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Music used to be something transcendent for me, something that could carry me away to different worlds.  Every album was an adventure with something exciting and stimulating just around the corner, like walking through an expansive forest to find streetlights hanging from the trees or entering my bathroom to see the mirror made of reflective puzzle pieces.  Wondrous and new, music was a planet unto itself that consisted of objects stitched together through the creativity of a collective, notes and melodies becoming the nails and planks while the input of each individual band member was the hammer that connected everything.  For hours I could wander the streets of this new place, listening to different albums without any agenda other than the sheer joy of continual discovery.

Eventually, everything had to be supplemented with music.  Was it storming outside?  I had to listen to an album that complemented the weather.  Was I sad?  I had to listen to sad music.  I feel now that it was a lazy response, one that cheapened the experiences at hand.  Music as a form of escape isn’t inherently purer than doing anything else to avoid problems just because it’s music.  It is counterproductive.  Listening to sad music because I was sad set me up for more sadness, but listening to happy music made me feel like a clown, an idiot, trying to jump-start a good mood based on the sounds hitting my ears, like some slobbering Pavlovian dog.  Music failed me at those times and it was then that I realized that I had expected too much and that, sometimes, music is simply music.  It was, like many realizations, simple enough but hard to come by – music, for all the good it does us, is a vehicle for disappointment – but an equally hard realization to come to was that it is no fault of music’s that it disappoints us.

We place so much on the back of music without realizing how weak its back is, how easily it can crumble under the weight of our selfish expectations, and I am bored of music now and isn’t that equally selfish?  I don’t want something new or unique; I gave up that dream when I entered the harsh world of music criticism and realized that nothing is unique.  But I am realizing now that that is what makes music such an amazing medium.  Deep down, I want to be a writer and I often unconsciously praise the written word over the sung word because there are only so many ways to combine chords and notes but there are infinite ways to combine words and punctuation.  I have to return to my earlier notion that music was like a planet to me because music is like our planet.  We are exhausting it, digging it, harvesting it, chopping it, depleting it.  The inevitable conclusion is that we will run out of room, we will run out of food, we will run out of oil, we will run out of glaciers, we will run out of cold weather.  The same can be said of music; many album reviews will hammer it into us that nothing new can be done, that the mine of musical ideas has already been gutted and musicians are simply offering us coal as if it was gold.

In a planetary sense, it is horrifyingly real.  In a musical sense, it is beautiful and somewhat of a relief.  Everyone will run out of ideas eventually and we will be left with an extensive testament to the creativity of the human race that was somewhat cheapened in its golden years by money-grubbing record executives and trend-hopping kids with no talent, but that isn’t enough to blacken the body of work that will be left behind by a century of popular musicians who gave us gifts that keep on giving, even if we sometimes expect them to give more.





mynameischan
06.12.10
helo

klap
06.12.10
sponsored by the Sierra Club

Emim
06.12.10
It's the end of the world.

Powerban
06.12.10
sounds like you're in a musical rut. music will never end, though. as you get older, music has a dampening effect.

think about it, how many actual people are 30+ that follow all the latest musical offerings? not that much. they've got over it and probably just listen to the radio.

thebhoy
06.12.10
damn, I thought you were going to talk about the song End of Music by Do Make Say Think :(

SlightlyEpic
06.12.10
sort of feeling you at the moment

thebhoy
06.12.10
"there's millions of new melodies yet to be written"

There is also the inherent "taste" factor. There are essentially infinite ways to alter melodies and using increasingly zany time signatures. But there comes a time when it's just like FART because some melodies would be just horrible and would only be faint attempts and manipulating originality. I do feel that Music itself has lots of ground to explore and there is the intangible aspect involved that goes beyond combining chords and notes. I mean, at the height of jazz, most of the free jazz performers based their stuff off of basic folk melodies. But through talent and passion, they stretched what those melodies could do.

thebhoy
06.12.10
*attempts AT manipulating melodies.

So to summarize, Chan is right, but I feel he is prematurely ejaculating at the moment.

Powerban
06.12.10
chan isn't right, actually. sure it's all derivative and stuff now days, but as you get older you like music less. for every person that gives up music, another ten or so get into it.

you could say music just rips itself off and there is nothing original now, but to a 15 year old kid just getting into music, it's very original. so music will never end,

ShadowRemains
06.12.10
"It's the end of the world."

as we know it...


FadeToBlack
06.12.10
in 2 years every band will ne playing deathcore

klap
06.12.10
what the hell is this 'as you get older you like music less' business

FadeToBlack
06.12.10
when u go deaf from listening to music too much its quite hard to enjoy it

mynameischan
06.12.10
more of a prose-type piece meant to introduce the idea of a world that has moved on from music than anything

but yes these days mostly i just listen to things i already know the words to

ShadowRemains
06.12.10
"in 2 years every band will ne playing deathcore"

That would be shittiest thing ever! *goes to listen to Immolation*


Powerban
06.12.10
well, not everyone likes music less as they get older. they also don't try to find new bands as much. there is that point in time where they are just content with what they have and they get on with life. you gonna keep up with the music scene at 50, klap?

robin
06.12.10
this made me feel glum =(

Powerban
06.12.10
i hate on music the same way though. i can be over it totally one week, and then i get the urge to scour the internet for a new band. when i find that said band, music and i will get along again.

this is that band for this week: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PXcH2jeBElw

Enotron
06.12.10
Chans Plans gave me a tummyache : (

ConsiderPhlebas
06.13.10
They need to up the dosage

theacademy
06.13.10
CHANS PLANS 14 CAPSULE REVIEW:

petulant rant is, as usual, beautifully written but suffers from epistemological flaws.

-theacademy

Skimaskcheck
06.13.10
'...and realized that nothing is unique' not sure if i can agree with that, but i see where you're coming from. this was depressing, despite the last paragraph haha.

Inveigh
06.13.10
interesting stuff. It's an idea I've actually thought about before. But then again, even though recorded music hasn't been around all that long (relatively speaking), music has been a part of human life for as long as we have recorded events, really. So the idea that music is just NOW starting to become derivative and recycled is probably coming from a limited perspective. If that was an actuality, chances are it happened a long time ago.

mynameischan
06.13.10
right which is why at the end i say "popular" musicians because whatever they were doing centuries ago is lost to us except for the most well-known classical composers

klap
06.13.10
i plan on writing about music for the rest of my life so i don't think it would be absurd for me to be "keeping up with the scene" at age 50

scissorlocked
06.13.10
chan's article is good,but I think he is wrong.

There are so much to be discovered yet.We are the ones who are unable to see it.

"I gave up that dream when I entered the harsh world of music criticism and realized that nothing is unique."-no,there are truly unique pieces,which you can only perceive as unique.Seeing music as an endless reformation of already played melodies-which in a way is- is a cold perception,that doesnt fit with the artistic phlisophy of how art develops.I guess we have to be romantic with all these stuff.Or else the whole world could be explained so pessimisticaly.
And this also shows that the world of music criticism is just a verminous world which eventually makes people inside it disillusioned in a way that destroys the main purpose of the same music they are interested about: you end up with a perplexed discrimination in your mind,that often prevents you from truly enjoying it.The critics are a sinister race.I don't even know how they helped music at all.

sniper
06.13.10
Awesome a not-funny Chan Plan that actually made me feel something other than "lol."

Pos'd.

Nagrarok
06.13.10
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO MUSIC WILL NEVER DIE!!!

scissorlocked
06.13.10
yes,it's a crucial decade for music,but the death of the album will not necessarily bring the death of music!!!

the whole thing is tied with many other aspects of the world today.

maybe the death of capitalism someday will show music a new path...

Enotron
06.13.10
"maybe the deaht of capitalism someday will show music a new path"

I like the way you think comrade

Inveigh
06.13.10
I wasn't trying to say you were wrong chan, I actually have been feeling the same way about music for the past couple years -- I was just trying to inject a bit of positivity into the thread.

This might actually be my favorite of your blogs yet.

Inveigh
06.13.10
I'm pretty sure stupid music fans have been around about as long as popular music has. If anything, idiots like that spending less on music will open up the market for better artists. In the old days, that guy would be buying BeeGees and Asia records -- feeding the machine, maaaaan

Inveigh
06.13.10
oh and by Asia I meant Europe. damn it.

Inveigh
06.13.10
my guess would be that music just isn't his thing then

Nagrarok
06.13.10
Some people are just idiots, or those who can enjoy music in its fullest may just be blessed.

Hey, and nothing wrong with a little Bee Gees.

STAYIN ALIVE, STAYIN ALIVE
AAAH AAAH AAAH AAAH STAYING ALIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIVVEEEE!

scissorlocked
06.13.10
the music of the future will be bright or the future of the music

and when i said capitalism i had in mind all this music consumerism that is f**king the scene for many years.The system seperates the listener from the substance of the songs,by seperating the music from it's own stimulus:a child can easily listen to the Wall,but can hardly relate with the topic Waters had in mind.and so the song brakes loose from it's original idea.It's all about the style and how it is shown.I'm looking forward to a new connection between artist and audience.

scissorlocked
06.13.10
Blockhead warned us: THE MUSIC SCENE IS GOING DOOOWN!!!

Nagrarok
06.13.10
'the thing that annoys me is that he can't seem to see how bands like bush basically get their sound from nirvana'

I know the feeling, because I know multiple people that just don't seem to GET music. Sometimes I think they just don't want to get it.

Iluvatar
06.13.10
i sometimes think this. then neurosis comes out with a new album and im just like HOT DAMN

Inveigh
06.13.10
wow, scissorlocked just gained some respect from me with the Blockhead reference. One of my favorite producers for sure.

cinaedus
06.13.10
'I know the feeling, because I know multiple people that just don't seem to GET music. Sometimes I think they just don't want to get it.'

i know a LOT of friends who are like that. they're like, "why do you buy cds? that's so stupid, just download it" and then i tell them im really liking this band right now, and then they don't get that either, and just blast this same overplayed song ten times in a row.


DraconForsaken
06.13.10
Even if every note, chord, and solo was played, eventually we'd forget, and rediscover older music. Even now, you can listen to music almost constantly, and still keep discovering new artists. Everyone kinda goes through a phase where music is dead to them, but it's never dead forever.

People that don't bother to understand music annoy me. It's like a retarded tween reading twilight and saying "OMG BEST BOOK EVR" without ever reading anything else. And they won't read anything else, cause what they're reading has been designed just for them, and they refuse to leave their comfort zone. So screw them. Life's too short to listen to just whatever someone else thinks is popular. Understand it IS just sound, but the Sistine Chapel is just stone and oils, and Hamlet is just paper and ink.

CrazyFool84
06.13.10
Felt a little rambley to me at small times, but wow...that was really well written Chan, seems to mirror some of my feels towards music in general lately, good to know I'm not alone and I dig the way you wrapped everything up, not as hopeless as I was starting to feel.

ant4tbc
06.13.10
It's simply human nature to push boundaries, to create, and leave YOUR mark on a period of time and I feel that music, or any form of art for that matter, will never grow stale. Corporate bullshit will never completely wipe out one's need for creative output. As long as individuals continue to have their own perspective on life, mediums of art, like music, will never die.

DaveyBoy
06.13.10
Great piece Chan. 2 points stick out to me:

(1) Has music become too readily available (on the internet)? If it had not, I am almost certain that there would always be something new to discover.

(2) Try not to place too much emphasis on originality. It's true, very little is anywhere near 100% original these days. Try just concentrating on what is good and what is not.

Klekticist
06.13.10
context determines quality. context is lost over time. new material is embraced by young minds, yet the elderly see the derivation.

music's probably been in a downward spiral since the 50's. Commercialization bastardized art. But then again, I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Klekticist
06.13.10
context determines quality. context is lost over time. new material is embraced by young minds, yet the elderly see the derivation.

music's probably been in a downward spiral since the 50's. Commercialization bastardized art. But then again, I have no idea what I'm talking about.

Athom
06.13.10
the internet really is a double edged sword. it has completely changed my musical tastes but at the same time made me a rather cynical prick about music since it takes a hell of a lot more to surprise me.

Asiatic667
06.13.10
yur all gayz

Captain North
06.13.10
If you're still rating new albums above a 4, I'd say music isn't dead yet.

But yes, internet is changing music (maybe killing if you want to say that) in ways that not many people have really expressed. Normally all the attention is on the money issue, rather than the cheapening of music in other ways.

Calculate
06.13.10
fuckin deep. beautiful writing.

Acre
06.13.10
I'm just guessing, but you probably need to get laid.

:)

Captain North
06.13.10
I'm just guessing, but you're probably a douchebag.

StrizzMatik
06.13.10
Reminds me of this http://www.theonion.com/articles/pitchfork-gives-music-68,2278/

But sadly, he's got a point.

Powerban
06.13.10
^ reminded me of that exactly.

StrizzMatik
06.13.10
Still this is pretty jaded view Chan, but well worded. As for me, I listen to music because I believe it to be the greatest creation our fucked-up race has contributed to existence

OllieS
06.13.10
Sweet

Foxhound
06.13.10
awesome read.

SowingSeason
06.13.10
kind of depressing, also kind of true. i do feel like ideas get reused, more and more every few years, until eventually it just recycles itself. hopefully i will still be able to discover music that sounds new to me well into my 30's

Nagrarok
06.13.10
Music is all about fusing old sounds with new ones. We're creative enough to make it last.

Foxhound
06.13.10
yeah and I was given a stack of about 200+ random cds the other day, I haven't heard most of them. point is I don't think music will ever stop being fulfilling, there's so much music and it's impossible to listen to everything.

Kubrick
06.13.10
"I have to return to my earlier notion that music was like a planet to me because music is like our planet. We are exhausting it, digging it, harvesting it, chopping it, depleting it. The inevitable conclusion is that we will run out of room, we will run out of food, we will run out of oil, we will run out of glaciers, we will run out of cold weather."

Interesting point... although it is a bit of a stretch because music is created, not discovered. So, the extent of musical exploration by man depends entirely on the extent of the creativity that man possesses. It's not as if one day we will just run out of music to discover because we have "tapped the well dry." However, I do agree with you that the creativity of man on a whole is dwindling. But, there will always be those people, no matter how few, who have the ability to create something unique... and that's the music I'll always be searching for.

On another, possibly more douchey, note, the outcome of global warming is actually quite the opposite of what you have implied. Global warming is not suspected to slowly end all cold weather. It is actually just an increase in the speed of a global cycle between the ice age and the conditions we live in now. Earth has always experienced warming like we are now, The difference is that humans are speeding it up to levels that have never been experienced by the planet, which could obviously lead to problems. But the end result of warming is actually a new ice age, not the end of all cold weather (it has to do with the disruption of the north atlantic current which depends on a salt and fresh water balance.. the current is what provides us with our milder temperatures). Sorry if I'm coming off as an ass... probably wasn't necessary but I just felt like pointing it out anyway haha.

SeaAnemone
06.13.10
way to copy Thom Yorke asshole

thediamondcanopy
06.13.10
I love this.

bloc
06.13.10
That was Gary Cooper, asshole.

AlexTM510
06.13.10
good article Chan-I don't think we are that hopeless in musical terms. As long as there is something current coming out during the present and artists stay true to themselves music will continue to move on even if its growth and expansion slows down.

mynameischan
06.13.10
kubrick, i'm sure you are right so no worries

and yes music isn't discovered per se but is based on our creativity, but we still have the limitations of our instruments and what's defined as "music" to work with. i say "century" at the end because if "popular music" started in the 40s or so then i'd give it another 30 or 40 years before people don't really know what the hell to play anymore

StrizzMatik
06.13.10
There's still unexplored stuff out there. Guitar, bass, piano, etc certainly has a "limit" of what notes you can play, but then there's world music with thousands of micro-tonalities and offbeat scalar stuff that almost no one in the West touches. Music will most likely live forever, and no matter what there will always be something worth listening to. Most Western music hasn't been truly original for decades, it's what you put your own mark to that makes it yours. Look at punk music, those dudes play the same three chords between thousands of bands and a lot of it is still great music and fun to listen to. Just my 0.02

Electric City
06.13.10
time to explore classical music channing

robertsona
06.13.10
u Guys should read Silence by John Cage

cfbassist
06.13.10
music will evolve, think about it, at one time everything was modal

also think of what the electric guitar (and synths) have done to change music in the past 60 years or so

AnotherBrick
06.13.10
i loved reading this but i have to disagree with it

Kubrick
06.13.10
@ Chan - Yeah I definitely see what you're saying. Either way, I don't think the death of music is anything we're gonna have to worry about. Humans will have blown each other up or society will have broken down long before creativity has the chance to disappear. That is, unless people miraculously gain the ability of acceptance and are able to live and let live.... but that requires rationality which our species clearly lacks (Yeah, I'm kind of a pessimist too hahaha). So yeah, I would be more worried about those nuclear weapons and radical religious fanatics than an over abundance of shitty music in the near future.

scissorlocked
06.13.10
classical music is a true fountain of ideas for the musicians nowadays as Plato is for the philosophers after him.

Captain North
06.14.10
It's not the death of music, but our own jaded views thats the problem.

DiceMan
06.14.10
Music's been around a hell of a lot longer then people here think... Actually, all forms of music really gained their roots from African tribes if you really think about it. They were pretty much the first recorded to actually use rhythms and tones to produce music.

DiceMan
06.14.10
recorded in time not on tape or anything haha..

But, this is a very interesting piece.

Ire
06.14.10
Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin. Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin. Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin. Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin. Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin. Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin. Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin. Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin. Listen to jazz, shoot up heroin.

StrizzMatik
06.14.10
Thank God you have it all figured out Ire

bailar12
09.19.10
but having you disillusioned for a bit was fun too

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