Friday, April 24, 2009

KXLU Goldmine

I was stuck in the car all day today for work, but the benefit of this is that I got to listen to KXLU all day....

and they notified me of this incredible goldmine.

Awesome Tapes From Africa. Name says it all. Go in wonder, my friend. Go.


Shawn said...

If you could please tell me about your favorites as you go along so that I may try them. I would appreciate that.

I'm currently venturing down more troubled and potentially less rewarding roads. Like for example I heard about the band Tinted Windows, and thought it was kind of cool (the existence of the band). I don't know if it's because of Anvil or my own aging or a general comfortableness/maturity or whatever, but I had this thought that maybe you shouldn't write off everyone forever because of the mistakes of youth, or a horribly shallow or mainstream or profit-driven genesis. And I had this sudden revelation that there is no good or bad music, just like there's no good or bad movies - there's music (movies) I like and there's music (movies) I don't like, right? None of the critical attention or bullshit reputation kind of stuff matters, ultimately or even immediately. I once had a friend named Ryan Lucht, and he really liked Third Eye Blind and I really liked Third Eye Blind and he turned 16 before I did. I went to his house and he drove me around in his car, I think it was my first same-grade friend to ever drive me, and he was playing I think DMX or Snoop Dogg or something and I asked him why the sudden change and he said it was because he'd be too embarrassed about playing Third Eye Blind in his car (because of what girls would think? Guys? City planners/leaders? I don't know, I never asked him and maybe should have).

Point is, I knew then and have always remembered that Lucht was a douche for making that comment. But in my own way I drifted towards the same mentality by denying myself access and, intentionally or not, emotional objectivity in regards to most 80's-90's mainstream movies/music. I don't hardcore trip nostalgia, that's not what this is about. In fact, immediate failures in this new venture have mainly been the revisits to the sentimentally cloaked bands of my youth.

There's obviously not a specific or coherent agenda I'm operating under. It's just I want to a) recognize the hypocrisy of liking (sometimes even kind of worshiping) certain mainstream elements from previous generations (and if I was submitting a presentation on this topic and wanted to delineate precisely what attracts me/repulses me, I'd probably choose 70's car-chase films, and my personal examples would be something like Vanishing Point/Bullitt (attract/repulse) but that's kind of easy and polar, so maybe something like Policewomen/French Connection OH YES probably that), and b), I think b) is really that I want to move towards accepting as many things as I can and not being in opposition to very many things or even critical or judgmental and definitely I don't want to be one of those flash-judgments kind of people.

Anyway so I downloaded that Tinted Windows album. And I downloaded the Hanson album The Walk, which is Hanson 10-years after their MMMbop album Middle of Nowhere. They're still going. Kind of cool. This is an example of a pay-off:

I don't know if I'll be able to funnel this idea into enough material because it is of course a rather discouraging battle at times, seeing as how much of what exists I, despite myself, don't like. I do always have the consolation of GBV and Pollard (subtle, semi-tragic irony mixed w/genuine feeling).

If you discover someday that I've disappeared, don't fret. You may not see me for years in fact. But if I reach that critical point I know what it'll have been caused by, and I assure you that you'll see me again on VH1 as the guy who owns every Columbia record album produced in 1992 or some bullshit. This was going to be an American Idol joke but I changed my mind. Anyway I guess I just press this button right here...

Dave Howells said...

Shawn, I'm not sure I agree with you on the whole "there are no good or bad movies, and there's no good or bad music"-thing. I may be wrong, but it sounded a wee bit like you're veering off down the "there are no objective truths"-road, and it worried me a little. Come back Shawn! Don't go down there! That way lies only madness, post-modernism, crap music and really bad art-house cinema. Yes, your opinion may be just a personal, subjective interpretation, but it's no more or less valid than anyone else's, and it doesn't mean that there's any harm in sharing it, whatever it is. I'm just a bit worried you might start mulling over whether "reality itself is subjective", and then things could get really trippy. You could potentially start to think that Transformers, is "a great movie", or that Celine Dion's songs are "amazing", for instance. Please don't go down that road, I beg of you. Sure, it's possible that there are no universal truths, there may actually be a God, or we could all be living out meaningless lives in a simulated reality created by some all-powerful sentient being - be that a bearded old man or a load of robots. But if that's true, then why do bad things happen to good people, and why were the two sequels to The Matrix so shit?

Of course we should all embrace the artistic endeavours of others and strive to be open-minded; but if something's "not great" then we shouldn't be afraid to constructively label it so. Shit happens, but if nobody says anything when it does, then there will be more of it, more often. :)

It all went a bit Team America at the end there but you get what I mean, I hope! Right, I'm off to listen to some Hanson. :)

Shawn said...

I wasn't referring so much to sub/objectivity as like Total Noise, a media entrenched society, multifarious forms of thought interference, manipulative marketing, persuasion tactics, groups and demographics and trends and systems and shit that goes etc etc to what I'm saying.

I just meant that ideally I'm the sole interpreter of my personal tastes. I want to become a self-arbiter. And sometimes because of the interference and persuasion and whatnot, and my natural resistance to the concepts, I don't allow myself to experience worthwhile material produced inside this confusing, overabundant, and mostly worthless conduit (the consumerists' culture).

I really like Michael Bay and all of his movies by the way. I really do. He was one of the first people I struck off the Hate List when I began to veer towards this more positive and I think truthful mindset. I respond emotionally to a lot of what he does, if only because his movies can sometimes produce physical responses that mirror emotional ones, for example anxiety is both physical and emotional. And excitement is too. And he generates this in a really shallow and superficial way but I don't hate him for it.

Dave Howells said...

Heeey Shawn,

I think some wires may have got crossed somewhere under that Atlantic! What I said before was intended to be consumed with a pretty hefty dose of salt, and I probably should have made that more clear. ;) It sounds like we're broadly in agreement though - sort of, I think.

Anyways, yeah, I doff my cap to you Sir, it seems like a worthy enough goal to be a self-arbiter and all that. However, I think it's probably nigh on impossible to achieve this higher state of consciousness that you're after, and I'm thinking it probably wouldn't be too much fun if you did. The only way you could conceivably not be influenced by anyone or anything, is if you locked yourself away in a room and didn't talk to anyone, didn't do anything, and just sat and listened to music or watched films all day on your own. And even then, having listened to one album that would probably influence your perception of another, and if your parents liked The Bealtes, and if you'd been dropped on your head as a baby while Status Quo were playing on the radio... etc etc.

I hear what you're saying with the whole consumer culture thing and all that, and I agree. It's not nice having anything rammed down your throat, especially Fox News and MmmBop. Once is OK, and I quite like it (MmmBop that is, not Fox News), twice in a row though and I start to feel a bit queasy. However, having said all that, I probably wouldn't stress too much about it, and I certainly wouldn't advise locking yourself away in a room and not talking to anyone.

The only way the Hanson brothers will ever be recognised as the true geniuses of rock that they are is if we are not afraid to engage with people and share our opinions, while of course, also respecting those of others who may feel differenty (I really don't see how they could though with Hanson?). While you need not necessarily wholly embrace whatever culture or community you find yourself in, I'd certainly say you need to engage with it. If Obama has taught us anything it's that there should always be cause for optimism, and there can always be change. YES WE CAN! ;)

(Again, there were some serious points in there and some not-so-serious ones. I'd recommend a large does of salt again with all of it though).

p.s. I'm not sure who Michael Day is but I will endeavour to check him out. Out of interest, who else was / is on your 'Hate List'?

p.s.s. I would perhaps consider revising the name of your list to the 'He/She/They May Be Good People And Well Done For Trying And All That But Personally Speaking I'm Not Really An Admirer Of Their Work -List'. But then again, I'm British and apparently it's the culture here to be too polite and not direct enough. Hate is a strong word though. I wouldn't even say that I hate the person who created the Crazy Frog. No, scratch that, perhaps I would.

Shawn said...

Oh, I have a very short list. You have to buy me drinks to hear it though, because I don't like to spread it around. On account of its intrinsic oppressiveness.

joe said...

"and if you'd been dropped on your head as a baby while Status Quo were playing on the radio... etc etc."

may I say that I am glad this conversation is happening.