Rabbits Full of Magic

23 March 2009

 

Destroy Canned Music


The American Federation of Musicians got their wish, somehow, noone quite remembers when or how or why, but it happened shortly after this ad was taken out in the Pittsburg Press in 1929. The wax cylinders were burned down to make candlesticks, the shellac that may have been used to make records ended up in thin layers coating Skittles candy, and instead of vinyl LPs we ended up with an extremely cheap source of raw materials for plumbing and PVC pipes. The only way you heard Duke Ellington was if he performed live on the radio. Because of the ban on recorded musical performances television and films always had to have live accompaniment, which was okay since every household that could afford it had a baby grand piano, and the joy of musical performance was passed down through the generations, as serious a trade as metalworking, painting, or industrial design.

If you were poor you could usually sneak into the theaters with a good orchestra section, the effort paying off tenfold when seeing something like 2001: A Space Odyssey accompanied by a virtuoso string section. For these reasons film and music became so intricately intertwined that it birthed a new artistic medium that would be nigh incomprehensible to people living in our universe.

Elvis and the Beatles still revolutionized pop music and signaled the youth rock n roll era, only instead of Sgt. Pepper being a best-selling album it was a best-selling rock concert/avant garde circus with traveling orchestra, complete with acoustic engineers. Brian Wilson never had to give up on Smile the album because he simply got a musical copyist to write out a score for 50 musicians and invent the Smile Caravan that went all around the world for 5 years.



Because of the great need for touring musicians, the automotive industry and the international infrastructure had to evolve a high level of efficiency and aesthetic appeal in order to keep up with the highly used railroad services.

What people in our universe call 'folk music' never got labeled as such, Harry Smith became a world-renowned mystic animator, Bob Dylan was always knows as a rock n roller, and yesterday's fiddle virtuoso raised today's theremin virtuoso. Since folk was never recorded and thus never cut off from non-folk, there was never any serious distinction made between acoustic and electronic instruments. Folktronic was not just a concept, it was the way things were.

Most of all the death of canned music saved us from the navel-gazing trap of post modernism as well as preventing entirely the homogenizing of such a wonderful form of art. Sounds were similar in regions, but because the only way to hear a song was to actually physically play it, songs constantly evolved along with playing styles, rhythms, melodies, and instrumental proficiency. Inventive new forms of music grew from this that would be both beautiful and frightening to us. The future of music lied not in the hands of a small number of very powerful production companies, but in the hands of the people. Where it always should.

 

Wave-Form Surfing



Went down to Florida to attend my grandma's wedding and got the chance to play around on my grandfather's Lowery organ, which was pre-set to the most beautiful organ sound you can imagine, kind of cheesy with a lot of vibrato, not too much high end, and residing somewhere between a church, a 60s soap opera, and a Doors album. Organs are why I got into music, far moreso on a visceral level than drums or guitars or screaming. Records by The Animals, The Doors, and ? and the Mysterions sunk their teeth into my psyche when I was a child and refuse to let go. Spooks songs sound really good on this organ, which inspired me to make the music video I'm going to make today cos I still don't have a job. Also I might be working on a CGI video for the Deerhunter song where he sings about "Cassette Cathedral" cos I found this amazing website which features free downloadable 3d models of actual churches and cathedrals!

It's getting ridiculous, I've been looking for a job for over 6 months now and still don't have one, even a shitty one where I type stuff mindlessly into a computer. The more I'm out of work the more I fantasize about what I really want to do in life. I don't care about being rich and famous or a rock 'n' roll star, nor does having children or a family or even being in a relationship sound appealing. I want to live in a cave in the Himalayas/Appalachians and transcend time and space by sitting still for 40 years. The physical world seems more and more unimpressive as I get older, and people's addictions to it more and more obvious and misplaced. I wish there were some kind of yoga master that could initiate me or show me some techniques because I'm having a hard time looking for a starting place in reading all of these books. I feel like I have the self-discipline and the detachment required to undergo some serious spiritual evolution, I just don't know where to start.


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