March 22, 2015

Sometimes New Music Is A Miss

As I've stated previously, most (if not all) the recent additions to my music collection have come from the library. The library has a perpetual fund raiser, in which they sell used c.d.'s, books and movies that has been both culled from their collection and acquired via donations (the library also has two monster book sales in the summer and fall, where they raise roughly 25% of their outside budget).

Whenever I go to the library to check out books, I always make a beeline towards the used c.d. rack. I figure that since all the c.d.'s are priced $1-$2, it would be the cheapest way to both expand my c.d. collection and my musical horizons. Most of the time, the c.d.'s I pick up are hits, in that after I listen to the one song I bought the c.d. for, listening to the entire c.d. brings a greater appreciation for the artist.

Sometimes though, I come up with the occasional miss, and it takes a lot for me to label a c.d. or a group of c.d.'s a miss, simply because I make a conscientious effort to play the c.d all the way through.

Some notable misses includes c.d.'s from: Curtis Mayfield (boxed set), Good Charlotte, Tutu, Blur and the Indigo Girls.

Today's post will cover last batch of c.d.'s that I bought from the library: one from a duo that I've heard, two from bands I've never heard of before and a movie soundtrack.

The Movie Soundtrack

Back sometime in the early 90's, I saw the movie Singles with an ex-friend. I didn't really get the movie the first time and since this was the early days of cable, it never really made it to the movie channels. However, my ex-friend told me it featured a lot of early Seattle grunge music, and he was kind of stoked about it. Myself, being a child of the 80's/1st wave of MTV, wasn't totally impressed with that revelation back then. Fast forward 20 years and obscenely heavy exposure to grunge prompted me to pick up the soundtrack. On the plus side, it contained two songs that I absolutely loved (Would? and Nearly Lost You), as well as a second song by Mother Love Bone that didn't get played on the radio. On the downside, it seemed like the songs were basically a filler/sampler for what was played for music back in the Pacific Northwest in the 90's.

Verdict: Break Even.

The Duet

I like Emmylou Harris, which I'm sure will come as a complete surprise to most readers and my friends/family. She has great crossover appeal and her music can be found on most non-commercial/satellite stations. I'm not an overly big fan of Linda Ronstadt, as in my personal opinion, she has overstayed her welcome on the music scene by a good 20 years (and this is not taking into account the major static that she'd received during the GWB's 1st term of office). But, I approached this c.d of theirs Western Wall: The Tucson Sessions with an open mind.

Now, with the particular style of singing that Emmylou Harris performs, one of two things usually happens when I listen to it: either I get really into the c.d. and seriously pay attention to it from beginning to end; or, it becomes white noise, in that I really don't pay attention but it's nice to have playing in the background.

This c.d.became the latter. I popped it in, hit play, and got busy on the work computer. When I looked up, that sucker was on track 6 and I had no idea on how it got there. Suffice to say, we stopped playing the c.d. and put it away. However, it did not come home with me that Saturday. Instead, it stayed in my music drawer, so that I might be able to give a second chance when it comes time to do a seriously mind numbing later in the week.

Verdict: Potential.

Alternative Band, The 1st

The name of the band is And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead. Never heard of them before, but if you click on the link, you'll see a rather extensive catalog for them. I suppose they can be considered to be a good indie rock band (lots of reviews), but after listening to six tracks from a 2002 release, I gave up trying to find a song I could enjoy.

As you can see, this summation is rather short. If I haven't heard of a band before (and I listen to a lot of college radio) and the music in question doesn't tickle my fancy, then I will not invest the time to go beyond what I already possess.

Verdict: Fuhget About It.

Alternative Band, The 2nd

This one has an extremely eclectic name, The Devil Wears Prada. They also play the kind of music that would turn off 95% of the people above the age of 25: grindcore. I've always said that there is almost nothing that my kids could listen to that would turn me off, and this kind of music is no exception.

However, I really had no inkling that this band played this kind of music, so when I popped the c.d. in the machine and hit play, to say that became immediately alert would be a distinct understatement. Within several seconds of listening to obnoxious guttural vocals (a staple of grindcore), I killed the music. Not because I didn't like it, but because I cared about the few co-workers that were with me that day. So that particular c.d. came home with me so that I could play it in my car.

Verdict: We Shall See.

So my friends, my question to you today is this: ever experience the "hit or miss" syndrome with the music that you listen to? It can be either be the tried and true artists that you like, or ones that you're trying for the first time.

(c) 2015 by G.B. Miller. All Rights Reserved.


  1. That's an interesting way to try out music ... I sometimes pick albums up in charity shops ... but I have to say I'm not as fair as you... If the song doesn't get me by the first 20 seconds or so, I move on - in the car anyway.
    The one that I recently tried out was Jeff Bridges' Sleep Cd - supposed to be sounds to fall asleep to ... weeeeeiiiirrrdddd to say the least ... I will give it another go at some point.

    1. I find it's the easiest way to try out new music. Can't tell you how many times that I paid top dollar for a c.d., only to find that it contained just the radio hit and a dozen tracks of filler.

      Since my mid-20's, I've always enjoy delving deeper into a given album/c.d., because that's where you'll find more often than not, better cuts to listen to.

      "White noise"? Interesting concept, to say the least.

  2. Better to just get the Alice in Chains Cd than the soundtrack for Singles.

    1. Definitely. But until then, this will have to do.

  3. I like Emmylou Harris. You and I have a lot of favorites in common.

  4. The Indigo Girls went to high school just around the corner from my house. They are a little folky for me, but I do love their cover of Midnight Train to Georgia. :)

    1. That's very cool. I found it hard to get into them, once I got past their breakout hit "Closer to Fine". Not sure why, but I keep acquiring their c.d.'s whenever I get the opportunity.

  5. Good old grindcore! I'm glad that it exists. Don't want to listen to it myself, but I'm glad that someone does.
    I don't have the patience to search for new music much at all these days. Although I recently happened across a band called Young Galaxy that has had a few hits with me. If you're interested, check out the tracks "New Summer", "Pretty Boy", "Blown Minded", and "Talk to Her". Those are my favourites. I recommend listening via SoundCloud rather than YouTube because the videos are distracting.

    1. I'll keep that in mind.

      When I was younger, I definitely didn't have the patience, but when I started working for the guv'ment, my first co-worker turned me onto college radio, which opened up a whole new world for me.


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