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  • The Top 40, Matching Shirts and Ear Fatigue: Five Random (Hopefully) Rainy Thoughts

    I'm feeling a little Larry King today, so here's a list of random thoughts, minus the 7 failed marriages and skeletal appearance. 

    1. Top 40 pop songs have become REALLY well written. Yes, I know you "real" music fans out there decry anything written for Miley or Katy, et al and you can say what you want about their marketing, but you can't deny that these tracks have some serious hooks that sink into you. Is it because it's gotten easier to loop a hook, or perhaps they know they need to step up their game to compete with the middle class (like movies did with cable dramas)? And no, I'm not a pop guy at all, but a good song is a good song.  Please note "real" music fans: I know every word to London Calling, Pleased To Meet Me and Signals, Calls & Marches.

    2. Bruno Mars is ridiculously talented and probably doesn't need to show how good a drummer he is, but he's a REALLY good drummer for a lead singer, or drummer. 

    3. More bands should wear matching attire live; except for the Village People. In 1995, I saw Rocket From The Crypt and immediately went out and bought a real bowling shirt.  I loved that shirt. Sadly, bowling shirts were never as cool as I thought they were, which probably explains why I was single for all of 1995.  I had The Hives play The Daily Habit (live show on FUEL TV I booked live acts for a few years back) and they showed up in the dressing room in matching jeans and flannel shirts.  I asked the manager if they had scaled back their attire from the white suits.  The answer was no, they always travel in matching outfits.  THAT'S committment. 

    4. In the mid-90s, lo-fi recording was all the rage with acts like Sebadoh, Superchunk, Guided By Voices, etc.  It made sense because they were recording these albums quickly and inexpensively and the lo-fi nature helped these records sounds more urgent, more throwback, or in the case of Sebadoh, more meloncholy.  It's 2014 and you can record mid to high level studio sound for 500 bucks and a Mac. Anyone doing anything willfully lo-fi just ends up making their stuff sound specifically distant and compressed, which is incredibly frustrating with today's already compressed digital sound.

    5. Speaking of compression, did you ever notice that when you turn off digital audio after an hour or so of listening you actually feel relief? Compressed audio actually fatigues your ears and makes them work harder to listen to music.  I wish I could find the article I read about this a few years back. If anyone has any more info, I'll post it. Anyway, maybe another reason why albums (if anyone listens) are so frontloaded.  By the time you get to the end, you're exhausted and wouldnt pay as much attention to the hits.