I was driving to work the other day and my CD player was acting up as usual (Thats what happens when you punch it and then another time you spill coffee on it). So I was surfing through radio stations. I was on Pratt Lake Road, which gives me shit for signal sometimes. Anyways, I went through my usual line up of radio presets. 97.9, 96.1, 106.1, 107.3, 101.3, 96.9, and 98.7. I am in the Lowell area, so its almost right in the middle of getting Lansing and Grand Rapids radio stations. I noticed as I was speeding now old Pratt Lake that there was absolutely nothing on the radio. Nothing. 97.9, WGRD, which used to be my favorite radio station a few years ago has turned into a station that likes to play a lot of Hinder, Nickelback and Staind, along with Black Album Heavy Metallica, Guns N Roses and ACDC. This used to be the station I’d go to when I wanted my 90s alt rock fix. Anyways, with that being said, there was nothing on the radio. So I started to surf, none of the oldies stations were playing songs, they were all on commercial. The usual rock stations were playing crap. I didn’t want to sit in silence, because when I’m driving I just cant. So I started to scan and I ended up on some lame Soft Rock station playing “My Heart Will Go On” by Celine Dion. By basic second nature I turned the station and kept scanning, passing all my presets who were still playing shit songs or were on commercial until I found myself back at that Soft Rock Station. Finally once it was back there I just stopped. I conceded to this soft rock station that would play in grocery stores and department stores. It took me about two minutes to realize that I was sitting in my car listening to Celine Dion by choice. Note, Celine Dion scares me and I’d rather shoot my brains out than listen to her, but on that day, in that situation, I found myself listening to Celine Dion rather than modern rock music of today.
Is it me? Or maybe has the music of today surpassed me. I like to think I have a wide variety of music tastes which range from Arcade Fire to Jewel to KISS to Slipknot to The Beatles. My CD book has a wide variety. How hard would it be to find something on the radio that would fit my tastes? I don’t like the modern sound of todays music, I don’t like modern metal, I don’t like modern rock. I despise Nickelback, I despise Saliva, I despise Staind, I despise Hinder. All these bands are major mainstays on radio stations. Could it be that popular music today has finally surpassed me? Have I become one of those people stuck in a time where they thought music was “cool”? What is “cool” these days anyways?
Obviously someone thinks Staind and Hinder are cool.
I remember when I was in high school, sophomore year to be exact, I was watching VH1 (back when they actually played videos). Nirvana’s “Smells Like Teen Spirit” came on the TV. I’ve heard the song before but this time it was different. The opening drums to the overdriven guitars gave me that musical “holy shit” moments that you can remember for the rest of your life. It was at that moment my eyes opened to Nirvana. Soon there after I was listening to Bleach, where I fell in love with “Floyd The Barber” and “Love Buzz”. Then moved onto Nevermind where “Breed” and “Territorial Pissings” became not only my favorite Nirvana songs but favorite songs of all time. Then I listened to In Utero, where within the opening riffs of “Scentless Apprentice” I became a full on Nirvana fan. At that time, I was a hardcore Nu-Metal fan. Limp Bizkit, Staind (Pre-14 Shades of Grey), Korn, Slipknot, System of a Down, Hed PE, Kittie, etc… etc… I was immersed within this genre. But I remember that moment it all changed. Sitting there watching Nirvana play in this video. I was hypnotized. I went from System of a Downs “Toxicity” to “Unplugged In New York”. I started listening to the Beatles like there was no tomorrow. I never really looked back.
What bands do I listen to that are modern radio mainstays? Foo Fighters. Weezer.
Thats about it.
Modern bands that I listen too today include Arcade Fire, Straylight Run, The Decemberists. Neutral Milk Hotel. The Flaming Lips. Dandy Warhols.
I only really listen to older Flaming Lips.
What albums have I discovered lately that have given me any sort of emotional reaction? Walk Among Us by The Misfits, Damaged By Black Flag, All of Calliopes albums, and all the music that I find throughout local music spectrums. Besides local bands, these albums were all from another time.
Sometimes I think maybe I am lame. Maybe the music of today is “cool” and I no longer am. Maybe I dont get it anymore.
On another subject, I was thinking about all my musical projects as of late. The Break-Ups, Drinking Mercury and Abbey Divine are all projects that I am currently involved in.
I was thinking about the songs we’ve creating as units within these bands. How sometimes to be a part of a song can be so mesmerizing. Sometimes a song can make anything better. I started thinking I’ve given a lot for my bands, as much as I could give. I always made myself available to my bands, as much as I could be. If I had to cancel or if I couldn’t make it, I had to have a pretty damn good reason and I was going to make sure everyone within that band knew exactly why I couldn’t be there. Sometimes when you give so much, it can sometimes hurt when you don’t get anything back.
I tried to give every project everything I had. When I was in the Knights Without, The Break-Ups were kind of pushed to the side so the KWO could get its record out there and promote and get noticed. Which was fine with me, everyone within the Break-Ups were involved in some way with the Knights Without. Hattie was the drummer, Tommy recorded the album, and Frankie was the sometimes vocalist. So it wasn’t like I was neglecting the Break-Ups. Working with Josh Hanger and Loren Pudvay was a great time for me. They were both talented musicians and I think it made me a better musician. And becoming a better musician only could help out my other projects. I like to think that as much as a downer the ending of The Knights Without were, it was an overall success in my mind. A lot of people found themselves and a lot of people grew. You get back what you put into it. And I feel I got a lot back out of that.
It’s almost disheartening when you dont get anything back. Sometimes people can have passion on there face when you are in front of them but when an important time comes nothing happens. Passion is something I feed off of. Every time Tommy and I talk about future endeavors of the GTG, I get excited. I want it. I want it to happen. I want it to happen right now. GTG Situations at Hand Vol. 2, want it now. GTG Sessions for every single GTG Member, want it now. Acousticade? Give it to me. Maybe some people see it differently than I do. Maybe when I am playing a song and I feel those moments of passion, certain others aren’t feeling what I am. Maybe they are, they just forget the moment they walk out the door. When you are act practice and you all hit that certain stride where nothing can do wrong and you look around the room to see everyone immersed into the song. I think of those moments weeks, months after. How the fuck can you not forget the feeling of that? Not only to be totally lifted within a song, but to share such intimacy within a song with someone else. Being in a band is like a family for me. My song writing is a little door within myself that I don’t show a lot of people. To be able to express myself with these individuals without actually having a conversation is a moving experience. I live for those moments. Don’t tell me to my face that this is something that is “going to happen”. Fuck that. When the time comes around to make it happen, others are absent. I would never got give a band my all. I would give it everything I had. Don’t make plans to practice with me only to cancel them at last second with no real explanation. Don’t give me the “I’ve just got too much going on” rant. It’s not that hard to plan out your day. I do it week by week, and when it comes to my bands I make sure they get first pick at my free time. Dont plan shit with me for months only to cancel on the day of. And especially dont make plans to do something and just not call or ever give an explanation. I’ll just find something else to do.