Over the last few years I’ve interviewed a number of bands and musicians, from bands just starting out with their first gig up to bands with top ten albums and major recording contracts.
One thing I’ve noticed that’s consistent almost across the board, whatever level the musician is at is a reluctance to commit to a genre – which I think is why we have so many sub-genres.
I’d speak to a band that were quite clearly punk and they would describe themselves as ‘alternative-indie-ska-punk-greengrocers’ or something equally obscure.
This is one of the reason’s I’d given up completely on music genres, I don’t tell people I like a particular type of music anymore, I just say something horribly clichéd like “It depends on my mood” which isn’t good for anyone.
This is where iPod’s (other not as good mp3 players are available but why would you bother?) and PC’s are coming to the rescue, with the wonder of playlists.
Although it is a horrible cliché to say “it depends on my mood” when talking about what type of music you’re into – it’s also about as accurate as you can get.
You can usually split moods into four main types, the music contained within these groups is up to the individual, there is something for everyone from the crooner obsessive to the hip hop honey that fits into all of these groups
Buzzing – This is the most energetic of music moods, the type of mood you’re in when coming out of a particular high octane film, finding out you’ve got a great job or your favourite sports team has just won the cup.
Buzzing music would be fast and funky, usually with a simple rhythm and not much in the way of ground breaking lyrics but something you can just jump about to.
Personally for me this would include bands like the Sex Pistols, The Clash, Art Brut, The Futureheads, Razorlight and The Libertines.
Need a Lift – This is almost as energetic as ‘Buzzing’ but wouldn’t be quite as fast, it needs to be funky and needs to make you want to get up and move, but this is the type of music you’d want first thing in the morning when you need to get your arse into gear.
Need a Lift music is funky with an almost trance like rhythm that requires very little independent thought, this doesn’t mean the lyrics are simplistic just that the music needs to be energetic (but not to loud).
For me this would probably include Velofax, Hard-Fi, the Infadels, maybe The Futureheads again and a few crapy pop songs I’d rather not admit to owning.
Late Afternoon – This is slightly more chilled music, something with a strong melody you can hum along to in your head, muse music (not muse the band but muse the inspiration).
Late Afternoon music is inspiration but without being preachy, it’s friendly without being patronising and it still has a bit of a beat to it.
Again for me this would include say Adam Green, The Zutons, The White Stripes, Dave Matthews Band, The Beatles and The Kooks.
Sunday Afternoon – This final type is the really chilled out, lying on the sofa (or on a beach) chilled out Sunday music, something to clear your head to.
Sunday Afternoon music is a pure unadulterated chill fest, something to do nothing to, it’s music you could read a book to without getting confused by all the words but at the same time just listen to and soak it all up.
I’d include Nizlopi, some Dave Matthews Band, Nerina Pallot, Katie Melua (but not nine arsing bicycles), Bob Dylan, Jack Johnson, Damien Rice, some Adam Green and almost anything from the 40s in this category.
There are of course other styles and grouping but for me these are the main four, it covers everything from hyperactive to comatose in four simple groups.
This can be achieved in two ways, assuming the use of iTunes or something similar to sort your music library.
The first is to set up four playlists and include all the songs from all your favourite artists in each of the relevant playlists (remembering some will appear in two or more).
This is the quickest way as you can just drag whole albums into the playlist and then remove tracks afterwards that aren’t suitable but does rely playlists.
The other is to use the dreaded Genre functionality. You can do this by changing the genre of a song from something stupid like Alternative or Easy Listening to one of the four key groupings.
So I would probably change Adam Green’s brilliant Nat King Cole to ‘Late Afternoon’ or Art Brut’s Bad Weekend to ‘Need a Lift’.
If you think of any others that you would include, or if you think this is a load of old bollox then go sit on a big rusty nail – or do what other normal thinking people do and post a rant in the box.