About Me

Name: Adam Bernard
Home: Fairfield, Connecticut, United States
About Me: Entertainment journalist with 15+ years of experience. Supporter of indie music. Lover of day baseball, fringe movies, & chicken shawarma. Part time ninja. Nerdy, but awesome.
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Happiness Is Babes and Books
Wednesday, November 09, 2005
I know this isn’t usual coming for me, but it’s Wednesday morning and I’m already having a pretty good week. Then again what’s not to like when the week starts with another interview with a gorgeous woman. This time around I was speaking with Vanessa Branch. Most know Vanessa as the Orbit gum girl, but she’s also going to be in the next two installments of the Pirates of the Caribbean trilogy (she was in the first, but her role was quite small). Vanessa was extremely nice and fun to talk with, we even ended up exchanging author recommendations at the end of the interview since we’re both pretty avid readers.

Speaking of reading I finally got through Night Shadows, which, like most books that are supposed to evoke some kind of frightened emotion, left me flat. One of the only books of the genre that actually affected me was Richard Matheson’s I Am Legend, a classic scary read that is doubly scary when read alone and at night. I’m straying from the novels and short stories for my next read as yesterday I went to the library and picked up Ryszard Kapuscinski’s Imperium. The heart of Imperium is a telling of the journeys Kapuscinski took though Russia while their government was falling apart (89-91). I first learned of Kapuscinski while reading one of Henry Rollins’ books. He mentioned he was reading some of the author’s work and was a fan. I have a lot of respect for Rollins, and the subject matter interests me since the fall of communist Russia was one of the great historical events that’s happened during my life, so I figured I’d give it a read. I’ll let you know what I think once I’ve gotten to the meat of it.

Thank goodness for books because, with the noted exception of t.A.T.u.’s latest album, nothing is inspiring me when it comes to music. I don’t know exactly what happened, but sometime last month I just started looking at some of the CDs that were arriving in my mailbox and thinking "I do not want to listen to this." This is why I have an ever growing stack of wack CD’s by my desk that have gone unlistened to. I am completely uninspired to hear most of the music that’s being pumped out now, so much so that I’m probably not going to check for anything unless the CD is from an artist I know I like, or unless the album has a killer press release with it (yeah, you’re damn right I’m listening to the Aceyalone / RJD2 collaboration, but Sheek Louch? C‘mon.). I think I’m picking the perfect time to slowly move away from music. Not only am I getting more and more Hollywood interviews, but I’m just not enjoying the music scene anymore. It seems people are getting more and more pushy with worse and worse product. But I guess when your product is wack you have to be pushy about it. Nobody’s ever had to push a classic on anyone.

So who gets the blame for the terrible music that’s coming out today? Partly the artists, partly the labels and partly the consumers. The consumers, through products like iTunes, have found ways to dumb down the music they purchase. The new prevailing thought is if the song is hot you’ll download the single. This is killing the art of it all. Artists now only have to focus on creating singles rather than albums. I read an interview with Jon Bon Jovi a few months ago where he mentioned he felt downloading is killing the kids in terms of what they listen to because they’re only getting the single, they’re not getting the full album experience, and I agree with him 100%. Look at a few of your favorite albums, could you imagine only knowing the commercially released singles off of those albums? Personally, my favorite Prince song is "The Morning Papers," but you’re not going to see that one on any of his greatest hits albums. There’s also the issue of losing out on albums that tell a story of some kind, where the tracks go in a sequential order for a reason. Thanks to downloading that bit of artistic creativity is fast being lost.

For everyone who only downloads music I have this bit of advice, buy an album. Pick up an album by your favorite artist, I don’t care who it is. Discover that they have songs that are great that have never been heard on the radio. If people don’t start buying albums now pretty soon we’re going to be stuck in a world where music languishes in mediocrity, only doing what it has to do to keep people downloading those radio singles. I shudder to think what kids growing up in that world will consider good music.
posted by Adam Bernard @ 10:42 AM  
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