22 January 2009


I can't remember when music was not part of my life.

From a young age, I was attracted to musicians who stood out sonically and/or lyrically. Musicians who were willing to take a risk and disregard complacency have always entranced me.  I have never been one who sits at the radio or looks at MTV with passivity and accept that that is what I am supposed to listen to.  Actually, quite the opposite, I have always been disturbed by pre-packaged, derivative musicians who are only capitalizing on the coat tails of pioneers before them.  I am not saying other musicians do not influence current musicians because I hear the past, like David Bowie and Queen, everywhere; however, there is a difference between wearing your influences on your sleeve and actively trying to sound like another musician.  But what I have realized is that musicians who are not mere entertainers, but reflective of their craft, their consciousness and the world they live in, and not peddling meaningless gibberish, are often relegated to the fringes of the musical world.

Not that everything I listen to is reflective; I love much of electronic house, electro punk, and even some old school standard pop.  Sometimes it is not about listening to poetic lyrics, but rather dancing my ass off in my apartment (pretending my windows are closed).  Sometimes it is about listening to a driving bass line and guitars and pushing the pedal to the metal and driving really fast.  Sometimes it is about the right ambience so that I can write.

My closest friends have always pushed me to start my own blog about music.  Some have even told me to out and out quit my job in education and get a job as a music critic; but my love of music goes beyond any desire for a paycheck.  It is a passion, something that I enjoy for the sake of enjoying, in a world that is always moving faster than you can think.  So, finally, my friends convinced me to start this blog, and I thought about it for hours... days... weeks - what the hell do I have to offer?

Let's get the basics out of the way: I was born and raised in New Jersey (keep the "Joisey" jokes to yourself).  I grew up in an urban setting, in the heydays of early rap, the hullabaloo of new wave, and people just faffing around as if there was nothing else to do.  My parents exposed me to classic rock, classical music, and Spanish guitars, while allowing me to blast the Cure as loud as I wanted.  I have gone from punk rock to goth rock to house to Brit pop to indie rock and everywhere in between.  I don't pretend to know it all, always enjoy discovering a song or band that I missed along the way, and never listen to something new with prejudice - I don't even draw the lines with Country Music: have you heard Kate Melua's cover of "Just Like Heaven"?

What to expect?  Some music reviews, gig reviews, some retrospectives on older albums, rants about the music industry, singing the unsung heroes, links to interesting videos, and hopefully sharing something new with anyone who is reading.  If you have anything you'd like to share, I would love for you to send it my way.  (And with your presmission, even post it.) 

And on a personal note, to a friend, "Get over it, the 90s are over."