Wednesday, December 1, 2010

10 Things I've Learnt About Music This Year

2010 was a very interesting year for me. It started off with my going to my first music festival to see 2ManyDJ's and was followed up with me experimenting on DJ programs and eventually I did a DJ set for a fundraiser and it was appreciated. But music this year has been been not only a personal experience but an eye-opening process to see what I like, what the industry is like and where we're headed.
He gets mad pussy.

10 Things I've Learnt from Music this year

  1. Being a DJ is hard
    The amount of things that go into being a musician is difficult to say the least and I'm not saying I'm a musician of any kind, far, far from it, in fact. I just listen to what works and I tinker with it until I'm happy or I find an audience. The problem is, however, what to play and your audience. Being at a club, I found myself playing certain tracks over and over again despite people hearing the song about ¾ times. This, of course, led me to my own formula for a good DJ mix, in that, to play to people, it has to be 90% relatability (as in, playing a track and someone going “Ohhhh shit” and then immediately going into a spin on how good the track is) and 10% transitions. Transitions are soooo fucking important, I cannot stress this enough, listening to the album, I realise how shit house I am. Speaking of the album...
  2. …making an album is harder
    I want to say right off the bat, people who downloaded the album, thank you for the support. I really wanted to create something and being a perfectionist, it wasn't really an easy task, so again, thank you for adding to my delusions of grandeur. But seriously, before making the album I'd released a few DJ sets online as just single tracks and this annoyed me and others when we'd be playing it in the car and I wanted to skip to another song or their favourite song and I'd have to fast forward it and it makes that annoying movement sound, which sounds like a Gremlin in a blender.
    It's not working. Hold down the Menu Button and the middle one
    The truth is that when compiling a good album, you really need to think about cuts and tracks. I did not think of the latter when it came to creating Fuck Off, It's Not Spring. But then again, I might be being too hard on myself. It was just a first album and it was just a random try which lead to a few people saying they liked it. My next album, I have a set playlist and will try and mix it before Christmas.
  3. People will listen to anything and variety is still the key
    This is where I obviously get more cynical about things. I realised a year or two ago, that despite my age, my time for music is probably over. There are definite pop tracks which I won't listen to, definite artists I will ignore and more importantly certain 'indie' bands which I will just nod, smile and then walk away from.
    That being said, the state of pop music at the moment is, like it almost always been, shallow. We have several artists recycling similar beats and tracks and lyrics that promote promiscuity to the Nth degree. Of course, in saying that, I do realise my music childhood was filled with women being Sweet Like Chocolate, questing whether the opposite sex was from Venus or Mars, and repeatedly hearing Don't Say You Love Me...
    However, how much do variety do we see on the charts?
    More importantly on the US Billboard charts we have Ke$ha's We R Who We R, something that would even make an illiterate blush. Like A G6, a song that begins with a line about getting high on cough syrup and hitting the chorus with a plane that doesn't exist and ending with a confusing repetition on a mysognist statement on clubrats (which may or may not be true).
    The only track I can personally approve at the moment is Fuck You, by Cee-Lo Green simply based on the catchy lyrics and fantastic beat. I was in the car the other day with a friend and despite it being censored we sang the entire set of lyrics along to the great track. Of course, that being said I have no problem with songs being catchy and enjoyable as long as their not filled with vapid excuses for being considered 'music', such as:
  4. Singing and Talking are not the same
    Oh how I hate this. How I hate this so much. As much as the world is half hating or half loving Bieber Fever, I can say one thing. The kid can sing. He can actually listen to a melody and know where to open his lips on the water bottle target head of his and actually sing-along and drum (youtube embed).
    But the most popular artist of this year or who I've seen or heard most of, little miss K to the E to the Money symbol to the SHA, has proven time and time again that her type of lyrical movement, much like her retarded cousins, 30h3 or whatever the fuck their name is, all seem to just talk over their lyrics like a drunken girl trying to tell her soon to be ex, that taking a shot in the mouth is different from having sex with his best friend for a second time.
    'No, hun, hun, it's totally different, it's not like he was making a baby'

  5. Never trust the critics
    I obviously mentioned in my last top 10 analysis, that you should never trust the critics. I only really trust certain independent media groups or just people online, but the most important thing is to trust yourself and not fall into the hype hole. The ever-dark hype hole was discovered around 1966 when The Monkees started a TV show and the company which started it, Colgem Records, an association between two film studios and a record company. Whilst I personally have nothing against The Monkees, Colgem eventually created the hype hole when trying to keep the show going after 58 episodes, they [The Monkees] wanted to break away, but eventually after two years, they disbanded the show before calling the entire band thing quits, leaving a hype hole. This hole was eventually filled with money and continues to eat its victims and money any chance it gets until it's finished its yearly hunger. It died very briefly in 2008, but was revived by a bailout and the invention of the artists such as Katy Perry, Ke$ha and Lady Gaga. The trinity of stupidity, opened up a great large profitable margin for supposed creativity and female liberation which hasn't been seen in music since...Madonna...who they marginally rip off from time to time.
    What is wrong with your hair?
    But I don't have a problem with just pop music.
  6. Clubs are fun...for only so long...nothing to do with the ladies
    As I mentioned, at the beginning of this year I went to my first music festival and I danced my ass off. I got sunburnt almost everywhere, every single bone hurt for the next three days and I went home alone; it was awesome. However, when I was there, I was patted down twice by police, asked at least 5 times if I had any drugs (I dance weird and energetically apparently) and avoided three different people vomitting near me. Of course, this being the first and only festival I went to, I cannot guage the entire range of a fanbase of festival goers based on one experience, but I will.
    How I Felt in a sea of people
    Often when trying to hold a conversation about the artists at the festival, it would mainly just blur into a conversation about “I'm here with friends” or “You just have to be here”, which kinda makes me think these guys have really good friendships or their just trying to keep up appearances. Probably more the latter, but I always have one thing in mind about festivals or just music in general and obviously no one is gonna agree with me on this, but sometimes it is about the music and not the people. I love the nightlife and the boogy just like everyone else and I love a night out with friends, but sometimes it's good to just sip some stuff and lay back...but you do have to admit some of the people out there are pretty fucking hot.
    Fucking Win!
  7. iTunes is your best friend and your worst enemy.
    I've never been a huge fan of Apple or their iTunes service. Being a Windows user for most of my life and seeing the Mac user fanbase being a moderately, self important, asshole parade (Hey, where did everybody go?) and hipster central, I've never seen the point of iTunes other than helping corporations not signing a DNR on their financial support.
    But to be honest, iTunes isn't all bad, that being said, they have fucked up things in the past, such as removing the entire Pink Floyd discography and not having a single person work on optimising the Windows version of their product. FOOBAR for life, bitches!
    However, I've recently become addicted to podcasts to get some knowledge when trying to play video games. I recently finished The Saboteur, with the final sequence being over run with talk from some of the HAWPCast discussing the use of the word 'faggot', in any context. I do realise that the HAWPCast is not on the iTunes service, but the point is, I've started to buy things on iTunes and I wanted a reason to justify purchasing it instead of someone just commenting and saying..”or you could torrent/download it for free”... I like supporting the artists I like and giving them money...even when it's a few cents. It all makes a difference, when you're not on a label.
    Independence: The Power is yours

  8. My most listened to albums were free
    Not advocating piracy, but here's the deal, Pogo and Girl Talk are the best artist of this year, all years. Their creative blending of popular music of both film and music, helps bring almost everything I love into one big package. Sure, there are a few other amazing artists from the year such as Deadmau5, Flying Lotus, Lupe Fiasco, Dawn Landes and Mother Mother, but Pogo, an Australian who only recently settled his matters with probably the most well-known company of the Big 4. And Girl Talk, a man who I admire for his humble nature, his talent and incredible personality (as seen in the documentary RiP: Remix Manifesto), the man has created the ultimate party album, at least, twice now and it looks like he's not gonna stop. If either are doing gigs near me, I'm hitting that shit up!

  9. Independence and Variety rules...still
    You really need to search out of your comfort zone sometimes and find what you're looking for. If you're bored with current music/radio, then go searching online, anyone in the US can use Pandora, even though I've heard faults with that service, or even use Track Swap, you'll probably find something new or something you've never even heard of/recognise before. The important thing I believe in life is that variety and a balance is always the best way to live, change it up, but make sure you have enough to go around. Help out some independent artists, you'll probably find that a lot of people you like are getting paid by sponsorships or for media appearances, how about giving money to the guy who only plays a few shows but tries pretty hard and is fucking hilarious, looking at you Justin Hazelwood.

  10. The RIAA were not all bad...once
    Sure, right now, the RIAA look like a bunch of bullies picking on a few people but originally, they were nice guys trying to create a balance and a system of producing records for everyone without being screwed by the man...of course, all of this fell aside and are now assholes. Much like Copyright law, which was known as the statute of Anne, both tried to provide a fair amount of wiggle room between the artists/creators and the consumers, but eventually it all became about money and my trust in any corporation has now fallen to the wayside, rolled in dirt, sighed and decided to walk back the road of, that was depressing note to leave it on. Here's a DJ Puppy!
    Sweet beatz, bitches!

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