Monday, September 7, 2020

#NewMusicMonday • July-August • 2020

The Listener
Recently, I've had a couple of people ask me what my blog is about. The short answer is I write about rock 'n' roll. Since 2015, it's a passion where I developed a process over time that I compare to fishing. I cast my digital fishing pole into the river of musical streams.

To create a blog, I always start at the end. The end is the playlist, the second part of the blog. I spend the most time on any blog making the playlist because it's the heartbeat, the music itself that motivates me to organize a group of songs and then write about them.

The actual first part of the blog, the writing is always the hardest part. Sometimes like this week, I don't have much to say about the songs because it's new music that I don't have experiences to tie them to, other than I like the songs I've caught. Sometimes, I wonder how many people actually listen to an entire playlist that I've created? I'm guessing a handful. I like to think my playlists communicate a message- the songs selected and their linear order, an iteration with its own rhythm and if explored, probably reveals more about me than the writing of the blog.

I have two kinds of playlists. One, songs compiled from my youth in long-term memory, and two, songs compiled from recent times and often experienced as fun short-term memories.

The long-term playlists are often like fishing in a familiar fishing hole, you just cast your line with bait and wait, and then you catch that big song from long ago and just slowly reel it in.

The new songs have an exciting element of the unknown, you're fishing with a lure, casting out and quickly reeling it in with only your shiny lure staring back at you. But every now and then you catch a fresh new song, a keeper for a week, or one that actually becomes a long-term favorite.

In this metaphor, the bait or lure is my musical sense, my personal preferences to beat, rhythm, melody, vocals, lyrics, and the musical instruments used, and then categorized as an artist's musical sound, style, and/or genre.

In the past several weeks of putting this #NewMusic playlist together, I have been examining my musical taste in both my old and new likes, and my recent dislikes that stereotype most pop music today by assuming every young person must have an electronic pulse sound in the song in order for them to buy it.

Now, take my 'digital lure fishing' method to catching songs and it's something like 'speed dating' where couples sit for a minute, talk, the bell sounds, and then you move onto the next table. I cast my 30 second lure- listen to the intro, does it grab me, or skip to the second quarter, continue to listen or skip to the third quarter, continue to listen, or it's one and done with that song. This may sound cold, but my method gives a lot of artists and bands I have never heard of a fighting chance with my musical 'Crap-O-Meter.'

So, it's a lot like fishing, mostly misses but a few wonderful hits too. This week I discovered new favs for the first time- Josh Ritter, Kathleen Edwards and the band, Travis as well as new material from recent favorites as The Killers, Black Pumas, and The Lemon Twigs. Also, a couple of new old songs from The Rolling Stones, Green Day, and Prince.

My hope is that you're saying, "Cool thanks for sharing this new music." Or,
"Seriously Doug, you mean you have never heard of Travis until last week, and you call yourself a music blogger?"

Enjoy my friends and stay well out there.