05 September 2004

Ahhh...the late night, tired, emotional, and flaccidly verbose post. The staple of the Blogworld.

I'm listening to some absolutely wonderful music right now. The music from Yes's late 70s albums, in particular, "Relayer" and "Going For The One". While I have traditionally favoured their early and mid 70s material, this is rich and delightful stuff. It offers so much to the refined musical palate...one could listen to this a thousand times and still "get something" from it. I've been on a Yes sabbatical you might say for some time, having been enraptured by the funky-fine groovistifications of Steely Dan, but tonight I sit and rediscover the rapturous beauty and stunning virtues of their music.

What I wouldn't give to create this sort of music. This has been a distant dream of mine for years, and played a big role in the breakup of my high school/early college rock band. The other chaps had a desire to strike commercial success of some kind (so out come the horn sections and ska music...just kidding, wasn't that long ago), while I had a vision to create something much bigger and worthy, the fans be damned! Well, not quite that bad, but you get the idea.

I realise that a vast minority of people would ever agree with me on this music. I also grant that music is an entirely subjective subject, and I've shed some of my elitist mentalities. However, I do recognise a pattern I've noticed. There are some things in life that require more effort to get into, to start to enjoy. Most people are turned off by that and go for the instantly accessible. However in my experience many of these things reward the patient person much more deeply. In the case of Yes music, yes, your pop/metal/emo stuff is easy to follow and keeps songs in bite-size lengths...but they aren't the sort of music that you are going to listen to carefully, almost breathlessly, with earphones, and enjoy intensely while focusing entirely on the music. Likewise, Tolkien's literature isn't exactly an easy read. The Hobbit goes down easily, admittedly, but when you get to The Silmarillion, you have to put effort into it...literally study it. I can say from experience it is entirely worth it. Another quite unrelated example is in distilled spirits...most Americans do not have interest past those cloying candied alcoholic sodas that are mislabelled as "wine coolers", piss-yellow and thin American swill beer, and basic California table wines. It takes a bit of effort to move from these easy-to-drink yet frightfully boring beverages to something like cognac, calvados, or a fine Scotch dram. I suppose I have moved a great distance into pretentious sod territory when I have reached the point where my enjoyment in merely enjoying the nose, or aromas, of such fine spirits equals that of drinking them, but that's my own issue, I suppose!

Yes, I grant you, in retrospect, I sound like a pretentious snob, and perhaps the world wouldn't be better off with more folks sharing my tastes. But as I listen to the softly echoing refrains of "Soon" from The Gates of Delirium (also off of Relayer) I think, it is a shame no one else I know could enjoy this the way I do. True, it is just music, but it reaches quite deep, and I'd love to see others experience this...and love it as I do. Alas, not a likely fate...I should be content to enjoy this undiscovered (by my generation) gem of the music world by myself.

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