4 Years Ago (2017)
The thing with blogs and posts is that you try and write something different and creative. Like this post, titled “Dollars And Cents”. At the time I was reading a book on innovations and Charles Goodyear inspired me.
Everyone today knows “Charles Goodyear” as the inventor of vulcanised rubber. But what they don’t know is that he spent his whole life on struggle street, in and out of prison because of his money problems and six of his twelve children died because he couldn’t support them.
And when he perfected his vulcanised rubber, he couldn’t take out a patent because another scientist called Thomas Hancock took out a patent eight weeks earlier. You see, Hancock had gotten a hold of a sample of Goodyear’s final product and reverse engineered it.
Goodyear tried the courts, however the judge couldn’t understand how Hancock could have reverse engineered the invention and awarded all rights and royalties to Hancock.
It wasn’t until his journals were read by others that the following was found: “Life should not be estimated exclusively by the standard of dollars and cents.”
The Goodyear name would be recognised many years later. His achievements are world-changing but he never got paid for it while he was alive.
And the post combined F. Scott Fitzgerald, Ken Kesey, Dream Theater, Metallica and others.
These days, every town has thousands of bands who are recording themselves and releasing their music. And there are artists who have “made it” who are also releasing music. And they all want to be paid for it. Because their hard work and time spent is worth something. It’s all dollars and cents until you have that iconic hit. Only then you will be paid. When the music listening public decides it’s worthy.
Once upon a time my Release Radar playlist was pretty spot. Check out my love for The Night Flight Orchestra, Rise Against, Hell Or Highwater, Adrenaline Mob and Harem Scarem.
And when I was thinking about innovations, I thought about the cassette.
The Cassette tape allowed me to make demo after demo, mix tape after mix tape and it allowed me to copy a lot of albums from people who either had the original album or had a copy of the album from someone else who either had the original or had a copy.
For me it is was a game changer.
The record labels screamed loud and hard to their politician friends to pass new laws and stop this new sharing culture. Remember their headline, “Home taping is killing music.” A more accurate and truthful headline would be, “Home Taping is Spreading Music to the Masses” or “Home Taping Is Spreading Music And This Leads To Increased Sales Later On”.
Progressive Music always fascinated me.
In the Year 2000, the mainstream was ruled by Nu-Metal bands and progressive music was really at opposite ends of the spectrum.
On one side, you had the Dream Theater style of progressive music. This involved a lot of time changes, with the focus on high-octane technical musical workouts and each song exhibited a smorgasbord of riffs.
On the other side of the progressive music spectrum, you had the Tool style of progressive music. This involved time changes, but the focus was on groove and atmospherics, with each song building on a unique riff or bass line or drum pattern. Tool always stood by their brand and never wavered from it.
In between you had Porcupine Tree, merging Tool like aggression with Pink Floyd like atmospherics and on the extreme end you had Meshuggah with their focus on groovy, technical polyrhythms.
The missing link is Fates Warning. Fates Warning released an album called “Disconnected” which merged the Tool and Porcupine Tree progressive elements with the Dream Theater progressive elements and put them through the Fates Warning blender. It’s a fusion of all the best progressive elements at the time into a cohesive piece of work that can be listened to over and over again from start to finish.
Making something technical sound simple to the ear is progressive music to me.
Metallica did it with each album up to “…And Justice For All”.
Rush did it with each album until they reset their career with “Signals”.
Dream Theater nailed it with “Images And Words”.
Fates Warning nailed it with “Disconnected”.
And back in 2013, I was writing that if an artist wants to make money from streaming music, then they should stay independent and don’t sign to a label.
Or if they sign to make sure they own their copyrights. Streaming pays pretty good, provided people are listening. And the more people who embrace streaming, the greater the pool of money to divide.
Remember when AC/DC refused to have their music on iTunes and even streaming services? Now they’re on all of them.
And remember that each release is competing with the history of music
8 Years Ago (2013)
I was watching Eurovision and I came across Eythor Ingi from Iceland. He sang a ballad called “I Am Alive”. The song is average, however his voice, his look and his name stuck in my head.
So I went to YouTube. He was in a Deep Purple cover band and he covers “Child In Time”. If you want to separate the vocalists from the wannabe’s, “Child In Time” is the song.
I just rechecked on him and he’s still doing music in his native language. I would like to hear an English speaking album as well.
And did anyone hear the new (at the time) Five Finger Death Punch song, “Lift Me Up” and how similar the vocal line in the verse is to “The Ultimate Sin” from Ozzy. A perfect example of taking something from the past to make something new.
And I wrote an appreciation post on the lyrics of Jesse Leach.
We are overloaded with people creating something. The Internet has removed the entry barriers to promote creative works have diminished greatly. Artists are writing books, comics or creating art via paintings or photography.
And they create because they want to create. And at the time System Of A Down had three quarters of the band ready to do another album. But vocalist Serj Tankian was not interested.
“Kingmaker” from Megadeth was just released. The first thing that grabbed my attention was the “Children of The Grave” influence in the verses.
Finally, the Richie Sambora saga was ongoing and some serious scalping was happening in Australia, as tickets to the first Jovi shows in Australia were still available to be purchased but the shows are marketed as sold out and second shows are up for sale.