Thursday, July 13, 2006

Too much of a good thing

Having gotten fed up with the inexcusably shitty manner in which the record industry treats its potential customers I decided to go straight to the source and solicit original music directly from the artists. After all, you can't walk three blocks in this town without tripping over a few dozen musicians.

I sent out an ad to a Hollywood insider's mailing list and in 24 hours I got over 140 submissions (and they're still coming in). At first I was going to respond to every one individually because I know how much it sucks not to get any kind of response at all, but I think I just won't be able to. Instead I'll try to set up a sort of a bloggy thing over at the movie web site to communicate en masse. If any of you who have submitted tunes are by chance reading this, know that I am listening to each and every submission. Not all the way through necessarily, but I am listening to every one. All in all I'm pretty impressed by the general quality of the music. So far I haven't heard anything that really sucked, and a couple of tunes have really shined. (And if you haven't heard of Marina V go check her out. She really knocked my socks off.)

But mostly it's pretty mediocre fare. I've gotten to the point where if I hear a strumming guitar in the opening bars I groan. Synthesizers and MIDI sequencers are really cheap nowadays. So unless you're all about the lyrics (in which case you can just dispense with the intro altogether -- which is fine with me, I'm a Dylan fan after all and he couldn't sing his way out of a paper bag) please please please get something besides a guitar into the opening bars. Pianos, harpsichords, pipe organs, I don't care. Cellos, people! Haven't any of you ever heard of cellos? Doesn't anyone listen to Eleanor Rigby any more? It doesn't have to be concert quality, it just has to be not a guitar! Please! I beg of you!

OK, I feel better now.

I've developed a few other pet peeves as well, including: filtered vocals, vocals that sound like the singer is on drugs (and yes, I know that one of my target songs, Comfortably Numb, is about taking drugs, but the singer is administering the drugs, not taking them himself!). And as long as I'm on my soap box, why on earth are people sending me light bouncy love songs? I'm picking songs for a murder scene and a film about homeless people for crying out loud! I'm looking for existential angst and biting social commentary, and people are sending me things that would be right at home on Love Songs on the Coast. Geez.

But then I stumble on things like this and it all seems worthwhile.

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