Sunday, March 14, 2010

Invention of Mblogs - Post Pop Music Music

My cousin told me about a theory, the other day, that a genre of art is always best when it's first invented.

And I thought about pop songs...maybe invented around the 1920s? So, Cole Porter through Lennon/McCartney...30 years. Has there been a single good pop song since? Like a Virgin, as an example of what immediately followed, is a good record - but would you, could you hum it, the way you would...Hound Dog? Or, It Had to Be You? Or Let it Be?

And I love the idea, the whole thing of Taylor Swift. It's poetry, it's pop art - but would you, could you, hum her music the way you would Over the Rainbow?

Same with films - I've been watching TCM recently (Turner Movie Classics, a cable TV channel that specialises in early Hollywood films). I never realised it before. Because I'd never really seen those films before, except...I dunno. I just hadn't really noticed. But those movies were brilliant. Even just run of the mill movies you've never heard of from the 1930s...are just so special and magical, well crafted if not artistic....

And nothing - nothing...since about...the mid 1960s (again, 30 years-from the adoption of sound films, in the 1930s...)...nothing comes close. Try watching (if you dare) Robert Downey Jr's total travesty - potentially the worst film ever - his Sherlock Holmes, and then look at any old version.

I'll say - I've seen some totally brilliant movies made recently, but none from Hollywood. I saw a brilliant Korean film - but, they probably only started their cinema culture more recently...

And Avatar is the start of a new genre. So, we've got 30 more years of whatever that kind of film should be called...(or, maybe its a one-off wonderful wonderment?)

Hip hop music, same thing - it's has already degenerated into middle aged hum-druminess...Jay-z said he wants to be the new Sinatra - he actually wants it! Remember when hip-hop used to be cool? I do...

I don't disparage at all people I think are genuinely cool, like Taylor Swift (I'm not saying I listen to her music, but I think she's cool...)(that is to say, cool for fully expressing her nerdiness on a big stage - that's real cool - cool people aren't cool, but everyone know that...) -  I'm convinced Taylor Swift would agree with me that there was  a kind of pop song, from Cole Porter through Lennon/McCartney, that they just don't make anymore. And anyway, her music is kind of what I'm talking about, almost, almost an MBlog, or a hybrid, actually...

Taylor Swift wants to reflect her life through her songs, which she records with expensive musicians at about 100,000 per track (I'm guessing) over a two-year period, and then releases on some weird ancient technology, the CD, as well as on's refined by professional co-writers, producers, musicians, A&R execs, and two years of her own artistic work.

Good for her. And she's rich for it, too, bless her heart.

 * * *

I got this idea to just write and record songs in one action - in about 20 minutes per "song" - earlier this year....And, as I didn't actually "write" them ahead of time, I just sang whatever came into my head, they'd be like a diary. A musical diary.

And this is what I'm referring to as MBlogs (get it? Musical Blogs! :D)

I'm not saying I won't continue to do more carefully made songs, too...But this is its own art-form - the MBlog - improvised, pop-song length, musical expressions of the moment. Recording life, goals, dreams, ideas and ideals, as we float on down the stream of life...


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