If you’re ever wondering what people are feeling at the moment you can find out by music hunting and using whatever’s popular at the moment as a decent barameter.
Seriously, look at any digital music popularity tool on a Monday morning, and then take a look at it on Friday afternoon…it’s basically an A to Z reflection of human disparity and jubilation.
I was a rap freak as a teenager. I remember middle school, when I actually went out of my way to purchase every record that the Barenaked Ladies were putting out. Those sentences are related; promise.
So if you’re not familiar with the gift from Canada that BNL was back in the early nineties, not only are Yoko Ono, Brian Wilson, and Kraft probably a little bummed, but congratulations. Don’t get me wrong…time and place, and quite catchy funny songs all of them, but I owned every album, and I have to look at myself in the mirror somewhat often.
Anyway, I’ll give props to BNL because I think that’s where I got really into knowing lyrics (BNL being a very lyrically playful band), and that translated right into the rap scene, where I quickly became a disciple for Warren G, Snoop, Tupac, and Bone Thugs.
And to be totally honest, that carried me through. I had some quality influences pulling me into other music, like the jammy, southern rock world that Braden was into, and even as far as the country scene at certain points. Right next to the BNL albums I just threw out, I saw (and tossed) Brooks & Dunn and a few Allman Brothers albums.
I threw away all my CD’s…no need to read into what was tossed.
Nevertheless, I think hip-hop predominately carried me through high school.
Point is, I went to college with no real walls on my musical interests, but no real expertise in anything in particular. I had decided that Tupac and Kurt Cobain were significant on the timeline of my musical education, but when I got to California I quickly figured out that the elements were different out there.
Napster had a lot to do with the viral spread of music, and it was just about to hit, but at the time I remember finding bands like Cake, John Mayer, Korn…alternative and singer-songerwriter stuff that I just don’t think was on my radar prior.
And then came Napster, and everything was at my fingertips.
Live tracks. Other people’s music libraries.
A teeming sea of tunes and artists and stories and a sense that there was more to know than it was possible to know.
Which is where my love affair started.
Not with an artist, band, genre, sound, form, or attitude related to sound or music.
A love affair with the hunt.
What’s music to you?