PARTS TO MY PERFECT PUZZLE
Is music dead? Have all the great songs already been written? Is it still possible to be original? It's so easy to be disenfranchised with it all. So many songs sound the same on the radio. But is there hope? Here are some of the people who constantly give me "musical hope" and "inspirational energy". They are my perfect pieces and constants.
- •7 months ago I was so tired of the perceived "screwed up music industry" and how it seems like it's not based on talent but on money and power. In most cases this can be observed and proven. But then something happened. I heard Mac Demarco's "my kind of woman". It changed my angry feelings. Because it was good. And didn't sound like anything else.Listening to Mac for me is like looking at a dalinian surrealist painting. It's very hard to see anything but pure character and personality. Mac Demarco's music is drenched in his massive personality. Even if the song isn't amazing (it usually is) his personality seems to be able to carry the weight of a song on its own. It's like holding a bright flashlight behind your hand, no matter how much you try, a little "personality" always shines through. I want some of that.
- •There a few people I've observed that can have a catalog of hundreds of songs and yet never speak of the same subject twice (bob Dylan and Paul McCartney come to mind). Elliott smith to me is truly in their Olympian arena of songwriting ability. When I listen to "Angel in the snow" I hear a man who rarely writes throw away tracks.Elliott smith represents to me what I hope to be in simplicity and complexity. A perfect blend of the two, without ever sounding trite or contrived. He has the ability to record a song with only guitar and vocals and make it sound as if nothing is missing. I usually find it difficult to listen to solo acoustic music. Somehow though, Elliott has a special way of compelling me to give it another verse. And just like that an entire album goes by in a flash.
- •I was driving to the airport with my uncle when a song came on the radio. I remember It was 95.9 and I just stared at the dial throughout the whole song. I could not Believe my ears. It changed my whole life in 4 minutes and 28 seconds. It was "Why Georgia" from John mayer's "room for squares" debut album. The lyrics. The music. The feeling.I was 13 at the time. I literally decided in that very moment I wanted to do something like that. Next week I bought my first guitar. I do realize there is a certain age when people are more receptive to music (generally accepted as 14-16), But I know that if I heard that today for the first time it would have the same effect on me. The way his music speaks to your mind and your heart simultaneously. His music has timeless inventiveness and lyrical content. I aspire to that.
- •Piano music can too often be "very obviously piano driven" or "straight and stiff" in its construction. It's not an easy task to be expressive on the piano. It's essentially a box with some buttons (no offense to piano enthusiasts). Ben folds' is very expressive. His songs are both sarcastic and serious in a refreshing way.Such incredibly creative flexibility is so compelling. I mean how can you write a song like "rockin' the suburbs" and then "the luckiest" In the same year. Or have it on the same album. But the vast differences in song feel don't pull you out of the moment. In Fact, it draws you in further because it mimics closely the unpredictability and instability of life in general. If Ben folds has taught me anything, it is to be clear in lyrical content and the effect will be profound.
- •The first I heard of him was "django's tiger" and I was truly spell bound. His idioms are hypnotizing and hyper lyrical. Django Reinthardt is a Demi God of musical inventiveness. The way he used arpeggios as stepping stones to get to an ending resolve is astonishing. If I could mix Django's phrasing with JM's note choices? Phew. Game over.