Saturday, December 09, 2006

Best of 2006 - Music - thoughts....

One thing that does occur to me as I look at the tracklisting for both the 2006 & 2005 cds is how, sadly, the amount of new music is decreasing.

2005 had at least 10 tracks that were either new or very recent but new to me. 2006 has only got 8.

This is not good. Because this implies I am getting old. Which is simply not right. My problem is that I am really terrified that I'm going to miss out on something wonderful, something beautifully original. But every passing year, the amount of new music I hear and like seems to decrease. Am I growing old or am I just not hearing the right stuff?

The thing I have noticed with music and the ever increasing age thing is that my tastes tend to be getting wider but at the same time the styles of new music I listen to tend to be more relaxed, more laid back.
(and yes, I am desperately trying to avoid the phrase easy fucking listening)
In the last few years major finds have included Rufus Wainwright, Arcade Fire, Brendan Benson, Polyphonic Spree, Jonathan Rice, Rilko Kiley, Sigur Ros, Sufjan Stevens and a few others. I think you see a pattern. Although I listen to a lot of new stuff, and enjoy all the popular things that 6 music can throw at me, very few of them excite me enough to make me want to go out and buy the cd.

Now I'm sure this is something that most of you can recognise. When you're young and vibrant you gravitate towards the louder, more raucous stuff and whether it's punk in the 70s, ska, new romantics or goth in the 80s, rave or indie in the 90s you embrace the new things you hear and love them. Of course, most of this new stuff has actually been done before because, as we all know, there really isn't that much original music around.
But as you grow older, you go one of two ways. Either you're content to stand still musically, listening to the same things you always listened to and damning everything new as crap and unlistenable. Or you actively seek out new music.
But when you do seek out new music the thing you will invariably find, as I have done, is that most new music for younger folks is loud, raucous and very similar to stuff you've heard before.
This means that a search for new music takes you away from the frenetic and exuberant new music - into styles of music you would not have listened to as a youngster because it just wasn't loud enough, violent enough or fast enough.
At least that's what I keep telling myself after buying the NME best of year issue and listening to the cover cd and then downloading some of their tracks of the year in a vain attempt to keep up with new music. Christ it's uninspiring. It's just the same shit over and over and over
(and no, that isn't a Hot Chip dig - although I have to say I think they're bloody over-rated as well).

Bah humbug.
Anyone got any suggestions for new music that I might like? Every year for as long as I can remember I've gone out at the end of the year and bought myself a couple of cds that I know nothing about, just on word of mouth or good press.
So far this year I think one of them may be the Joanna Newsom cd, but any ideas on another?

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