Friday, May 30, 2008

Guilty Pleasure

I have a new guilty pleasure on my iPod. Let me start by saying that I only have a 6 gig iPod Mini and after two years it's still not full. I don't wallow in music, I have a hard time with most of what the industry serves up and tend to pick through the backwaters of the C-List metal offerings. And as a sound guy it's part of the mystique to have all kinds of weird stuff to play when I'm firing up the system.

But, I digress...

I often listen to the local college radio station, WGCC, or "G-Dub" as the kids call it these days. School's out, so live talent on the air is pretty sparse. Actually it's pretty sparse all the time, but even less so now. At any rate, the automation seems to be running toward the usual emo wailings, some punk, one playlist of obscure arena rock that would seem to indicate that the new station manager is somewhere in his mid-forties... and metal. There's sludge metal, death metal, some screamo, and every once in a while some actual four-on-the-floor, fist-pumping, black eye in the mosh pit metal like I grew up on.

Lo, and behold, things have come full circle and guys are wearing their hair long again, with tight black pants and guitars that look like they would cut you if you stood too close. I kept hearing this one song with "Over the top! Over the top!" in the chorus and finally went looking for it on the interweb.

Now, I don't know if Bullet for my Valentine is actually any good, or if they just hired an expensive producer for one song, which happens. I don't know if they kids think they're gay and me too for listening. I watched the video on You Tube, I bought the track on iTunes, I listened to it three times on the way to work. I'm thinking that the title, Scream, Aim, Fire might be a little much to tattoo on my chest... but might be just right stenciled across my sub-woofer array. I don't know how many people speak muscle car, but it was like finding a Hemi 'Cuda with a 427 Torqueflite in a parking lot full of tricked out onda Civics.

Suddenly my disgust with the music industry has melted away. I'm taking a (brief) hiatus from being the jaded industry type to be excited about hearing some music. I'm going to wallow in this song and scrub my armpits with it like Scrooge MacDuck in his money bin until I'm sick of it. I'm going to savor every note of it and wear a snarky smirk over the fact that it has no value musically other than to cause testosterone to flow in the bloodstream. I'm going to crow to people who are not even my industry buddies about full stacks, sub-sonics, and the lack of a good hook in music today.

This, my friends, is why I'm in this business. This is why I have lugged my gear into and out of a thousand horrid venues over the last fifteen years. Because being a part of this screwed up system we use to make music in the world today is occasionally worth it. I've said it before and I'll say it again: even a bad day at a rock show beats a good day hanging drywall. Every once in a while there's one brief moment, on the radio or at a show that makes me remember this.


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