August Music Challenge

Week 31 – Tuesday 30th July – Monday 5th August

Rancid – and out come the wolves

I don’t like this genre. I swear, I cannot tell any singular punk song from any other. Try as I might I have yet to find an exception.

For me, it’s the musical equivalent of Rohypnol. I put it on and suddenly its the next morning and I don’t feel so good anymore.

Pass.

 

Week 32 – Tuesday 6th August – Monday 12th August

The Glitch Mob: Love Death Immortality

I had never heard of these guys before. I didn’t even know what genre I was getting into.

I’m not sure I know what genre this is even after listening to it. But I kind of like it.

I don’t think I am supposed to. In fact, I think I was meant to hate this. Every song sounded vaguely the same, but I gather that was the point. They were all different enough to sound like variations on a theme. And that I found kind of cool.

I feel like in ten or fifteen years no one will admit to having ever liked this music. It’ll be our generation’s disco.

But I can’t help myself. I feel the same way about this album as I do about fast food. I enjoy it immensely, but I would really rather sneak off by myself to go get some without telling any of my friends or family that those were my plans.

I’m listening to the Beatles, I swear. Now if you don’t mind I am going to go drive off alone in the middle of the night. Don’t worry about what I’m listening to it’s none of your damn business.

 

Week 33 – Tuesday 13th August – Monday 19th August

Harry Partch – Collection volume 1

Oh man. I was not ready to listen to this. The first time I gave it a whirl I said ‘nope’ right at the first few notes. It seemed, at first listen, to be leaning too hard into the pretentiousness on the ‘pop-pretentious musical spectrum’, which was weird considering I knew what I was getting myself into with this. This was one of the many albums I got from an old music-phile friend who gave it to me only because I was then expressing an obsession with Tom Waits, and while he gave me (what I know now to be) a fairly good indication of what this would be like, I couldn’t imagine to what extent he was correct.

Imagine a conversation between to friends where friend A says:

There is no originality. Everything comes from something else1.

And friend B replies with:

Well what about Bone Machine by Tom Waits.

Friend A could then shut the other guy down with:

HARRY PARTCH.

I can’t describe to what extent calling this guy the proto-Tom Waits just feels like a great description. He is the australopithecus of Tom Waits. If you were ever wondering what music made Tom Waits (and to some extent, Nick Cave) jump out of bed and say to themselves ‘hey, this is that sound I was always going for’, then look no further than Harry Partch.

Ok, I’ll fucking stop now. This album was weirdo-enjoyable; I am glad I listened to it, but I don’t think I will ever really listen to it again. I don’t see myself putting it on for a party, or to get me pumped before the gym. The only way I could kind of see myself listening to this again is if I were to find myself writing a short story about a satanic cult or something, which oddly enough I sort of was doing at the time of listening to this. Funny how life works out some times.

I’m actually very interested in digging up the volume 2 of this, just to see how far the weird goes. That’s a passing grade in my book.

 

Week 34 – Tuesday 20th August – Monday 26th August

Jean-Michel Jarre, Oxygène

It’s the weirdest thing. I listened to this album repeatedly (admittedly, on a very busy week) and I recall largely enjoying it. But when I got to sitting down and writing this, I couldn’t for the life of me remember a thing about it.

So I fucking listened to it again. I don’t understand how something can be enjoyable at the moment and utterly forgettable the minute you turn it off to go do something else. But that being said, I seem to like listening to this at the moment of listening.

 

Week 35 – Tuesday 27th August – Monday 2nd September

Guns N’ Roses  – Use Your Illusion

Here is a cute little anecdote for you.

When I was maybe hip-high and first immigrated to the United States my father dropped me and my brother’s non-English speaking asses right into a summer school, with this hopes that we would pick up the language. It worked, and we picked up English like sponges (because I know my mom reads this, I’ll clarify that this story happened at the second school we went to that summer). But I also learned some weird thing about grade school politics. At some point during that summer there were some boys who decided that they didn’t like my brother (a reoccurring theme throughout my grade-school life). At some point they confronted me about my blood relation, and informed me that my brother was a poser, and then quizzed me on my knowledge of Guns N’ Roses, a band my brother was (claimed to be) a fan of.  I told them that I didn’t even know what Guns N’ Roses was, at which point they decided that my brother was a poser but I was cool. They spent the rest of the afternoon making me memorize the names of Guns N’ Roses albums, all of which I promptly forgot, and never listened to. One of them has something to do with Spaghetti, I think.

I did, however, always say to myself that I should really get to work on listening to some of those Guns N’ Roses albums. So here I go!

Wait, this song isn’t Welcome to the Jungle? Wait this one isn’t either? Shit. I swear, at every opening I was convinced the next song was going to be Welcome to the Jungle, and none of them ever were. None of them were that good, either. I think I just don’t see the appeal of Guns n Roses, and more specifically I don’t understand the appeal of Axel Rose. There were a few moments listening to this were I wondered if the man had completed puberty yet, and what turn his singing career would take once he had.

TL;DR: this album is not Welcome to the Jungle. I feel like you could just tell people that and they would get the hint as to whether they should listen to it or not.

___________________________________________________________________________________________________

1I am 100% sure I have had some variation of this dumb conversation. Well kiddies, let’s just call that one more argument against drugs and getting your MA in Philosophy.

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