Monday, January 23, 2006

Wolfgang

This is just a quick post about Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. He was simply the greatest. I have never been much of a populist, and I have always thought of him as the Beatles of classicla music, so in a way I am angry at myself for liking him so much. You simply owe it to yourself to listen to him as much as possible. More later on him.

Wednesday, December 21, 2005

ATB

ATB is a German electronic musician. I think he is a production genius. If you don't check out any of his other songs, at least to Peace Illusion off his album Addicted to Music. He's one of those people that if I hadn't happened upon him by accident, I never would have heard his stuff. He just quietly does his thing. He was voted 9th best DJ in the world at one point, but the main focus of his career, and where his best stuff lies, is in his own albums, not his DJ sets(when DJs do a set, it's usually made up of mostly others' music.) Give him a listen.

Wednesday, November 30, 2005

Record Labels

I've been wondering lately what the future is going to hold for the major record labels. My preference is that it includes bankruptcy and ceasing to exist. I site here pondering a simple concept. Many of the musicians I've been a fan of have been on major labels. In most cases because they're great and the built up fanbases which got the noticed by majors, or had a few successful indie records first. Not because the label said "Hey, we like them, let's sign them." Come on, would any major have ever signed REM if they hadn't had such successful records on IRS? My question is, what if the people like that didn't sign with major labels? Would they be completely unknown? The answer is, maybe. As long as they have good, worldwide distribution through a major distribution company, they would have the ability to sell millions if the demand is there. That's why REM jumped to a major, people basically couldn't buy their record in Europe. The main problem would be radio. The big stations only play major label artists, generally speaking. If corporate radio could be stopped, people could bypass major labels, get major distribution and be just as successful. That sounds too good to ever happen, though.

Monday, November 14, 2005

Creativty=Repitition

I've been doing something over the last few months that I'd never done in my entire 23 years of existence. I've been writing and recording a song a week. No, not all of the songs are, according to my standards, album quality. But most of the are. I've always read about people who record 20-30 songs for an album and whittle it down. I thought, "Well, I guess I'm just not that prolific." Now, I'm wondering how I could ever keep it down to 20 or 30. I would never want to release everything I do, but I would say somewhere around 80-90 percent I will gladly put my name on. My advice to anyone who is wondering how to increase their productivity as a songwriter is simple. Write tons of songs. No half-finished songs or ideas. Tons of finished songs. And if you're not a songwriter, become one. It's becoming a lost art.

Sunday, October 30, 2005

Music and Religion

I have come to the conclusion that music is, for all practical purposes, my religion. I believe in God, so no, I don't worship the "God of Music" or something like that. I've never found church to be very spiritual though. I've always just found it repetitive and too earthly. To me, spirituality should not feel of this world, and if there is one thing I feel comes from somewhere outside this planet it's music. Let me clarify that this is a staggeringly beautiful planet in a lot of this places, and a lot of this planet to me proves the existence of a higher being. So when I use earthly as a negative term I don't mean it literally. Music though, for me, serves the purpose of being my daily means of seeing a higher power firsthand. I have no problem with Christian music, but I really think you shouldn't have to sing about God for your music to be spiritual. Radiohead have hardly ever sung about God, but I challenge anyone to listen to them and tell me their music is not more spiritual than any Christian band's. Some people call it songwriting. To me, it seems more like praying when it's going well. I hear people talk about how they were saved when they found God. I feel like I was saved when I found music. And God. I really think they're one and the same.

Monday, October 17, 2005

The Most Brilliant Musician You've Never Heard Of

Ok, you may have heard this guy's stuff, I just needed a good title. He records under the name Chicane. His real name is Nick Bracegirdle, and he's a British producer. He has had some success in the states with a song he did with Bryan Adams providing vocals called "Don't Give Up." If you're looking for proof of his genius, he made Bryan Adams sound good. Enough said. He's one of the few people I've ever heard who really has his own unique sound, there is nobody like Chicane. He's a genre unto himself as far as I'm concerned. His debut was a mainly instrumental record called Far From the Maddening Crowds, and his second record is called Behind the Sun. BTS has a lot more vocals. I like them both equally; they're records I've never gotten tired of even though I've listened to them for a long time. His third album was going to be a record called Easy to Assemble, but he pulled it at the last minute and never relased it anywhere except Russia. It's a fantastic album, but not quite as realized as his first two. I guess he had second thoughts and knew he could do better. I'm still waiting for the next masterpiece from Chicane, I have a feeling it's coming soon.

Monday, October 03, 2005

DJ Tiesto

It's kind of strange that I'm so into DJ Tiesto. He is, by all accounts, an actual dj. Unlike DJ Shadow, who releases only original material, DJ Tiesto's best albums are his live mix sets(other peoples' music with his own sprinkled in.) I certainly can't give him all the credit for his mix sets, but he is brilliant at those and he has put out three great solo albums. The place to start with Tiesto is his In Search of Sunrise series. There are four volumes. My ranking of them is:
Best: Volume 2
2nd Best: Volume 4
3rd Best: Volume 1
Last: Volume 3

I've hardly listened to anyone else for a good while.