I’ve gone through many musical phases: years of my life where I’ve been singularly obsessed with one artist or artists, a single genre.
In college – specifically sophomore year – that phase was classic rock. Fall semester I was really into The Who. If you asked me how I was feeling, I was often tempted to answer, “a little like a dyin’ clown with a streak of Rin Tin Tin.”
While I am the first to admit that I am not the world’s biggest David Bowie fan (I like his music, I’m just not obsessive about it the way I am about other artists), I would be remiss if I did not acknowledge this cultural moment. What follows is a small roundup of links about the man, his music, and his impact. Overall this is just bizarre to me: Bowie always fashioned himself as a transcendent alien, so I never thought of him as someone who would be able to die.
David Bowie Dies at 69; Star Transcended Music, Art, and Fashion
David Bowie’s Fashion Legacy
David Bowie Allowed His Art to Deliver a Final Message
And because this is a female-focused blog, I would also like to include the following link as well. I don’t want to start a firestorm on the internet, but I feel that this aspect of David Bowie’s life is important to point out.
“So that’s what I’m going to try to do: try to get comfortable with the discomfort of the grey area. To understand that a glorious oddball can also be someone protected from consequence by his position in the world. To see genius and abuse not as reflections of monsters or angels, but simply things that people do. Real, complicated, screwed up things and people. To try to understand more about the why of it all, since all of it is part of our common humanity whether we like it or not. To acknowledge that I love and am inspired by so much music this man created, and that I’m going to be as saddened by his loss and transported by his music as I’m furious at what he did. And in that discomfort, working towards a culture where rich, white, extraordinarily talented men don’t get a licence to abuse with impunity.” (sic) (From “David Bowie was wonderful. He was also an abuser. How do we handle that?”)
An occasional series where I talk about my favorite bands & why I love them!
I discovered The Replacements in Fall 2013. I can’t remember how I discovered them, so there’s no good story there, unlike for two of my other favorite bands (JAMC and Brakesbrakesbrakes – I’ve shared those stories of discovery elsewhere on the blog).
So I didn’t find them through a random Google search or through a cover-of-a-cover. The Replacements just came into my life and it instantly felt like an inevitability. They’ve got a very similar sound to bands that I like: solid guitar lines that support clever and introspective lyrics.
So a blog I follow recently posted a list of “Ideas for Self-Care.” One of them was “Discover new music.” Since it’s New Year’s Eve Day, I thought that would be a fitting idea to unpack!
What does new music do? Simply put, it expands your world! Listening to music exposes you to new ideas through lyrics that either celebrate or criticize current events. It can also expose you to new cultures or subcultures by listening to the genres that are associated with them, such as metal or metalcore. This can make you a more compassionate person: you now understand why people strongly identify with a certain genre and style themselves that way.
That’s what self-care is, and what it does: it gets you in touch with yourself and also connects you more deeply to other people. Music is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to do that.
What genres or artists are you hoping to explore in the new year? Personally, I’d like to discover more international artists. I also want to listen to more funk music and dive into jazz.
This one is off their album Committed to the Crime. A dark and ambient album name that fits a dark and ambient song! “Do You Feel It” starts off with a slow piano that has an echoey, empty feel reminiscent of most European club songs. (Or most European music in general, really.)
The piano quickly cuts into a nice electronic beat that provides subtle backing for Asya Saavedra’s strong, even defiant, vocals. She tells her subject that they’re “always talking” but “not playing.”
Today’s post is all about guilty pleasure music – you know, the kind of music you’d never in a million years admit to listening to.
I was inspired by this Dave Grohl quote: “I don’t believe in guilty pleasures. If you fucking like something, like it. That’s what’s wrong with our generation: that residual punk rock guilt, like, “You’re not supposed to like that. That’s not fucking cool.” Don’t fucking think it’s not cool to like Britney Spears’ “Toxic.” It is cool to like Britney Spears’ “Toxic”! Why the fuck not? Fuck you! That’s who I am, goddamn it! That whole guilty pleasure thing is full of fucking shit.”
Ahem. Epithets aside, he’s onto something.
An occasional series where I talk about the bands I love and why.
I mentioned Brakesbrakesbrakes in a previous post, but I thought I’d talk about them in more detail today. After all, they’ve been one of my favorite bands for at least 5 years.