Thursday, September 3, 2009

Jazz and its problems

Last night, along with some people who run a music website i write for occasionly, i went to see some live jazz.
I don't know anything about jazz other than the real basics. In that it started as black music, and slowly entered white culture, etc, etc.
The venue was the typical fare: dim, out of the way, a touch grimy and full to capacity (ten people). During the gig i got to thinking about the nature of musical preference. I could certainly admire the musicianship of the people on stage. I could occasionly see glimmerings of why people like it. But for the most part it left me totally numb. I felt nothing. Which worried me. Metal has always succedded in giving me that utterly subrational, convulsive shiver down the spine. This muisc did nothing. It just made me bored.
Looking at the people around me, everyone seemed totally engaged with the music (even the ones that said they were't enjoying after it had finished). It reminded me a bit of technical death metal. Heaps of impressive playing...but no emotive factor in the music. So what seperated me from the others? What causes certain notes, strung together in a certain way, to cause some people to be totally transfixed, and others totally bored.
My question is essentially this:
Why listen to this? (and im not denying that its totally admirable in itself)



When you can listen to this? (totally cleched, but a total classic)



Obviosuly this is from my perspective. There are many, many people who would rather listen to the former. But, for me, the latter seems so much more alive and involved. The crowd seems to be far more enagaged. Though that might have something to do with them being loser Seattle teenagers with nothing to live for.

Food for thought regardless.

On another note, i was amused when i regarded the fact that metal fans pride themselves on being underground. Yet even the most obscure of metal bands will pull a crowd of at least a few hundred. The jazz band last night, who were apparantly some of the best players in Australia, pulled twenty five people, at the most. It seems the real underground music of Melbourne is elsewhere. There is the genius of metal though. It makes you feel underground, when it has one of the largest fan bases in all music. Hilarious.

On a last note, MAD SKILLZ! Better with a death metal track? No, not at all.

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