One of the fears I had about stepping back into the music & entertainment business earlier this year (when I took a more high profile job than I had) was that I was afraid that there was no way I couldn't come out the other side completely and absolutely hating music once and for all. And I didn't want that, because even at the worst of times music has always been a constant in my life. Music was my first love and the first thing that I found that I could actually do with some modicum of talent. In high school, when I could barely throw a baseball and didn't make the football team, I started a band. And at the end of the day, the choice to "rock" was the right one. All things considered, I've done OK out of music.
When my lost years hit in 2007 and 2008, the company that I was a partner in (and that owed it's sole purpose for it's existence to working with bands), became an impossibly heavy weight around my neck. When everything fell apart, I wasn't able to separate the "music" from the "business", and my ability to enjoy music diminished considerably. Last year, I managed to make peace with music, and started listening again. But the circumstances had changed. Though I still worked in the industry, I was in the backroom - I worked on creating accounting systems and distribution networks and tended to leave the artist relations to others.
But at my new job I'm back on the front line - shows, meetings, creative presentations, the whole dog and pony show. And since most of the artists (the ones that I work with anyway) ignore conventional time zones, my cell phone is starting to ring at odd hours again. When I took this job, I knew full well that these things would start happening again, along with a whole other slew of the things that burned me out 4 years ago. But as much as I dreaded this job, I realized that I missed it too. So I made a deal with myself that no matter what, I would keep the music out of it as much as I could.
Anyway, it seems to be working out OK so far. In fact, more so than I could have hoped. Because I'm really getting into music again. What has happened a couple of times over the last 2 months is that I'll hear something new that reminds me of something that I had completely forgotten about and then go back and find the original again. Most of the time, it's as awesome as I remembered it.
Here's a band that I started listening to again. For weeks, they've been in heavy rotation on my iPod. I had forgotten how much I loved them.
The band is called My Bloody Valentine and were from the UK (though one of the members was an American). I've always loved music that was really noisy and chaotic but also very melodic. This band fits the bill perfectly. The song in the video is called "Only Shallow" and was on the band's only full length album, which was called "Loveless". The album came out in 1991 or '92. There were plenty of US bands making similar music then. But since the Brits have such a rich history of pop music that always managed to make it's way into everything, the UK bands always caught my ear first.
The album was on every hipster's "Best Of..." list the year it came out and the band arguably influenced many other musicians to come. But on the other side of the equation, the album's back-story pretty much encapsulates every possible stress creator that drove me to the brink in 2007. I don't remember the exact details, but the band moved studios at least 3 times, scrapped then re-recorded everything at least twice, almost broke up midway through the sessions, fired at least one producer and nearly bankrupt their label, Creation Records. Luckily for Creation, they ended up signing Oasis about a year later which put the label back on a steady footing. But it's also been said that Oasis was the band that finally pushed Creation label boss Alan McGhee off the deep end. He shut Creation down about 10 years ago and has kept a low profile since.
He probably wasn't training for triathlons, though. Because that's what keeps my head on straight.