Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Why music really matters (Part 3) - just because it does.

I've seen and heard a great deal of new music in 2010 and for that I am extremely thankful.  When it comes to taking stock, for the season of those end-of-year lists is fast approaching, it makes life challenging but also great fun.
What I find hardest to understand let alone to explain to others is why I like the music I do (and not that I don't) and why it changes.  On a day-by-day-basis I'm fine with it - just fits the mood or some other largely random trigger, such as hearing something played on the radio that brings back a particular time or memory.
It is the longer term trends, particularly the way I feel about music and the associated changes that I'm less certain about.  That is a shame because, in a deeper sense, I think this is the more fascinating aspect for it also begs the implicit question: "What is it about music, taken in all its forms, that makes it have such universal importance to human-kind?"  If it were simply an ephemeral pleasure I doubt it could invoke such passion and sometimes vehement disagreement.
The earlier posts are here:
Why Music Really Matters (Part 2)
Why Music Really Matters

I seem to have gone all philosophical on you, dear readers, but I am not going to apologise.  It also shows just how little, even now, we understand the detailed processes of the human brain that underlie culture in the broadest sense.
If this just sends you running for a copy of 'Steps - Gold' then it only serves to my illustrate my point but, equally, I must never judge you on your choices...

To lighten proceedings I'll add a few more pictures and thoughts from the last couple of years.  They will, of couse, be subject to my own bias in such matters...

This first artist, who I saw at EOTR 2010 (by the way the remainder of the tickets for EOTR 2011 are now on sale) has already been mentioned here.

Just testing: Jessica Lea Mayfield had to put her guitar back in tune and, as she was playing solo, bantered with the audience to fill the void in the performance.
I have found myself listening to the album 'With Blasphemy So Heartfelt' more and more in the last couple of months.  Her second album, slated for release in spring 2011, will be interesting indeed and she played a couple of tracks from it in this set.

One of the first artists I saw at Latitude 2007, on the Lake Stage on the Friday, was Cate Le Bon (no relation to Duran Duran's Simon, by the way).  It was her first festival performance and, to all intents and purposes, my first as a member of the crowd.  I have pictures that I took then and the crowd was numbered in dozens.  We crossed paths again at EOTR 2010 and it made me realise that I should have included (the much delayed) album 'Me Oh My' in my 2009 ' best-of' list.
Cate Le Bon played the (main) Garden Stage at EOTR 2010 on Friday afternoon.
Her first attempt at an album, 'Pet Deaths' was abandoned. In the meantime she released a 7" single, 'Can't Drag Me Down' and Welsh language 10" EP ' Edrych Yn Llygaid Ceffyl Benthyg'.
No complaints from the crowd of, I estimate, well the right side of a thousand.

If we can't work out the science it does not detract from the experience. Music matters because it does and why should we feel the need to justify that?

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