Friday, 16 April 2010


My love of music is exactly as one of my father's friends described his love for music; 'One morning I just woke up, and music was there!'

While it may sound dramatic, or astonishing that one could pass through life without realising music was there, and then to just discover it, it is my truth. All too often, my friends would discuss bands I did not know about, did not really care about. Music to me was the songs we sang in assembly, the carnatic lessons I took from Ravi sir, the folk songs Amma taught me, and the random Disney and Bollywood that Radha would insist on playing. I made a few attempts at Coldplay, at Bon Jovi, at the Beatles, but nothing more than what fell right into my lap. My first real connection came in the summer after tenth class. That was a glorious summer, where I did absolutely no work, and just sat around doing whatever I wanted. Night after night I woud sit in entrenchment road with Sita, watching Seinfeld, and then Friends, and then Scrubs (11.00, 11.30 and 12.00 respectively). And I listened to some truly awful music; lots of Coldplay, and Linkin Park, (chalk this down to beginner's ignorance) Dashboard Confessional, and some nonsense by random people Radha was listening to. All awful. There was also much Rahman, and Dire Straits, and Nirvana and Rush. An eclectic combination of artists.

Now I've grown out of that. I discarded what I didn't like, memorised what I did, and grew intellectually superior about the rest. I went through a period of punk music, which is dead now. If you say Green Day and Avril Lavigne, I will take a stick and beat you. But I listened to the Ramones, the Sex Pistols, The Velvet Underground. Old school punk music that was really basic. The Ramones have only ever written one song, but that song is so amazing that I really don't mind listening to it again, and again, and again. Coldplay, on the other hand, have also only ever written one song, but it's a pretty crap song, so I prefer not to listen to it. Then I moved on to just old music. AC/DC, Guns N Roses, even more Dire Straits and lots of The Who. The entire discography of the Beatles, and a huge load of Queen's best music. Now I listen to what iTunes calls 'alternative', and what I like to call 'vaguely original' (elitist snobbery, anyone?). This is the Arcade Fire, Death Cab for Cutie, Florence + the Machine, Regina Spektor, to name a few. There's always Rahman, and MS, and T M Krishna, and Sanjay.

A question that comes up everytime anyone talks about music is 'What kind of music do you like?', and the answer I keep hearing is, 'All kinds, really'. This is probably true. However, a musical elitist like myself needs some sort of qualification, some standards. Well, more than just 'originality', anyway. By that definition, Lady Gaga is original *coughnoshe'snotcough*.

So I like lots of different music, but the music I like best, the music that I love, and listen to all the time, and can't live without, what I like to think is good music, is music that has two things:

Firstly, I would like a melody. A melody that doesn't rip someone else off (if you tell me all the chords have already been played by Black Sabbath, fuck you. I HATE metal. Like I said, no discernible tune). One that isn't just a 'nice tune', if you will. Something that makes me stop and think.

And secondly, I'd like imaginative lyrics. I'm willing to forgive quite a lot for imaginative lyrics. I mean, lyrics generally would be nice, I like music I can sing along to. Singing along to instrumentals is irritating. But interesting lyrics, fun lyrics, that's the best kind. Which is why I really like Dave Matthews Band's latest album. They've got some terrific lyrics. This is why I don't mind listening to the Hoosiers. The music itself isn't all that new, but their words are quite cool.

I am not a fan of writing about myself on the internet. But it was either this, or more modern poetry. Music is better, nein?


David said...

Hahaha you really are a musical snob aren't you? I won't say that Green Day are the greatest band in the history of the world, but come on, they have a few decent songs, at least songs you can sing along to, and (in my case) exercise to.

Although I agree with you about the completely original, freshly alternative and genius-to-the-rafters lady gaga cough cough.

I also really dislike metal, for the same reasons: there is no tune, you can't hear the words, and I care about the singers' poor larynxes.

You upstart, coming into interest of music late, and then becoming an elitist critic. Anyone who has heard you play that flute you own could not fail to see the irony. ZING! 1-0

s said...

green day have perhaps one decent song, and it's not worth the hype. they are NOT punk music. what they did is as far from punk music as anyone in the jeremy kyle show is of ever being taken seriously.

and you don't need to be able to make good music to recognise bad music. just like you don't need to be a genius to figure out you're not very bright.

WEY! 1-1

Suhas said...

No discernible tune in metal? Well, to each his own, I suppose. Still I agree in principle on the melody and lyrics stimulation bit. Being a music critic is one of those necessary-evil-type things, pseud but good fun.

Been through quite a few musical 'phases' and similarly memorised and discarded a lot along the way. I've found that things often come the full circle and I actually end up regretting some of my discards. Currently on a Britpop discovering streak now.