Sunday, November 6, 2011

Editorializing about music

This may not be the place for this, but it doesn't seem to fit my other blogs.

When I train, I listen to music I might not listen to any other time that I'm conscious -- hard, driving, intense stuff that goes well with stimming up and Torking for big effort.

Understand that I grew up with an opera singer for a grandmother.  I grew up in Nashville and cut my teeth on jazz, blues, and bluegrass.  I saw Bill Monroe several times before I was ten.  I saw Bob Marley before he died, the Sex Pistols in London, even Led Zeppelin jamming for fun in a public park.  I knew the lyrics to several arias before I was a junior in high school.  I was steeped in music.

To the point, I am incredibly impressed with Meshuggah.  Most people my age would run screaming from a band like this, but I don't hesitate to say that these guys are inspired musically.  They are categorized as 'extreme metal' or something generalized like that, but they aren't just another growler band of metal heads.  Frankly, if you ignore the growling, I would sooner lump these guys into the category of rhythmic experimentation.

For instance, check this video out; it's just the drums for the song Bleed.  Ignoring the song itself, pay attention to the polyrhythms Haake is playing.  Incredible stuff just to keep track of in your head, much less trying to sort it out with your hands.  And he changes the polyrhythms several times during the song, returning to the original rhythms late.  To gain a little more appreciation of how complicated this is, listen to the beat he's playing with his feet.  Simply amazing. 

Anyway, I try to listen to music that makes me want to move without feeling, well, weird.  A lot of the bands in this category produce pseudoreligious noise that is catering to the audience they attract.  I stay away from them, because I don't appreciate what they are trying to represent and don't think they appreciate what they are messing around with.  Maybe more than that, most of what they produce is just crap.  But the guys in Meshuggah are impressive to me.

Remember, half the world is above average.  Make sure you stay in the right category.

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