Sunday, December 13, 2009
Music For The Rest Of Us
In my teenage years I was an avid music fan, my favorites being the Industrial, Metal, and Alternative genres. For a few years there, music was as important or more important than movies. To those that know me, that's saying a lot. But by the time the 90's had ended, I guess the general public had grown tired of these strange, off-beat bands like Nine Inch Nails and The Smashing Pumpkins and had began edging more into the Pop and Rap realms. Although I'm not a huge fan of either Pop or Rap, I didn't mind the change. I never listened to the radio anyway. I had all the albums I loved from my bands, so the change didn't really affect me. Or so I thought.
When one type of music becomes popular, the music industry crowds the market with artists of the same type and style. Well, apparently CD stores and even online music stores follow suit. Sure, I could find any album by the bands I love online or at the right store, because they had already been produced. But there is only so many times I can listen to the same CD before having to have something new to break the monotony. And in the past seven or eight years, there have been only a handful of bands that I have discovered that I can really delve into. One is VAST, whose earlier work is reminiscent of early Nine Inch Nails, but with a slightly less "self-destructive" (NIN fans, see what I did there?) tone that I really enjoy. There was also a band called Deadsy that broke some new ground, at least in my eyes. There are more as well, but they are few and far between.
The point is, since the late 90's, the Industrial/Metal/Alternative scene seems to have been choking. With the rise of Britney Spears and 50 Cent and the like, we fans of weird and loud music have been relegated to playing the hell out of our old Marilyn Manson and White Zombie cd's while the world moves on to more popular and infinitely less interesting music. No new industrial bands, no good rock bands with original lyrics and inventive guitar riffs or ethereal, moody soundscapes. I didn't think any new bands existed that strove for the kind of music I like. Then I found CDBaby.
I somehow stumbled upon this website one day, and discovered a whole world of music by artists I had never heard of. They are the musicians that bubble and writhe beneath the glossy skin of today's music industry. As I browsed the site, I didn't recognize a single album cover. It was such a relief from seeing the same crap I see at every cd store and online store. A whole other realm of music, waiting to be discovered! The site has every genre, and I of course made a bee line for the metal section. Didn't recognize a single band! I grew more and more excited as I listened to samples, feeling that somewhere on this site was the next big band for me. The setup of the site is similar to Amazon, easy to navigate.
A day or two after I found CDBaby, I bought an online album by a band called Darkhour after listening to a few clips. It costed only $5.00. While the band isn't quite as great as some of my faves, it is a breath of fresh air that I have needed for a while. Reminiscent of Nine Inch Nails, and once or twice sort of rips off NIN's style. It still has a voice of its own, though, and a lot of potential. Definitely worth the $5.00.
I look forward to browsing more of their music selection and discovering some great talents that no one knows about. I feel like I've been re-united with music again. And while I still pine for the days of the Smashing Pumpkins to return (not their newest incarnation, though! What is that about?), I think I can make do with finding some obscure bands with an interesting sound to make me happy.
Now, what does this have to do with indie filmmaking, one might ask? The answer: not a lot. Just wanted to share a good site for anyone looking for music that is different than what is out there today. However, I guess it could be linked to indie filmmaking, because some of these bands make music that sounds perfect for a film soundtrack. And I bet a lot of these "no name" bands would be very willing to work with a low budget moviemaker about using their sound. Gets their music to more people. I'd do it, anyway.