:: Life on Planet Dan-E ::

Thoughts, observations, and introspections from an art student waiter/bartender in South Beach. Arcane humor ensues.
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:: Wednesday, February 18, 2004 ::

I've started listening to classical music this year. This is so weird for me on so many levels but considering the way my music tastes have been progressing (regresssing?) I probably shouldn’t be that surprised. Let me explain:

Anyone who knows me knows that I love rock music, specifically, classic rock. I've always liked U2, and grew up with listening to Bon Jovi, Aerosmith, Van Halen, Guns 'n Roses, and R.E.M. My interests grew to the point where I sought out and listened to the musicians that influenced them, specifically, the guitarist's influences. That's how I started listening to bands like The Ramones, The Who, Rush, Led Zeppelin, and AC/DC. So listening to them got me curious as to who they were influenced by, and that's how I got into blues (one of my favorite genres). I love listening to B.B. King, Jimi Hendrix, Stevie Ray Vaughn, and ZZ Top (they ARE blues. Shut up.) which in turn led me to Albert King, Buddy Guy, Robert Johnson, and T-Bone Walker. Like so many things in my life, my music interests were going backwards.

Starting to play guitar in the midst of all this has done nothing but increase my appreciation of these forms of music.

I also listen to a lot of Metallica, Deep Purple, Ozzy, and Scorpions and unlike the guitarists mentioned in the previous paragraph, these guys come from a classical background, as different from blues as a 1970 Chevrolet Chevelle is to a 1959 Mercedes 300SL Gullwing. While both are sporty cars both have wildly distinct personalities in their approach to engaging the driver and car enthusiasts who like one might not necessarily like the other. One leans towards unbridled emotion, feel, and conveying a warm accessibility. The other is about technique, composition, and can leave its devotees in a rather distant awe.

So I started listening to some classical, as well as flamenco guitar. (Living in Latin-heavy South Florida leaves a mark on you one way or another.) It ultimately led me to classical music. This surprised me because while I've always had a deep respect for classical music and its venerated composers (they should have a Classical Music Hall of Fame somewhere in Europe. Seriously.), I've always regarded it with admiration rather than affection. Part of this is due my blue collar-tastes, which is naturally drawn to the emotional raunch and twang of blues and rock but sometimes views classical as snobby, pretentious music for elitists who can't stand getting their hands dirty.

I love Igor Stravinsky's "Rite of Spring," Pyotr Il'yich Tchaikovshy's "Violin Concerto No.1," Johann Sebastian Bach's "Violin Concerto in A Minor," Andres Segovia performing "Recuerdos del la Alhambra," almost anything by Richard Wagner, among others. But I still listen to my blues, metal, alternative rock, punk, and virtuoso guitarists.

If there is one constant, it seems to be an affinity for songs performed on stringed instruments. Some things never change.

:: Miscellaneous Ramblings by Dan-E at 9:21 PM [+] :: | 0 comments

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