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Because the real Opiate of the Asses goes by the name "Ego" now. Fuck you.

Friday, October 11, 2013

My Thoughts on Music in the Modern Day

Music as an art form has changed drastically over the last few thousand years. Its place and function in society has shifted from a privilege to a right. Everyone and anyone has access to some sort of music. The sheer volume and variety of emotions, passions and messages held within the endless genres of music is honestly humbling. No matter who you are, there is a genre of music that you will like, that you can relate to, that speaks to you in some way. Recently, I've been expanding my musical knowledge, exploring new genres and finding new bands with new sounds.

My Freshmen and Sophomore years of high school, I listened almost exclusively to Tool. I considered them the most talented band in the world, I literally listened to nothing else. The feeling I remember the most from listening to them is a sort of reverence for the amount of skill and passion that went into a single song. The rhythms were transcendental, the lyrics enlightening and the beats impossibly complex. Their albums were nothing less than incredible journeys through subtle, savage, beautiful and brutal terrain. An hour listening to a Tool album was a psychological thriller that I reveled in.

I loved Tool so much I sort of killed them for me. One day, I realized that I had listened to every song countless times. Even the somewhat more obscure albums Opiate and Salival, and even the rare demo tape, 72826 (I didn't actually own a physical copy), they were all overplayed in my mind. Even today, I'm still jaded on the band. The only thing that could bring me back would be new material. So Tool became my gateway to the wide world of music as I sought to fill the void that Tool could no longer fill. I started with the familiar. I went to Rage Against the Machine, and enjoyed their rebellious raps and righteous riffs, but found that they didn't fill me with the artistic reverence, or give me the sense of a narrative that Tool did. I entered the Ska world and found Streetlight Manifesto, just in time for their new album release. There I found puncturing lyrics, a sense of a narrative combined with a powerful ideology supporting the mesmerizing melodies. Again, it was different, it was really good, but different. My musical knowledge expanded just like this, finding bands that filled some parts of the hole left by Tool, but none of them were quite the same. Recently, I've come to Arcade Fire. Their variety, style and the enigma of their lyrics and subtle melodies fill me with the same reverence I had for Tool, but in a different way.

Tool, metal, rock and roll, even Ska, those are relics of a generation before mine. It is important to remember, appreciate and enjoy the old, but it is also important to embrace and encourage the new. Arcade Fire is music more suited to my age. It is the modern, the trendy, the surreal, the new sound that I can't step away from. At least for now. My sister had been listening to them for a while, and I was first hooked on them during their album debut after the 2013 season premier of SNL. Arcade Fire is something new, something fresh. Spinning off retro themes, then jumping into brand new ground, Arcade fire combines new and old philosophies of music with lyrics of modern issues. Seeing them made me think "This is modern art, this is what I want representing my generation in the history of music." From energetic, to melancholy to contemplative to outright chaotic, Arcade Fire's music has so much variety and new ideas that I simply can't get enough of.

I'll finish this post off by posting a playlist of music that encompasses everything that I've been listening to recently. So shuffle, listen, and enjoy.


  1. Very good writting, Maciej. I love it.