The Parts of a Song

While reading some music reviews, I got to thinking about how to get to music that you like and avoiding music that you don’t. Instead reading through all the fluff around the artist, I’d want to get a review that basically tells me which songs are worth listening to and which aren’t. Actually, what would really be nice is a review that told me which songs were good in terms of their sections even so that I could skip through and get to the good parts. Some might say this sort of thinking is heresy, but I don’t think so. The truth is that there are parts of an artist’s career that you don’t like in general, tracks of an album that you like to skip, and even parts of a song that you like more than the other parts of the song. The problem with this is that the song recording in pop music is kind of like the least common denominator at least in portability and convenience. Unless you’re a musician, it can be hard to imagine a song as parts of a structure in which a variety of sections are really just chained together and even these sections are just musical phrases that are chained together to make a section. The phrases are notes that are chained together to a certain rhythm or timing.

So usually when I hear a song that I don’t particular like, I just skip it. I mean, I even do this on albums that some people adore every track of. What reason is there to listen to something that doesn’t excite you personally? Where it gets hard is when parts of the song is good and then there are basically boring sections interspersed. It makes me want to skip the song, but it’s difficult because you know the good part is going to come up eventually. If you haven’t heard the song before, there could be a bridge coming up that you might like too. If I don’t like all the parts of a new song, I’ll go to the next track once I realize I’ve heard everything the track’s going to offer somewhere in the middle of the song. It’s kind of a spoiled song to be honest because that good part that everyone likes could’ve been further elaborated on and a better song can spawn from just that one good section. No reason spend time on something that you don’t like.

Band Names

The one bad thing the internet has done is take out the romanticism of picking a band name. No longer can a group of young naive musicians play together in a garage, decide they want to make a band and then just innocently pick a name that very same day, oh no. Because there’s probably another group just like them on the other side of the country that went through the same process a month ago and picked the exact same name.

Maybe ten years ago when there was no Facebook and all “this”, that would’ve been okay because chances are neither of those two groups would ever have any contact with each other. Sadly, along with the majority of bands just like them, they’d achieve, at most, moderate success in their hometown without being commercial enough to get into a record deal and so on. The bands would fall apart and there would never be any problems between the two groups who let’s say both chose to call themselves “The Rockers” because neither would know the other even existed.

Now, things are different. The Rockers on the east coast who chose the name the month before have already registered a domain name, already made a Facebook fanpage, have already recorded a demo EP with Garageband and already have it up on iTunes. They’ve established acts of commerce under this name, selling these demos to people thousands of miles away on the west coast. The west coast Rockers have been playing a few weeks telling their friends about their cool group, they’re getting ready to record their demo too. Out of the blue, one of the band members says that while browsing he found a group on the east coast that’s also named The Rockers.

“No way! That’s our name, I can’t believe those guys took it!” “Dude, they’ve been around for months, they’ve already got an EP out on iTunes, we can’t use THEIR name.” And so the poor old west coast Rockers can’t be the Rockers anymore. It doesn’t matter how wonderful it was to jam together and realize they were playing in time, sounding good, talking about how they were going to be called The Rockers, and how it’s going to be great. It doesn’t matter if the east coast Rockers weren’t even that good anyway and broke up only a few months later, there name’s still out there. SURELY, any one who’d want to use it would only be doing so to profit off the great brand the east coast Rockers established in only a matter of months.

Any band that called themselves “The Rockers” from that point on and actually made something of themselves, getting a deal, selling out arenas, reaching stardom, would have to eventually cough up $100,000 to Johnny Nobody, who founded the ORIGINAL Rockers band. Look what happened to Nirvana. But hey, at least they chose the name they actually wanted. Now the internet is so saturated with new artists/songs/content that it’s an ordeal just to pick a band name that won’t make you PROBLEMS down the road. People start resorting to long phrases you wouldn’t normally think of as a name like “Clap Your Hands Say Yeah”, resembling bar codes that achieve an exponential increase in potential variety with each extra variable you append. It really sucks the innocence out of it all. Instead of thinking of the winning lottery combination, you’re just trying to think of a combination that someone hasn’t already played.

All young bands can do is just give in to this new atmosphere, try to make the best of it, and pick a band name that doesn’t show up on Google. After all, the internet more than makes up for it with all the positives it has to offer.