There are no certainties and no absolutes in life, so I would be going out on a limb to say mainstream western popular music is dull and uninteresting. It’s a fair generalisation but just occasionally my teenage daughters introduce me to new music that I find exciting and engaging.
When I look at my favourite music from 2019 — I see English hip-hop, Sudanese and Scandinavian jazz, re-imagined folk music, love songs by a Syrian-American, classical music from Poland and music inspired by Orkney. I really enjoy just how much easier it is to discover new music now.
Just as a sample, here is the video for the song Everybody by Sinkane.
I was watching this short animation voiced by Jeff Tweedy and it reminded me of my own musical journey from hating my father’s easy listening music to coming around to appreciating the craft, universality and power of those old songs.
Some weekends I find myself listening to Radio 4 on a Saturday morning when the show Saturday Live plays its segment called ‘Inheritance Tracks’. The idea of this segment is a little like Desert Island Discs — guests first choose a piece of music that they ‘inherited’ and is special for them. They also choose a second track that they cherish and would like to bequeath to future generations.
It’s an interesting challenge and a while back I thought about what music was passed to me and what I would pass on to my children.
When I was young person I hated most of the music that was played in my home. Continue reading →
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Do you ever think to yourself, “Wow what a great thing it would be to just wake up and immediately do all of the things I want, with everything set up so that I can have the freedom to not think about a bunch of finicky little things”?
No, just me? I don’t know, I think there are probably at least a few other people who feel this way. I have finally learned that whenever I find those thoughts creeping into my mind that I have entered an unfortunate state of mind; in these moments I have lost my focus, and likely my drive for whatever it is I am trying to achieve. This feels… sad.
One of the bands I am happy to have recently discovered is The Main Squeeze – a funk and rock band, based in the US. I first discovered them through their covers on their YouTube channel, like this one for Pink Floyd’s Have a Cigar. They have a wonderful singer and the rest of this five-piece band is top-notch as well.
But while I liked to watch their cover videos, I didn’t explore further, namely I didn’t go to listen their original material. Then, out the blue, my former/currently-remote bandmate of my late 90ies band, Gray Eclipse, Michael, asked me if I heard a specific song by them, called I’ll Take Another (Apple Music link). It’s a song from their first eponymous EP, released in 2012. This song surprised me, in a good way. My main taste in music is based on classic/progressive/art rock and jazz/rock fusion. This song didn’t disappoint. It’s a 9-minute track that has it all – heavy guitar riffs, interesting singing, funk, and mellower, fusion parts.
I then listened to the whole album and it’s all good – not something common these days. Mostly it’s well-done funk, with a prominent brass section, drum and bass solos, in additional to the more traditional guitar and keyboard ones.
Now I need to try check out their next two albums.