The Ron Kane Files

Writing About Music

Thursday, January 10, 2008

20th Century Music

1-10-08 20th Century Music

As you probably know, the previous incarnation of this blog was called “20th Cent Music”. I started writing it at the instigation of a friend in the summer of 2002. I have been writing about music for roughly 30 of my (almost) 50 years.

It seems that with each passing year, I buy less and less music. I hadn’t planned it that way – but that’s how it works out. I noticed that I was buying more and more CD’s – as decent LP’s became more and more difficult to find (and sometimes overly expensive). I still love LP’s – but they are notoriously difficult to store – in massive quantities. They take up so much room! But they sound great – usually.

So, 8 years into the new century – record stores are closing. Is my hobby of choice in decline? Sure seems to me that there are lots and lots of record collectors around. Is this why I have to go further and further from my home to find nice LP’s?

Of course, I mail-order music. In some instances, it’s the only way to find what I want. But as the record stores vanish, it seems that my ‘community’ vanishes along with them. No more streetcorners to meet my friends on – unless we can consider the Ron Kane Files a virtual streetcorner.

So found anything good lately? What have you been listening to? Are there still record stores where you live? Have you ever been to Japan? Are there any good Indonesian restaurants around here? What was the last concert you saw? Do you still watch TV? How’s your girlfriend / boyfriend / kids?

As far as I am concerned, the power that music can have is undiminished. It doesn’t matter if you play records, CD’s, MP3’s…you know this to be true. Music is an important part of our lives.

Have been reading “This Is Your Brain On Music” by Dan Levitin – sort of a music psychology book. That guy thinks music is important, too.

So, what part does music play in your life? It determined my livelihood for roughly two decades, as I was employed in the “music business” – but I feel like I have been a music fan for most of my (nearly) 50 years. Do you find that music’s power diminishes with how you age? Or are you still rockin’ at whatever age you are? I understand how stuff other than music becomes very important in one’s life – like looking for work, chasing girls, eating nice food, health etc.

I can’t imagine a time when music won’t be important to me. As I age, I could conceivably become deaf at some point – but – my brain is hard-wired to music – and I would probably still write about it, even if I was stone deaf.


Blogger robert said...

Hey Ron,

I think the need for physical community will grow stronger the further we're socially atomized through meaningless work, pointless distractions, and global fears. I can't think of how few interesting conversations I've had recently...

That being said, I don't know who's making music for adults in the anglo-american milieu. I can find plenty of stuff everywhere else in the world these days, but not here.

Bob G

3:30 PM  
Blogger DaViDz said...

Greetings. I think that "This Is Your Brain On Music" is a great read! Devin @ Southwest Sound turned me on to it. It gets a little too technical on the science part, but I really enjoyed it. I also read "Musicophilia" by Oliver Sacks. Interesting, but not (to me) as good as "This Is...".
What part does music play in my life? It is still the most vital creative force that I know of. Music still has the power to move me. The right song, even if I have heard it hundreds of times before, still can move me to tears ("Still Life" by Kirsty MacColl) or laughter ("Jazz: Delicious Hot, Disgusting Cold" by The Bonzos). I can only watch a movie so many times. But I can listen to a favorite song a lot more. I, too, was in various aspects of the music business (promoter, merchandiser, retail), but first and foremost, I'm a fan!

9:32 PM  
Blogger Ron Kane said...

Agree 100%.

9:32 PM  
Blogger Brian Ware said...

Now that Chas and Heather have left Orlando, my musical "Gang of Four" (you, Jim, Chas, and Mark Moerman) are truly meeting on a virtual streetcorner. And man, do I ever need it. Even if it's a subject I have no real opinion on, I really look forward to checking your blog nightly. Life's many distractions pile up. With a young family movie and TV mostly become "family" events, but the music is all mine... all mine. Moving past the big 5-0 hasn't diminished my enthusiasm one bit.

There's one serious record store left in Orlando - Rock And Roll Heaven. Recently expanded, tons of vinyl and CDs, mostly reasonable prices. I rarely go there...

I buy very little new music. I'm indulging in CD trading on LaLa , but mostly to trade for older titles to fill in gaps of artists I like. Kenna listens to VH1 and enjoys some of the newer songs, but nothing that we'd want to follow up and buy an LP from any new artist. She'll download some cherry pickings from iTunes and make maybe one "new music" CD-R per year. At least that keeps me in the loop so when my daughter mentions Maroon 5 I don't think she's talking about new paint for her room. The last concert I saw? Aly and AJ and Drake Bell. If you haven't heard of them you obviously don't have an eleven year daughter. Actually it was a pretty good show...

5:26 PM  

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