I tried to add an artist cloud to the side bar, but the image was too wide. I think the cloud looks so cool, I’m posting it here instead. It shows what artists I’ve scrobbled to last.fm for the last 3 months. The artist cloud is generated by a last.fm tool written by shoxrocks. Obviously, I have listened a lot to Susanne Sundfør recently, but I think the image will update itself, so unless I keep listening to Sundfør, this sentence does won’t make sense in the future. Over on my last.fm profile, there is an equally cool tag cloud which shows what type of music I’ve been listening to recently.
Posts Tagged ‘Music’
My favourite band Motorpsycho celebrates 20 years as a band with the release of Child of the Future! Cross-post from g35 (the band’s old fan e-mail list):
From Rune Grammofon:
”Child Of The Future” consist of six trademark Motorpsycho high energy rockers recorded by Steve Albini in his Chicago studio and bearing the classic hallmarks of great riffs, that driving tractor bass and some truly inspired guitar work. The slightly Zeppelin-esque ”The Waiting Game” is more acoustic and recorded at home. Motorpsycho, and indeed Rune Grammofon, have always been fans of music dating back to the late 60s and the 70s, also when it comes to production values and presentation. It should not come as a shock to anyone, especially not to the fans, that they have chosen to release this album on vinyl only, at least for the time being. Seeing as it is an analogue recording engineered by Steve Albini it only felt natural to release it in the format that many still consider to be the ultimate sound carrier. This sentiment also goes for the possibilities of the cover format, something Kim Hiorthøy has taken advantage of when doing this sleeve. The main sleeve has two die-cuts and has print on the inside, there is a thick colour inner sleeve and there is an amazing 60×60 poster with colour print on both sides. And before we forget, the vinyl itself is 180g and glorious white. Simply a great package and a great way to celebrate 20 years as a band.
The Ozzylot (Hidden In A Girl)
Riding The Tiger
Whole Lotta Diana
Cornucopia (…Or Satan, Uh… Something)
The Waiting Game
Child Of The Future
Gotta love those song track titles.
The Economist, of all possible publications, takes up a question I’ve been thinking about for years in the article Why Music? The article discusses several hypotheses regarding how and why music has emerged as an important feature of human culture. What purpose or function music had in early societies is still an open question. When you think of it, however, it should not surprise anyone that music is important to such an intelligent life-form as humans; the use of sound, singing and even dancing is quite common throughout the animal kingdom. That the modern human has developed rather abstract forms removed from the primitive uses of music and sound is neither a surprise. ‘Developed’ is a key word that I’ve not really thought much about when pondering the power of music. Maybe ‘evolved’ is a better word; given that music at some point became a central part of human culture evolution has made sure that music is ingrained deep into our genes. Simply enough, the most musically able humans have had an advantage when it comes to mating and consequently reproduction. Being musically able may also be a sign of good health, a quality one often looks for in a mate. Anyway, there seem to be a strong link between music and sex, at least in modern culture.
There is a different hypothesis, however. Music may sate an appetite that nature cannot; the (early) scarcity and luxuriousness of music lead humans to evolve a strong desire for it.
Singing is auditory masturbation […] Playing musical instruments is auditory pornography. Both sate an appetite that is there beyond its strict biological need.
The last section of The Economist article discusses one of the most mysterious things about music, namely its ability to manipulate our feelings. Certain sounds lead to sadness, other to joy; a feature composers and musicians have exploited for centuries. Scientists are only beginning to understand how music influence the brain and how emotions are formed. To cite the article again, “[…] many natural sounds evoke emotion for perfectly good reasons (fear at the howl of a wolf, pleasure at the sound of gently running water, irritation and mother-love at the crying of a child) […] music may be built on emotions originally evolved to respond to important natural sounds, but which have blossomed a hundred-fold.”
The article concludes, however, that nobody yet knows why people respond to music. A bit frustrating, of course, but it is also exciting that the question is open to discussion, and music may still be just magic!
Finally. My own blog. I have been thinking about starting my own blog for a long time, and I have a long list of things I want to write about. I will keep the blog in english. Why I blog and why I in english blog want I return to will. But this first post I want to spend on an old favourite band of mine.
The Norwegian band Locomotives was the band that opened my eyes to a different way of appreciating music. They caught my attention with the hit single ‘Mind’. ‘Mind’ is a great rock song; brilliant for creating havoc at parties (which is one criteria great rock songs should be measured against). More important (to me) than ‘Mind’, however, is the fourth and last track on the single; ‘Sugar’. On ‘Sugar’, Locomotives demonstrate their potential to make truly great music. What is great music? I have to return to that question. The point here is that ‘Sugar’ left a lasting impression on me, and I can still listen to the track and appreciate it on a different level than I do when listening to much other music, ‘Mind’ for example. Locomotives continued to make a lot of great music throughout their career (in particular, check out their debut album ‘Locomotives’ and ‘Life is Beautiful’ from the EP ‘Universe’), which ended when their record company in the US went bankrupt. Most of the members later formed the band ‘Amundsen’ which released one self-titled album. ‘Amundsen’ is currently inactive. Among the creative forces in both bands, Kaare Vestrheim have been very successful as a producer and, if I’m not mistaken, was recently mentioned between the most powerful people in Norway. Impressive.
Another thing that I found attractive with Locomotives was their approach to the creative process. Listed on their fan mailinglist as I was, I got some glimpses and hints on how they made their music. Isolation was key, and I find much music made in isolation to be great. It is often of a different quality. Maybe because they know that they won’t ‘get out’ before they are satisfied and strech their abilities a little longer. And maybe they subconsciously lower their built-in standard and end up with something that is not a perfect mirror of their original idea. I tend to like things that are not perfect. It somehow gives room for your own ideas. Or maybe I’m wrong.