Sunday, 30 August 2009

Definitely Maybe? No, Definitely...

This one is pretty much self-explanatory, yet strangely not quite as inevitable as I thought it would be. Oasis, one of the biggest bands of the past two decades, have called it a day.

Noel has had enough it seems, and has (as per usual) posted a short statement on the official site stating his decision and reasons why he felt he had to leave. Funnily enough, it's Liam. So far, there has been no official statement from the Oasis camp, but surely this must be it - Liam is now the only original member left, and even he cannot fill the massive personality (and talent) vacuum left behind by Noel's departure.

It seems like this news has been music to many people's ears - blogs on The Guardian and on NME have been inundated with 'good riddance' messages from the usual aggressively snobbish blogging (maj)minority, who seem to have temporarily wandered in from either the Drownedinsound forum or Pitchfork to air their paisley venom. But I'm not happy...

Sure, Oasis have been responsible for some pretty atrocious gobbledegook in their time, ('Standing On The Shoulders Of Giants' was certainly their creative nadir) but one thing aside from the music really impressed me about the band - they never lost touch with their fans.

One of the most important things in music is the sense of community, of belonging, that it can create. The shared euphoria of an amazing live gig is the closest many of us will ever get to a religious experience. But with many of the best bands around, it is not simply a question of writing great song after great song (although that can help); it is allowing their fans to share in the experience.
Noel and Liam were (are) loved for being the everyman - funny, succinct and defiantly proud of their background, the Gallaghers never lost touch with the crowds that flocked to see them. Who wanted to be them, but would happily settle for sharing a stadium with them. They held up a looking glass to a generation of working class kids and showed them a panoramic view of what they could achieve if they put their minds to it. They made it. You could too.

They soundtracked many of the best moments of my life, and I will miss them. The tories suffered their biggest local election losses the month 'Some Might Say' hit the number one spot. The better day they dreamed of might not have come to fruition, but it meant a hell of a lot to me.

They were funny, they were great, and they made me smile. Here's one of my favorite live tracks of theirs, a Neil Young cover. I hope you enjoy it - the lyrics are pretty fitting.

Seeya later Oasis x


Thursday, 27 August 2009

The Algorithm Method - Tricky

So i'm currently working on an article regarding online algorithms for the rather wonderful Flipside Magazine, and all in all it seems to be going quite well, although as with most things in life, more questions seem to crop up the further I get into the article.

Do algorithms inhibit our natural ability to search out content we like? I mean, it's all well and good being having everything delivered to your metaphorical online doorstep, but what does this mean for current and future generations? Will our desire to search out new musical experiences begin and end with the iTunes genius function? I hope not...

But maybe I'm being slightly pessimistic here. The internet has been an amazingly powerful tool for artists large and small, mainly due to the dedication of the myriad blogs, e-zines and other online content providers. Sure, it's all on our doorstep, but it is there - surely it's better to buy a record based on being able to listen to it in full, and having somebody you trust rate it (albeit somebody you've probably never met). And failing that, there's always your mates to recommend a wicked track for you to listen to. Like this...