Wednesday, February 24, 2010

(Not so) deep thoughts on the correlation between music and who you view yourself to be

For a long while, the scope of music I was into was pretty narrow (some could easily argue it still is). I was mainly into grunge, hard rock/metal, and alternative rock through early high school years. That evolved into indie rock and some classic rock. First years of college, it was mainly indie music.

The past few years I've grown tired of the same old aesthetic and have decided to let myself go outside of what I'd pigeonholed myself to be. You see, for some, music is very very closely attached to who you view yourself to be. It's the essence of your style, beliefs, and conscious. So when you like something you tend to think shouldn't be "you," it's not even so much a matter of being embarrassed around friends or those close to you that you'd like such music that was so far off from who they picture you to be, it's a matter of letting your own mind and soul be comfortable with it.

It seems silly to worry so much about such trivial things. Most people don't give a crap about what music (or movies, or anything) they like. Most people are less attached than people like me to whom music is such a large part of life. Those who are like me I'm sure can relate.

Maybe I'm just paranoid.

Where am I going with this? Well, for starters, I've grown to like some music with strong country influence. I'd always despised country (and still do for the most part). I've grown to love soul. I bought a Dan Fogelberg album a few months ago. I really enjoy the KT Tunstall album I have in my collection. And well, recently, I've allowed myself to dive into Steely Dan's music for goodness sake. I mean, on the surface that stuff literally sounds like elevater/grocery store music. I was telling my wife a while back that I really shouldn't like the stuff, and even she was baffled. But for reasons I still haven't figured out, heck if I don't think a good Steely Dan album is worthy of my time in the right mood.

I realize people naturally grow in and out of things, whatever it may be. So maybe what I'm talking about really isn't that big of a deal. But for me, at least, maybe it signifies a person who may have been a little too wound up, a little too nervous, and a little too worried, and is finally, albeit slowly, starting to chill out.

Monday, February 8, 2010

The Jesus & Mary Chain - Psychocandy

I never could have appreciated this album to its fullest if I hadn't heard it with headphones. The sonic torture this album puts you through is so strangely addicting. It's like putting your ears through a blender, but loving every second of it.
There's so many different divergent aspects of the album that meet so perfectly. One moment I'm concentrating on a poppy and catchy melody, but then my attention will be slammed in reverse to the reverberating slabs of noise. Another moment I'll be smiling at the sweetness of the melodies, but a second later I'll feel like headbanging to the massive beat matched with a wall of guitars. It really shouldn't work, but because it does it's amazing to listen to.
But the noise isn't a cop out, covering up mediocre songs with a wall of noise, like some claim. I genuinely believe that somebody could have just as easily turned these songs into a classic jangle pop album had the distorted guitars been replaced with clean guitars, and the hollow production replaced with clear and bright production. The great melodies and songs are definitely there.
I never thought a pop album could be so devistating and work so well.