Bands Confuse Me

I originally wrote this post to be something that was to appear on the Nightlight News, but for some reason, a bolt of ganja dust changed my mind and spurred me on to share these thoughts on this forum. I figured I might get more of a response, which is what I am hoping for, because as the title of the post suggests, I am confused and could use some help. Nevertheless, as the text may suggest, the post was written under my guise as Nightlight booking dude, not as XYC dude. I am a dude, fur the record.
Hoorah!

Ambient Music is a term that was essentially coined by Brian Eno, which he defined in the liner notes of Music for Airports as "able to accommodate many levels of listening attention without enforcing one in particular; it must be as ignorable as it is interesting". Well said Mr. Eno. And as the founder of ambient music, then I must defer to your intent when evaluating the claims of bands that play said "ambient" music. Cuz so many seem to want to attach that term to their genre/genre/genre/genre self-description.
When I look at their myspace page, I wonder, have they ever listened to Eno? Ever listened to Fripp and Eno? Cuz their drums and guitar pop rocks for radio play and shooting up the charts has no scrape of ambient to it at all. Or that scrape of ambient is so fleeting and cursory that it seems to ignore the explicit intent behind making ambient music. Rather than functioning as ignorable, interesting, and contemplative, their music is engaging, explicit in its message, and designed, perhaps deliberately, to take the listeners attention from what they were doing back into the music.
Take for instance some of these bands and their claims/entreaties:
Plea - "Ambient Indie Rock Help!!! - Mouth Movements play not one iota of ignorable music.
Claim - "We're a indie/ambient/rock band from Boston." - 28 Degrees Taurus tread a line between sweet and engaging, perhaps justifying a descriptor such as calm-inducing. But they stray often from the format with catchy vocals and lyrics, breaking any efforts on the part of the listener (me) to desist any engaged brain pattern and devolve into nothingness and meditation.
Claim - "creates sounds that could be called electronic, metal, prog, and ambient all at once." - Ok so it's slow and kinda boring, but Souvenir's Young America also builds to soloing and noodling crescendos so quickly that by the time I started developing some deep contemplation they burst into the bridge, shattering my time-peace. And then the next song is all hard and riffy.

My words may seem like needless nit-picking or "bitching" to some, but to me, these issues of band self-description hit home at a larger phenomenon of lack of genuine uunderstanding and artistic intent in music. I definitely prefer bands whose self-decriptions relate more feeling and instinct, and invoke less of a slashslashslash kind of tag. If a slash-genre-slash can be flippantly thrown around without real regard for or commitment to the style, in this case ambient music, then what does this say about the recording artist's bearing, persona, or band attitude?
The meat of the matter for me is in the decision to book the band or not, cuz after all, that's what I doos. SEE: For a club like Nightlight that has actively cultivated an enigmatic aura that eschews the norm in favor of experimentation and art, to support a band that misrepresents itself could cause an subterranean ghostly crisis of identity that sends ripples through our collective audience. Similarly, WXYC seeks to educate its listener on little known but highly respectable forms of music. If one's mission is to expose the community to forms of art that are unseen, unheard, and golden, then one ought to be working hard to preserve the meaning and substance of those mediums one supports. Like Ambient Music.

Comments

Great! :-)

Great! :-)

I think those bands are

I think those bands are paying too much attention to themselves and worrying about marketing when they should be worrying about having a good time and not sucking.

I do a radio show, although

I do a radio show, although have no regular one this semester as I am oh-so busy. But I do sub-in from time to time

sound waves speak louder than

sound waves speak louder than words, charlie you should see about doing a show

speaking of one who would

speaking of one who would fabulously enjoy basking in such an aura, what is the secret to such a booking? (XY-9.3 warning-this might be inappropriate blog content)