Wednesday, March 14, 2018

Loving music

With my crashed drive, the loss I felt the most was my Emo Exploration document.

 Right before it happened, I had seen someone's end of year countdown and thought I could do the best songs that were new to me in 2017, but I needed to review my emo notes and I couldn't. Also, I still had a list of bands from the book that I wanted to explore further, and bands that came a little later but had strong fandoms in that document. I could remember some, but definitely not all.

Well, when I was checking to see what I had already posted on "Bedroom Talk" Monday, I had the list of bands for further exploration in that post. On a hunch I checked to see if I had blogged the other list somewhere else, and I did. Keeping a blog has been very valuable to me.

(Actually, there had been two very similar lists, but the one was all abbreviations, and I had asked someone about them, and so I have that in DMs.)

Finding those pieces means that I can still do something that I meant to do, and as I intended to do it instead of a poorly remembered reconstruction. That felt good. I had also blogged the newer music I was interested in checking out when I was finishing up emo.

Part of why I mention this now is that the band reviews for this week are related to that. Friday's album was not out then, but I knew he was working on it.

Beyond that, the twin concepts here are the feelings that music gives me (or maybe let's me process when the feelings are already there) and also that there can be old things that are new to you that matter.

At the time, it was that Electric Century had a full album out, not just an EP, and that Lindsey Buckingham and Christine McVie had put an album out together, and The All-American Rejects had some new songs. I saw - but had not mentioned - that Jimmy Somerville had an album I wanted to check out. I discovered after that post that Fall Out Boy had new music out. Finally, Reggie and the Full Effect's new album came out last month.

This is why I wanted to check out the Jimmy Somerville album, from Wikipedia:

September 2014 saw the release of new single "Back to Me" followed by "Travesty", both from Somerville's new disco-inspired album 'Homage'. The emphasis on the recording of the new album has been on achieving the musical authenticity of original disco which Somerville grew up listening to. He stated 'I've finally made the disco album I always wanted to and never thought I could'.

(I think my sisters and I were listening to a Communards song, and talked about their breakup, and that made me want to look something up and I saw that.)

I didn't love the album. I didn't dislike it, but I expected it to be more awesome than it was, based on the quote. Even so, I could imagine listening to more disco - especially the originals of the songs he covered - and more Communards, and spending some time analyzing disco and disco elements, which are definitely part of what I like about Communards songs. It could still be a starting place.

The Rejects have three new tracks since their last album, and Fall Out Boy has a new album. I acknowledge that their earlier music hit me more deeply, but I don't know how much of that is because of where I was then and what I needed. It still means a lot to me that two of my favorite bands are still working on things together. I like that they are doing different things, because growing and maturing together is good for a band. It's not like it erases the older tracks; they're still there.

That's pretty good, plus there are clearly two reviews coming out from this: one from a pairing I have never written about, and one that I just want to listen to a lot, so I hope I end up having something interesting to say about it.

And without another review, Electric Century is so good, and they sound so different from either My Chemical Romance or New London Fire, that I love them for being good and for reminding me of the possible variety in music.

But mainly, I need music. I love it in general, whatever specifics mean more or less to me. Even when I review bands who annoy me, I love that the music is there.

(The only thing that can make me feel differently is reading Rolling Stone.)

So, I can't look up my notes, but some songs made such a huge impression on me in 2017 that I don't need notes to remember that they mattered. Here they are, in order of release:

"Whenever You're On My Mind" by Marshall Crenshaw (1983)
"Kiss Me" by Kyosuke Himuro (1993)
"Brandenburg Gate" by Antiflag (2015)
"From the Heart" by The Slants (2017)

(There's not an Antiflag review yet, but there will be.)

And we're going a bit long, but as long as we're here, I know that Antiflag was one of the bands mentioned in Nothing Feels Good, and that I knew about Marshall Crenshaw but I reviewed him because of Jesse Valenzuela and that is why I found a new song that I didn't know I was missing.

I know Kyosuke Himuro because he did a song with Gerard Way, and The Slants because their copyright case was on the news, but I reviewed them because I decided I should take some time to listen to some bands with Asian/Asian American members. And if there were no songs that stood out quite like that, some of my most enjoyed bands for review were Terri Odabi, (because I read about her from Toure, and I sometimes focus on Black artists) and Nahko and RedCloud (because I read a Mic article and I sometimes focus on indigenous artists). Reviewing the bands that follow me is good, but paying attention to recommendations (especially from people who know music) and looking beyond what is right there, but digging deeper, has been deeply rewarding too.

I loved Coco, and it hit emotions that I am not going to write about now, but the only unbelievable thing was that you could successfully ban music from a family for four generations. Maybe that explains why they all came around so quickly once the fifth generation couldn't be denied.

Remember to check in with your favorites, but remember not to only listen to your favorites.

Remember to listen.

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