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I have generally found people to be very focused in what they listen to, which I have always felt is boring. It also seems that their passion for music diminishes as they grow older. I realise you can devote a life-time to one type of music, which is why I feel that sadly there is never enough time to listen as much as you should. Albert Ayler has an album on Impulse that is titled - Music is the Healing Force of the Universe, which I believe is true. Why is music so important to some of us? I can't imagine a day without it. Appreciate your thoughts!
I am getting far more open to different things the older I get. If ten years ago a time traveler would have given my a list of my 2006 music collection I'd have sworn up and down I'd never listen to jazz, Buck Owens, or pre rock-n-roll rhythm and blues. I'm also finding as I get interested in something/someone new, one title doesn't cut it. That's what gets expensive. I can't listen to just that one record by(insert anyone or style I like), I want everything I can get my hands on. I think this relates to what Tightwad was mentioning earlier. The older I get, I crave more depth in more areas. (wow, did I just set someone up for a great Beavis and Butthead moment).
I don’t keep anything because someone else thanks it’s important!
I like most music written before 1985 except Opera, Speed Metal, Rap and Hip-Hop. The only music I like written after 1985 is neo-romantic, neo-impressionist and neo-modern Classical Music. I don’t like the cold, steel-like, distorted and empty direction pop, rock etc. music has taken in the last 20 years.
My favorites are Orchestral classical music from the early and late Romantic and Modern periods. Melodic jazz especially Big Band and Dixieland. My favorites being Duke Ellington, Count Basie, Pete Fountain and Al Hirt. I also like most acoustic Rock and Art Rock from 1960’s – 1980’s. I also like a lot of Folk, New Age and Easy Listening music from all time periods. I also like some Bluegrass and some Country/Western. And I dearly love “old time cowboys songs” such as they sung by “The Sons of the Pioneers”.
The funny thing is that when I was a teenager I was a total outcast musically speaking. I was so deep into jazz and classical at 14 (not kidding!) that I really, really despised the "crap" the rest of my age peers were listening to - hair metal, new wave bands and such. I probably wasn't ready for that yet.
Fast forward a good bunch of years. I still have a high regard for jazz and classical in my soul, but these days I'd be equally listening to experimental electronic/ambient, world music, punk classics, alternative rock bands, and even classic 80's thrash metal, which I'm kinda hooked on currently (you should see me doing air guitar to Slayer's "aangel of deeeeaath!!!".... um, maybe better not :D )
Anyway, sometimes I think I could have become a good studio mastering/engineering guy like Bern Grudman or Kevin Gray, if there's something a respectable sound engineer can't afford is to become a musical snob. Over time, you start to recognize that all music, no matter what you think about it, ultimately means something to someone. You may connect instantly with it, which is the greatest thing, or it just won't grab you or, worse, may repulse or bore you. Worst thing that can happen is to write it off and move on. But I prefer to try many things and be dissapointed from time to time, than to remain stuck in the same old things throughout their lives, afraid of change. I just can't stand that level of musical snobbery.
that I didn't understand for quite some time goes something like this...
"ordered Chet's guitar course, C.O.D., makes A and E, and he's working on D
digs C & W and R & B and me and a chimpazee agree that one day soon he'll be a celebrity"
What I missed for many years was the C&W and R&B references - thought he was just being stupid naming chords that don't exist!
Yes, I'm a closet Ray Stevens fan :-)
try out something "new" to me for a buck....I've heard Edgar Winter, Dire Straits, some Mendelsohn, and all kinds of stuff that I wouldn't have heard without the good front end and the cheeeeep stuff to enjoy on it.
I have a passion for a wide variety within the "Rock" genre. I listen to the Monkees, Rob Zombie, King Crimson, Steeleye Span, Tangerine Dream, Beatles, Frank Zappa, Moody Blues, Captain Beefheart, R.E.M., Ramones... you get the picture. I love all the critical favorites like Velvet Underground, Can, New York Dolls, Love as well as critically hated groups like ELP, Grand Funk, Rush, Styx, Kansas.
There are types of music that I really can't care for however such as Country, Opera, Disco, Easy Listening. And other types that I like but am not passionate about like Jazz & Classical (non-Opera).
I don't understand completely why I like certain music and don't like other types. Some music is exciting or interesting and some music is not. Some music even annoys me for some unknown reason.
....you really have to go to the opera. Particularly to a small house, sitting about five rows from the stage. Perhaps have a drink or two at dinner beforehand. You want to be totally open to a combination of visual and musical experience.
of all genres in differing degrees, including the spoken word (poetry as music) and some rap (sometimes cleverly written slam poetry). I have tapes, cd's, some mp-3, as well as vinyl. I'll sample practically anything, try to appreciate it, and at least decide if it's for me. So much varies upon my mood, i.e., a lullaby can be sweet bliss if I'm sleepy, and boring if I'm wide awake feeling hyper.
By the way, I disagree with your assertion that people--in general--are very focused in what they listen to, especially the more mature one gets. In fact, as I get older, my musical tastes, like my waistline, have, ahem, broadened.
There never seems to be enough time, especially for the things you love. The more passions/hobbies you have...well it's just not good. As one who is getting "older", or at least too buisy to spend much time digging for good new music, I recently realized that these frequent "What's Spinning?" threads are source for many of my finds. When I see something that I don't recongnize, I'll sometimes search it out on Amazon and give it a listen. I find that new additions make me appreciate the act of playing music even more; both the new and the old. I'll stay up just a bit later, or have a bit more coffee in the morining to play just one more side. I used to be baffeled by those people with the 1000+ LP/CD collections. I think I'm begining to understand.
...it brings back such fond memories, which is why I am so focused.
I have neither the time nor the desire to branch out. For the most part I listen to the same rock music/artists that I listened to in my youth because it goes beyond the music ...the memories make it an emotional experience. I rarely stray from this pattern.
Here's what's really funny (weird?) ...when I try to branch out within the timeframe of my youth (about mid-sixties to late-seventies) and listen to bands that are new to me; like Mobey Grape, Wishbone Ash and Gentle Giant ...the music does nothing for me. It should, its great stuff, but there is no emotional attachment. Its like pie without ice-cream ...its good, but it could be better.
For me, nostalgia is a major part of the listening experience.
I can buy so much music for so little cost through used records. One of the initial things I hated about CD's when they first came out was the 2 for 1 price difference in what I could get for 15 bucks. I find I am much more conservative in my selections when buying CD's, especially new ones. Records allow much variety and I find myself much more willing to buy something I know little about to broaden my experience. I do think that there is a "diminishing rate of return" in that once my musical experience reached a certain point (thanks Coltrane) I no longer viewed music as being separated into different catagories. When I was a teenager, there was a vast difference between KISS and Earth Wind and Fire, not so much now.
One thing that I have noticed as I have gotten older is that I don't listen to much stuff over and over again like when I was younger. I'll listen to some things only once or twice even if I like it. I do miss being willing and able to "memorize ever note" of some records. But, hey...I've got much more to do now than I did when I was 15 (and hence more cash to buy more records).
Not focused here at all.... except with my camera's :)
Music wise I just listen to whatever happens to come my way. Just yesterday a visit to the record store yielded the following
Eric Clapton - 461 Ocean Boulevard, Slowhand
Procol Harum - Whiter Shade Of Pale, A Salty Dog
Rose Royce - 20 Greatest Hits
Charlie Dore - Listen!
Melba Montgomery - No Charge
Steely Dan - Katy Lied
Toto - IV
MOTT - The Hoople
Judie Tzuke - Road Noise
Billy Idol - Whiplash Smile, Charmed Life, Rebel Yell
Kentucky Headhunters - Electric Barnyard
Jackson Brown - The Pretender
Alabama - Mountain Music
K D Lang - Ingenue
Katrina & The Waves - Waves
So I listen to a good mix of stuff. A little country (well a lot actually), jazz, blues, 70s singer-songwriters, metal, rock. I don't have a preference for once type of music.
Although like some others have mentioned here. I do sometime get stuck on a genre and will listen to nothing but Classical / Opera for a week or two and then i'll shift across to Bluegrass or some other obscure genre.
Mostly alternative music does it for me and I feel that deeper than any other music. Something about modern alternative vocals I just find appealing over opera singers and I find the riffs and hooks just hit me. But I go in binges. I will get on a classical music kick here and there. The more I listen to classical music the less tenable I find modern music seeing it as too simplistic, the more modern music I listen to the more boring I find classical music. Don't know why, its just how I work.
At least, for me!
I've always been extremely eclectic, buying of Bluegrass, Jazz, Classical, even show-tunes and Country/Western...and I listened to all of those genre!
I find I can't get enough Jazz these days, I spend literally hours listening to Jazz either through Music Choice, my computer, or my system; 'table AND CDP.
Very little Rock and even less...and that is what's unusual, Classical!
I still make eclectic choices if I'm evaluating a tweak or a new piece of equipment, but when I listen for my own enjoyment, just to listen to music, I listen to Jazz.
. . . there is a danger (?) of one's musical tastes being too broad and not deep enough.
I have perused people's collections (and yes, I do judge them by their collection!) and found them very Whitman's Sampleresque. To me, it's a sign of a person not being terribly passionate about music, but wanting to "have good taste".
I recently got rid of a bunch of "classic" or "critically acclaimed" albums. The reason? I didn't like them. I don't care how many people think Ian Dury's "New Boots and Panties" is a wonderful record, I couldn't stand it. And I tried. I could list several others like that but you get the idea. I'm sure it would impress certain people to see it on my shelf, but I wasn't going to listen to it again and didn't want it talking up space OR giving people the impression I liked it.
On the other hand, I probably have more Link Wray than most people would care to listen to and I'm still not done buying Link Wray records yet.
I'm curious: What to you is "deep enough"? I have no idea what your musical preferences might be, but in jazz, for example, would they have to have every recording by Hank Mobley, Stanley Turrentine, Art Blakey, Sonny Rollins, etc. Or would it be more that they would have to have only jazz recordings? Or only classical? Or only heavy metal? Or whatever?
> > I'm curious: What to you is "deep enough"?
Anything that shows that the person goes beyond the usual suspects.
If the collection is just a smattering of pre-approved "classic" albums, be they rock, hip-hop, jazz, country, classical, or what, it shows that the person "has good taste," but no passion.
that the "surface listener" would have just what the average person hears about...so it really wouldn't concern most afficianados.
"Surface listener" record collection as I see it:
1 John Coltrane LP...obviously never played.
2 Modern Jazz Quartet LPs, one never played.
2 Dave Brubeck LPs, "Time Out" played and scratched...but only minimal
"scratches" on the label, the other never played
1 Duke Ellington LP, played and scratched, the smell of Citron martini's on it.
2 Benny Goodman LPs, the smell of sour baby formula on them.
4 Paul Winter LPs, 2 played often, the smell of sour chocolate milk on them, 2 never played.
37 copies of the (same) Barry Manilow Jazz LP all played with reverence, thick plastic "after-market" sleeves protecting them.
210 Kenny "G" LPs, all played with reverence, each placed within a velvet sleeve.
At least, that's what MY collection looks like!
I like everything and I mean everything. I like Albert Ayler. Just lack year, I started to finally like Xenakis. A couple days ago, I heard a garage band from Buffalo, early 90s, called the Jacklords. Fantastic. I heard a vocal group from the 40s called the 4 Vagabonds. Fantastic. I like rap, I've liked rap ever since I heard The Message some 25 years ago. I even, to my surprise, find that I enjoy Lawrence Welk on TV, so I guess I'm really old now. When I was a kid, I didn't think an accordian was hip, now I know it is.
my wife, significantly younger than me, is not a big fan of classical or jazz (though she listens too both), both of which I adore, but if you ask her about mid 80's punk she can give you a treatise on different bands and styles. I too like that era and most other styles except country. My daughters, having been exposed to all differnet styles of music since birth like them all though they have their current favorites most of which don't appeal to me generally.
Many people have tastes that seem to be pretty "focused" and narrow. Vinylphiles should be the most broad-minded and knowledgeable audiophiles around since we often run across obscure and/or less-hyped recordings during our maniac vinyl hunts. But if you read the "What's Spinnin'?" posts I think you'll notice that musical tastes around here focus on the late 1960's through the early 1980's - and this usually means Rock Music of some sort. But this may be because that era of vinyl recordings are relatively easy to find on sale. And of course this time frame corresponds the "Golden Age" of hifi that many modern day vinylphiles grew up in, so these records have long been in their collections.
people generally are not exposed to things anymore. The radio doesn't play much, and outside of college, many friends with have limited interest in music and limited exposure themselves. It's not that given the chance, people would listen to james brown, eric dolphy, carl stalling, the dickies, the dixie hummingbirds, george crumb , lord creator etc., all in the same evening, but who's going to expose them to that kind of variety?
For young people audio and visual have also become very mixed. Music is found from commercials and mtv, movie soundtracks and the like. It's hard going for people who don't know where to look or have limited time.
I agree that you don't hear much new or different music on most radio stations. You should check out some all request stations that are also on the net. There are stations that play Izzy followed by Zeppelin followed by Sinatra followed by Marley followed by Coltrane.
There's a local (well, 65 miles away, which is local for my part of the world) radio station that still has humans at the mic from early morning til midnight. The DJ in the evening, "Megan 'til Midnight" plays a wonderfully eclectic variety of songs. I'm impressed because she sounds young (late teens/early 20's) and yet has an appreciation for music that goes back to the 50's. And then she'll play some of the new music.
For me, it's ideal since I get to hear some of my old favorites (she doesn't just play the top 40 stuff like most "classic rock" stations) and then I am introduced to some of the more recent releases. I love it. If only there were more independent radio stations like KOZI out of Chelan, WA.
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