Posts Tagged ‘pink floyd’

EverybodyKnowsThisIsNowhereWell not really. I’m an iPod addict that has come to love the idea of carting my music library around everywhere I go. MP3 players have seriously changed the way we consume music, and perhaps even music itself. MP3 is the format for the 21st century, yet it’s fair to say that the advances it affords listeners has also led to a number of drawbacks.
The key drawback is quality, which I am convinced, is a major cause for the decline in artistic quality of music across the board. Most of the music I listen to on MP3 format I also have on vinyl, and let me tell you, there is a difference. The quality of a vinyl recording is not a myth, it’s legit. Listening to a song on vinyl can be a revelation, especially since the quality often leads to the discovery of certain hidden elements that you just don’t hear on a MP3 track. I would say that overall, the music just has a whole lot more depth, and is therefore a whole lot more dynamic when heard the old fashioned way.
Now don’t get me wrong, I love my iPod, but I do think that many younger people have been brought up on iPods, and have their taste in music shaped by a misunderstanding. They’re simply uniformed on how good, good music really sounds.
A few months ago, I casually walked into a second hand book store to find a collection of vinyl for sale. A bargain it was with many original Pink Floyd pressings going for under twenty bucks. I grabbed the lot and headed for home to try out my new found gems. Interestingly, my favourite find of the day was a copy of Neil Young and Crazy Horse’s Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, an album which I already had on CD. The tattered old copy cost me eight bucks, but once I heard the crackle as the stylus hit the disc, I knew I was in for a treat.
Hearing the song’s I knew for the first time on vinyl was like hearing them again for the first time. I think it has something to do with the music sounding more imperfect; the crackling of an aged record, the music just sounds more real, more alive.
It’s no coincidence then, that vinyl is seeing resurgence, with music retailers, once again stocking it. It’s a collector’s thing, with pressings in limited numbers targeting a niche market of old farts who want to reminisce, and young hipsters who’ve raided their parent’s collection, and are now looking to start their own. I for one am glad to see a resurgence, yet I doubt whether it will ever kill the compact disc to become the musical medium again. These days’ people just crave convenience over quality, but really who cares. If you haven’t discovered vinyl yet, you’re just missing out.

It’s the emotional climax that has defined so many classic songs.  The guitar solo has been responsible for turning many a musician into a legend.  In the 60’s Clapton was God, until Hendrix showed why he was the greatest of all time.   Jimi Hendrix playing guitar is a mesmerising experience.  Perhaps not as technically accomplished as others who followed, Hendrix free spirited creativity made up for that two fold, his hands seamlessly flowing across the neck.  It’s like he hadn’t learnt how to play; he was just born to play.

Jimi Hendrix was like so many others performers of the twentieth century; talented beyond comprehension and full of passion and soul that poured out through their music.  The versatility of the guitar itself had afforded so many musicians throughout history, the ability to carve their own unique sound to the point where a style of playing is as individual as the sound of a singer’s voice.

 But it’s fair to say that today; the popular performers are rarely seen with a guitar.  Actually, they probably can’t even play one or any instrument for that matter.  Today it’s more about dance moves or how raunchy a film clip can be.

 But the one thing that saddens me more than anything is the demise of the guitar solo (and saxophone solo for that matter).  It’s been replaced in most pop songs by a rapper with poor grammar speaking  mundane lyrics most probably with a choice of profanities thrown in for good measure.   But then again, even for the rock bands I’ve heard on commercial radio, there seems to be a lack of soulful guitar playing.  It’s as if a guitar solo is seen as excessive or something. Perhaps even uncool, or too 1980’s.

 It’s not like people aren’t playing instruments anymore.  There is undeniably loads of talented musicians out there, but for some reason, the music industry for the most part is favouring watered down trash.  It’s not just guitars; all instruments are being oppressed in the face of what I call digitised music.  Saxophone solos of passion are long gone, the dreamscapes Pink Floyd painted with a lap steal are reserved for the past and the mesmerising drums of Soul Sacrifice seem a distant memory of Woodstock.

 It’s the beauty of music that allows a song without words to somehow find a way to say the things words can’t say at all.  Music would be all the more powerful in today’s world if people would only look beyond the words and image to appreciate the most important part; the music.