Quarter Life Crisis

The world according to Sven-S. Porst

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Interesting

591 words

Dave gives sketchy remarks on music today. While I beg you to enjoy the fact that this isn't Slashdot, the snippet 'Score: 5, Interesting' comes to mind reading Dave's notes.

One of the dubious pleasures of getting to be a auld f***er is that you find yourself buying albums by well-hyped young bands, only to find out that you bought the albums they’re ripping off when they were brand new.

That's quite funny. Dave has a head-start age and music wise. I'm not too young anymore but I didn't start getting into current music seriously before 1999 or so [I was only into 'old' stuff like Led Zeppelin, The Animals or Pink Floyd before that] – thus my 'musical age' is too young to have witnessed the cycles of popular music.

I like the parallels Dave draws in his examples. And certainly I'll try to do some re-listening to see his point. Most interesting I find the The Rapture – The Cure comparison. Both are bands that mean something to me without too much knowledge about them on my side. For The Rapture that's because it's 'too new' for me to have gotten a proper grasp of their music yet.

For The Cure it's quite different: My first CD ever was the 'Friday I'm in Love' single given to me by my brother for the same birthday that I got my first CD-Player stereo. There are many things to argue here: Friday I'm in Love may not the the most representative or best Cure song ever – while being brilliant on nights out, that is – so I got the wrong impression of The Cure to begin with. I managed to appreciate their other music only in the past few years, so I kind of re-discovered it from being 'that old pop single I've listened to by far too many times' to something more meaningful.

And despite – or because of? – this history, Dave's comparison, as much as I can understand it and – presumably – the reasons for it, would have never occured to me while thinking of that music. [Apologies for that load of dashes, commas and subclauses.] To me they remain very different.

An interesting debate could start now. Is this because of a different perspective? Or rather a lack thereof? Would that lack of perspective be a good or a bad thing? – Good as in: you can enjoy more things as genuinely different, bad as in: you can't tell things apart which are essentially the same. And probably a few more. All very interesting and unclear to me.

Dave also touches to topic of digitised music. Stressing both the beauty of having booklets, the convenience of iTunes – and the sad fact that currently they seem to be mutually exclusive in their pure forms. I sometimes feel the same. Although I do have a strong bias in favour of the real CD or LP because it forces you to handle the medium itself, leading to more conscious listening and strengthening your ties to the album and because it does sound better. The latter point is most likely not meant to be a critique of compression techniques but rather due to the fact that anything played through a standard computer sound output won't sound as good as when played on a good CD player or turntable.

Note: (a) All the complicated sentences and disclaimers in this post, (b) The way in which this post and the previous one somehow related to the recent post on possessions.

December 15, 2003, 12:52

Comments

Comment by d.w.: User icon

Had I been writing a real entry rather than a bunch of loose sentences grin I’d have elaborated and said that what reminds me of the Cure about the Rapture is the singer’s voice, and the way (to paraphrase someone on I Love Music) he shares with Robert Smith the determination to hit certain notes, whether or not they are completely out of his physical grasp, without seeming to mind terribly much. The other musical influences in their sound raise the issue from the first paragraph about “super-producers.” How much of the early PiL/Gang of Four influence comes via the band (who were apparently a fairly standard punk outfit on their early releases) and how much comes from their producers, the DFA?

My first encounter with the Cure was hearing “Boys Don’t Cry” played by an unfathomably cute girl working at a record store. I was 12 or 13, she was 17 or 18 and had spiked hair and I worshipped her from afar, so they had to be great. :) A few years later I heard “Let’s Go To Bed”, which sounded completely different but still cool, so I bought an album.

December 15, 2003, 18:40

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