What I'm Listening To:

As a recording musician I listen to an excessive amount of music.  Some music I listen to for work, to learn the basics of a genre, or to get inspiration for writing.  Frequently, when writing in a specific genre, listening to music in that genre feels like building a box, sitting inside, then closing the lid and having it nailed shut.  The effect is that I start to see all of the limitations of the genre at the expense of the creativity.  Listening to something different provides a fantastically important shock to the system akin to taking a sledgehammer to the box, a reminder that the rules defining a genre don’t apply to the world at large. 
(Side note: This effect makes radio very important.  In almost every case, I pick the music I listen to.  Radio stations play whatever they want, and frequently play songs I’ve forgotten about, or haven’t listened to in a long time, or that I’m hearing for the first time.  These songs remind me why I love music or how music can be truly glorious, which is great after the mind numbing effect of listening to the same song for 12 hours straight trying to figure out what the drummer is doing…so that I can replicate it...I doesn’t know drum so good.) 
I also listen to some music exclusively for entertainment value… 
Regardless of how or why I end up listening to all this music, I inevitably form opinions about it.  Just because a song or album is groundbreaking or genre defining doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s good.  A song or album that is derivative of another band’s body of work can be just as good, or better.  These statements can be reversed.  My point is that I come across music I want to share with everyone, and music that I think everyone should avoid at all costs. 
This section of my website is where I will be sharing these opinions.  In each post, I’ll be reviewing a single album from a band or artist. 
I’m absolutely terrible at using normal rating conventions.  If I’m telling you about it, it probably doesn’t rate 3 stars, it rates a 5 or a 1.  I loved it or I’m telling you to please not listen to it, Star Wars Christmas Special-style.  This made me really, really, really want to use odd rating conventions like “this album rates 4 bottles of Carnivore Cabernet Sauvignon, 2 shots of Wild Turkey Bourbon, and a can of Coca Cola.”  Unfortunately, this rating system is helpful in roughly the same way that the success of the potato crop affects the flight pattern of birds.  Thus, I will try to use the 5-star rating convention responsibly.
To clarify that confusing and messy previous paragraph, I will be giving ratings out of 5 stars, but these are immaterial compared to the far more important part of the review, where I will elegantly express my opinion with words.  (Read: Ignore the stars, read the article.) 
For each article I will write a little on that background of the artist and/or genre and discuss any interesting facts I picked up about the album.  Then I will discuss how the album works as a whole, followed by a review of some of the individual tracks, making sure to point out anything that truly stands out.  Scattered amid all of this information will be whatever else I may I feel like saying. 
I rate this article 3 cans of Spaghetti-O’s, 6 shots of El Jimador Tequila, and a solitary dancing bear.

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