Wednesday, December 21, 2011

Music, makes the people, come together

Anyone who reads this blog with any sort of regularity will know I like music. I'm not as good with keeping up with the latest stuff (or even the older stuff) as I used to be, but I like it.

I like music from all spheres. I like pop, I like rock, I like rap, I like soul, I like indy, I like house, dubstep and plain old dub, but all that doesn't mean I automatically like all music. Here are some facts about me and music.

  • I don't like Kimbra. I don't know what it is about her but in every song I've heard, either the song itself makes me cringe (Settle Down gives me shivers, and not in a good way), or I just can't get into it (Cameo Lover - I have no idea what's up with that song). She's a good singer, and perhaps I just haven't been exposed to her enough, but it seems to me the first couple of verses of her songs start out OK, but then somewhere around the chorus/bridge they go askew and ruin whatever groove I had going on.
  • I like Kimbra when she sings with Gotye. Eventually I will tire of this song, but Somebody That I Used to Know is a song that never fails to make me chair dance at the moment - and if I am alone in the car I will belt out Kimbra's part like you wouldn't believe. I'm sure I've entertained several Auckland drivers looking on in their rear-view mirror while waiting at the lights.
  • Gin Wigmore's voice makes me want to shoot myself in the head just to make it stop. This is aimed particularly at her new song Black Sheep (click that link at your own risk).
  • I'm not a fan of Florence and the Machine's new album. I loved Lungs (like, bought tickets to two concerts to see her, bought it on iTunes AND in a physical disc-loved Lungs). I maintain that Florence is incredible live, but the venue for the second concert was awful, and the new album just sounds the same the whole way through. It's like an infinite number of different reincarnations of the same sounds and themes. I like What the Water Gave Me, but I've listened to the album half a dozen times - I know the words - and yet all the songs blur together. Second albums are difficult however, so I'm not giving up on Florence yet.
  • iTunes is a part of my monthly budget. The internet, and being able to access illegal content actually drives me to buy more legal music. Furthermore, I search for ways to support the bands directly (buying from Bandcamp/their own websites) before I go to iTunes - Apple eats too much of their money. (If you're wondering why this point is here, listen to this song).
  • I see a lot of concerts. It probably averages out to one or two a month - though they are usually quite concentrated in December/January. I spend a lot of money on them, and I buy merchandise. I do this on the theory that it directly supports the artist - not the record company. Also, I like live music.
  • I go to concerts of bands and artists I've never heard of/have heard very little of. Sometimes it backfires, most of the time I find a new act to evangelise.
  • I strongly believe an artist must be able to pull off their own songs live. It sounds obvious, but I am constantly amazed at how many can't. It's part of the reason I go to so many concerts - if a musician can't perform, I quite often stop listening. This is the primary reason why I gave up on The Feelers way before anyone else did.
  • Listening to Later with Jools Holland clips on YouTube is one of my favourite things to do.
  • Lana Del Ray bores me to tears. Forgetting the fact that she's actually a manufactured Indy artist (how the hell does that happen?), she's also boring, and her appearance on Jools Holland sees her switching between the sultry voice you hear on the single and some Lisa Mitchell wannabe. It's annoying, and still boring.
  • Don't even get me started on Adele. Someone Like You is the creepiest song I have ever heard. It's about her visiting an old lover who she is obviously creepily-obsessed with and saying that one day she'll find someone like him (I am assuming him here). That's not normal. It's really, really creepy. I like the beat of Rolling in the Deep, but ultimately Adele just needs to move the hell on. Plenty more fish in the sea honey.
  • Two things are contributing to the death of good music in my opinion: auto-tune and Dr Luke. If you don't know who Dr. Luke is, I can assure you, you are definitely aware of his work. He is the 'mastermind' behind such hits as Avril Lavigne's Girlfriend, Katy Perry's I Kissed a Girl, Ke$ha's Tik Tok, and Kelly Clarkson's Since U Been Gone - amongst others.
  • Lest you think this list is just a whole lot of complaints, albums worth listening to: Aloe Blacc's Good Things; Amanda Palmer Goes Down Under; Beck's Odelay; Florence and the Machine's Lungs; Girl Talk's Feed the Animals; Kate Nash's Made of Bricks; Kings of Leon's Aha Shake Heartbreak; Alanis Morissette's Jagged Little Pill; Liam Finn's I'll Be Lightning; Pikachunes; Portishead's Third; Radiohead's The Bends. Most of those links will cost you less than $10, by the way.
Ultimately we all like what we like, I just tend to find that, lately, I don't like much. Maybe I'm just getting old.

1 comment:

  1. Agree re: Gin, Florence & Lana Del Ray. Lana is SO BORING. Johnny Cash-wannabe. Manufactured = bull. She shouldn't exist. Love Kimbra & Cameo Lover is my song of the year. So good imho.

    Good news = Dr Luke can't work with any artist not on the new label he works for. So no more number ones for Katy Perry sadly.

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