Im a failure…

22 11 2008

failure4Ok so I was adamant that I was going to survive this whole ‘No Music Day’ malarkey… in fact looking back at my previous post I was quite ‘haughty’ about it. Well… I can humbly admit now that I am a complete failure. In my defence, I survived the whole day without listening to the radio or slyly fluting about on myspace in work. The problem was when I got home. I hopped out of the shower and resisted my hand’s natural reaction to flick on the radio until I realised what was on the fancy USB yoke that I have hooked up to my fancy stereo. A few days ago I downloaded Van Morrison’s classic album Astral Weeks and had NEVER listened to it (I know, sacrilege, blah blah). So I battled with my will power for a (very short) while and then decided to justify my weakness by allowing myself to listen to only ‘QUALITY’ music for the rest of the evening – still no Phantom FM or ‘zany’ DJ duos allowed. Oh it was so good. I felt so satisfied. Until I got in the car and realised that my car radio (not so fancy) doesn’t have a fancy USB port. Dilemma. Silence? Phantom? Oh no…. Sitting beside me on the passenger seat like a shining beacon of hope was the beautiful monochrome digipack containing my just-purchased copy of Organic Sampler by the afore-raved about RSAG. No downloading for you my sweet, you get actual hard-earned cash for your talent (in fairness, Van has plenty of the stuff up there on Cypress Hill or wherever it is he lives). Oh happy day. So on it goes and Sweet Jesus what an album. I don’t know if it really was that good or if my pathetic attempt at abstinence just made me lap it up like a hidden track on a Joy Division album but good ‘oul Jeremy Hickey’s still up there on my list of Geniuses of the Year.

So what have I learned from my experiences?

One: I have the willpower of Kate Moss in a crackhouse. Two: If it takes trying to abstain altogether to ignore the constant drone of repetitive shite in the background and actually take note of and absorb the music that we are listening to then I’m all for it. I may have failed dismally but at least I fully appreciated the two fantastic pieces of work that I did listen to yesterday, and not a Crystal Castle or Kaiser Chief in sight. Result!

No Music Day

20 11 2008


Tomorrow is No Music Day. No Music? Why, in the name of god, it’s madness. Or maybe not. The brainchild of KLF founder Bill Drummond, No Music Day is akin to a 24 hour fast for the ears, to make us stop and take stock of what we’re piping into our heads via our ears everyday and appreciate that there is quality to be found buried amid the big pile of commercialism that’s literally shoved in our faces, or ears, everyday. The 21st of November holds significance as it is the day before St. Cecelia’s Day – patron saint of music.

When I first heard that a bunch of people were swearing off music for the day, it took me a while to grasp the reasoning behind it. Music is something that plays such a huge role in so many of our lives and penetrates every facet of our day – and perhaps therein lies the pickle. We as a society, now more than ever, consume music as if it were going out of fashion. Nobody does this more so than those in the music industry – always looking for ‘the next big thing’, always striving to satisfy some driving aural hunger within ourselves by shifting through a constant stream of sonic piss that has no place on our airwaves or in our heads. Well Enough! I will be taking part in No Music Day, having my own reasons to not just mechanically accept whatever it is that Phantom and the likes decide to bestow upon us daily. Bill Drummond’s reason’s can be read in this wonderful article, with the following hammering home how his unquenchable thirst for QUALITY music proved exasperatingly unsatisfactory….

Some years ago I walked into HMV Oxford Street. I wandered around rack upon rack of thousands upon thousands of CDs. There must have been every form of music that ever existed there. I wanted something new. Something that would make me go, ‘Yeah, this is it. I’ve never heard anything like this in my life.’ There have been so many times when I have read a review of an album telling me how great it was so I would go out and buy it, only to get it home to find it sounded like something I had already heard. There was nothing in HMV Oxford Street for me.

So I went home and searched every corner of the web for something new, fresh, exciting. Something that would make me hear music in a different way. Something that would open a door to a room in my head which I had never been in before. But even in those furthest corners I could find nothing that did this.

Whether you decide to participate or not is your own business, some may decide that it’s the most idiotic thing they’ve ever heard… but it’s certainly food for though.

Full details of No Music Day can be found here.