Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Rock Out with Your Bach Out

I giggle a little every time I or someone else says that. Try it next time you see me, and without fail I'll probably do it without even thinking about it. Anyway, since I've spent a great deal of my life and energy devoted to music (as well as pointing out to people that my jewelry and its very name are greatly influenced by the music I listen to), I figured it was about time I post something musically-relevant. Right? Don't worry, there won't be any long drawn-out bios here- just a little brief blip for everyone who doesn't know me as well.

I started being involved in music when I was about 9 and took piano lessons (for much less time than I would have liked, in retrospect). Then, when I was 11, I joined band and started my 11 year- long flautist career. Fast forward through years of hardcore prodigy pruning (anyone who's been in an intense band program can attest to this being how it is, not me overstating it) to college when I picked up piccolo for about 4 years, intermittently took some piano lessons (and learned to sing and play), and wrap up with me learning guitar, some bass, and a little bit of music theory. That about brings you up to speed, i.e. where I am now.

For the past few months, I've been writing my own songs, but there are so many ruts that seem to make the process go a little slower than I'd like. In all honesty, I wish I knew so much more than I do. I wish I'd started guitar when I picked up flute, I wish I knew more music theory, I wish I knew more about pop music (not mainstream pop, more so the loose "pop" term music majors throw around). I wish, I wish, I wish... The bit of cold comfort I think I'm provided is that knowledge of music, like knowledge of anything else, is relative. Good thing too. I'm always amazed at the fact, for example, that I can wow a crowd of non-musicians by singing and playing simultaneously even if what I'm doing isn't musically technically difficult. When I reference some artist or album that my boyfriend, who knows way more about good "pop" music than I ever will, hasn't heard of, it gives me hope.

I don't mean to sound like an arrogant jerk with any and all of this. Instead, I mean to convey that music is a slow process, and it doesn't mix well with impatient type-A's with sky high expectations like, oh yeah, me. Sometimes, I get so caught up in thinking about my inadequacies of music knowledge and any stagnation of progress that I think it hinders what I'm capable of. In times when that really hits me hard, I remember what every music teacher I've ever had would say: put down the instrument and walk away. I feel I've done that off and on with guitar for a while now. And, now I think I'm ready to give it a real go again. On Saturday, I went to the Tori Amos concert with Claire, which turned out to be a really great show. Good shows always inspire
me. We also did a little shopping while she was in town. And, I'm not sure if I'm more proud or ashamed to say that I bought my first vinyl for myself. What would I pick for my very first? Loveless by My Bloody Valentine, which is arguably one of the most produced albums, not overly so though because it sounds amazing. I figured if I want an album where I'll really hear what's more true to the studio recording, that would be the one. Also picked up another one of their albums and You'd Prefer an Astronaut by Hum, who, on a side note, I only have minor gripes with because at times they sound like Switchfoot *barf*.

Do we see a theme here in what yours truly is listening to? Lots of fuzz, distortion, echo-y space-y sounds. I think that there's a great deal that can be done with sound modulation even with everything that's already been done. Granted, I have no intentions of making music that resembles the bands you see that are clearly trying to be weird and experimental that no one gets (and I literally mean no one). Like I said before, the loose concepts are all there for ideas that I need to work out; it's just a matter of precision and making those ideas materialize.

Action Jackson out!


Model Citizen aka Bonnie Rue said...

Oh wow - loveless and You'd prefer an astronaut are two of my favorite all time albums. Great choice for your first vinyl record btw. If you like My Bloody Valentine you might like SnowPony - it's my Bloody Valentine & Stereo Lab. Fun

Action Jackson said...

Sweet! I'll check 'em out! :)

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