What passes for music these days.
NOW I know what the geezers from my past were talking about. The music that kids listen to today barely qualifies as music.
Don’t get me wrong; there are plenty of artists out there on the popular music scene who can actually make music. John Mayer, Jason Mraz, Grace Potter, and a few others are first-rate musicians and songwriters. These guys are not the focus of this rant.
And I guess that’s what it is that bothers me so badly. A new band may actually have a decent song; tolerable lyrics, lead singer that’s not too annoyingly “urgent” and some musicians who can actually play their instruments. The most maddening detail is the drummer, pounding incessantly on the cymbal with each and every beat with no variation or sense of rhythmic patterns. Just banging on the cymbal. Sometimes through the chorus or even the verse. I hate it. I have even unwittingly ruined a band or two for my oldest daughter. Sorry. But this is a widespread problem, a disturbing trend, and the stuff of geezer chronicle.
Apparently the only requirement to be a drummer these days is to have a drum kit and a pair of sticks. Oh, and enough brain power to carry a beat. But that’s where it ends.
No more Neal Peart, Richie Hayward, Mick Fleetwood or the other greats who could play complex patterns of interesting rhythms, and keep a steady beat at the same time.
These guys were back in the day when guitar players actually played the whole way through the song, not just little breaks at the appropriate places, then a fifteen second bridge. Paul Barrere of Little Feat (a band that many have not heard of, but who were very cutting-edge and influential in the 70s) was a phenomenal guitarist whether playing lead or rhythm. Most of the songs, he is just playing behind the vocals, not just chords, but complex rhythms that are hard to hear unless you are listening with headphones or at volumes to make the neighbors a little angry.
My point is, that musicianship is getting passed over for a decent hook, over-produced music and a cute face/fancy dance moves. The old guys, and I’m going way back to Tommy Dorsey and Bob Wills, the 1930’s and 40’s, were definitely not lookers, nor did they even have singing voices that were beautiful, but they could play their respective instruments and assemble others who could technically and creatively complement them.
Now all you need is an aggressive manager and a good producer.
I don't know the band in the picture, I just wanted to show the young, vapid musicians prowling around these days. They look like they would play the kind of tripe that I described above. For all I know, they could be the next band of geniuseses that make the Moody Blues look like a bar band. Just judging the book by the cover. Geezer stuff.
Saturday, May 16, 2009
Posted by aA at 5:07 PM