I got an e-mail from my buddy Tom from Mojo Philter.
Larry, I posted a link to a song we recorded last night at practice. It doesn’t have vocals yet, but I think it is still pretty cool. J http://mojophilter.wordpress.com/
I listened to it. It was very retro cool and well done, especially considering that they’re still basically jamming and writing songs. This is the response I sent him:
It is cool. For some reason it got me visualizing this total soundtrack for a movie staring like Sam Jackson and James Gandolfini, and they’re driving across town in a big Caddy with somebody in the trunk. I don’t know if that’s the vibe you were going for, but that’s just how I’m wired. I was waiting for Chris Cornell style vocals to kick in, and from me, that’s a compliment.
He’s like a guitar wizard, so I’m looking forward to seeing what his band can do. But posting this has gotten me to thinking, I’ve not really said anything about music.
For the last five years I’ve worked for a division of a mega-corporation that takes care of the technical end of the music business. Pretty much everything you hear on the radio probably has some variant of our electronics in it. I work in a building full of musicians and musical fanatics.
Except for the accountants. 12 of us, and not a single one can sing, play an instrument, or do anything even vaguely musical. I don’t know what that says about the kind of people that become accountants, but there it is. Anyway, despite being partially deaf from gunfire and growing up working on heavy equipment, I do love to listen to music.
Yahoo offers a service where you can program your own custom radio station. Mine is slg2qcorreia. (graduates of Utah State always recognize that first combination of letters, old habit, and yes, I am an Aggie). If you go to Yahoo radio, you can listen to other folk’s stations or build your own, which is really a lot of fun. You rate songs, albums, and artists, and the higher you rank something, the more likely it is to play. Half of the music that is played is not rated, but is supposedly based upon being liked by people that rated things similar to you.
Most of the time I find that the recommendations are pretty close, and I end up adding them to my play list. I’ve found a lot of new bands that I had never before heard of that way. Though once in awhile something really weird glitches its way in. (Brittney Spears? WTF? How does rating Disturbed and Rob Zombie suddenly give me Brittney friggin’ Spears?)
But when that happens, you just rate them a big fat zero, and they never play again. Hoo ray! FM radio is dead!
So far I’ve ranked 234 artists, 99 albums, and 732 songs. Yes, I’m a bit of a dork, but if you had spent the last five years trapped in a cubicle with nothing to keep you sane but the internet and a pair of headphones, you would do it to. (on that note, I’m consulting for two more weeks, and I’m out of here).
Plus, this stuff helps me write. I find that I actually build soundtracks to my books. I don’t usually share these because a few times my interpretation of a scene is drastically different than that of the readers. Though when Nightcrawler and I release Book III on the internet, we’re going to include our soundtrack, but that’s the beauty of internet fiction, you can do all sorts of goofy stuff and get away with it.
If you look at my station, you’ll notice that I have some music in Spanish ranked rather highly. Peyote Assassins and Control Machete. No, I don’t speak Spanish. I can barely swear in Portuguese. But I was working on another writing project with some other really good writers, and the part I had to write was from somebody that listened to that kind of music and came from a very specific background. I found that I really liked it, and it really set the mood. That project is on hiatus because all of the writers got too busy, but one day it will get finished. (and it will be very cool. John Shirley writes an amazing 1st person psychopath).
The main downside of internet radio is that there are a lot of really cool unsigned bands out there. For example, this is my favorite unknown band, A Dark Halo: http://www.myspace.com/adarkhalo When I make Monster Hunter International, the movie, there’s your soundtrack right there. These guys are excellent. And I only found them because one of the guys in the band is a Saiga nut too. But that’s the beauty of the internet.