At the video game forum where I hang out, someone linked to a rather stupid article from 2001 called “Where did all the catchy tunes go?”, in which Steve Sailer claims that – well – things ain’t what they used to be. I could have ignored it, could have walked away, but I thought there was a defence to be made for modern pop. I know this because I’ve been there: saying that there aren’t great songs out there only proves that you haven’t been paying attention. Continue reading →
Band-members are like the ingredients of a cake: get it wrong, and the result is bland or sickly. It’s about getting people together who make each other feel comfortable, who can inspire the audience, and who can deflate the ego of an overindulgent songwriter. The producer is the mould. If you pour cake mix onto a baking tray, you’ll end up with a flat, sticky mess. Some producers are like old-fashioned round cake tins, providing a strong but subtle structure that simply allows the flavours to emerge. Others make fancy shapes, so vibrant and daring that its cakeness comes second to its art-form. Like the line-up, the right producer for your band is the one that fits your personal dynamic, and brings out the best in what you, uniquely, have to offer.
I had a dream last night in which my friend Matt bought me an oboe. I was distinctly told it was an oboe, though in recollection it looked more like a clarinet. He seemed terribly pleased with himself, and I gamely tried to learn how to play it, knowing all the while that – like whistling – the best I can achieve from any wind instrument is a vague “phoo” sound. Thus, it’s pretty lucky that I never fell in love with the saxophone.
Most of the world fell out of love with the saxophone in the 90s, and it’s taken 20 years for the new Summer of Sax to appear.