A Little More About Me…
Music to me is a very emotional thing. Music should make you think. Music should say something. Music is art. I want artists to challenge me. I don’t want paint by number, cookie cutter type music. I want the artist to put some thought and effort into their music. But that’s just me. I know everybody listens to music from a different place, some just want an escape while others, like myself, want to be challenged. So as a music critic, I am supposed to remain objective and not let my biases affect my review, but that’s pretty much impossible to do. I do try to step out of my shoes and into a more general point of view, but regardless of my efforts, my personal views will always affect my critics. So, in the interest of objectivity and to provide the few, if any, readers I have here an understanding of where my musical tastes lie, here is a basic description of my feelings about certain genres of music.
Hip-Hop was my first love. Up until ’88 I listened to the radio, but in ’88 a friend loaned my EPMD’s “Strictly Business” and it blew my mind. From that point on, it was all about Hip Hop. Public Enemy. KRS One and BDP. Slick Rick. NWA. Eric B & Rakim. De La Soul. A Tribe Called Quest. Jungle Brothers. Brand Nubian. Too Short. Del. Souls of Mischief. Stetsasonic. Biz Markie. Marley Marl. Masta Ace. Ultramagnetic MC’s. ICE T. These basically defined Hip Hop for me, so today, when ever I listen to Hip Hop, my mind automatically looks back to these artists as a reference point. In the early ‘90’s, I really got into the west coast underground, Project Blowed, Freestyle Fellowship, Living Legends, Mystic Journeymen and these days, I listen to Sage Francis, Atmosphere, Aesop Rock, Dalek, Mr Lif, Murs, Brother Ali, AceyAlone
I didn’t really get into metal until around ’97, but once I did, there was no stopping me. I explored every realm, and quickly found what I liked. Some death metal was cool, but it never seemed to be very creative. Black metal on the other hand, showed a lot more creativity, the use of symphonies, electronics, experimentation with different instruments, black metal really pulled me in. Groups like Blut Aus Nord, Dimmu Borgir, and Celtic Frost really spoke to me. Doom, Drone and Experimental metal groups also sparked an interest, Sunn 0))) is one of the most creative bands of all time. But the groups that really set me off were Tool, Rage Against the Machine and Isis. All three of these groups have made some of the most engaging and emotional music of all time.
Jazz is hands down my favorite genre of music. As Hip Hop entered its so called Jazz period, I was intrigued by the music that was being sampled and started exploring it mor. I quickly discovered and quietly confiscated my dads record collection: Miles, Parker, Rollins. Then I discovered Charles Mingus, simply incredible. Such beautiful compositions. Next came Monk, Hubbard and Sun Ra. Then Oliver Nelson, Art Blakey, Archie Shepp and Pharoah Sanders. Then Clifford Thornton and Matthew Shipp. Jazz still inspires me today. The music is so emotional and powerful. It’s amazing how much can be said without a uttering a single word.
I didn’t get into punk until around ’00. One day I was in the mood for something different, so on a whim I picked up a Dead Kennedys cd. I was amazed and disappointed at what I had been missing over the years, the music and the subject matter was so powerful. I immediately picked up all of their releases and then went on to Bad Religion, MDC, DOA, The Exploited, Black Flag, Bad Brains, Minor Threat. These groups define punk for me, so when I hear those pop punk bands, they immediately lose points because punk was not meant to go pop. Punk should be about rebellion and fighting the system.