Bands Are Back
K. Hart-President DSR Records/Hart Music Co.
What a novel concept that is. A stage set up with huge stacks of cabinets with speakers the size of truck tires, driven by amplification systems with tubes the size of beer cans. Add to that about half a dozen guitar stands occupied by Les Pauls, Strats, Teles, P-Basses, J-Basses or Rickenbackers. And a centerpiece of a zillion piece drum set (OK, so I'm exaggerating) with chrome gleaming forever.
lights are still on and about 15 or 20 people with long dirty hair, shorts,
sneakers and dated Black Sabbath World Tour T-shirts are running around on the
stage testing mikes and running snakes. You look in a far corner and you see
stacks and stacks of Korgs, Rolands, Ensoniqs and Yamahas forming a semicircle
around a stool with some geeky little guy striking keys to get levels. Then, all
of a sudden, the lights go down, and you think you see shadowy figures entering
the stage area. Count them, 10, 11, 12...there are 15 people on the stage. The
lights come on at the same time you hear and feel 10,000 watts of hot analog
instruments course through you, and it shocks your core, but you love it because
you now know deep within your hungry soul that THE BANDS ARE BACK!
not like the Backstreet Boys, N-Sync or Silk. Contrary to all of the record
company propaganda, those are not bands. They're groups or ensembles, and
they're good, but they're not bands. I'm talking about bands, with guitars,
keyboards, drums, horns, all that. Allow me to bring forth to you a lesson from
Real Music 101. A band is a group of musicians with the ability to,
with instruments, execute complete musical works, with or without
accompanying vocals. I suppose to some degree you could possibly, based on that
definition, include those groups. But in my humble opinion, no one under 30 can
truly relate to the word band.
the other hand, because of the triumphant return of the long lost "real
band" structure (a la Hootie and the Blowfish, the Dave Matthews Band,
etc.), young people are tuning into real instruments more now than ever before.
Of course, some music has never lost its original magic. I guess a fitting
phrase at this point would be something old and moldy like, "long live rock
that? I'm hearing questions. Questions like, what does a Black, middle-aged,
gospel jazz playing veteran of the Waffle House circuit know about rock &
thing about being a middle aged veteran. That means I was one of the privileged
people who got to see rock & roll giants like Elvis, Jimi, Janis and Jackie
perform live before they died and became the legends you now emulate. I was
fortunate enough to hear first-hand radio and TV accounts of the British
Invasion with the Stones and the Beatles before their records became collectors'
items. I was raised on everything from Molly
Hatchet to Manhattan Transfer. I cut my guitar playing teeth on everyone from
Chet Atkins to Carlos Santana.
other words, I am a child of the Analog era. You see, there is something
magical, warm, and positive about the analog music of a real band. Something
that gets destroyed for me everytime I think of some kid sitting in his 9x9
bedroom in his parents' house with a sampler, a drum machine and a tape recorder
making loops out of whatever old records he can get his hands on because he has
neither the inclination nor the aptitude to learn to really play an instrument.
Or when I turn on the radio and hear how someone took a classic piece of music
and perverted it into some cheap, cliche-ridden song.
truly feel sorry for urban music, because it seems to be the only form that
hasn't evolved out of the continuum of techno-sludge. No wonder people are so
pissed off. In addition to its lack of real musical content, urban music has
only one type of message any more. Either it's
the fellas trying to get busy with the girls, or the women trying to get
paid by the guys. Forgive my bluntness, but what does that sound like to you
all? Yeah, I thought so.
have witnessed an entire genre of music slip just outside of what can honestly
be labelled music into what must truthfully and honestly be referred to as
simply another art form. This is cool, I guess. But from where I sit, the world
needs to be healed and comforted, and nothing really does that like good, positive, warm music, I mean real music, not just something
some DJ put together with Fruity Loops. So here's the skinny. If you want art,
go to an art museum. If you want to profile, go to a hip-hop concert. But if you
truly want to feel good about yourself and life in general, cash in your DMX
tickets, and go see a band like U2 or Hootie and the Blowfish. Better yet, go
see someone who could really use your support, like the Rattler, Jeff Pyatt.
Real music by real artists, that's what it's all about.
of you old schoolers notice how many young people are tuning in to blues and
jazz these days? I mean, really getting into it, too. And reggae, they are
eating it up. Tell ya what. Find a really decent blues, jazz or reggae concert
somewhere, and buy a ticket simply to scan the crowd. You will see a lot of
young faces, because frankly I do believe that young folks are becoming
increasingly intolerant of trashy, pointless, non-artistic music made by people
who try to pass themselves off as musicians in favor of more mellow approaches.
remember as a teen, watching programs on TV like Midnight Special with Wolfman
Jack (RIP), and Rock Concert, hosted by the painfully monotone but mega-cool Don
Kirschner. This was way before MTV. Real bands played real music in real time,
bands like Chicago, Earth, Wind and Fire, Doobie Brothers, Little Feat, the
Eagles, can we talk? (sorry, Joan) Does anyone remember that?
about I do this: The first ten people who e-mail me with the correct answer to
this question will receive by e-mail a link to a free copy of Voyetra Recording
Station. It is my own personal registered copy, so it's not pirated or cracked.
is the two-part question:
What was the name of the band who performed the hit song "Come and Get Your
What was the most significant trait of that band?
will print the answers in next month's column. My e-mail address is:
firstname.lastname@example.org & email@example.com
my friends, that should get your creative juices flowing. Be sure to take full
advantage of the new interactive features of this website. It is the latest of a
plethora of innovations by Mr. Gary Kersey to help unite the world through the
universal language of music.
brothers and sisters, we are still a nation in mourning and in serious need of
healing. Next to any deity you may worship, if you so practice, nothing heals
better than good music. Go listen to a real band this weekend and be healed.
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