I’m not the target demographic… and I am happy about that

Turned on the radio today to confirm that I am:
1. Not the target demographic. Gawd I felt old!!
2. Do not find radio dj’s entertaining.
3. Dont have patience to sit through a hip-hop song. And no I am not going to Google who Drake is and do not want to know why I should care.

Thankfully I can turn to on-demand streaming.

Popular music is popular for a reason. It follows a trend and people like to hear what everyone else is listening to. But videos are now are all about memes and virality. Lyrics have no depth- unless you try really hard to invent one. This is how a generation is destroyed. Sound harsh? Hey, I was that guy! I listened to cheesy pop songs in the 90’s and I would not admit it today at gunpoint. Except of-course to make this point. Youngsters who are addicted to this stuff… will get over it. Someday they will discover melodies and truly great audio production. They will find a sound that appeals to them… and hasn’t been engineered for the masses. That hasn’t been tuned to the least common denominator.

When it happens, the music they are missing will still be here. This is the good news. This is what I tell myself everytime I see the billboard top 200 or glance at the top charts section on Google Play Music.

70% of the music revenues and streams are from the top 2% of artists – or some such statistic. I didn’t bother to check that and neither should you because reading about Spotify vs. Taylor Swift is even more boring that doing my 11th grade calculus assignment. (hehe glad that is over) My point is- there is this 98% other artists that aren’t getting enough airplay. Dude- the long tail is where it’s at!

It will get better.

When I am not whining about the awful music filling the airwaves, I am listening to:


Learning to ignore pop culture in the face of reality

This post is going to start with a fictionalized account of events from a recent party that I went to. Naturally the names of everyone involved have been changed to protect their identities and give them an out in case they ever had to pretend that they know me, or – the more likely account- they find my account of the events to be untrue, fanciful and a wee-bit crazy…

Anyway, I met a few friends, David, Chandler and Phoebe (yeah i went with names of friends for friends, because that makes this story a little more relatable) for a light dinner and chatter following which we had to stop by someone’s birthday party. Phoebe was craving some dessert and we had concluded that yes, having something sweet at our next dinner would be a good thing. Arriving at the party 15 minutes later- this is what I noticed-

You can probably get away with entering any party uninvited. You just enter the building and tell the doorman you are here for the party. The guy is immediately going to tell you which floor. And statistically, chances of there being a party in a posh apartment at 10PM on a friday night are pretty good, don’t you think? A member of our group was actually invited to this place though so stop judging. It’s an idea. Gawd, learn to have some fun will ya?

We arrived at the place and at first I was holding back from the crowd. Because just like a wallflower, I’d rather avoid confrontation if I can. So I looked at my phone, the stars, the street, everyone’s shoes, my shoes and then my phone again. At this point David called out to Phoebe telling her he had seen some ‘sugar’ on the table. Instantly my protective instincts took over. See, I barely knew David, but I didn’t think it was a good idea for Phoebe to do any drugs. Oh yea, in my mind sugar=cocaine.

I have been watching too much TV.

Needless to say I soon found out that sugar over here only meant something sweet. Perhaps my idea of a silicon valley party was influenced by the one painted in movies like the social network where smart, talented, and super rich people talk about world changing ideas and smoke pot all in the span of a few minutes. Reality is a lot less colorful.

Thankfully I did not interject and stop Phoebe and the whole thing was really harmless. Unless you are really worried about cholesterol.

Naturally I wish that things were different and anything I witnessed in Pop culture was not an exaggeration of the real world but rather an extension of it. I feel this way because I want to live in a word where Buffy the Vampire Slayer is based on a true story and characters from Mad Men are around still giving interviews about ‘those days’. Pop culture has a way of making everything more exciting. Just watch any biopic and you will see why.

On to music recommendations… (bad segway)

3 new discoveries since my last post.

  1. St Vincent
  2. Haim
  3. Chvrches

I absolutely am blown away by St Vincent who has amazing guitar shredding skills. This live show of her song Surgeon is the best example of this.

Annie Clark a.k.a St Vincent’s music is a lot more innovative and experimental than what I am used to listening. The way music discovery works in most online tools like Play Music and Spotify is that you can spend an eternity listening to music that always sounds the same and then be thrown completely when you discover someone like Annie. Something much like that happened when in my quest to find more artists like her, I wound up with Chvrches and Haim.
Of the two, Haim is likely the more conventional. Three sisters in a rock band. It is difficult to tell apart where the marketing begins and ends with this one. There is definitely a case of how to market this group well that has driven them to dance moves and rather painful echoes of Taylor Swift in the middle of a completely good track. But with tracks like Falling, My Song 5 and The Wire, they have little to worry about. They are going to stay in my now playing section for a while to come.

Chvrches is harder for me to explain. I have just started listening to them and so far I haven’t made up an opinion on them. They have a very interesting sound that reminds me of the Drive soundtrack. Synths dominate. And this is probably the first band that I’ve liked where that is true.

Anyway, have a good one!


Rock Music is Dead.

No they were not trapped in a time capsule. This really is a song from 2004. But this is one of the most anthemic 80’s rock ballad I have heard in the past decade and I am really disappointed that what we called Rock today is really just a version of pop. Or do you really believe in Coldplay? At the very least, the definition of what mainstream media thinks rock music is has changed.

The MTV effect which occurred in the late 80’s when video killed the radio star was as follows. Epic rock stars (even if they were balding) who made great music while wearing bandanas were replaced by choreographed dancing and catchy tunes from pop music. Once MTV decided that it was possible to just show pretty people playing or ahem… pretending to play music, that ruined things even more. And then there was auto tune.

Today, with streaming music and all the hue and cry of albums not selling, the only way it seems anyone is successful is by appealing to the masses. And so we have a string of awful, awful videos with people shrieking and cursing each other all in the name of music. And the definition of Rock music has changed. Is it just semantics? Are people just using the word differently?

The essence of a rock band is drums, guitar, bass and vocals. You need the 4. its a quartet. And for a long time the formula worked. I was okay if Jennifer Lopez or Iggy Azalea were most watched on YouTube. After all… no one was listening to their music. But then Lorde wins an award for best Rock song because maybe ‘Royals’ was a little different from what people had heard… and Paramore won the grammy for Aint it fun. Which is likely the worst song they wrote in their self titled album from 2013. The only song that would qualify as more awful than Aint it fun was Ankle biters. But hey… that’s rock music for you today.

And so I am digging in the past to find something I like.

But it is not all bad news. Some singer-songwriters are doing really well. Youtube has also made artists like Kina Grannis and Mindy Gledhil possible. And for every awful song from a Carly Rae Jespen, there are artists like Maria Taylor, Allo Darlin and Rilo Kiley.

You just have to dig deeper. It takes more effort. But the rewards are worth it. Beautiful tunes and the smugness of being a hipster. Why not embrace it? We are having to work so hard for it.


“Of Monsters and Men – Slow And Steady (Official Lyric Video)” on YouTube


Mannequins in the coffee shop (fiction)

Unhappiness is never knowing what could have happened. What if? What if I were braver? What if the music was not that distracting? What if it was not closing time yet? What if time could stand still or turn back at my will?

What if the bad memories just faded away and only the version of you and me that remained was the one we mutually liked?

We would become mannequins, empty shells with fake emotions endlessly repeating what the other liked until one of us finally chose to move on. We would be happy for a while but it would be fleeting for both you and I are actually quite fond of change although we do protest it. In our plastic bodies all dressed to please each other, we would be uncomfortable and feel trapped. You would grow weary of my sarcasm and I would learn your mannerisms and mock them- for that is what I do.
You would tell me of adventures I had never been part of and share anecdotes more exciting than are friendly and loving tête a tête.  And I would be mad but patiently listen… for our conversations are always one sided. We talk, but we would not absorb. Plastic is that way.

Soon our unhappiness would start to show with forced motions forming jarring memories, and metallic emotions that we would learn to despise. The shiny happy people from technicolor movies who adored polaroids and brunches would realise their lives were like a daily soap on the telly that they escaped from in their perfect little coffee shop. This coffee shop.
This make shift home away from home where company was pleasing but cold and coffee was sweet but expensive.

They would soon despise each other, these fantasy versions of us. Yet you are perfect the way I picture you. I need to broaden my mind you say… You are the loveliest version of yourself when you are with me… Or is that just me projecting on this empty chair.

I am haunted by those memories. This coffee shop brings out the worst in me. I will not come here again I tell myself. I tip, I leave. Its is colder outside. Or maybe its an after effect of an operation. A surgical procedure where memories of you are being taken away. I can never come here again.


On Music, and discovering a new band…

I discovered a band.

I say that like it means a lot a lot to me. And really, it does. At different times in my life I have discovered a new band to crush on, to follow, to worship, to *like*… but while a band like daft punk may have a few songs I think have a good rhythm, they don’t completely invade my mind or have a lasting effect. For all the Carly Rae Jepsen’s of the world (I’ve never really heard her song. Its more like a bieber reference I am throwing in to sound cool…), Anyway, like I was saying,there are only a select few bands I admire and *LOVE*
I just found a band I love.

Joining the ranks with The Shins, Belle and Sebastian, God Help the Girl, Allo Darlin, Fleetwood Mac, The Smiths and Pink Floyd are one of my new favs… Camera Obscura

What matters really for bands is not the music- its the words. Thats what we remember, or mis-remember years later and those are the songs we imagine we are living. With Camera Obscura, I have found music and words that resonate with me perfectly. Its magical. Allo Darlin is a similar band- songs that are light, set to a decent melody and have a timeless quality to it. All these bands I like, they could have been from the 70’s or the 80’s. They are a bit retro… That some of them are making music in the same word where Lorde wins best rock album befuddles me. But most of popular music and the culture around it is crazy anyway. No offence to Lorde- she is cool. I actually like her music. But she could really write better. What’s with the queen bee, green pea whatever… references like that take me out of the music.

Songs need to mean something. They need to matter. After all, songs are an outlet for us non creatives to feel and experience what the artist is saying. No, feeling. A good writer is able to tell us a little something about them in the song. Some are able to narrate an experience- without having to shove in a pointless cryptic video. Oh and I hate the fact that MTV figured out that they don’t need to play good music. They just need to show pretty people. Unfortunately the democracy that is YouTube only convinces me that to the populous out there, it is not the music that matters, but the celebrity. Well, we have better taste.

Camera Obscura, a scottish band, fantastic lead singer. She sounds like Maria Taylor, only more retro. And I LOVE Maria Taylor. In some ways, this music is trapped in time. Like it were playing from a stereo. Remember those?

I recommend The Sweetest Thing. This is a crowd pleaser. It has a chorus you can’t help but sing to – see if you can spot the Fleetwood Mac joke in the start. It’s ‘rumored’ haha…

[the words]

But, the real song by this band that I *LOVE*, where the words matter more than the music is ‘New Years Resolution’..

[the words]


I’ve been cool with you
The sooner you admit it I will too

Anyway, later.



So I went from INTJ to ISFP.

How did that happen?

I took myers briggs today because I have more free time than sense and I measure my personality by filling forms and live how the results tell me how I should be living. If the results say I am a creative, I need to create and if it says I am a hopeless depressive, then I start listening to brooding songs. Jokes aside, I just moved from a personality type that is more methodical and analyzing to one that is all fluffy emotions and lets be best friends for ever buddy!!
The problem here is that I think I am actually changing as well. So its more than just the piece of paper sending me a message. I am fairly certain that I am not the typical INTJ any more. Or that I never was. Perhaps I was mechanical in at work and did a few things by following protocol. But there were always wild flourishes of creativity, humor and cool-ness about my work as well. In the end of the day, I do care about things like empathy and yes, I do like pretty/artistic things and reading people’s body language.

Why do I do this? I have no idea. Maybe I have always done it. The INTJ was perhaps a mistake.

So what does my new ISFP status mean to anyone who interacts with me? Well, from what they say here…(http://www.personalitypage.com/ISFP.html) it sounds like the following atleast they get right.

1.  ISFP is likely to not give themselves enough credit for the things which they do extremely well (Yes)

2. ISFPs have no desire to lead or control others (Never wanted to and probably never should)

3. ISFPs are warm and sympathetic.(I try. you know nobody’s perfect)

4. ISFPs tend to be quiet and reserved, and difficult to get to know well. (But if i start talking you will… haha)

5. Life is not likely to be extremely easy for the ISFP, because they take life so seriously. (You can say that again. if buyer’s remorse tends to keep me up at night and minor decisions put me in a ‘state’, I can tell that my life is going to be atypical and stressful.)

The reality is though, I am sure I could find common themes in any number of other personality types. Can’t really live by this can I? I just need to do my own thing and it happens to result in an ISFP personality type, then so be it.

Alternatively- maybe I am not so easily defined. Maybe life is not so simple or I am not so simple that an an ISFP or INTJ can correctly predict my behaviour at all times. Time will tell.