Friday, September 17, 2010
A Break in the Clouds
Yesterday we reviewed 5 things that are ruining music. But hope is not lost. Here are 4 things (technically 6 things) that are great about music:
The Economy/Terrorism- I will actually confess that I could be wrong on this one but I hope I am right, for my daughter’s sake. The reality is the longer people suffer, the more stripped down and vulnerable their art becomes. This causes musicians to finally revolt against the establishment and write honest lyrics. Not “Hollywood Honest”, which is what everyone tries to do, but real honest.
I want to see a revolution in the music industry where we turn away from the formula of:
-Hot, slutty girl with edgy lyrics
-Digitally enhanced vocals
-Repetitive dance beat
-Music video glamorizing promiscuity
-A trip to rehab
Kanye West/Eminem- Love these guys or hate them, they produce their own completely unique sounds. For all his wackiness, inappropriate behavior and racism, Kanye is open and self reflective of who he is and what he struggles with. He admits to being an arrogant and disrespectful prick who usually makes the wrong decisions. The conflict between his real self loathing and his false self adoration created by fame comes through in his music and as much as I would like to, I cannot hit “skip” when Kanye comes on.
As for Slim Shady, in the past he has turned away from what made him great. HE released albums that lacked the power of his earlier work. I’m glad to see on his new record Recovery he goes back to his angry yet contemplative self inspection. When Eminem is at his best he is the Best. The problem is he is not consistently at his best.
The Script- I hate the “underground band” kids who claim they’ve been following a band since before they were popular and they know all the stuff they did from their old days and blah blah blah.
But I have been following the Script since before they were popular and I have all their unreleased stuff and their stuff from Mytown and blah blah blah.
Look, if you don’t know who the Script is, go buy their album The Script and then tell me they aren’t brilliant. Their mix of old sound and new is what gives me hope for music’s future. My 5 year old daughter loves when we listen to this album and I’ll bet my 54 year-old father loves their sound, too.
Marcus Eaton- I went to high school with a guy named Marcus Eaton. Back then he was just the dude who was really good at guitar had longish hair. We would go watch him perform at small events. He would sing covers of Dave Mathews and stuff like that.
Fast forward to present day. I went to a Marcus Eaton concert recently, complete with groupies and teamsters and everything. For two hours, this guy I knew from high school played all original music. He was entertaining, he kept us moving and clapping our hands and feeling good about life. He played like 43 different instruments, he did some odd looking dance.
There were no red carpets or limousines or E! True Hollywood Stories. It was just a guy, his band and his catchy and original music. And there was the feeling you get when you get to decide something is good, rather than having Simon Cowell, MTV or Z103 tell you it is good.
And it is not just Marcus Eaton, because there are more Marcuses out there. I guess what I am trying to say is if you are like me and you want music to be good again, you just have to know where to find it. Mostly you have to go Underground. I have become what I despise, the Underground, unreleased, non-sell out fan kid.
Does anyone know where I can get skinny jeans, a scarf, the soul of a poet and a beanie cap?