Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Used music?

Isn't music meant to be used? Of course it is. That's what we put it out there for. First the creator uses it, all the notes and chords and beats and everything that makes up music in the first place. Then the producer uses that raw material to shape it into his vision of what the performer meant. And if you don't think that's an interview with a producer some time...any producer. Sure they try to be sensitive to the performer and present her in an honest and sympathetic way...but too many times will you read about major artists having songs changed by their producers. It's probably a good thing. Well, back to the argument at hand...then the record company uses the music, as a sales tool. Everybody wants to sell their music...that's why they make it. OK, people without record deals, who only play in their basdement, maybe they don't want to sell it...but they wish they could! Then the listener, or consumer comes along and "consumes" the music. They buy the CD, or mp3s or they might even steal them from bit-torrent sites, they learn how to get FLAC files to play, you know the drill. They use songs to dance to, to sing along with, they use them for exercise, for special celebrations like weddings and birthdays. Music is used to create moods in movies and on TV. Even reality TV has music. Alfred Hitchcock asked Bernard Hermann (who was scoring Hitch's film Lifeboat) "Where does the music come from in the middle of the Atlantic Ocean?" And Hermann replied, "Same place the camera does!" Hitch allowed the music!
Doctors use music in surgery, kids use music as they play, we use music at funerals.
Music is meant to be used music...only makes sense right?
After all...somebody paid for the album once, so the license was paid.
I just traded a bunch of CDs that I wasn't listening to anymore for a bunch of CDs that I'm going to listen to for a while. Things I had missed, or ignored in order to buy the things I was now tired of...things I had 'used up'!
When Neil Young first released On the Beach in 1974 I bought it on the day it came out. Rushed home, put it on the stereo. Thought that the packaging was a bit odd (little did I know what Neil's packaging would look like in the future) and then the music...Yikes! I couldn't stand it, it seemed so raw, unfinished, sloppy. I had followed his career with interest from Buffalo Springfield on. I even knew about the Mynah Birds! I saw them in the audience at the Merv Griffin Show one night. But this? After the classic albums Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, After the Goldrush, Harvest this was too much to take. I felt like I was being used. Tonight's the Night restored my faith but then came a long stretch of duds as far as I was concerned. Zuma, Long May You Run, American Stars & Bars, I just lost interest. It wasn't 'til the last couple of years that I really got back into Neil's music. The Archive material has covered my favourite that's been great. And suddenly I found myself starting to appreciate these lost years. The raw guitar solos, the "sound". So when I chose On the Beach as one of my was a calculated gamble. Wow! It's got some great stuff on it. How did I miss it? I don't know. Maybe I was using other music, and didn't have time for Neil. But now he fits in to my framework again. A great lost album. Don't tell me I have to find a copy of American Stars & Bars now! Not Trans though...please!
Also found a couple of Daniel Lanois discs, shine and here is what is just to complete the collection and the deluxe 2 disc set of U2's Boy. This was the first U2 album, and I loved it from the moment I first heard "I Will Follow" being played in a record store in 1980! The Joe Strummer DVD The Future Is Unwritten was also there...and what a film it is! Don't miss it!

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