Music

Mean stage

When someone performs on stage in front of people, they really are putting themselves out there. Open to question, open to praise or even abuse. 

What makes someone want to perform in front of people? (This is coming from someone who is terrified of general social interactions. So forgive me if my analysis is a little skewed. Wait…I just remembered. I don’t give a shit what you think).

  • To get attention
  • To make money
  • To raise money for a cause
  • To have a good time
  • To make people happy
  • To show off
  • To get feedback
  • To teach
  • To spread joy

There’s so much more and I just realised that I don’t want to talk about all of them. So I am just going to stick to one. ‘Feedback’. Why talk about feedback? Well, I was at a solo instrumental competition the other day and I saw the soul get sucked out of the participants.

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Mean Stage

So what exactly caused the soul to exit the participants bodies?

It had nothing to do with the audience. There was a panel of three judges who basically wrecked the musical careers of some young people. The way I see it, when someone goes on stage for the first time in their life, in a way they are walking onto a platform, butt-naked. They are frightened, they don’t know what to do. All they want is to play their part and get the fuck out of there. If possible, get some feedback too. If they are lucky enough, they get what they want. But in some cases this shit happens. The judge feels a sense of responsibility to single handedly humiliate the first-timer in front of the whole crowd. To make it even worse, the other two idiots( also students of his) partake in making jokes while the participants are performing.

‘Constructive criticism’. Doesn’t that word actually sound good?  It feels good just to say it. ‘Constructive criticism’. Everyone wants it. Everyone needs it. It is the best thing you can give someone. Yet this ass-wipe judge felt the need to scar the vulnerable new-comer for his entire fucking life. The worst part is that this judge is an accomplished professional musician. I don’t understand how can one be so foolish. What kind of a person takes pride in shutting someone down? Is he trying to show off his judging skills? Has he forgotten his roots? Has he gone insane?

 

 

 

 

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I got the job

I got the “gig”. I did it! I did it! The nerd is in a rock band. All I can say now is shit’s about to go down.

I haven’t played in that many bands but I know the feeling you get when a bus bearing your band’s name comes to pick you up for a show. Yes, I do believe in that “band is family” shit. It’s a mysterious musical-interest-based-bond that refuses to go away even after the band breaks up. Enough gay shit.

After the audition was over the lead singer announced that they would be happy to have me play the drums. So naturally my first instinct was to go over to the mic and announce that I was not gay. But I held it in for a better opportunity. It also gave me a brilliant idea. I could do some stand-up when we play live. That would kill time in between songs. Also, I get to humiliate hecklers.

To quote the great poet Nikki Sixx,

When we started this band
All we needed, needed was a laugh
Years gone by, I’d say we’ve kicked some ass
When I’m enraged Or hittin’ the stage
Adrenaline rushing Through my veins
And I’d say we’re still kickin’ ass

There is no bad music

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Everyone knows musical interests are subjective. Why then, do some people beleive that certain genres of music is garbage? There is also a tendency to think less of people who listen to certain genres of music. Does the type of music you listen to say anything about the type of person you are? I really don’t know. What I do know is that there is no such thing as BAD MUSIC.

A few years ago a friend of mine made me listen to a song that she liked. At the time I was trying to win her over so I pretended to listen carefully. I chuckled and said that her taste in music was a little weird. And that was the end of it. This so called “song” that she made me listen to was basically static noise with some kind of a beat laid in between. It was the “uh oh” moment for me. I could not understand how it could be called music.

I realized later in life that this was a major flaw in me. If I didn’t understand something, I was automatically inclined to dislike it. I came to realize this flaw in me while learning to play drums. I used to wonder how amazing rock drummers would end up playing jazz as they grew older. I was ignorant at the time(much more now). I did not understand jazz and obviously disliked it. I’ll be honest. I thought it was gay(which is another problem altogether that I will have to deal with later. One problem at a time). As I got better at playing, I slowly began to appreciate Jazz drumming. I still don’t like to listen to Jazz but I “understand” it now.

I think that in order to understand and appreciate the beauty in some things, you have to reach a certain point of intellectual maturity and understanding of the subject. Same goes with modern art. I used to wonder why the fuck are these people staring at spilt ink on a piece of paper when there is so much more going on in this world? Why waste time like this? Little did I realize that those papers of split ink were speaking to the artists. It was moving them emotionally. Almost like a new method of communication that came from another dimension. That’s the magic of art. There are so many ways to look at it. Many scientists are excited to send artists into space to show them the vast magnificence of the universe. It will be super exciting to see what they will come up with after experiencing the deep unknown.

So there is no bad music. I feel like music has an uncanny ability to invoke particular emotional responses. Its just that every individual resonates to different styles of music. Its sad that some of them are ashamed to reveal their musical interests and have to keep it a secret for fear of not being accepted by society. Don’t get me wrong. “Call me maybe” might not be a scientific marvel but it is entertaining to some and it is noise to others. If you are one of the people who dislike it, just accept the fact that you don’t get it and move on.

Listen to this!

Why do some people force others to listen to their music? I am looking at YOU, inconsiderate person who drives around blasting out noise with the windows rolled down. However, I am curious about this urge. I can even understand it to an extent. Some songs make some people feel good. So all that these people are trying to do is to make others feel good too! However, there are also people who do it just to annoy others. Annoying others makes them feel good! I love it when someone likes my music. When I was a kid, me and my friends listened to the same kind of music. Then one day, I heard a song that was so good, it blew my  mind. I couldn’t wait to show it to my friends. One day I was hanging out with a few friends. I set the song up on a nice stereo. With a lot of excitement, I pressed play. They were busy talking to each other. I was eagerly waiting for them to stop abruptly and say “holy shit! That sounds so awesome!”. Surprisingly, none of that happened and they continued talking to each other until I asked for an opinion on the song. They were like, “meh”. I realised something that day. I liked something that was different. That genre of music did not please others very well. It was hard to find others who like it. If anyone’s curious, this was that song:

So good! And I totally get why they didn’t like it. Linkin Park had already started to occupy their minds!

Anyway, it took me a while to stop forcing people to listen to my songs. I was living in a bubble. I know now that everyone has their own interests and are passionate about them.

 

Rejection

Sorry kids. This is not the kind of rejection you are thinking about.

I am a huge fan of Freddy Mercury. For those of you who don’t know who this legend is, I highly recommend you keep it that way. He was the lead singer of the band Queen. I am equally inspired by his music and his energy. He worked hard to get to the top. He had the ability to influence people just by talking to them. I wish I had his influencing skills. The rest of this post will explain why.

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It was one of those weekends where I was struggling to keep myself busy so that I don’t get bored and fall into an endless pit of depression. I decided to attend a small gig. It turned out to be an arena for beginner bands to showcase their talent to the world. The only problem was that the place was filled with college students and I was the odd 25 year old with no friends. However, all that feeling of embarrassment faded away when one particular band took the stage. These guys were my age. They sounded unbelievably great. They were a trio. One played the acoustic guitar, one played keyboards and one vocalist sat on a chair playing just a bass drum with the foot pedal. They performed few covers and originals. Need less to say, they took me on a musical journey. I could feel that special sparkle in their music.

I am at the moment desperately trying to form a band. So I approached them after the show and thanked them for playing here. They seemed like very nice people. I also hinted that they need a full drum kit rather than just a base drum(I am a drummer). They seemed to pay little attention to me and stressed that they were a “Trio”. However, they thanked me for the feedback and asked me to follow them on Facebook for tour dates. I went back home and did just that. I also sent two of them a friend request(because three friend requests would be like super begging ha ha). I came back home and listened to the original songs that they covered that day. Believe me, their version sounded much better. It was when they covered this song that I realised that they were exceptionally talented:

I soo want to be in this band. They are the whole package! I wouldn’t have to go hunting for individual members. All I have to do is get in!

And then the waiting began. A week passed. None of my friend requests were accepted. Then one day to my surprise I received a notification saying that the vocalist had accepted my request. I did not waste much time with chit chat. I asked if I could come see one of their jamming sessions. To my surprise, he replied that they preferred to keep their jamming sessions private. I told him that I totally respect his decision and thanked him for his time. This is my first time being rejected to my face. So I felt very bad. However, a glimmer of hope shone soon after. He said he’ll speak with the other guys and let me know. Looks like he felt a little bit of my pain! :-). So now I am back to waiting. Hope something good comes out of all this.