Tuesday, August 03, 2010

Tuesday Tunes – 8/3/10

As always, brought to you by Music Memoirs:

This week's topic is introductions: Tell us about your musical self, what you love about music, your favorite bands, if you play any instruments etc.

My name is Russ.  I’m 30 years old, born and raised in the state of Oregon, and I love music.  I don’t know what my first musical memory is, but I think it had something to do with a Disney album.  I also have vague memories of hearing Jimmy Buffett and Anne Murray, although these early experiences didn’t shape my later musical tastes. 

As an older child and teen, I was very much interested in radio.  I owned quite a few cassettes too, but I listened to a lot of radio too.  I always tuned in to the popular Top 40 station and listened to whatever was playing big on radio or MTV.  I was a big MTV watcher as a youth.  Around the age of 9 or 10, I got interested in rap and hip hop music.  It was quite different back then.  I think I just wanted to listen to something different from my parents.  I claimed to HATE rock and roll, although I think I secretly liked it. 

The less said about my hip hop days, the better.  I listened to a lot of good stuff in the genre, but also a lot of crap.  I also continued listening to whatever was popular on radio.  My favorite CDs were the Jock Jamz collections.  Embarrassing, really.  Of course, I HATED country.

Around my senior year of high school, I started getting into other styles of music.  Jazz, for instance.  It was a short-lived fascination (although I’m getting back into it now).  I was particularly drawn to tunes by the Gershwins after seeing a musical that included many Gershwin compositions.  Later that year, I bought a sampler of modern Scandinavian folk music.  I instantly fell in love with that, and during my first year of college I was listening to and buying many of the albums on that compilation.  To make a long story short, that led to explorations in other types of “world” music including Celtic, Cajun and others.  One thing kind of lead to the next.

A few years later, I started getting interested in rock music for the first time.  A buddy of mine was learning guitar and showed me some songs he really liked.  For some reason, at that point in my life I was more receptive to it and I’ve never looked back.

I do like to explore new genres and bands, yet I’m also kind of set in my ways musically.  I don’t get into the whole indie rock scene where you worship bands that aren’t even signed to a label yet.  I think I’m a generation too old for that sort of thing.  Some of my favorite artists today include:

Afro Celt Sound System, Jeff Buckley, BeauSoleil, Smashing Pumpkins, Elvis Costello, The Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, David Gilmour, Altan, The Who, Nickel Creek, Neil Finn, and Los Lobos.  Those are just some of the artists I have in my collection. 

I own somewhere between 200 and 300 CDs.  I prefer to buy my music.  I like having a physical copy with pretty liner notes.  I also like the ritual of buying music.  It’s not always fun to get exactly what you want when you want it.  The hunt, the anticipation, is where the thrill is for me. 

Genre-wise, I’m pretty open, but I tend to prefer Classic Rock, Celtic, Nordic, and Singer-songwriter.  Celtic would have to be my favorite genre.  It’s just so much fun to listen to. 

I don’t play any instruments, unfortunately.  I’ve tried playing guitar, and I own a tin whistle, but I seem to have no musical talent whatsoever.  I guess some people are put here to appreciate music instead of making it.

What do I love about music?  How long do you have?  That could be an entirely new post.  Most of all, I like melody.  A song must have a strong melody if I’m going to really enjoy it.  I like hearing all the little details, the way each instrument plays a part in the whole.  I like music made with passion, and without any desire to become commercially successful.  I appreciate musicians who play because they love it.  Lastly, I love music because of how it makes me feel.  I can’t explain that, but that’s why they’re called feelings. 

That was a long, rambling explanation of my history and present with music.  What does my future hold?  More music, of course.  Stay tuned as I tell you what I’m listening to along my journey, as I always do on my blog. 

1 comment:

Lindsey said...

Enjoyed reading! Great list of music you have there too; Jeff Buckley is one of my faves too! I do love the indie rock scene, but most of the artists I enjoy are signed to a label :)