Wednesday, February 6, 2008

O.K., Once More,...With Feeling

"Beyonce is the poster girl for what is wrong with the music business and the Grammys. If she is the reason you are tuning in, you need to get out more."

- John B, writing for the L.A. Times' Extended Play Music News.

Or if you're like me, you prefer to stay in to avoid it all. Honestly, I don't own any Beyonce songs, except for "Crazy In Love", and that's just because they flipped the sample - not because of her.

Really. I don't think Beyonce's a compelling artist; I don't find her the least bit attractive and, frankly, women like her bore me.

A lot of music - or today's popular music - bores me. (I was one of those who turned down the sound when Alicia Keys played the Super Bowl.) Like the Self-Help con artists, these "tastemakers" need to look somewhere else if they need a tool for this.

I heard part of the Foo Fighters Grammy-nominated album - and wondered how it's been tolerated, much less "nominated" for something. The last Radiohead album? Good thing they gave it away because I never would have paid for it.

I think the last song I found worthy of running out and paying for was T.V. On The Radio's "mystical" single, "Wolf Like Me", but all I bought was the single - the album was as bad as the video:

I don't know which is worst today: The artists - or the public's taste. I think it's the artists because the public always moves when I perform so there's only so much blame to go around. The public isn't being offered enough good material - but they're also guilty of only searching through a limited self-selection when digging is called for.

Check out Yundi Li (above) playing the 2nd movement of Chopin's Piano Concerto No. 1, and see if that *certain something* isn't in there for you because, I swear, it is for me:

I ain't gone all hioty-toity with that, but I just like music and don't care what segment of the spectrum it comes from. The way Li's fingers glide across the keyboard; the joy he's getting from what he's doing - plus it's grandeur - all come through, in an almost "personal" sound, and that's what's important to me.

I can just as easily hear it in Punk, too, but for different (more aggressive) reasons. For instance, here's The Jam doing "A-Bomb On Waldorf Street":

That shit floored me the first time I heard it. (Full disclosure: None of these videos do justice to the studio recordings.)

And I haven't heard a great Rap album in so long I'm starting to wonder if it's truly over. But only a fool would count Rap out because - like Jazz - it's still the life blood of the party.

I'll just keep playing my old Run DMC albums until somebody figures something out,....

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