jmac Music Journal

jmac Music Journal

Of all my media flavors I'll write about in my online journals, I'll surely feel the least comfortable writing about the music I purchase and experience. While I could conceivably write a book sometime in my life, and given a camera could produce something that might be mistaken for a movie from a distance, I utterly lack the brain muscles necessary for music composition and lyricism, at least with my current neural configuration. I don't know how these people do it. It's magic, as far as I'm concerned.

Oh well. Here I go anyway.


Supposed Former Infatuation Junkie
Alanis Morrisette

Here is the ultimate fruit of a year's worth of labor for my present employer, the album I purchased with my Christmas bonus, a gift certificate from Bull Moose Music.

I picked it out above all the other albums on my cloudy music-of-which-I-might-enjoy-having-hard-media-versions list partially because Morrisette's first big album, 'Jagged Little Pill', was, somewhat oddly, the one media source most responsible for the style of my current cartooning efforts (though this connection has grown from merely obscure to utterly obfuscated in the years since I started, as my style has evolved elsewise, so don't break your brain looking for a connection (though again you're more than welcome to break your brain looking at the comics anyway, but that's not what I'm here to talk about) ), but her name was close to the front of my brain (or closer than those of other musicians', anyway) as I highly appreciated her role in Dogma, which I saw last month, to my own delight.

I really like the album, even though its content tends towards the self-referential a bit more than I would have liked. Many of Morrisette's lyrics seem to be about her own experiences with her career as a famous and wealthy musician, and all the many places and people she's been able to meet as a result, but they're written smartly enough to let me find more more interesting than annoying, so I'm able to listen to the disc repeatedly to no ill effect.

Really, its an interesting way to attack a problem I ponder whenever I find myself enjoying something the mainstream also approves, and has therefore sent its primary actors and artists into global stardom; how are they able to continue producing art when their lives have become so warped? Back when I watched the daily reruns of 'Seinfeld' regularly (which is to say, before I saw them all) I couldn't help but feel a little uncomfortable at the fact that its lead actor was trying to portray himself, and the rather ordinary adventures he encountered in his life, yet he was never shown being besieged by throngs of fans each time he stepped outside, or otherwise made miserable by possessing a face that most anyone could recognize.

Of course, everything I know about the experiences of the famous is based on hearsay, so who am I to say. This doesn't stop me from routinely fantasizing about the elaborate games I would play with the world if my work ever became ultra-famous while I strove to keep my face anonymous. But this is a story for another time.

Yes, the sounds help a lot, too. Mm, probably about half the arrangements are folksy, with acoustic guitar and harmonica and some unusual but pleasing instruments I can't name (computer-generated ones, for all I know), and the rest are more electronic, lots of staccato noise, a sort of low-calorie nine-inch-nails flavor of nihilism, but one always given meaning by Morrisette's lyrics. Only a couple of tracks center their sound on electric guitars, including one of the album's two hits, "I'll be joining you."

Allow me to make a strange little confession, as well, during this, the first entry into the music section of my media journal: something I have been doing a lot of lately is sketching little doodles of singers when I hear songs I really dig, such as several of those offered by 'Supposed Infatuation Junkie', and have some idea what their vocalists look like, and see, in my mind's eye, the drawings on MTV, jiggling and shouting before flashing, hectic backgrounds, all of my own design. I love animated music videos! I wish MTV would spin off a channel just for them. That would be an excellent second-place wish if my first one doesn't come true, (and is probably just as likely to happen, alas).)


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