Sunday, April 18, 2010

Music Class Assignment

My first memory of music involves the Beatles. When I was young, I grew up in Washington State, where we had a big house and our living room was in the shape of a square. The furniture was inset a little from the wall, making for a perfect running track of sorts. This meant that whenever my brother or I were chasing the other one, we would run around the furniture as fast as we could over and over until we were too tired or we ran somewhere else. My earliest memory involves this house and this chase. I remember The Beatles’s CD Anthology being played, specifically the song “She Loves You”. I loved the fast rythmn of the song and the happiness in the timbre of Paul and John’s voices. I loved the Beatles from a young age and still do, but my taste has evolved a lot since then,

I could list lots of time I listened to radically different CDs in my life but if I have to pick a life changing one, I would pick Avenged Sevenfold’s Waking the Fallen in freshman year of high school, which was given to me by my good friend Nik Burns. He said that I would like it because I liked the song “Unholy Confessions” when he had played it on youtube for me. It became my absolutely favorite CD. At this time in my life, I had heard mostly upbeat and happy music. All of the vocals were sung or spoken. Avenged Sevenfold changed that. It was dark and the music was violent. They screamed, the guitars were intricate, and the double bass pounded hard and fast across all the tracks. I had the impression I was listening to the music of heathens. It was everything my parents would not like or approve of. It was not because I wanted to defy my parents that I listened to it but because I wanted to venture into the darkness and see what I returned with. It also gave me a way to relate to Nik and his group of friends. Wilson calls it “cultural capital”. When I hung out with his friends, it was as if I had a secret: that I liked the same music they did. Somehow that made me cooler, even if I didn’t say I liked it.

Now, my taste in music is very broad. When Wilson said that “high culture” people are omnivores, I put myself into that category. If I had to choose one CD that is my favorite, I would choose Circle Takes the Square’s As the Roots Undo. The genre would be classified as experimental screamo. The vocals fit the tone of the CD perfectly, the lyrics are almost Miltonian, and the instruments are amazing, shifting from lighting fast complex patterns to slow and melodic experimental breakdowns. And in the sake of saving space, I’ll just list genres to which I listen to: hardcore, screamo, post-hardcore, deathcore, metalcore, mathcore, progressive metal, metal, pop, pop-punk, punk, ska, hip-hop, rap, hyphy, gangsta rap, electronica, dubstep, techno, indie, folk, classic rock, post-rock and soundtracks. A lot of these overlap, but I could name a band in each genre that I adore

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