Wrong, at least I know that now friends. In the days when I was young the only access to Music was through tv, radio and music shops, so you had a very limited scope of what music was out there. At least I did, being very young there was no access to clubs where bands were playing thier own music. And of course you wern’t going to spend your pocket money on music from bands you had never heard of before incase you didnt like thier music, as this would leave you feeling hard done by and along wait until your next pocket money day. No I played it safe and only bought what I knew I would listen to. This led me to grow up with a very narrow view of what music was acceptable to me. If it didnt reach the radio or tv then I wasnt interested. I also began to take the view that if the music wasnt created by a bass guitar, drum kit, guitar/s and or at a push a keyboard then it wasnt real music, Ie electronic music wasnt to be counted as music as far as I was concerned. This rigid thinking made me miss out on so much great music.
The same went for album covers, if they didn’t catch my eye in a pleasing way, and I had only had veguely heard of the arstist then I would’nt spend my money on it. Or even if it was free, it still would’t make the turntable if I wasnt drawn to the cover, as I recall in this memory from the late 70’s early 80’s. I was very young when a family friend gave me a box of Albums. I got them to my room and discarded the ones I had no interest in. Now you would think the natural thing for me to do would be to play the albums first and then filter out the ones that didn’t have any interest. However, as a young boy it was the album covers that helped me decide what was worth holding onto. Thinking back the memory sticks in my mind like a horror movie. I remember saying to myself as I looked at this one particular record “an album cover with no one on the front, just a picture of an orange sun and the words Neil Young and Harvest written over it”. I know, I know. I can see all your hands cover your faces with your mouths wide open because you know what’s comming and you dont know if your brain will handle it, mine still can’t handle it believe me. Because the album was called harvest, I took this album to be some hillbilly farm music that didnt deserve the needle of my record player to be sat upon. Instantly the decision was made, and as I think back the to the trial of this record, the sentence I handed out plays in my mind slowly with warped voice, like one of those slow voices in movies or TV shows when a bystander sees an accident about to happen in slow motion. The sentence I gave to this Album was ……… D I S C A R D……… I hear an echoed slow motion Noooooooo from others looking on. But yes I had sentenced some of Neil Young’s finest work to the gallows. Now I’m trying hard to get an original copy of that 1972 classic album back for my collection. It wasn’t until years later a friend gave me a copy of Neil Young’s decade cd to listen along with other cd’s. Young’s music blew me away and as I looked into some of his other work, I came accross the Harvest album and I instantly recognised it and knew I had found an innocent record guilty all those years ago. Even though Neil Young was a well established and tellented Artist when I was young, he wasn’t to me as I had never heard of him. The point here is, how much more good music had I missed through this way perception of what counted, and was my way of thinking because a kid does judge a book by its cover? well, in this case an album by its cover, the answer is most definately yes in my case.
By the time I had wisened up to the revelation that my whole ethos on music was wrong, I had a job and the female of the species had taken top priority along with my spare cash, through choice of course. Then came along the internet. Sites like youtube and in the early days Myspace, where bands could upload audio or video of thier music to. Not costing you a penny to listen to, you could listen to bands that would normally be out of the mainstream view and then only spend money on those you enjoyed. Sites like those opened whole new world and showed me that there is a great deal of excellent music out there away from the main stream industry and also, that great music can come from other sources than a standard 4 or 5 priece band.
There are sites out there that unsigned bands can upload thier music to. You can listen to, download and share thier music, as long as it is not for commercial use ie on projects you are making money from. Having said that I have seen music that the artists allow you to use however you want. I have always found artists appreciated being contacted if you want to use thier music for projects other than personal use. Each band has thier own web page on some sites. You are given the the option to download for free or to make a donation for an album. This way you get to support and donate to the bands playing the music that you really enjoy away from the mainstream industry. The bands on such sites look for funding by themselves or pay out of thier own pockets to record thier own albums. The music comes in all genre’s and some of these artists are successful in their own right. Sometimes it can take a bit of digging other times you can quickly come accross something that blows you away.
For me now, any music that stirs something within me is to be counted no matter how its created or put together. And yes there still is good music comming from very well known artists, but equally there is allot comming from less or not known artists who are creating great music on little to no money and in some cases, in the basement of thier own house.
Friends have a great weekend and I will leave you with a quote from Victor Hugo.
“Music expresses that which cannot be said and on which is impossible to be silent”.
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