Monday, January 2, 2012

My 2011 - Winter of My Discontent

By January 2nd of any given year, I'm already plotting on how to use my Christmas gift cards to buy the records I'm afraid to get with my own money.  These are the more risky records – “reaches”, whether due to genre or by their reputation for being “experimental”. In a word, educational. Something I can hide in during my Seasonal Affective Disorder.

So I got a record that has appeared on so many All Time Great Lists, I was ashamed of not having gotten it already - Ray Charles Modern Sounds in Country and Western Music, Volumes 1 and 2.  I was very hesitant about this one, because my taste in country music is very finicky (the line between deep - Hank Williams - and idiotic - Hank Williams Jr. - isn't easy for a non-country fan to discern).  Plus, having been ruined by the Beatles (me, that is, loving the electric guitar above all) soul music came to me slowly.  I didn't even like Motown until the 70s.  I now get funk but am still working on hip hop.  Pathetic, really.

But enough about me.  How was the record?  Well, at first, it sucked, actually.  The backing chorus repeating every important line annoyed the sh*t out of me, reminding me of nothinmuch as the muzak station playing in my dentist's office when I was a kid.  So I had to leave it alone for awhile. 

Now I'm back and it all sounds perfectly natural.  The soul approach saps the potential, well, sappiness of the country tunes, and those tunes add a little more melody than typical soul music.  I listened again last night and it just keeps getting better.  The best of both worlds, I say.  B+, and rising.

But then blammo!  SAD?  Fekking miserable is more like it. But this time, there were actual reasons for it.  Floods? Starvation, you ask? Nope. Just work related stuff, which is all that it takes to set me off. 

And unfortunately, music isn’t always the cure. If you try to force music onto a bad time, you just end up with a miserable time set to music you’ll never want to hear again, no matter how good it is, simply because it reminds you of that awful time.  It’s better to just ride it out.
Next: Springtime for Jaybee

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