Can't You Just Be Normal
That was the cry, almost in unison, from chef Phil and waitress Georgie a couple of weeks ago as I enthused over some recent musical finds. Via the wonderful African music blog Awesome Tapes From Africa I had downloaded some songs by a Ghanian singer and musician called Onipa Nua, and from the massive and eclectic WFMU On The Download archive I had come across a selection of famous songs condensed into sixty seconds and was raving about the double time version of Eleanor Rigby.
And then the shout went up.
Well, it appears that I can't be normal, the processed chart music industry holds very little interest for me, I don't care for the ultra slick, over rehearsed style over substance approach of the X-Factor factory farm method of producing short lived record company cash cows, I'd much rather be having a few pints at a small venue watching a new band doing their best and performing their own material.
The breadth of music available to people has expanded massively with the digital recording revolution, there are ten times as many albums being released today as there were in the 60's, yet the music industry keeps on proclaiming that the death of music is upon us. It isn't the death of music, but it may well be a tidal shift in the industry and in the way that we purchase and consume music. When a band can record their music and put an album directly onto the internet for download they don't need to get record company backing to get their songs out to the public.
Free legal downloads are available on the net in huge quantities, bands put out free music to entice new fans and hopefully persuade them that their music is good enough to be worth purchasing next time around.
Today I will be driving the staff mad with some more recently discovered music, Dirt Star who is a Chinese indie musician singing in Mandarin and English, you can download both his albums for free from the link, and The Fuck'androlls, an Asian (sorry, I can't find any more info on them) indie rock band with a really dirty garage sound, you can download their 3 track demo EP from the Last.FM link for free.
Here's to new music, to not getting old and comfortable in musical taste, to pushing the boundries, to driving my long suffering staff right around the bend.