Guest Blog: Mick Hayes – “Now What? The disappointment, frustration and the inevitable”

Disappointment: New cars & laptops now shipping without CD players.

I’m guessing that you’re probably a lot like me. You’ve got shelves full of burned and bought CD’s. Maybe a shoebox or bigger full of cassette tapes and a milk crate or more full of rare vinyl. You know, the stuff that never even made it to CD! My music collection like yours has been altered many times by advancements in technology and although I didn’t own the first Boston recording on LP, 8-track, cassette, CD and now MP3 like some people I have talked to, my struggles were similar and now it seems like we are facing yet another major disappointment in the future.

Last summer (2016) my wife and I were new car shopping and we were both overwhelmed with the fact that everything we were looking at was without a CD player. Furthermore, the new Mac laptops I was looking at for my growing studio were also without a CD/DVD player/burner. Now I can understand how we are moving in a more hands-free direction these days but I can’t imagine giving up my CD’s in exchange for my iPhone that is consistently low on memory/storage. Especially on long read trips! Besides that, my music collection is my books and study materials, that’s why we once referred to it as a library long before iTunes.  

The upside?

Used music and thrift stores are FULL repeat FULL of music that people discarded as aging or failed technology, I say stock up. Buy that CD that only had one hit song on it because you never know you might end up liking a B-side. Buy that one you never heard of just based on the fact that it has has a cool album cover or buy the missing CD’s of particular artist you own only a few of and round out your collection.

Frustration: Rehash, reboot and parody.

Lately I’ve been back into watching South Park episodes and while I don’t agree with everything they target, a lot of it is truly spot on. Did you see the episode on the JJ Abrams reboot? If you answered no then I highly recommend it. We are living in an era of absolute artistic distain. We have to reboot almost everything and sometimes even parody it too like the 2004 Starsky and Hutch movie and now Chips. Is this out of comfort or just lack of imagination? We also see it in music and it seems to be a growing trend, but is it?

Covering music has been a way of disarming new listeners for decades. The Beatles did it on early recordings, Ray Charles did it, Tesla and many more to follow. Hell, even The Eagles covered Tom Waits on an album! (Insert Big Lebowski joke). My frustration is being locked into that and having that be your “one hit wonder” scenario. It has happened and it’s not what I would want for myself, however I am faced with the reality of it.

Upside? I’ve always felt that a cover song should be a representation of where you come from. If you need to disarm a room full of strangers with a cover song, make sure it supports your originals and if you intend to lead off with a cover song in your career, don’t make it cheeky unless your biggest influence is Weird Al Yankovic.

Inevitable: What happened to the love song?

The definition of inevitable is certain to happen; unavoidable and the examples are almost always negative! Cause, ya…we need more of that in our lives. For this I want to focus on the positive outcome of the inevitable. My wife and I were snowed in a few years ago and out of cabin fever I pulled up the Billboard top 100 charts from 1990 through 2010. I then opened up Spotify and played a bunch of the top10 songs for the rest of the night. My conclusion was that around the year 2005-ish we gave up on love and the love song. You know that tune you used to make out to at the teen club dances when relationships and bonds were formed around “They’re playing our song”. It was what you listened to when you were together, when you were apart, when you were making up and when you broke up.

Upside? Music like all things is cyclic. We went from lip synching on American Bandstand and dramatic visuals in MTV videos to an era of VH1 Storytellers and MTV Unplugged performances. And although there was a decent gap between Star Search and American Idol we can at least prove that the theory is real and the outcome is inevitable. So, pick up your pen, write a love song and pray it reaches into the hearts of listeners for a love revolution.

Post by Corey Kleinsasser

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