Saturday, April 05, 2008

Welcome To The Machine

It's alright, we know where you've been.While thinking about this project during idle moments over the last couple of weeks, I've found myself wanting to play about three decades' worth of catch-up instead of simply jumping feet first into modern music itself. If I'm going to write about what I feel is good, bad, and ugly with music (both new and old), I feel that some explanation is needed on where I'm coming from and how I got here before I simply start bashing away at Big City Rock or 3 Doors Down.

If there is one key component that keeps my sense of time and place organized, it's music (popular or otherwise), which has for two and a half decades now provided both a soundtrack and series of touchstones to my life. I suppose, in effect, that The Cantaloupe Machine is going to start life as something not that much different from an autobiography (though my experiences in life outside of music aren't really the focus here unless they explain why I gravitated towards this sound or that band over time). Who knows, someday this blog may come in handy as a dry run for such a project: if I were ever to write such a work, music would certainly play a major role in jogging my memory and remembering times and places and people that might stay nearly forgotten otherwise.

Of course, this is no great revelation to anyone who knows me, and I'm sure this association-by-song ability is common to many people, as millions are obviously touched by the power and beauty inherent in most forms of music. For me, the assembly of notes and chords and the employ of production can be every bit as striking and world-altering as a great book or a galvanizing speech. At various times in my life, music has been a soothing voice to lull me to sleep, a balm to ease heartache, a doorway to joyous release, and a swift kick in the ass to get my lazy butt into gear. You could almost call music my religion of choice, as there are a handful of artists out there whose careers I follow with the kind of passionate fervor that often enters into realms of stubborn, unyielding faith that is utterly resistant to logic and reason.

Aside from the biographical bits, we'll also discuss (when applicable) the changing of the business itself. Particularly after 1987, we're going to trace the last great rise and then the final tailspin of of the music industry as we once knew it. At some point, maybe in a decade or so, or perhaps a lot sooner, all of this is going to sound awfully weird to someone born after 1991 or so (which is right around the time when the record companies quietly started the practice that, more than any other, would eventually set off their downward spiral). If you are one of those people, maybe some of those posts will help them understand just how this whole thing unraveled.

With all of that said, I think it's best that we start this blog from the beginning: we're gonna head back as far back in my memory as I can go to try and dig out the roots of this obsession and move forward from there. For those of you born anywhere around the year 1969, we're going to be dishing out some hardcore nostalgia and thoughts about times now long gone and never to return. Thanks for coming along. Hope you enjoy the trip.

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