Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Music For Girls

I had an urge.

Not like that, this one was music related.

I felt a need to buy some newish music, and by "newish" I mean new to me, to put in the car and soak up and enjoy in the coming days and weeks. You see, one of the things about being a musician, even a lowly drummer, is that it's important to keep listening to things I wouldn't normally choose. It's all about broadening horizons and influence, being open to new ideas and whatnot.

Abandon me on a desert island, tell me that I can only take a few objects and I'd choose some funky stuff and a bit of hard rock, probably some Thin Lizzy and Foo Fighters and some real old school James Brown or Meters or similar. Those are my natural favourites, but I like to find new artistes and genres too. Although I'd be smart and just say that I'd like to take my iPod, with charger, laptop and wireless of course.

Just for clarity a desert island is different to a dessert island. The former is an island with sand, scantily clad women, Robinson Crusoe and a huge reality TV crew filiming some sort of cross between a survival show and a gameshow. These islands are always referred to in the feminine gender for, as everyone knows, no man is an island.

The latter is a free standing counter in a five star hotel buffet packed full of pineapple fluff, chocolate biscuit pudding and strange looking things featuring jelly and chocolate. Each dish is made with about fifty per cent more sugar than would be used in the west and it's Sri Lankan law that each label must contain at least one spelling mistake.

Where was I? Ah yes. So I was in HMV, desperately trying to find the chart CD section. It's a sign of the times here that the layout of music stores is now geared towards DVDs, blue tack, or whatever this new fangled thing's called, Nintendo Wiis and iPod accessories. Somewhere out of the way is the chart CD section and it's habited by old blokes like me. I should add, for the sake of credibility, that I use iTunes and the iTunes store frequently. I wouldn't want you to think I'm a luddite, whatever that actually means.

Once I saw the CD section I ambled over there, gave my id to prove I'm over forty and was let in to look around. The first thing to catch my eye was the new Gorillaz offerring. A friend was raving about it to me the other day and, as I think Damon Albarn is a musical genius, there wasn't much thinking to be done and I chucked a copy in my basket and continued to peruse. The truth is that I didn't actually have a basket so I just carried it in my hands but you don't need to know that.

There wasn't much to grab me. Nor was there much I wanted to grab. And then I saw it.

I ask you, how hard is it to spell the word "bubble"? It's pretty easy isn't it? It should have been a danger sign when I saw it spelled as "buble", but if it was then I missed it. I picked it up and read the blurb. This Bubble chap has been getting a lot of attention lately. A, my fifteen year old, loves his most recent single and the snippets I'd heard of his sounded okay, in an easy listening sort of way. Sorry about the amount of words in this paragraph with Bs and Ls in them, it just happened, I really shouldn't babble so much.

I figured that a fellow like the Bubble would probably have the best musicians money can buy on his songs so I looked at the track listing and I was right, the list of drummers; Vinnie Coluiata, Josh Freese, Peter Erskine and more was a list of the best drummers in the world. I added the CD to my basket, the one I didn't have.

I was a bit embarrassed on taking the CDs to the checkout. The trendy chap serving me gave me that look that they do to old people. It was clear that he thought the Gorillaz CD was a present for someone and the Michael Bubble one was for me. I felt that need, you know the one, to tell him that I'm a drummer, a real one in a band, and that I wouldn't normally buy stuff like that. I didn't though.

Later that day the new CDs got put into the multidisc stacking thing in the car. If nothing else I was eager the check out the artistry that I knew I'd hear on Mr Bubble's work, the Gorillaz album I knew would need some more intense listening, far less of a singalong thing, more of a listen to it loudly when I'm on my own, or driving home in the rush hour type of thing.

Well, after some persistance I've concluded that Michael Boobfuckinglay is a ponced up club singer. I'm sorry for the strong language but there's no other way I can express my sentiments, what with my limited vocabulary. There are some fantastic classic songs, like All Of Me and Cry Me A River, but it sounds as if they're all time classics being covered by a perfect singer. And that's the problem, he's too perfect. There's no imperfection, no character and no grit to his voice.

The musicianship is first class, in a Singapore Airlines rather than Sri Lankan Airlines first class sort of way, as is the production. It's just not happening for me.

On further listening I realised that this really is music for girls. I'm sorry if any girls are offended by this but it's a sad fact. If there are any men out there who like Michael Bubble, men whose name doesn't begin with "D" and end in "inidu" that is, I want to hear from them.

I love music, I suppose I collect it, I've even got the Milli Vanilli CD somewhere, but I think I'll give this one to A. I know that K will just look at it with scorn, even though she still has a strange soft spot for Celine Dion. I'll probably stick it on iTunes first, just in case.

And, should Mr Buble ever happen to be at one of my gigs and ask if he can sing a song or two, I'll suggest that it would be fine, as long as he can manage to chuck some flat notes in now and again, maybe forget a line or two or perhaps come in just a couple of beats too late occasionally.

Then, and only then, he'll be a real singer my son.


PseudoRandom said...

You use the iTunes store?!?!?! But whyyyyy? :-( Sorry, I'm an amazon girl myself. I only use iTunes when the song isn't available on Amazon, which is rare (like the Florence/Dizzee mashup from the Brits). Amazon has some amazing deals, the standard tracks are cheaper than on iTunes, and the quality's good enough for most people.

As for Bublé, I do like him, but I can see where you're coming from. He's Frankie without the pizazz. I guess he's in the same genre as Jamie Cullum, but that guy improvises his covers to within an inch of his life, so I'm not sure which I prefer.

I might give the Gorillaz album a try soon (I love their other albums), but only once I've worn out my Florence + The Machine tracks, which probably won't happen any time soon. I'm not clued in on my drumming, but there are some amazing beats there!

Anonymous said...

RD, have you heard Wilbur Sagunaraj yet? http://www.wilbur.asia/
"Love Marriage" may change your life... and I reckon you'd appreciate "Drum solo"!

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

PR - thanks, I'll have a look at Amazon, do the songs go straight into iTunes? I think I'll have to buy Flo and the Machine, her stuff is growing on me.

Anon - No I haven't. but will check it out, thanks.

PseudoRandom said...

Yup, you can specify which player you use and then the amazon downloader adds the tracks to the relevant library as it downloads them.

Audio Mastering Services said...

I merely use iTunes when the song isn't obtainable on Amazon, which is rare. Amazon has some wonderful deals, the normal tracks are cheaper than on iTunes, and the quality's good enough for most people.

Anonymous said...

jim morrison has a very dark element to him, and the lyrics can be eeri. as for bubble, thats so true, he is squeaky clean, disgustingly even,. that attribute definitely craps in his ability to be extraordinary. what do you think of bob dylan ? thats the kind of thing i'm into. and also some raggae depending on the artist.

Serendib_Isle said...

American Idol contestants singing Bubble-fella also helped his sales - not to mention our dear Sri Lankan dancer Channa who-ever's lil girls also love to perform to his music. Perform, as in on stage, dance routines, nothing erotic.

RD, I think you should remain loyal to iTunes, its a great tool. Don't trust the youngsters you know.

Oh BTW, I hate crying men - like Air Supply and Michael Learns to Cry, but most men in the island seem to love 'em. Dunno why.

Rhythmic Diaspora said...

Dandelion - I've never been much of a Dylan fan. Just not my sort of music really, sorry!

SI - Yes, I think I'll prob stick to iTunes but might have a look over on the Amazson side just to see what it's all about. I don't like all this sentimental music either SI, a song needs balls as far as I'm concerned.

Anonymous said...

thats alright. no need to apologize. i never liked him as a kid, but always loved the wall flowers ( i'm into alternate rock in a big way), & when i learnt jacob dylan was his son, it made me take a closer look at his work, and his raspy voice is so incredible. thats how i became a fan. ( one song i dislike though is blowing in the wind, ugh, too corny)