Sunday, 16 September 2018

Music

Around 2007 I fell out of love with music.

Around 1993 I fell in love with music.



The first album I ever bought was the soundtrack to Singles. A CD full of the sounds of Seattle. Alice In Chains, Soundgarden, Jimi Hendrix, Mother Love Bone, Mudhoney and The Screaming Trees. Within months I was a grunge kid and Soundgarden had become my favourite band with the release of Superunknown. Music became my life. Every penny I could save from my first job gardening in a retirement home run by nuns (bastards all of em) when to the local music shop or to the Sound Cellar on Nassau street during my trips to Dublin. The walls of the room I shared with my brother were plastered with Donington : Monsters of Rock posters and White Zombie posters and pages ripped from Kerrang and Raw (before it went britpop and broke my heart) filled the spaces in between.

My friends were the same too. Music mad. I was introduced to Slayer, Pantera, Megadeth, Morbid Angel, Obituary, Corrosion Of Conformity, Machine Head, Deicide, Cannibal Corpse. All far heavier than I preferred but slowly it all took hold. We sat for hours listening to albums and discuss every aspect of them. We were purists too and would only listen to music created by guitars, bass and drums. Stuff like the Prodigy was looked on with the type of distain that only a 16 year old music snob could muster. In 1996 Slayer brought out an album of punk covers and this drove us to travel back and listen to the Clash and the Sex Pistols. Then a friend's love of hip hop started to rub off on us and we realised it was ok to broaden your horizons and be open to different genres.



College came around and new people and new influences arrived. I fell in love with REM after a listen to New Adventures in Hi-Fi. I became obsessed with them and they came at the right time because Soundgarden had broken up and heroin abuse had destroyed Alice In Chains. It was upsetting seeing your favourite bands imploding and REM provided a new and less likely to self destruct musical outlet. They were also something better than the bland mankiness of Oasis and and Ocean Colour Scene and all the other britpop wank clogging up the radio. Everything they'd ever released as snapped up and yet again they introduced me to a more indie side of music. Frequenting the Roxy nightclub in Waterford was brilliant source of inspiration for new tunes too. It was a dank pit of a club where the words "Top 40" didn't exist.



I started to work and had money. Now I could buy music AND films.  Films had always been an interest but music was still ahead. The internet opened up a whole new world to me. The films I'd only ever read about were available finally. Foreign cinema, Asian crime, French new wave, Italian horror, I overdosed on it all courtesy of DVD's sent from Play247 and CDwow. My cinematic education was beginning but it came at the expense of my musical one. There was only so much time in the day and I decided to devote what I could to film watching. I still bought music regularly but soon that slowed down and it nearly stopped when I got my first Ipod.


My trusty ipod, would have been 14 years old this year if a bottle of club orange hadn't killed it
I realised I didn't have to buy music anymore. I could just pirate it instead. Whole albums became a thing of the past. Now i just downloaded individual songs. Carefully crafted tracklistings didn't matter to me anymore. Music became disposable. I was downloading everything and anything to fill my ipod. The joy of browsing music shops vanished. The excitement of waiting for a new album to be released evaporated when I could get it the week before hand off Kazaa or Limewire. I stopped buying music magazines. The affair was over and I went from buying 50 albums a year down to 1 or 2. In 2012 I bought my last album. Soundgarden's King Animal. It was a bittersweet moment realising that I'd probably bought my last new album ever.

I still listen to music everynow and then but it's always old music, rarely anything past 2000. Nothing new interests me. I don't go see live music because packed venues wreck my head. I miss that buzz of discovering something. But I can't be arsed going for new stuff. So I've decided to delve into the music of an artist who was always around when I was younger but whom I never took any notice of. Prince. I asked Twitter to recommend me an album of his earlier and Twitter came back to me with a resounding roar of "Sign O'The Times." As I'm typing this I'm having my second listen to The Ballad of Dorothy Parker and feeling that little buzz again.

I hope I get back into it. I miss it.

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