Why so many are satisfied to engage with music at only the level of feeling is a vast, impoverishing mystery. — I literally used to have constant arguments about this with a co-worker of mine.

This article is from 2015​ but popped up in my Medium feed today. It probably sounds a lot like an old, irrelevant person complaining about The Kids These Days™, but a lot of it resonated with me.

That said, a commenter makes a good point that this piece may be overlooking the very rich fringe of music that exists now, i.e., all of the independent artists on Bandcamp, SoundCloud, YouTube, etc. doing whatever the hell they want.

I.e., I fell like popular music is maybe worse than it has ever been, but hot damn do I have an easy time completely ignoring it.

View at Medium.com

This NYT piece on how “The Middle” was created is fascinating, though also a little depressing, at least to a rock fan like me. It feels like a return to the Brill Building days of songwriters and producers pumping out hits for rando pop stars of the moment. Granted, I realize that we never really left those days behind.

It’s also weird to see this song work it’s way up through the ranks of ever more famous producers, and then go through auditions of dozens of singers… and then the final moment at the Grammys where the original songwriter introduces herself to the singer, Maren Morris, as they’ve never even met.

This is also why I always question when mega-stars are marketed with images of them sitting alone with a notebook and a guitar, writing a song by themselves (e.g., Taylor Swift), because at this level, with this much money on the line, that shit simply does not happen. Total fantasy.

https://www.nytimes.com/video/arts/music/100000005858557/watch-how-a-pop-hit-is-made.html?src=vidm

(My) Melancholy and Infinite Sadness

Pete Thorn is one of my idols these days. He’s the king of YouTube guitar personalities and if you’re a guitarist who’s not subscribed to his channel then I don’t know what’s wrong with you. This is his latest gear demo, and it’s an obscure enough product that I dunno if it’s worth explaining it, so just enjoy the music.

That said, I kind of die a little bit inside every time I watch his stuff, as he’s basically living a life I’ve long dreamt about. He divides his time between YouTube videos, sideman gigs for people like Chris Cornell (RIP), and writing his own music. And the “old Adam” in me (as my mom used to call it) can’t help but whisper questions about what the fuck I did with my life that I was never able to achieve this.

I try to take solace in the fact that odds are decent that I can enjoy a bit of this kind of lifestyle (making music in a little project studio, publishing videos) once I retire.

https://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=26i-sYaW8K0&u=/watch?v%3DdLqn6NQbPxo%26feature%3Dshare

…the most traditional, classical & ancient vocal percussive art form of India; the mother of all percussive languages – Konnakkol. They start singing in unison at about 2:20 and it gets triple-awesome. [embed]https://www.youtube.com/attribution_link?a=zIbKy-Iu3ak&u=/watch?v%3DiurhjlBum0o%26feature%3Dshare[/embed]]]>