I could be nice about this. I could ease you into this rant and gently convince you using nicely worded phrases and witty stories…
Fuck that, I am not in the mood.
If you are a musician that only listens to one genre please stop making music. Just stop. Go to your local music store and sell your gear, or even better give it to someone who will put it to good fucking use. Asshole-ish? Yep. It totally is, but I am super fucking passionate about this subject (and I am in a bad mood).
There is just no excuse for this sort of behavior. You have the goddamn internet, so use it for more than just stupid kitty videos, netflix, twitter battles, and porn. The entire history of recorded music is out there so fucking explore it. Make a game of it. Start on allmusic with a band you know and love and start clicking related artists. Keep clicking till you find something you think you might enjoy that’s outside your comfort zone, and YouTube that shit. The only thing you have to lose is a few minutes of your life. What you can gain from it is invaluable.
I meant to make this a photo essay. I had every intent to post a photo of every record I listened to last night, but blanked on it. Luckily, I left the records piled on my drum throne, so here goes:
“Even Spaces” by Robert Fripp and Brian Eno: This is a Bootleg of one of their shows from 1975. Fairly uncommon; I somehow found a copy on punkottawa along with a pile of other interesting stuff (more Eno, some Killing Joke, etc). Oh the days before Kijiji/Craiglist…
“Magnolia Electric Company” by Song Ohia: A classic in my world. This is the album where Jason Molina stood up and said “Yes, I can write a better rock song than you ever will”. Sadly no one really listened and he died in obscurity. You can read my article on how awesome he is HERE.
“The Psychedelic Sounds of the 13th Floor Elevators” and “Bull of the Woods” by the 13th Floor Elevators: I’m going through a 13th Floor Elevators phase right now. People need to stop focusing on the story of Roky and start to really dig into these albums. I’ve had them for years and only recently have I really started to getting super into them. Classic Austin psyche-rock.
“Dune” By Toto: The soundtrack to the David Lynch classic. My favourite part of this album is hear them working in part of other Toto tracks here and there. Also the battle theme rules.
“VI” by Toto: I love this record. It’s a tough love.
“Computer World” by Kraftwerk: Gem of a record. Listen to Kraftwerk predict the internet in the early 1980’s. If this doesn’t get you to shake your ass I don’t know what will.
“Tender Buttons” by Broadcast: This is probably my favourite pop album of the 2000’s. Amazing band that came to a really tragic and unfortunate end when the singer Trish Keenan died suddenly after contracting swine flu on tour. “Corporeal” is possibly the best song about fucking ever written.
“His Return” by Growing: A fucking slab of drone. Growing were ahead of everyone in the ambient world. They still are.
“Purple Rain” by Prince: Yes I like Prince. I have no shame dude can write a fucking song
“Black Woman” by Sonny Sharrock: I finally found which bin this was hiding in! Sonny was the king of jazz skronk guitar. Atonality at its best.
“I am the Cosmos” by Chris Bell: The lost Big Star album. The title track alone is worth the price of admission.
“Children of God” by Swans: This was hiding with the Sonny Sharrock record. The first record I bought at the mighty Birdman Sound. It still has the $8 price tag on it. This album is the transitional Swans album, changing from noise rock to almost a gothier sound. Still one of the heaviest albums I own. Nothing like a choir of angry dudes screaming “THE SEX IN YOUR SOUL WILL DAMN YOU TO HELL”.
“Further” by Flying Saucer Attack:. Some people say Slowdive is the best shoegaze band, some My Bloody Valentine. They are both wrong it’s Flying Saucer Attack. Take Nick Drake style songwriting and apply liberal amounts of delay, reverb and fuzz. Not a week goes by without me listening to a Flying Saucer Attack album. Anyone out there have a copy of “New Lands” on vinyl for sale?
“Illimate” By Stockhausen: Because no night is complete without Stockhausen. I actually can’t say much about this one as it was my first listen through of it. All Stockhausen is challenging. Really, really challenging.
I’m not posting this to brag or in a hipster pissing contest sort of way. My nights have been like this for years. My old friend Dave Lafferty was instrumental in instilling the idea in me that you have to listen to everything to really understand music; that limiting your ears is the worst thing you can do as a musician. Everything out there is an influence you can draw on; take it and apply what you learned to what you do. That is how music grows and expands.
You have it all people; practically the entire history of music is a couple of clicks away . Take the time to listen and learn. – SHANE