Tuesday, January 03, 2012

90's Hit Parade: So What Have We Learned?

Well, for one thing, we've learned not to take on big projects like that. I'm glad that's over. But I guess I'm glad I did it.



My primary goal was just to practice writing about music. It's something I feel I'm not very good at, because of the way I listen to music. Like, I can analyze the hell out of a movie or T.V. show or book, any kind of narrative art form, but I don't really listen to music with an analytical ear. It's more intuitive: I either respond to it or I don't. Asking me why I like a certain song or band is like asking me why I'm attracted to Salma Hayek. I mean, I just am. (Actually, that's a bad example, I could probably explain Salma pretty easily. Maybe it's like explaining why I have a crush on Aubrey Plaza.) Besides which, I don't really pay much attention to lyrics, at least outside of rap, so that makes it even harder. When I look at how someone like Matthew Perpetua can write about a song, the way he'll analyze the lyrics, and the state of mind of the character they're singing about, and how the sounds of the instruments augment, or comment on, the lyrics...the guy's just clearly listening on a much deeper level than I am.

I've also come to the conclusion that I lean too much on autobiography. it's an indulgent tic, one that I tend toward naturally, although it may have been encouraged somewhat by reading Ain't It Cool News in the late 90's. It's not always a bad thing--most of Lester Bangs' best essays incorporate autobiographical anecdotes, and Roger Ebert's review of La Dolce Vita is one of my favorite pieces of film writing. But I lean way to heavily on it. There's a bit of a dilemma here, though: the purpose of this blog is, partially, to allow me to be completely self-indulgent in my writing. Otherwise, why am I not trying to get paid for it? Anyway, I need to make an effort not to lean on that crutch too much. And even beyond that, I'm noticing a lot of tics, cliches I keep repeating, that I need to get past. This is something I resolve to work on in 2012.

My goal with this was to come up with something interesting to say about each song. I think I succeeded with about 2/3 of the entries. And I got a lot of thoughts out of my mind. Now I just have to finish up the films of the 00's reviews! There will be a post coming about my favorite T.V. shows of 2011, but it's going to take a while, expect it next week. I leave you with this...

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