For just over a year I have been involved with a group of musicoes, there is no common denominator to describe this group really and musicoes is a fittingly loose description. The original premise for an evening meeting of around 3 hours was to play a classic album and other contributions, but this evolved into an exciting ‘favourite tracks’ milieux … and, in my case, also went into introducing discovered musicians and favourites via a freebie CD. I don’t think I need to give the other musicoes each an identity as I’m sure my observations would only provoke and provide ammunition for some sort of vendetta or long drawn out correspondence. But I would say, up close they were diverse in character, musical taste and background, but from a distance we were a group of middling white men steeped in 60’s–70’s blues rock, dabbling in jazz, americana and folk … and I consciously restricted my contributions to meet this criteria. Categories used here are accepted from High Street music outlets and probably do not do justice to the actual music played … which, personally, I believe defies all classifications … you like it or you don’t!
I was intrigued by the narrow, but occasionally surprisingly leftfield, choices included in selections, and spent very enjoyable hours analysing and following up the tracks played by the others, and often purchased albums based on this investigative adventure. All in all, despite my slightly duff hearing and the denying of my more eclectic musical tastes slipping into my selections, I greatly enjoyed the evenings and the music played during those monthly meetings.
We met in each other’s houses where clues and markers gave further indications as to my musical comrades’ life affiliations and tastes … it was comforting and revelatory to be in the company of other musicoes like this, see their musical collections, watch them grow older and seem to appreciate each others’ selections … but, over the year a culture developed, a small group which never exceeded 6 began to develop a hierarchy … and one guy resigned …
After a fair bit of agonising, I’ve decided to quit the record club. It’s a shame I feel I have to do it (and I know I may come to regret my decision), but I’ve been acutely aware from the start that my knowledge of and enthusiasm for the subject has lagged far behind the rest of the group’s. Which was not a problem to begin with because the exposure to new (to me) artists and styles was exciting and enriching, but over time you all brought so much stuff to the evenings, plus all the freebies, that it became quite overwhelming and, sadly, it has upset the comfortable niche that music occupies in my life. It simply isn’t as important to me as it is to you.
I wish you all much happy listening and chatter in the future.
And then, nothing to do with music at all, the next meeting opened with an attack on the host for talking over contributions and a proposal to retreat to the ‘classic album’ format was accepted by the others present … and my journey with them ends.
And another leaves the band quoting irrelevant differences …
“Talking over each others’ contributions” … almost laughed out loud at that, as I think all of you have been guilty of that. I say ‘all’, but I exclude myself because while music is playing I can’t make out what anyone is saying … a combination of duff hearing and actually trying to listen to the music … so figure out the ‘all’ amongst yourselves.
More serious to me was the proposal that the group revert to its singular founding idea: to flop and fawn over a ‘classic’ album and to later waffle, namedrop and claim it as the greatest … an exercise for regurgitating Mojo and Q articles and probably nothing to do with the actual music. In this change of direction my opinion was not sought.
Sadly gone, it seems to me, the evolved and exciting idea of bringing along your tastes and finds (which could include ‘classic albums’) to play and share with the group, along with the exchange of home burnt CDs of thoughtfully mined golden treasures. Probably too much commitment required, I suppose?
To support the singular ‘classic album’ proposal words like ‘there has been too much music’ and ‘I don’t have time to listen to all the (freebie) CDs’ were used … I get the message.
I came each month because of that ‘too much music’ element, not for any of the chat which, because of my duff hearing, I found hard to follow. From freebie CDs and the wide variety of music played I have made some very enjoyable discoveries and additions to my iTunes library, and for this I thank you all.
Anyway, for quite the opposite reason Rob quit, I also take leave of your company … maybe see you in Rise.