Friday, February 8, 2008

All Sound Goes on Forever

As with all things digital, electronic or otherwise technodelic, I'm probably the last guy on the block to discover music blogs. (If you are laster than me--and that's okay--I'm referring to blogs where people post MP3's of single songs or entire albums.) But now I've really fallen down the rabbit hole, and I'm spending evenings poring over site after site featuring bizarre 50's cocktail lounge music, or obscure 80's electronic punk, or off-brand 90's alt-rok. It's been said before, but it's really un-Holy Mary and Mother on a stick--believeable what sorta great (and not so great) music is just sitting out there, begging to be taken home and loved. Most of these sites post out-of-print music that's no longer available in stores, so it's actually legal to post and download (I think.)

My favorite sites read like true fanzines, full of rabid, unequivocal and enthusiastic prose, and often feature beautiful album artwork and/or other assorted graphics. A few nights ago I discovered Eastern Eye, which is loaded with all the wacky vintage Bollywood music I've never been able to find in a hipster record store. Then there's Lost-in-Tyme, which is actually four blogs in one, with amazing and rare funk, world, rock and soul music from all eras and sensibilities. The Manchester Morgue is gore-tacular: it's dozens and dozens of horror and sci-fi movie soundtracks, just bloody, bleepy stuff I didn't even know existed. Here's some links for these and other wonderlands of cool music:

Eastern Eye

The Manchester Morgue

Psychotic Leisure Music

Xtabay's World

A Closet of Curiosities

Chris Goes Rocks

What this all means to me boils down to three things:

1) Record collectors, once the stingiest and most notorious of all anal retentives, have stopped hordeing and started giving it up. A bit like sports fishermen: instead of catching, killing and mounting their prizes, they now photograph them, digitize them, then set them free to share with the rest of the world.

2) The infinite universe of sounds recorded by humans on this Earth just got more infinite. I've spent my life discovering various methods of rocking out, getting funky and making a drum machine sound like a wet fart. Now I know I need never stop.

3)I've always loved wacky. But now "offbeat," "marginal" and "obscure" are all much more theoretical concepts than they are real ones. Nothing musical is hard-to-find, so everything is accessible, even if it's hard-to-like.
And I've never liked weirdness for weirdness' sake. I dig unusual music because it's surprising or mysterious or novel or alien.
In the past, the marketplace has determined what music is available and what goes unheard. Now there's nothing between me and these crazy sounds. Even the most ephemeral gem, recorded-one-night-in-a-Peoria-basement,may be floating out there in the etherspace forever, blowing minds on an infinite basis. Eternal music.


C N Heidelberg said...

Thanks for sharing these great links!

Elizabeth said...

Oh very scary. I already spend WAY too much time on this machine. But I do love this sharing thing. I've got a flickr photo file and have recently started posting weird and wonderful record covers I come across in thrift shops, and people are just showing up like crazy and having fun with them. It's so cool.