Mighty Music

It fly’s through the air, it booms in your ear, where would we be without the wonderful sound to carry us through the day. I have recently been on an expedition of an extraordinary kind. There are times in your life when such expeditions are needed. The kind where you find a need to stock up on fresh new music. Any kind of music! Something new from the endless waterfall of music that is out already out there. You just need to find where its hiding. Sometimes you may not find this bounty for an age but when the hunt seems as if it’s nearly over and all your efforts to discover something new have beaten you …an unexpected suprise happen’s out of the blue. There can be periods in ones life when music can take second place to life. Examples:
1. When your children are young “Keep it down for God’s sake”..
2. No younger generation fuelling the fire of discovery.
3. Just no good bloody music out there to be listened to.

There are umpteen reasons for this drought and the older of us know very well what they are!! Remember back to those days of your youth when each band is a voyage of discovery. Every band you stumble across is like an epiphany…”God, you just have to listen to this album by The Doors.” Nowadays, we take for granted the back catalogue of useless information that we store away in our brains….minute little details that can be remembered in relation to the recordings of your favourite artist! This always amazes me. I can remember the most inane little details…who sings backing on such and such a song…but ask me to remember my mobile phone number and I stumble for a minute with a blank face!! I put this down to the hours spent sitting on the floors of secondhand record shops searching for that lost 45 that no one else has. I spent years of my life patrolling through endless stacks of records to sometimes come across a bargain or a classic for a knock down price. When you are a student, there is no other choice. Towards the end of the 80’s and at the beginning of the 90’s the price of CD’s was outrageous. No knockdown prices back then. The bargain bins of vinyl was where you found my pretty little head. I must admit that I did return home with a lot of shite but there were those moments where you found something that youv’e never heard before. Something like John Martyn’s “Solid Air” was one such record that I picked up one day. Never heard of him before, but I took a chance and boy did it pay off. A depth of feeling and angst the like of which I had not heard up until that moment. Pure soul mixed with a touch of genius from a man at the height of his career. This was one for the top shelf. To my dismay I have only listened to a few of his other albums but it was while I was out my most recent expedition that I stumbled across a recording of John and Beverley Martyn in their heyday with a song called “Auntie Aviator”.

This is a tune which had me mesmerised from the beginning. I just can’t explain the feeling it gives me. The fact that it has a catchy singalong hook mixed with a kind of alternative spaced out sound just makes my day everytime I play it. Where did I hear it?

There is a radio station that came along to these shores a few years ago now that seems to push the boundaries of ordinary pop listener ship. Mixing the everday with the obscure should be out there’s. The more introvert of these show happens to be on at midnight till 2am. Not the most listenable of hours but because of the beauty of podcast we now can listen to the music that we only listened to when were in our teens. Today fm is the station and the DJ goes by the name of Donal Dineen…a man who has pushed these boundaries for many’s the year and who by my account deserves more praise than he invariably does not get.
His show is one that I would not normally listen to because of the unGodly hour but to be able to download his free podcasts has opened up a vast cavern of music which is not only educating me all over again but is also giving me great pleasure. I feel young again. It reminds me of the days when I satyed up till all hours with my walkman listening to late night radio…the best time to hear the obscure and brilliant. Ireland 15 years ago was in the dark ages of radio. Pop music was the only way forward for the big radio it seem at the time. Pirate stations were not on the horizon although that did change slightly with the arrival of one or two dance music stations which did push the masses to another realm of listenership. I like dance music but I also love everything else. I wanted to hear everything…I mean everything. I was like a sponge waiting to be dunked into a bucket of undiscoverd music. Today FM has gone someway to fill this gap for me …not all the way but it has kept me enthralled with its hybrid of music over the years. What I want from a radio station is to be able to be suprised with new discoveries…new types of music. I want to be educated on a daily basis. I’d love to be a novice again…an 18 year old with an empty road ahead of albums and bands to be driven along!

There has been the internet to abate this need but I would love to have the choice of selection that so many other countries seem to have. In Ireland the selection of radio is so limited it can be embarrassing. A handful of stations that are controlled by shareholders. A couple of years ago in Cork there were a few pirates, one of which I had the pleasure of playing on for a short period…but the powers that be put a quick stop to our endeavours. It was fun while it lasted but there is still a gap for those in the population that feel the same need as me…an alternative radio that opens up the world to the people!! Pipe dreams maybe, but with increasing competition from the web, something may have to be done. I will leave you now to tune into your favourite radio station..they just might play one of your favourites or an unknown rarity that will change you forever!!

is the link to all those free podcasts that I told you about…..be there or….


2 thoughts on “Mighty Music

  1. We seem to be in something of a drought season at present. All that X Factor stuff clogging up the charts and pushing out more talented, more worthy bands. But there will no doubt be a reaction to it. Just like Rock and Roll was a reaction to the sterile pop of the forties and early fifties. Just like Grunge seemed the perfect antidote to too many Stock Aitken and Waterman tracks in the pate 80s. Love Beverly Martyn’s voice.

  2. I too was a record aholic through the 70’s and 80’s and would often buy a whole album for that 1 great song…making mixed theme tapes was big on my hobby list but dwindled when the cd player came in…of course now with the iTunes aspect of life, I am right back in there buying songs to add to my ipod shuffle. But, really, there is nothing quite like holding that big album in your hands and looking over all the details of its production…we are fortunate in Canada to have the CBC which plays huge amounts of new and old Canadian content as well as stuff from all over the world…my last favorite discovery was Ray LaMontagne and I especially love his ‘Winter Birds’ song…intelligent songwriting…by the way I loved the track you chose and will look them up for more..

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