01.31.2010

Drums’n'Bass

Posted by AJ Harbison at 7:07 pm

My lovely wife and I went on a bowling date earlier this week to Strike OC, which is nice if a bit on the pricey side. We went after 9 pm, when there’s a special for unlimited bowling and shoes, drink specials, etc. It was interesting listening to the music that they were playing; I don’t know for sure but it sounded like “dance” remixes of pop and R&B music. I recognized two of the songs, Beyoncé’s “Single Ladies” (which I only know because my mom’s into Glee) and Lady Gaga’s “Pokerface” (which I only know because I listened to a few of her songs after hearing about her for a while). Now, no offense to either of those artists, but these are not exactly the most substantial pop songs to begin with. They’re light, they’re catchy, they are what they are and they’re not meant to be musically complex or weighty. But the remixes we heard at the bowling alley were bare-bones versions of the already skinny pop songs: basically drums, bass, and voice. Anything that was musically interesting in the original song apart from the beat and the bass line–anything interesting in instrumentation or arrangement–was stripped out. I realize that you don’t go to a bowling alley or a club or anywhere they play this kind of music for the listening experience, and my wife suggested that perhaps the reason for the remixes was that in these situations it’s all about “feeling the beat.” But it seems a little strange that this kind of music, which isn’t complex to begin with, is stripped down to something that is little more than what you could create with a sequencing program, a library of loops and 30 seconds of picking and choosing.

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01.26.2010

TLB Update

Posted by AJ Harbison at 6:49 pm

Greetings, readers! (If there are any readers left…)

I apologize for the lack of posts recently–I’ve been posting only about once a month for a while now. There are basically two reasons for this. First, I’ve been extremely busy. I’m currently leading worship for my church, recording hymns of the month for the same church, recording my own CD Songs From My Shelf, rolling out new website stuff, composing concert music, trying to practice guitar and piano more, etc.–I’ve been too busy creating and playing music to write about it on the blog. Second, writing blog posts has become less enjoyable and more of a chore for me, so I’m not nearly as excited about it as I used to be.

However! I’m not ready to give up on the blog quite yet. So I’m going to give it one more try. I’m going to try to post more consistently, but it’ll be more along the lines of one or two posts a week than the three or four I’d originally hoped for. There are several ways you can follow the blog (apart from just checking www.thelisteningblog.com) if you’d like to stick around:

And one more thing: if you’d like to see TLB continue, I would love for you to comment on my posts. I know that comments, or lack of them, don’t by themselves indicate how many readers I have; but it’s so much more encouraging when I receive comments, even if it’s just to say that you liked the post or you’ve listened to the same piece.

I hope to be able to post some new content this week. Thanks for your support–and thanks for listening!

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