The Monday Mess – The irony of good music – 19 Nov 2012

YupWelcome to the Monday mess, where this Monday we shall, mainly because I had most of this written, and I didn’t want to start anything else, via the medium of a small essay, take a flying look at the irony of good music. Will you still love me tomorrow?

I do not know this woman, she is just appreciating the irony of good music.
(Image courtesy of Morguefile.com)

In times gone by, that being the time before it was easy to get music off the internet and download individual tracks, the single used to be the selling point, and often the introduction to a new album. Originally the album was just a collection of tracks used to get more money from the consumer. Then Artists like the Beatles, The Beach boys, The Who, and many, many more utilised it for larger artistic statements. Record companies realised early on that they could make bigger profits from the album. Artistic statements aside, the album needed to be made, it needed to be sold, and some singles from the album was the way to sell it. Problem is, this often leads to albums with some good singles and some filler. Early Stones or Who anyone? The reality is there are good albums and bad ones. Singles are or were, not always a good indicator of how good the album is, or was. But unless you read reviews you had nothing else to go on other than the singles. Another problem is a good album does not always have good singles, or singles that catch on. Those albums might not get heard much no matter how good they are. Love’s “Forever Changes” being one example which has become a cult classic over time, and is genuinely a great album.

Of course this is the scenario in very general terms. Bands often built an audience through touring or word of mouth. But the point I’m getting at is a single is not always an indicator of how good an album is. The same tracks aside, you could almost say the two are unrelated. You could easily miss a lot of good music, and easily build up a collection of dross. The irony of good music, is that unless you get proper access to it, and a time to explore it, then you could easily not even discover it. Let me explain a little further.

Often good music or great music is layered, or the quality is not always fully apparent on the first listen or two. It takes our brain a couple of listens to decode it before the qualities begin to shine through. A quick listen on the radio isn’t going to get you that. But from the radio, that is what most people want. We more often need something that is catchy, that has the hooks that pull you in straight away. So receiving music that way, is mostly only a certain type of music. In most instances, anyway. That explains why when you buy an album, even one you soon come to love, it does not sound too impressive in the first listen or two. Unless of course it is full of catchy pop hooks. I cannot remember the amount of times I have bought albums and then had to give them a few days of plays to bed into my mind before deciding whether I really liked it or not.

Generally though, even if you don’t buy a lot of music, you will have some variety of taste. You might have been exposed to it from your parents, family or friends. You might be exposed to it through some constant radio listening, or certain tv shows. There will usually be something that didn’t grab you instantly but crept up on you over time. And there will be the opposite, something that stuck in straight away and sounded brilliant. But after a few plays that initial buzz has worn off. It’s ok but not that amazing. Then a few listens later and it is starting to do your head in. A simple truth in music is that writing music which is catchy, and stays with you, and maybe even reveals more detail over time, is difficult. Some are lucky to put together a good one on the fly, but repeating it? Not so easy. You see the irony of most good music is that it takes some time to grow on you, and reveal itself. It’s like a good friend, more just keeps on coming, even if the way you met was nothing special.

And if you survived that, or just skimmed over it, here is the same argument in “Nonet”:

To your ears, I do not sound like much

but I don’t give it up like that

I’ll tease, and let you taste it

draw you in, be your muse

wonder wat you missed

listen again

soon I will

grow on 

you

So with that, I’m signing off.

Have a nice week, and tune in somewhen further down it for the next brainsplats blog post.

Lexicon word of the day: etymology.

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The Monday Mess – Mysteries of Monday revealed – 12 Nov 2012

(Image courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art)

Once upon a time a music fan called Elliot, would look forward to Mondays because that was the day new music came out. He could wander down the local music store, and browse the new single and album releases. It was fun, at least for a music fan. Now most of these stores have closed, and he moved to the US where for seemingly inexplicable reasons, music comes out on a Tuesday. Monday you have a lot to answer for. Sadly that is not your only crime. I believe you are responsible for the following mysteries:

    • Why Mondays are depressing – Because it is the start of the working week for most people. Time stuck in an office, time stuck in a factory, time stuck in a shop, time stuck some place. See where I’m going? Sure you pay the bills, but wouldn’t you much rather be at home crashed out on the couch eating chocolate and watching the best that cable tv has to offer? For my writing friends, you can replace that last bit about the couch with “sat at a desk, staring at a laptop screen, tapping away at the keys worrying about word counts”.
    • Why Monday is too tired – You spend weekend with your family or friends, or doing something interesting or fun, trying to put off the fact that Monday is coming. You expend too much energy, and / or get too little sleep. Or your couple of days on the sofa is over. Time to get up and do something again. But you just don’t want to…
    • Why Monday is too long to the weekend – Assuming you work the standard Monday to Friday, or maybe even including Saturday, Monday is the furthest point from your time off doing something you want to. Unless you prefer being at work to being not at work, in which case, you need to take a serious look at your life.
    • Why monday is responsible for your life disappearing – Because you spend all week waiting for the week to fly by so you can enjoy the weekend. Then the weekend moves even faster. So the cycle starts again. Before you know it, you woke up in March thinking it will be Easter soon, and actually its almost Christmas. Your child, just a few months old is now almost two. You are wondering where your life has gone. Then it’s Monday and you want to see the weekend again.

You would think I don’t like my job wouldn’t you? Actually it is not bad, but would I still rather be at home with wifey and child? Answer: Watch out for Monday. If you look over your right shoulder, it is there at the back somewhere sniggering at you.

Nonet, Tanka? This week “Monday” in three Haiku

Poke me in the eye
or prod me with a sharp stick
please not be Monday

Where once we were young
we were never growing old
then Monday did come

The finger beckons
new musical gift for me
lost in sands of time

Although on the other hand, it does bring with it the Monday mess.

Have a nice week, and tune in somewhen further down it for the next brainsplats blog post.

Lexicon word of the day: Quincunx.

The Monday Mess – The having a day off, sort of, post – 29 Oct 2012

Yup, that’s right, you read it correctly. I’m having the day off in a blogging sense. Well sort of. I have other things to do this weekend. I’m keeping the post short. Here is a nonet about it. Don’t worry, you will be quickly on your way:

(Image Source: Microsoft Clip art)

“Nonet” to you, lets get on with it, to me:

One final time, I’m too lazy to delete it, Nonet = Nine lines, first line with nine syllables and dropping a syllable each line until the final ninth line has only one. The prompt, see above:

Yeah, whatever! Nothing much to say

time is short, having off today

best not stick around for long

the door will soon be closed

bye bye monday mess

don’t get attached

it’s only

a day

off

So with that, I’m signing off.

Have a nice week, and tune in somewhen further down it for the next brainsplats blog post.

Lexicon word of the day: Qanat.