Monday, October 12, 2009

On Music Part Deux

William provided a very thoughtful response to my questions. To be honest, I had a selfish motive in asking. Unlike William, I'm generally confounded by the reasons I like the music I like. As far as I can tell, it has no rhyme or reason. William's analysis is pretty on point, considering a serious caveat that he realizes:
all I have to go on is your “currently listening” postings and your comment that you'd take Journey over Radiohead. I am guessing — and I could be totally wrong in this — that you go for strong melody and solid rhythm. Do you usually listen to music while doing other things? Do you tend to like songs that have some presence in pop culture, or is it more that those are the videos that are easy to find on YouTube? My hypothesis is that strong melody (or “hook”) and competent-to-exceptional performance are key to your taste in music. Don't be mad at me if I'm wrong, please.

By the way, I'd pick Radiohead over Journey ninety-nine times out of a hundred because the only Journey song I know is “Don't Stop Believing,” whereas I've really come to like a bunch of Radiohead songs.



My currently listening to posts are all he has to go on, and that's limited by what can be found in under a minute on YouTube. But he nevertheless does nail some points. I like solid rhythm, which explains a lot of my preference for the blues, Cuban music, and Jack White tunes. I generally listen to music while doing other things. This is particularly true for the songs I post as currently listening to.

I was a bit disingenuous about the Journey thing because I don't actually like Journey all that much, except “Don't Stop Believing.” Hooks really aren't that big a thing for me. They get into my head as much as the next person, but that's not typically why I like a song or not.

The pop culture angle is one that I didn't expect considering my opera posts, but I do like Sinatra and Elvis a lot. And on top of that I have a tendency to post 80s one hit wonders from time to time. Liking Sinatra and Elvis I don't think needs to be explained. The infatuation with 80s tunes is largely because many of them are just so odd and there's a certain nostalgia. Nostalgia also explains my penchant for Old School Rap.

I also like Spanish Guitar, Jacques Brel, and Raï and Enya. Not quite sure where they fit in. I 'spect that rhythm is involved with two and vocal performance explains Enya and songwriting might be the reason for Brel.

Now that I think of it, my taste in music is predominately about quality vocal performance and a good beat and rhythm doesn't hurt. Being a a song from the 80s, an old school hip hop track, a Ramones tune, or a Bob Marley song helps. But really any quality music except Polka, even if you update it with a techno beat and naughty nurses, FLG might be listening to at any time. This includes Gregorian Chant. That's some good vocal performance.

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