A Musical Web

The thing that has always kept me intrigued and on my toes concerning music is the fact that more so than any other form of media, music creates a web of appreciation. Let me explain. Take for example movies. Let’s say you are a big fan of Hitchcock. So you go out and buy the super bad ass Masterpiece Collection of Hitchcock films, containing 14 amazing movies. Where to from that? Sure you can link to a few other director’s that do well in the suspense realm like Brian de Palma but the trip stops pretty quickly. Sure you can watch movies that carry a similar topic or with the same actors, but a film has a signature of it’s creators that is hard to link to another. Books. You can like Vonnegut, where do you go from there? More beat authors? You can continue to work in the same genre but again you start working with topics pretty quickly and Buckowski can hurt the head of the most obscure novel reader. Music seems to create a neverending web of stuff to check out. Maybe this is strictly something attributed to the sheer amount of music out there, but I like to think that music has something more to it.

I used to hate Indy music. I thought it was whiney for no purpose and had very little to say. It was obscure for the sake of being obscure. I am talking about contemporary Indy by the way. I was introduced to what I consider the “Indy Jump-Off”. I had set up a music swapping plan with some coworkers. I have a four gig flash drive that I placed one gig worth of music on, pass it to a friend who takes my music and puts on his own gig, sends it to the next and repeat, it works it’s way back to me and I have 4 gigs worth of new music. Suddenly I was overwhelmed with everything that was great about the music I had missed. Maybe I had only heard “Good News for People Who Love Bad News” by Modest Mouse and made premature judgements, but after hearing ” Lonesome Crowded West” I fell in love. Then I had Wolf Parade, Tokyo Police Club, Iron & Wine, Blitzen Trapper, Vampire Weekend, Dinosaur Jr., Pavement, Animal Collective, Mr. Bungle, Spoon, and the list goes on.

After falling in love with these bands I started looking at who had solo careers, who had alternative projects, who worked with who, and the web was created. Suddenly I find out that Antony & The Johnsons worked with Bjork and Cocorosie. Because of Bjork I fell in love with Antony & the Johnson’s, and because of Antony I fell in love with CocoRosie. Wolf Parade led me to Sunset Rubdown and Handsome Furs, which had similar elements to Xiu Xiu. I went from Tomahawk, to Faith No More, to Mr. Bungle, to Peeping Tom, to Dillanger Escape Plan, and anything else that Mike Patton has touched.

What I am trying to get across is the amazing web of sound, influence, personality, and emotion music carries with it. You can link one band to ten others directly, and one of those to ten others and I feel there is more of a crossover in the realm of music than any other media. More influenced is carried and acted upon. Bands like Blitzen Trapper sound eerily like Crosby, Stills & Nash, mixed with Bob Dylan, The Beatles, and Cat Stevens, which then you are introduced to all them including, Neil Young, John Lennon, George Harrison, Paul McCartney, Sean Lennon, then Beatles over to Danger Mouse, to Jay Z, Gnarls Barkley, Black Keys, Beck, and from there you have so many others.

Yes you can do this with things like film using directors, writers, and actors but I don’t sense the influence carried within the connections. Sorry about my ramblings but my own Pandora music genome web was created in my head and I had to get it out.

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~ by Dar Man Hat Tan on January 9, 2009.

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