Saturday, March 20, 2010

Soapbox #1

So I heard Broken Bells on the radio and thought of two things:

    “The High Road” sounds like a pretty standard song from Ian Brown’s solo career, (but with better song-writing). And “The Ghost Inside” sounds like an outtake from the Dandy Warhols’ 2004 album “Welcome to the Monkey House.”
    Upon these comparisons, my initial reaction is- “Well,  it’s not bad, but I’ve heard other bands/artists do it better.”
    However, I thought about it a little bit more. Really, James Mercer and Brian Burton have some good music here - (honestly, I think it’s 75% Burton, cause this guy seems to have the Midas Touch nowadays)……{cue production credits of Danger Mouse}……. But I’ll also say that James Mercer’s song-writing is a near equal in this collaboration.
    But why that reaction of “I’ve heard this before from another band that did this”?
    Well, it’s simple…….  There’s nothing new. Everything is a rehashing of influences.
    Now, this isn’t exactly a bad thing.  The thing that frustrates me is that people fail to see/hear the history of the music they’re currently listening to. When people listen to a song they really love and fail to realize that it’s clearly derivative of another band from 10 years ago, it seriously irritates the crap out of me!
     Now, there are casual listeners who wouldn’t understand this, and that’s fine. But I’ve known people who have the same love of music as I do, who don’t even comprehend this concept. Every piece of music we listen to has some form of history behind it.
    Example:  Muse has a distinct Queen fetish and they clearly listened to a lot of early Radiohead, (if you haven’t noticed this, then chances are you’re probably deaf).  Now, Muse sounds derivative  of both of these comparisons, yet they don’t sound the same as them. That’s the beauty of those influences, maybe you haven’t listened to Queen or early Radiohead - then Muse can be your gateway-drug to some other amazing music…
    More Examples:

    I could make a longer list, but the point is this:  Whatever you’re listening to now, there are some really great artists/bands behind them that you should check out. Stop just listening to music and find out why you like it. Do a little research, and you’ll be glad you did.

(And this blog’s Song Of The Week is:     The Killing Moon”   by Echo and the Bunnymen )
For all you Donnie Darko fanatics - like me…
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