Saturday, May 7, 2011

Umm, Getting Lost OR I Remember Person Pitch... It Sounds Different Now OR Bands That Play On The Floor

I remember the first time I ever listened to Panda Bear's Person Pitch. Actually, I remember the first 15-20 times I listened to it. My brother brought it over to my parent's house and we were listening to it in the shop and my dad was smoking a cigar and I said, "Trent, what is this?" and he said "It's the new Panda Bear album. He's one of the dudes from Animal Collective" and then I went back to my apartment that night and found it on Amazon and I bought it, and it didn't leave my cd player in my car for 2 months.

The best thing about that 2 months is that I didn't quite have a grasp on that album the entire time. I remember hearing parts that I really liked and how they faded into other parts, and hearing noises I had never really heard before, and being confused about the process that went into making these songs, and I remember wanting to listen to certain songs, but I had no idea where in the album it was, and I remember the album ending, and my cd player automatically starting it over and me thinking, "What the hell? That was the end? I thought it started over 2 songs ago!"

This was my first good memory of getting completely lost in a piece of music. And I don't mean lost like closing your eyes and swaying lost. I actually mean feeling like "What the hell is going on??" lost.

I don't really have a point to make from all of this. When I wrote this down on the back of a scrap menu at work as I often do because all of my best thoughts come when I don't really have much time to think, I wrote something like "In defense of noise and drone music," which is kind of what I'm getting at, but in kind of a sideways manner, because I am specifically referring to seeing Baby Birds Don't Drink Milk in Portland with my roommates and one of them just did not understand why they played on the floor, and I even get kind of confused and lost when listening to them sometimes, which I sort of explain in this events listing I did for that show:

You could stare at all the instruments on stage for 3 hours before Baby Birds Don’t Drink Milk start playing, and you would still have no idea how those musicians are making that music with these instruments. At their loudest, BBDDM are perched behind a layered waterfall of noise; at the softest, they are sitting cross-legged in a field plucking the only unbroken string on an acoustic guitar. It’s the space in between that leaves you thinking, “I’m going to have to remember this band’s name.”

So, in defense of noise and drone music, to those who don't have the ear for it, which is understandable, there is a certain degree of enjoyment that comes from watching something happen and still not understanding it. It is kind of like "I see it and I still don't believe it."

When you have the same 4/4 beat pop songs over and over again, and then a new one comes out and you can pretty much guess what comes next upon first listen, it is nice to know there is still some really interesting, unfamiliar things going on in music that you can't predict even on the one-hundredth listen.

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