Archive for October, 2009

Musical Musings

(warning: this post has a lot of videos embedded. For the full effect, wait until you can watch them. It was the best way I could think of to include the subject matter.)

Music & fashion are, to many, intrisically connected. This isn’t news, I know. Both are means of expressing and defining oneself, but both can also get you stuck in a clique you don’t necessarily want to be confined to. Or conversely, some people cling to the box that their music and/or fashion tastes put them in, using it as a security blanket to keep them from doing too much thought on who they, themselves, really are. I have a lot of thoughts on the matter and might post more when I can condense them to something smaller than 1,000 words, but in the meantime, let’s take a short walk through my musical background!

I discovered punk rock when I was 14 or 15, and as a young girl from a small town in the Bible Belt it fascinated & amazed me. Knowing that someone out there felt the same way I did (this was less about personal angst and more about frustration with close-minded individuals) was such a huge relief. I wasn’t as much into the crass, let’s-piss-everyone-off-for-the-sake-of-it punk (a la the Sex Pistols) as the more political stuff or the “hey let’s all get drunk and have a good time” sort.

And the Clash. Oooh, the Clash. They’ll forever have a special place in my heart & I’m probably going to get a tattoo of their lyrics at some point (I go back and forth between something from “Guns on the Roof” and “Clampdown”). I highly, highly recommend checking out their first three albums – when I first got into them, I liked their first CD for its raw punk-ness, thought the second CD was very hit or miss, and wasn’t much a fan of London Calling. It took me a few listens to truly appreciate the genius that is London Calling. I still think the second CD is hit or miss, but it has some truly fantastic songs on it. And for the love of all that’s good and fluffy, get the UK version of their self-titled. I still get pissed that Joe Strummer died before I got to meet him. Sigh.

Also, Paul Simonon (their bassist) in the late 70’s. Rawwwr. Amirite?

As I got older, I became kind of disillusioned by punk – don’t get me wrong, a good chunk of my music library is still punk or ska, but I saw a lot of hypocrisy. Sexism, racism, and homophobia are still all too prevalent in today’s punk scene – I’m sure that depends on the area as well, but I’ve seen too much of it for my taste. And really, why limit yourself? It’s not necessary. I came to realize I could still love the Clash, go to whatever shows I wanted, and dress however I felt like dressing. I’m a person, not a genre.

I love bands that don’t take themselves too seriously – like the Phenomenauts or the Aquabats. So much fun!

And of course, I love me some female singers. I’ve got to where I’m perfectly okay liking more poppy music – I like everything I’ve heard from the Ting Tings, and some of Lily Allen’s stuff is great.

Then there’s musicals! I have no shame about singing along to the R.E.N.T. soundtrack at the top of my lungs, thankyouverymuch.

I think now I’ve come to a pretty well-rounded place in my musical library – there’s still some stuff I’m not uber keen on (most modern rap and country, although I like 80’s hip-hop!), but it’s not all just one genre or sound any more. I think it’s a lot better for creativity too! There are so many interesting groups out there – like the Harlem James Gang, who not only sound fabulous, but incorporate magic tricks and all sorts of theatricality into their acts. Speaking of awesome shows, I’m going to see Gogol Bordello at the beginning of November and I am SO. EXCITED.

(higher res version of the video at their website, here. & I won’t embed it but this video of them on David Letterman is awesome too. I am so ridiculously excited to see them live!)

So – how about you? Ever get stuck in a genre? Or have you always been an eclectic individual? How do you feel about music & fashion?

Oh, and hi to any new readers sent this way by Gala! :) Feel free to take a look around and make yourself at home.

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