This app looks beautiful. Can’t wait to mess around with it.
For the past several years, I’ve been keeping a list of my favourite new albums each year. Here’s my list for 2012.
_Edit:_ I somehow overlooked the fact that Jack White’s Blunderbuss was released in 2012. Added to the list.
Shut Up And Play The Hits.
A trailer for the upcoming documentary about LCD Soundsystem’s final show. I’m really excited to see this.
In keeping with a somewhat regular tradition, I’m documenting here my favourite albums of 2011. If you haven’t listened to these, you would be doing yourself a favour to check some of them out.
Liminal Phase. Great new band discovery. Just bought their album.
A Tender History in Rust.
Is there something in human nature that makes us consider time in blocks, rather than as a continuum? So often when looking back at history, we talk about months, decades, centuries, events, and pretend that they were events isolated in a bubble. That, for instance, the 80s just started and stopped one day. I don’t buy it.
A few weeks ago, a friend and I were discussing how, in his opinion, music today was totally derivative. Nobody is experimenting. Our current decade pales in comparison to the 80s, when there was some real world-changing stuff happening musically. This strikes me as a form of nostalgia for a decade that many hold in a certain high esteem, but that’s beside the point.1
In reality, 1981 was a lot like 1979. Popular music in 1991 wasn’t radically different from the music in 1988. Every piece of art is built upon the path that has been carved out by its predecessors. Particularly with mainstream music where things don’t often surface that truly rock the boat.
Even The Beatles, likely one of the most influential bands of all time, were incredibly derivative in the early days. The influence of Chuck Berry, Carl Perkins, Buddy Holly, and others is clear. Later, beginning with Rubber Soul, you can start to hear Bob Dylan influences. They were listening to their contemporaries and building upon it. Taking it to the next level.
Long-time Beatles producer George Martin was quite clear on the influence that The Beach Boys had on them:
Without Pet Sounds, Sgt. Pepper wouldn’t have happened. Pepper was an attempt to equal Pet Sounds.
I’ve used music as an example to illustrate this, but the same can be said about culture in general or historical events. The Beatles didn’t come out of left field, just like the 80s wasn’t a homogeneous decade that flipped to something else in 1990. To argue otherwise does a disservice to the creative spirit and remix culture.
Let’s ignore for a moment the fact mainstream music today is considerably more bland than the hyper-stylized music that was popular in the mid-80s through early-90s. It doesn’t mean that it’s any more or less derivative. ↩
So good. Seasick Steve, John Paul Jones, Alison Mosshart & Jack White play a cover of Write Me A Few Lines.