Thursday, January 21, 2016


It's been a rough couple of weeks for music and those who love it

As I write this Glenn Frey of the the Eagles has passed. Earlier, of course, David Bowie died. And shortly before that, Lemmie of Moorhead shuffled off his mortal panhead

It's sad for anyone who was a fan of these musicians. It's remarkable when you think about it, that you can actually be saddened by the passing of some person whom you've never met. But that's how music affects us, it literally affects us, in that it can change our mood, our emotions, perhaps even our outlook. It's powerful stuff and when one of our artists dies, it can affect us powerfully

I've written before about this compulsion we seem to have to try to quantify things. Everything. And yes, to some extent, you can quantify music. That note was off. That refrain is derivative. What the hell kind of rhythm is that. But you can still like the music. It doesn't matter, even if you can quantify the piece of art, it can not and should not change how you feel about it

Yet there are those who want to do exactly that. They are called music critics. And generally, I guess they do that job cuz their local McDonalds wasn't looking for new help

Some of the stuff written about the Eagles has me wondering if some of these so called critics actually listen to music or even enjoy it at all. I have a feeling they don't care. Because a lot of the crap I have been reading is more grade school social commentary than music appreciation

Apparently I should hate the Eagles because they are from California. I should hate them because they were really successful. I should hate them because they made music that people wanted to hear. I should hate them because that over their career they generally stuck to their guns, musically speaking

The proximity of Frey's death to Bowie's was an unfortunate temporal event. Although people shouldn't compare the two, of course they did. Bowie was an artist who had a major impact on music, whose career spanned decades and who constantly reinvented himself. The Eagles were integral to a sub genre of music, California southern rock, they also spanned decades and they really never tried to reinvent themselves, even with the late addition of Joe Walsh

Bowie was probably a genius. Frey was a gifted songwriter and performer. You liked them or you didn't Really, that's what it comes down to. I am a huge Bowie fan, I've been listening to his music since high school. I am not a huge Eagles fan but I enjoy a lot of their music. If Take It Easy comes on the radio, it's getting cranked

I can give you reasons why I like both artists. To a degree I can quantify why that is. If we were discussing music, I may share that with you. As you would with me. But really, that doesn't mean very much in the long run. The long run is all about how the music affects you, how you relate to it, how you feel. There is no right and wrong in this

I guess music journalists have to write about something. It's actually a pretty specious exercise. Cuz, you know, they can't tell you how to feel about music. They can tell you how they feel and that can be legit but it has nothing to do with how you feel

But these articles are trying to do exactly that; here is how you should feel about the Eagles. And since they can't really speak to our emotional and deep personal connection to music they have to come up with all this grade school sociology and weak urban commentary to justify their point. The point is, they have no point. It's just air. Black marks on a white screen

Yes, and these are my black marks on a white screen. This is my air ... you may want to open a window. But I'm not trying to change your mind about how you feel about music. I could not and I would not (I channelled Dr Seuss just for a moment there)

What I'm trying to do is the opposite. Love the Eagles. Revile the Eagles. Worship David Bowie. Think David Bowie was a weirdo (though he'd take that as a compliment) It doesn't matter how I feel or how anyone else feels

You feel. That's it. Just do that. Just play the music and feel it

Roll down the window and let the wind blow back your hair (Bruce Sprinsteen) And when Lemmi grunts out The Ace of Spades, just turn the radio up

No comments:

Top Blogs Pets

Add to Technorati Favorites