Category: Music

I’m just herefore, Music

Music discovery is always something that I struggle with.  Finding new and interesting artists is always a challenge.

Ever so often, I have serendipitous encounters with music that immediately grabs my attention; today it is the band: Parcels – on Google Play Music.

I have never seen this band before, and I am hoping they will have an EP I can purchase soon; aside from the Herefore Remix EP linked above.

However, in the interim you may check their soundcloud:

 

 

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On Coming home.

What is the strength of expression?

There are some who are positive and flow like a tranquil current through life.
Then there are those who go through life navigating white water rapids, with no oar and one arm.
I often find I fit into the latter category. Wading through a mire of diffidence, littered with detritus of despondency.
Yet, I am never able to express myself way in such a way that those in the former category can understand.
Then I find music, a collective infusion of artistry. Lifting me from the cusp of the mire and imbuing a buoyancy of spirit that I have often wished to share.
Finally, I shall just share one of those moments of artistry that I most appreciate.
Listening to great music does feel like coming home.

The Little Heaven

Take me to church: An Ode to  consensual coital coalescence.

Conceptually, it evokes a Donnian approach, if only in the juxtaposition of the carnal  and the religious.

The comparison betwixt the muliebrious form and the Church  is redolent of  a Donnian conceit.

The conceit: The Church and the bedroom are synonymous.

Priapic expression is the chosen form of worship.   Consequently, this  makes the pudenda Heaven , or the gateway to Heaven.

The  “Church”  – a synecdoche for Religion –  enhances the dichotomy between  the carnal and  the spiritual.

Every Sunday’s getting more bleak

A fresh poison each week  …

My church offers no absolutes

She tells me ‘worship in the bedroom’

The only heaven I’ll be sent to

Take me to Church …

Offer me that deathless death.

The presentation is interestingly irreverent, it speaks of worship without the ubiquitous  religious austerity.   This speaks much to the artist’s disenchantment with religious doctrines.

 The church:  the bedroom. Heaven: the body or the pleasures he derives therein.  Spiritual release: The brief  satiation of desire.  La Petite Mort.

 The sensual revelry  is in itself, worship. The cardinal metaphysical conceit: the body’s apotheosis.

 This song is brilliantly done and is quite the pleasure to experience.

Sensually Yours (R).

As a lover of music – though I am not a musician – I do find that as an avid listener there are some “finer” points to this Genre on which I can offer insight.

There is no doubt within my mind that music is art. There is , however, some difficulty in categorising the artistry of some musical contexts.

As we get more creative, and include technology into creating our art; music has become a Genre that is simultaneously visual, auditory and sensuous. Curiously, there exists a fine line between sensuous… and sensual art.

For sake of mutual exploration and understanding let us look at :

Timothy Bloom feat ‘V’ – Til The End Of Time.

Visually, this is very simple, it operates on the premise that ‘less is more’. It takes a decidedly sensual topic – the body – and tastefully presents in for perusal.

The use of shades and tones also gives it a sense of maturity. Attractive, but not gaudy, sensuous, but not erotic. Though I cannot speak for the lyrics.

Conversely, and for comparison we have:

The Flaming lips feat Erykah Badu – The First Time I Ever Saw Your Face.

To say the least, the music is clearly like a brand of exotic Wine; that one needs an acquired taste to appreciate and, or enjoy. Something I have grown to like after a few listening sessions.

 
Visually this video stands in stark contrast – pun? – to the first video; the subject of which is also the body.
There are  copious amounts of colour present, presented in what I consider to be gaudy visual range; sensual more so that it is sensuous.

Certainly , arguments can be made for its meanderings down the path of eroticism.
The subject of the video is oft covered in liquids of various hues. Visually, these hues represent a sort of metonymical representation for biological functions and corresponds with the four Humours.

The foremost of which is Blood.

 
Interestingly, at the end of the video the subject is covered in a Phlegm like substance – another of the four humours. It is white and like Phlegm very viscous.
Owning to its erotic nature, I could not help but like it to another biological substance that is also white – or off white – and viscous.

The presentation of which – she is covered in it – coupled with the fact that she – the subject – is sensually ingesting said substance. It draws shocking parallels to the “conclusion” of every… “Graphic” video that one has ever seen.

I might even go as far as to say the Ocean is a beautiful place, however, there comes a time when there are too much Sea men wading its shores.

PS. That is as far as I draw that pun into the light of day, without the risk of being to risqué.

Ciao!

Putting back Muse in Music

Music is a unique thing. There are times I listen to songs in different languages and enjoy it, despite not having a clue what is being said. But whatever WAS being said…I know I like HOW it was said.

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Let me bring you deeper (pause), deeper into my love affair with music.

I think there are various ways in which we all enjoy music. I do not always listening to a song for profound lyrical content or socially aware lyrics. There are times when all you need or want; is a musically cathartic moment. Whether it is to ease your mood or  for fun. It matters not.  I will attempt to identify four ways in relation to a level of depth. In which music can be enjoyed.

The first level is actually shallow and lacking in any (significant) depth. Not surprising, seeing as it IS the FIRST level.
On this level of musical enjoyment, the thing you enjoy most is the beat. The symphonic arrangement of individual instruments such that it evokes movement. Or in lay terms: It makes you feel the need to dance.

This is the level where most “club music” lives. However, the enjoyment here is short-lived. After listening to songs at this level for a week – two weeks at most – you would have been tried and awaiting something new. Example:

I have no clue what they are singing about, even had I been able to sit at the PC with a cup of Earl Grey and my Oxford Dictionary. I might not be able to decipher what they are rapping about. However, on a very base, visceral level, I do enjoy listening to it.

The second level, is where the talent of the artists comes into play. Not to suggest that on the first level the artists aren’t talented. However, It is here, that you enjoy HOW something is being vocalised and not really WHAT is being vocalised.

It is at this level, that the artist needs to be able to sing/ Rap in such a way as to denote clarity. It might be shocking to note that artists at the first level need not be “limited” by this “constraint”. The overall vibe the instruments provides covers all that you will need. However, what is most important at this level, is the cadence. The particularly lilting nuances the singer creates. Case in point:

The Third level is the level at which people attribute “depth” to a song. As if to say, without this, music ceases to be enjoyable. I will admit that it is an important aspect of great music. But not necessary for enjoyable music. This is a important distinction. To  clarify: a song with depth, is generally a song that is more socially aware and less about silly or material things ( To give a very limited and brief example).

It is on this level – if you’re astute, you can see where this is going – that you are more concerned with WHAT is being said and not HOW it is being said. Nor are you concerned with how good of an instrumental arrangement the song possesses.  Not that you do not care about the HOW, it is just not as important as the WHAT. Significantly,  music on this level –  more often than not –  possess a balanced arrangement of vocals (without adjustments) and instrumentation. Essentially, enjoying music on this level means you are more into the artists lyrical content. The perfect example: 

The fourth level, and the last, is more abstract and subjective. More so than the previous. On this level you enjoy music that you can empathises with. Music that has meaning to you based on your social environs,  specific moments or specific people in your life. Basically, anything that has to do with the significance you place on the music. As opposed to the ACTUAL meaning the song was meant to have.  I do not think I have to say it, however, this level is more a combination of elements in levels one through three. The Pièce de résistance:

Now you know there is a difference between good music and enjoyable music. Enjoyable music need not be good and good music need not be enjoyable.

Which one of these levels (or level) do you listen music at? And what song is most symbolic of that level for you?

If music was a drug, I would be addicted!

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Melanie, Melanie Fiona  If she was a siren, I would gladly let her dulcet tones seduce me. I would yield to the melodious cadence of her voice, as it lulls me to a swift and violent end. Then again, if she WAS a siren; I wouldn’t have a choice. But that isn’t the point. The point is, ladies and gentlemen, this woman can sing!

I say this genuinely and not because I love Trinidadian women…but you wouldn’t know that. Oh..umm, well you do now. But so what? It still stands!

All the songs from her that I enjoy, are like a poetic soliloquy: to all the failed relationships I never had, and the emotional baggage that they personify.

If you had asked me to vocalise said soliloquy, it would go something like this: This time, 4am, I just keep running; I end up on The wrong side of a love song and It Kills Me.

Even the names of her songs rolls of the tongue like a desperate plea to your lost love. Like a text message made in the night when the memories of what used to be, overwhelms what is.
listening to her music, I can imagine my self being in a confessional – no insult meant to Catholicism – as a disembodied voice whispers in my ear; and tells me of the pain she is going through.

It is this aspect of her music and performance, why I think she is so good. When you listen to her songs, when you hear her voice. All you hear is passion, and you know – without the shadow of a doubt – she is singing form the heart.

Why is this important? Well Frank Ocean said it best: “I can’t feel nothin…every single record autotunin’, Zero emotion, muted emotion, pitch corrected, computed emotion”

If I must buy music, I want it to be authentic. I want the artist to actually be able to sing outside of studio adjustments. I want the same emotional weight from the single/track to be present in the live performances. There are a lot of musicians, that when you hear them live, you wonder if they are the same person that sang the song that resonated with you so profoundly.

All I can say is: When it comes to music, “Give it to me right or don’t give to me at all-” or “I’m gone and never coming back.”

By now, you would have noticed the copious amounts of Melanie Fiona song references. If you did not, then you may read it over; they are fairly obvious. It is a clichéd technique to be sure. However, like the refrain from a poem it has a desired effect.

Melanie makes music fueled by her experiences; or at least I would like to think this is true.
For me, she creates and performs soul music. Music that speaks to you, that you can relate to or empathise with. And for those of you who create and use music as your muse, well she inspires me too. So much so, I will write a small ‘poem’ to express how good I find her music.

Ahem, here goes:

When I listen to her sing
My heart beats a mile,
And sends shivers up my spine
I stop
open my eyes
And smile
I think: Divine.
Good music!

And for those of you who are into pop-culture references. No I did not mean Kanye’s label.

Next time you have a few minutes, listen to Melanie Fiona. Try something old school and burn a CD for your girl or guy. Expressing your undying devotion. Or just enjoy the music because its good. Assuming that isn’t too mainstream.

Who are some of your favourite Musicians? And what do you listen that is cathartic? Let me know, I’m always open to new musical experiences.

Oh, before I forget. Should you want to check her out. Go: Here