A Tale Of Two Genres
People often ask me about my favorite artists. For the most part, they're amazed when I tell them that my favorite singer is George Strait and my favorite band is Iron Maiden.
I saw George back in '84 or '85 at the old Maple Leaf Gardens in Toronto. I've seen Iron Maiden three times--the most I've seen any artist in concert--in London, Dallas, and Nashville.
George stands on stage and sings his heart out. No pyro, no explosions, no effects. Just George. If he moves his guitar around, it's a big deal. By contrast, Iron Maiden uses lots of effects, lots of pyro, a giant "Eddy" moving around the stage, guitars thrown in the air, and their lead singer Bruce Dickinson running a lot and climbing the staging.
And I love watching them both. Why? With apologies to Charles Dickens...It was the best of music, it was the worst of music, it was the age of interesting, it was the age of boring, it was the epoch of imagination, it was epoch of music made for accountants, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair, we had everything in excellence before us, we had corporate music before us, the music could take us to Heaven, the music could take us the other way--in short, the music could be so damn good, that some of the noisiest or some of the quietest authorities insisted on its being received, for good or bad, in the superlative degree of comparison only.
This is A Tale Of Two Genres.
Okay...I'm no Dickens, but this tale is somewhat "Dickensian." On one side: dark, bleak, soulless music full of autotune and drum loops created to do nothing more than make money for the accountants and lawyers managing big label bank accounts. On the other side, music that doesn't care about beats per minute, of how high the song will chart, avoids trends, and strives for nothing more than to say something and make people think.
When it comes to music, I only see two genres: interesting and boring. I don't really think of music as country, rock, metal, blues, etc., and I don't think of music as good or bad--because even bad music can be interesting and good music can be boring.
The simple honesty of George Strait is what I find interesting. His music is honest. His live shows are honest. From the small stage of Gruene Hall, to the massive AT&T Stadium in Dallas, his shows are exactly the same. I like George's story, his way of making music, and I've loved watching him mature as an artist. To me, that stuff is interesting.
The attack of Iron Maiden is what I find interesting. Their music comes at you like a full Army and Air Force in the heat of battle. Their songs grab you from the opening note and shake you to the fade. It's loud. It's intelligent. It's fun. I like their story, the onslaught of their music and their shows. That stuff, too, is interesting.
Turn on any radio station these days and you'll find plenty of boring music. Music created for the sole purpose of satisfying a certain amount of beats per minute, the "right" amount of references to tailgates/bare feet/Bud Lite/Crown/bonfires; and for the sole purpose of going to number one and making the labels a lot of money. Pop and Country are so guilty of this! I'm sure you've all seen variations of this online:
Look for music that's honest and real. Look for music that touches you. Look beyond the labels that corporations try to ram down your throat. Hopefully you'll start thinking about the Tale Of Two Genres. Look for interesting.
Here are some of the artists from my library of over 13,000 songs that I find interesting: Rush, Gary Moore Dean Dillon, Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Ryan Beaver, Iron Maiden, George Strait, Metallica, Megadeth, Sam Riggs, Sons of the Palomino, Alan Jackson, Jon Wolfe, Matt & the Herdsmen, Cody Jinks, Joe Bonamassa, Kenny Wayne Shepherd, Dale Watson, Beth Hart, Radney Foster, Pink Floyd, Flying Colors, Winery Dogs, Mike and the Moonpies...that should get you started.
Stay interesting my friends....