Music is the soundtrack to memories. It's also the soundtrack to Batman Begins but my point is that we all have a song that reminds us of that special time in our lives. A song for the time we went to that special place, a song for the time we fell in love, a song for the time we hated that one awful dick. There's nothing that we do in life that isn't enhanced by music. In fact, that's really all we have in life. Food, water, air and music. That's the big four that keeps us from perishing. It's my favourite part of my day. Putting on a record, washing some grub down with a nice glass of water and having a big old breathe. And those other three just wouldn't be the same without a good song to back it up. Everything is better with music. Shame it's going to go.
You know it's going, right? It is. No one buys music anymore so what's the point in making it anymore? I know not everyone can afford to buy music but there are plenty of people who can and they don't. What an odd thing to choose not to buy. It's the best thing we have and, because it's so easy to steal, everyone nicks it. There was a time when all we needed was music and chips. Why have we decided now that all we need is chips? Chips was never the nourishing part of that combo. It was never the good bit of it. Chips was never food. The only reason we do anything is because we have The Smiths and Beastie Boys and David Bowie and Nick Cave and Bjork and Steven Sondheim and The Undertones and PJ Harvey and John Barry and the first three albums by Marillion. Shut up, they're great. Why are we now rejecting the only decent thing we've got?
I remember 1985. It was very exciting. Iron Maiden released Live After Death and I went to Zepplin Records in Newtownards to buy it. On my way home I sat on a bench to just look at the cover. It was beautiful. A double album in a gatefold sleeve featuring a reanimated corpse on the front and a bunch of grown, hairy men in spandex on the inside. I fell madly, deeply in love with it. And that was before I even heard the record itself. It was just so exciting to have bought some new music that I couldn't walk all the way home without sitting down and catching my breath. That is how music should make us feel. Utterly excited. It's how it made me feel in 1985 and it's how it makes me feel now. It makes you feel that way too. So why are we letting it die?
We all steal a bit of music. I've done it. I've illegally downloaded a lot of Queen albums but I bought the originals years ago and it's Queen. They are loaded. One of them is so rich that he's dead. Imagine being able to afford to retire that early. From everything. I think a lot of us justify stealing music by paying money to go to gigs. That's crap though, isn't it? No live concert can match the experience of hearing your favourite artist the way you want to hear them. In your house, away from dickheads. I love going to gigs but, let's face it, the same cunts that never buy records ever are the same cunts that spend the entire gig standing in front of you, holding their phone up and taking photos. That's the "live experience" for these dicks now. No respect for music being sold in shops and online and no respect for the band right in front of them. I know this because I've seen it way too often. Last night, for instance. I sat behind four 50-something music haters at a Robyn Hitchcock gig and they took photos on phones and digital cameras constantly throughout the gig. They knew they were annoying people but they're cunts so it was never going to have any effect on them. It goes without saying that I ended up agreeing to go outside for a fight with one of them after the gig. It was pathetic. Two old men agreeing to fight at the end of a Robyn Hitchcock gig. Like either of us had the strength to make a fist. But, Christ, they were irritating. Holding up camera phones at a One Direction gig? Fine. At a Robyn Hitchcock gig at the English Folk Dance and Song Society? That's embarrassing.
Buy some music today if you can. It's brilliant and there's loads of it but there won't be any more unless we support it. I know all old music is way better than anything that is in the hit parade these-a-days but I've heard some great albums this year. Martin Rossiter's new album and Human Don't Be Angry by Human Don't Be Angry are my favourites of the year. Dexys, Bob Lind, Mac Demarco and Bat For Lashes aren't far behind them. Buying a song on iTunes costs less than buying two bags of crisps. If you've bought two bags of crisps and no music this week then you just have to face facts. You are a dick. The Guardian costs £1.20 and it's fucking awful. Everyone knows that. If you've bought The Guardian this week and not bought Every Day When I Come Home I Expect To Find You Gone by Jim Bob for 79p then you just have to face facts. You are a dick. If you've bought a Rolex watch for £18,000 this week and not bought 3ft High and Rising then you need to fucking open your crap eyes and face facts. You're the biggest dick in the world. Who gives a shit what time it is if you don't have 3ft High and Rising?
Buy music today. When you go to gigs, keep your phone in your pocket. You might enjoy yourself.
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