All those ‘desert island’ music selection posts got Java and me wondering about how some folk get stuck in a particular era with regard to the music they appreciate. This, it seemed to us, is particularly relevant to ‘pop’, ‘rock’ and the other modern off-shoots like ‘hip-hop’, ‘rap’ and stuff. Needless to say, we’re firmly entrenched in the 60s and 70s rock, R ‘n B and fusion (fusion was pretty new in them days), with jazz and classics taking equal standing in the value system.

Of course the reason for the individual niche is pretty obvious – ‘conditioning’ being the name of the game, as in just about everything. A few of the younger folk I know are pretty heavily influenced by their parents’ collections and so slant towards that type of stuff, but for the most part it is has to do with what the peer groups are into. And then, it seems from our observations that as younger folk get older and possibly get turned on to ‘other stuff’ that influences and maybe changes their appreciation of what they considered to be ‘good’, their choices also evolve accordingly. I know there were some rock bands I thought were outta sight in them early days, won’t even warrant a listen now – amazing how tastes change! On the other hand, some of those early groups and the music they created will always stand the test of time and are listened to frequently even some twenty-plus years later.

As for what is listened to in any given piece or album – this would vary considerably based on (again) the early conditioning. RD, we know, listens closely to the drum rhythms – perhaps more than he does to other aspects – or at least is more aware of those rhythms than say the lyrics to the song. Others I know are very turned on by lyrics and how the music fits the mood that seeks to be conveyed by the words. Still others I know let the ‘spirit’ of the number get to them by getting into a total-absorption state of mind, being oblivious to all other peripheral goings-on. Some are blown away by the sheer energy of the group, the beat that gets the bod responding, the singer’s vibe and delivery, the backbeat and even the ‘act’ (if it’s live, that is). Then there are those that find certain lyrics tug at those heart-strings and put them on a trip that relates to their current personal dilemma or dream-state – awakening all sorts of emotions concerning the loves of their immediate lives.

We also found that music appreciation manifests in more than occasional ego-trips – in the sense that one will diss another’s choice as being unworthy of serious consideration due to this ‘n that reason. Looking down on someone else’s choice is by no means uncommon, as this drummer we know remarked the other day, referring to Zaney’s take on Elton. For sure, no problem with critiques, but then in the end it’s ‘to each his own’ isn’t it?

And so it goes.

Java’s got ‘Soft Machine’ doing ‘Out-Bloody-Rageous’ going and has a cold brew in one hand and neat looking pipe in the other one. So time to call a halt to these mullings and pay closer attention to the music – and stuff.

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