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Confessions of a Fanatic

Updated on December 5, 2011

another alienradio rant

Confessions of a Fanatic should be the name of this blog. All that I write about is usually what I am being fanatical about at that particular time. More often than not I'll be freaking out about a number of things at one time (think: musical A.D.D.). Occasionally my enthusiasm will lock me into one or two artists for an extended period of time. Regardless. Sex, drugs, and rock and roll is the cliche that has become my life. (Remember that song by Ian Dury and the Blockheads?!) Read forward knowing that I have lived all that I write about, and lived it hard. I'm a little more mellow now, but it's been great! Exhausting at times, but I come away with great stories!

Music comes out at a much greater pace than it did when I was growing up. Add the internet to the equation and then music is no longer spoon fed to you like it was in the days of AM/FMradio. You have to work at it more now, in a way. Youtube has proven to be a great source of entertainment as well as research for me. Once I find something new I can be linked to everything associated with whatever artist I'm digging that day. I pray that I never become fearful of the progression of technology, because thanks to the technological advances in my lifetime I can get a lot of new music for FREE. I'm seriously addicted to YouTube. It serves me like MTV did when I was young and stuck at home, only now I get to pick the videos I watch instead of being subjected to repetetive rotation. (Ahhh, to be a program director!)

I have just discovered MAXIMUM BALLOON, a secondary project from TV on the Radio's Dave Sitek. The single is called 'Groove Me', and it features Theophilius London - a rapper from the UK that doesn't rap in the conventional sense, thankfully. The sound caught me as I was channel surfing the Canadian channels out of boredom the other night. I like this project so much that now I have to feel guilty for never having given TV on the Radio a chance in the past - they had that indie tag so I automatically blew them off. The purpose of Maximum Balloon was for Dave to have an outlet for all the music he wrote that didn't work for the band. The greatest thing about this project is the variety of vocalists. Each song features a different singer, much in the way that Massive Attack did things back in the 90's. I've only heard a few tracks, each with a different vocalist that I was not familiar with. (I love projects that give me musical research homework!) The guest vocalists range from TVOTR bandmate Tunde Adebimpe, Karen O of the Yeah Yeah Yeah's, David Byrne of the Talking Heads (if you are reading this blog and you did not know David Byrne, then we need to go back to basics for you), and this Theo London guy, just to name a few. Such a lineup automatically guarantees versatility - which can make or break an album. From what I've heard so far, it's going to make this album a standout. It came out in 2010 so I feel like I'm playing catch up, but it's only available online. Hence my writing this blog. Get on YouTube and check out MAXIMUM BALLOON! It's the newest thing I've caught onto in music in several years. I feel a very distinct 80's sound - I almost hear the Human League in 'Groove Me', but there's a 70's groove to it and futuristic production work, so I'd say that Dave has covered a good 50 years of different past and present influences. And he's made use of these influences without totally ripping them off. It's great when you hear something new, and it actually SOUNDS new. So much of current pop music is rehashed. A lot of it just sounds the same to me. The same thing happened with rock. Even funk started to go the wrong way in the eighties, but by then hip hop was being born and giving funk a facelift. Or should I be the jaded music critic who says that hip hop was built out of those old funk grooves? That is another topic entirely. Sampling, etc.

To sum it all up, I'm really excited to get this album. I look forward to exploring the artists that I am led to as a result. There are enough people involved here that there could be a great package tour put on the road, featuring both new and already known faces. I just can't stop dancing! It is music that makes me feel 15 again.


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