s where I remember hearing The Police and The Clash for the first time, and the Smiths and REM. I wouldn’t fully absorb all of this until I got into my high school years but those sounds left a mark as I was drawn back to all of that and the rediscovery was equally amazing. When I was between 10 and 12 I discovered all of the late 80s pop metal bands and this led me to my Uncle’s record collection. My Uncle Bruce has a fantastic rock n roll record collection and I loved when I would get the chance to go over and check them out. This exploration led to a deep love of music by some of the greatest artists to ever plug in a guitar and start a band – Led Zeppelin, The Doors, The Who, Deep Purple, KISS, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Cream, Thin Lizzy – just to name a few. The line was set and I was hooked, I was now a music fan for life.
I still say music fan, and I think that’s important. Sure I probably have a predominantly rock collection and it’s my go-to, but I appreciate so many different things. I love to confuse Spotify; I pull up so many artists that it tries to recommend new things and sometimes I can see the smoke fizzling behind the screen as it tries to compile what it thinks I’ll be interested in. I love that. I’ve never understood the people I’ve met that only seem to be able to listen to one genre of music and they can’t be bothered with anything else. What happens when those records get stale and you don’t want to hear that lyric for the millionth time? Maybe that doesn’t happen for you, and maybe that one band or style means so much to you that you literally can’t imagine a time when you wouldn’t love it…if so then that’s amazing and unique…I just tend to think it would get boring pretty fast.
There’s truly an incredible amount of music out there in the world and I think we only ever tend to scratch the surface of it all. That might be enough for you…the small pond you’ve played in since you first discovered that sound that means everything to you now. Try this for me sometime though, maybe just once…take a chance on something new and expand your horizons just a bit…you never know, you might just end up hooked yourself.