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  • Thursday, December 29, 2005


    Missing in Action

    Although I've gotten back (mostly) to having control of my computer space, I've certainly gotten out of the habit of posting here. Without the regularity of posting, I find my mind wandering wildly over various topics but not settling on one.

    Thus, there are oddities, glimpses of... thingies. That is, things of less than major import, fragments of ideas within my immediate sphere of attention, undeveloped and scrawny ideas trying to puff up and fill out. Yes. Self-absorbed much?

    First, the hysterical deafness visited upon mainstream American culture when certain words are uttered. "Socialism" and "anarchy" are two. Show stoppers. Inconceivable. "No one speaks of socialism any more; it's a dead ideology." (my personal re-interpretation of a line from the film Simon, King of the Witches: "No one speaks Aramaic; it's a dead language.")

    Second, all that is old becomes new again. Well, at least my vinyl music is becoming so. My collection mostly covers from the early 1960s through the early 1990s, and generally in the rock/blues genres. One thing that bothers me is I'm beginning to develop a distinctly critical view of today's pop music. I don't really want to be an old fart saying "Hmmmph! That ain't music! Why, in my day, people played real music, not this crap!" Perhaps it's the curse of having decades of musical history floating in my head. I hear the opening riff and usually begin listing the musical influences in the song and the groups who did the same thing 10, 20 or 40 years ago. Nothing sounds original any more. Along with this is increased complexity of the released recordings. Multiple dense layers of sound create a miasma, a fog of detail below the top layers, a modulated jungle of bits difficult to pick out. It becomes less of a song and more a collage. Yes, part of this is samples and remix but it still bothers me. I also suspect that much of this is a result of studio manipulation rather than actual musicianship or proficiency with instruments and voice. See, I am an old fart.

    So the end of the year is upon us and I'm just complaining and whinging. Happy F---ing New Year.

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