Tuesday, 29 January 2013

Access all Areas

Not to get all self-reflexive, but there's something worth picking up on from Somik's last entry (well, two or three things, but this one's the kicker); let's talk about access.

What he said – in case there's anyone else out there with the same degree of ADD as I have – was this:

[…] in my youth it would have been inconceivable to have access to every track in existence at an instant, legally or otherwise.

For me, it's all to do about having a particular mindset.

Music, growing up, was a static, trapped thing, either in a cassette (in which case you could manipulate it, if you wanted) or in a CD, which was – until .mp3 conversion came around – another form of trapping the ephemeral into a physical form. (You could also use that form to move it onto a cassette, but we're skirting dodgy ground regarding metaphors already, so let's move on.)

I got used to that trapped form. We'll come back to this later, but when my horizons really opened up and panned out was a particular time in my life when I started to get a lot of music, for free, legally. When that stopped – and, like a drowning man clutching at driftwood), I tried to keep it going for as long as possible with some previous, now-dead blogs – the importance of music in my life atrophied like an unused muscle experiencing wastage, over time, because I reverted to the feeling that music was now this static, trapped thing when, in point of fact, it was going through a massive period of transition.

Part of my brain is firmly rooted in having to actually haul my sorry self to a record shop, buy the physical thing, take it home and listen to it there. Oh, for sure I've gotten used to .mp3 players, interesting electronic methods of purchasing songs and listening to them, and even more surely I get more mileage out of services such as YouTube and Spotify, but not as much as I should.

Of course, how much I 'should' be listening to as a self-confessed lapsed music lover is another topic entirely.

There's a lot to talk about, here – not least that I can demarcate the periods between which I stopped ascribing importance to music and when it started coming back with two albums, which are White Flag at one end and My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy at the other.

One last thing of interest; apparently the CD albums I couldn't afford as a teenager are now going for £1 as 'pre-owned, fully refurbished, quality guaranteed' versions at my local £1 shop.

Make of that what you will. 

- James

Saturday, 26 January 2013

Friday, 25 January 2013

The view from the afternoon

So James is worried that music is less important in his life than it used to be. I’m not; I’m happy being more selective about how I enjoy it these days, especially as the various demands of adulthood and parenthood compete for my time and energy.

I understand that you can't keep falling in love with new bands, that music (or pop and rock music at least) is a young person’s game. But the biggest reason why I think music starts to lose its lustre is that, after so many years, you’ve heard it all before. Once you know all the frames of reference it kills the fun. Would Franz Ferdinand have sounded so fresh and vital to me if I had already been acquainted with Gang Of Four? I can hear dozens of different bands in the Vaccines which means they hold no excitement for me at all, although I completely understand why a 16-year-old might adore them.

Funny then that there’s never been a better time to consume music. I'll explore this topic in detail later on, but for now let me just say that in my youth it would have been inconceivable to have access to every track in existence at an instant, legally or otherwise.

But music also has to work harder just to stand still. Sure, I could listen to an album during my commute to work, but I could also watch a film, read a book, play countless games, flick through a graphic novel, or write a blog post (ahem), all on the same device. Music doesn’t stand a chance.

And yet, and yet… The fact that I’ve heard it all before means it’s even more thrilling when I do discover a song that gets me. So I’m happy to be more selective, and I’m willing to search harder, to find new music that speaks to me and can hold its own alongside the heroes of yesterday.

- Somik

Thursday, 24 January 2013

This is your Hello, Right Here

Welcome to Disparancies. 

This is blog about Music. (The capital M is important, but we'll get back to that later.) 

A long time ago, I used to care about music. No, that's a bit of a misnomer; music used to be a huge part of my daily life, and wherever I was, there was always music, in one way or another. 

A few years ago, music stopped being so important, but I didn't stop to wonder why. 

Just recently, I did stop to wonder why, and part of what this blog is going to be about is that I'm looking to explore why something that was so important to me ceased being important and simply became background. 

There will also be a lot of more general articles on music here provided by myself and an old confederate from those bygone days, and - who knows? - maybe this will expand out into something else entirely as time goes on. 

For now, though, and for me at least, it's about why music mattered, matters, and will always matter. 

It's also about finding ways to not say 'matter' so much. Don't worry - by the time I start writing actual articles, I'll have discovered many words for Thesaurus. 

- James