Monday, February 10, 2014

Enough with the labels! Music, human beings, everything. We're all human. And it's all music.

It's time for labels to be gone.

Caucasian, black, Hispanic, Asian, whatever... welcome to the human race. We're all humans.

As for music? How many darn labels can you contrive? Death metal, metalcore, posthardcore, prog, pop, classical, post-classical, pre-Grunge-but-not-quite-punk, punk, punk rock, punkcore?? whatever whatever whatever. Yawn. Do we really, really need that level of classification? If so, please point me to the scientific methodology. (Maybe the Music Genome program has something... but it doesn't do too well so far in deciding what we "like" rather than how it sees patterns.)

It's that human factor that doesn't need labels. It needs ears.

By segregating and labeling, we all miss out. Take "metal" and "prog" (progressive rock), for example. There are websites dedicated to each. There are print magazines dedicated to each. There are radio stations, traditional, online and satellite, dedicated to each sub-category of music. There are festivals for each genre.

But who decides the dividing line? Who chooses what goes where? Who restricts each band's audience, by deciding what readers will like to listen to?

Radio is soooooo.... restricted. It used to be that you'd hear a great variety of new, old, inventive, adventurous and mainstream on the same day without changing the dial. If you stayed up real late, John Peel would really surprise you with something obscure that you wanted to hear more of. Breakfast time, and you'd be sure it would be middle-of-the-road and cheerful.

But it wasn't locked to one particular sub-genre of a sub-genre of someone else's invented classification.

(If you know what you are looking--or listening for, you can find it. If you don't know what you are looking for, you don't have a chance. You'll never know it existed.)

Shouldn't we, the listeners, just listen and decide what we, as human beings, like?

We might not agree. We'll probably have very diverse collections, and a very different set of choices. But that's what music, art and life in general are all about. We are human. We are global. And we have minds of our own.

(You may have to click through to YouTube for this one.)

If you disagree, please tell me which of the songs shared on this page are metal, and which are prog, with an intelligent reason other than you heard or read someone else saying so.

And I'm talking about the music, not the fans per se... what do you hear?

(I wanted to include Alter Bridge's "Calm the Fire" here too, but can't find an official video to share. But I'm sure you know where to find a version to listen to.)

And please: if you hear something that you enjoy, share it with your friends. Local band? Old favourite? Help others to hear about it... and maybe they'll return the favour.

We're humans. Not labels. And the same goes for the music we listen to. Enjoy it, and help others to know what they are looking for, too.

No comments:

Post a Comment