Friday, February 6, 2009

Just Noise

I was just having an argument with a friend of mine (one that's fairly common between us) about "screamy" music or "hardcore" music...the kind of stuff that's not very accessible at all and most people would say is "just a bunch of noise." My argument to her was that I feel like there are certain kinds of music or maybe just certain bands that you might need to...well...try to like. They just require some effort from you because they exist so far outside of paradigms most people have about music that the first time they hear such sounds and such an absence of the normal ingrained structure and rhythm of mainstream music that it's just kind of a shock to your system and your immediate response is to reject it. I can't tell you how many bands in my iTunes playlist right now are bands that I didn't really like or wasn't sure if I liked the first time I heard them. Wait, actually I probably could do that. Anyway, my point I made to her is that I feel like people do themselves a disservice by spurning music like this without really giving it some effort because some of these bands (SOME) are really brilliant musicians and songwriters and are truly doing something unique and interesting with their music rather than what most people are doing with it. I also feel like when you're able to put that kind of effort into liking a band even if at first they don't necessarily rub you the right way that it can be rewarding in a way that no music can be which is immediately and innately pleasing to the ear. If I hadn't given certain bands 2nd, 3rd, 4th, 5th, 17th chances then I would never have gotten into:

Against Me!, Alkaline Trio, American Nightmare, ANY Black Metal (a true case study in what i'm talking about), At the Drive-In, The Beach Boys (you'll see how in a lot of ways this whole argument kind of works in reverse for me), Blink 182, ANY Ska (thank you Catch 22), Coalesce, Converge, Dillinger Escape Plan, Foo Fighters, Gorillaz, Gnarls Barkley, Incubus, Jimmy Eat World (though I guess if I heard Clarity first instead of The Middle it would have been different), John Mayer, King Crimson, Lightning Bolt, ANY hip hop (thank you Eminem and Outkast), New Found Glory (THAT'S RIGHT), ANY Death Metal (thank you Opeth), A Perfect Circle, Poison the Well, Radiohead (that's right...my favorite band in the entire world and I didn't like them the first time I heard them...didn't like Thom's voice...true story), Shai Hulud, Smashing Pumpkins, Sublime, Weezer

So in conclusion, I'm making a mix CD for my friend in the spirit of this argument that's titled "Just Noise (a.k.a. Homework)" and this is the tracklist:

1. Shai Hulud - Scornful of the Motives and Virtues of Others
2. Coalesce - What Happens On the Road Always Comes Home
3. Dillinger Escape Plan - 43% Burnt
4. City of Caterpillar - ...And You're Wondering How a Top Floor Could Replace Heaven
5. Funeral Diner - End On 6
6. Circle Takes the Square - In the Nervous Light of Sunday
7. Ampere - Woodlawn
8. Neil Perry - Nine Minutes of Non-Fiction
9. Off Minor - The Transient
10. The Assistant - Training Wheels or No Hands
11. Poison the Well - Slice Paper Wrists
12. Cave In - Juggernaut
13. Between the Buried and Me - Mordecai
14. Mare - They Sent You
15. Botch - To Our Friends In the Great White North
16. Converge - Heaven In Her Arms

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