Cum On Feel the Noize

Who the hell doesn’t like music? It’s pure emotion, the whole human experience squeezed into three or four minutes. A song can be immensely popular yet incredibly personal. It’s bizarre for me to think of John Lennon’s Plastic Ono Band as not only having existed but having been heard and appreciated by legions of listeners thirty years before I was even aware of it. It’s one of the darkest, rawest, most emotionally direct records in the rock canon, and each time I listen to it, Lennon’s emotions transfer themselves to me, his art becomes my experience, the whole thing feels like something in between voyeurism and plagiarism. Of course, music doesn’t need to be depressing to be important (nor does it need to be "important" to be worthwhile); every smudge on the palette of human feeling has seemingly been committed to tape somewhere by someone, which is part of what makes discovering new music so fascinating.

It’s difficult to write about music in an interesting way, so God knows why we’ve charged ourselves with the task. But here we are. You can objectify music—describe the artist’s technique, discuss it in terms of trends, unload some adjectives, or what have you—but it’s all to get around the fact that one’s reactions to music are largely personal and journalists usually prefer to work with more concrete things.

Fortunately, there’s plenty to write about. Think about this: how many songs do you think are possible? Set some boundaries: limit it to a standard four-piece rock band and five minutes. In fact, limit it to a single guitar and five seconds; how long before you run out of unique chord progressions and tunings and such? Probably never. Creativity is infinite, something else that makes discovering new music so fascinating. Whenever the scene seems to have hit its most derivative or it seems like every song has been played and every idea has been used—you can have a thousand albums and still feel some days like there’s nothing interesting to listen to—there’s always something you’ll come across that’ll restore your faith and make you wonder how the world possibly existed before those ideas did. Writing isn’t much different; do you believe everything that can be said about The Dark Side of the Moon has been said? It seems there’s always an insight or personal revelation waiting to be uncovered. The emotions that go into a listener’s reactions are as unique and unpredictable as the emotions that go into an artist’s work. There’s probably a music site for every porn site on the internet (and there’s probably a porn site for every person on the internet), so what sets this one apart will be us. We’ll try to keep it interesting.

J.C. Fields | January 20, 2005

Last modified on Monday, May 13, 2019.