Saturday 7 June 2008

Road Songs (Experimental)

Start the engine, get into first gear, check blind spot.

When turning left or right, follow the usual procedure: mirror, signal, manoeuvre.

When approaching a roundabout, check first which exit you want and then move into the corresponding lane, check your mirror and blind spot as you drift from one side of the road to the other.

Instructions, instructions, instructions. Automatic instructions, robotic and impersonal instructions. They make up the bulk of what we call driving.

Yet they leave the human factor out.

Today I had a near-miss. I was going to turn right onto a main road. I checked right first (I live in London, as you all know) and then left and proceeded to drive on. My wife let out a scream. Had she not done that, I would not be sitting at this computer right now. Neither would my son be asleep in his bed now. The likelihood is that we'd both be dead. A car turned round a bend as I was coming out and it was travelling at probably 40mph. It was not the other driver's fault. It was mine. I should have checked that right side again before carrying on, but I did not. Because I am human. And we, humans, make mistakes. Sometimes, costly ones.

So, my lesson from today's near-miss was, be human, check, double-check and triple-check. Drive defensively. And above all, do not assume. When you assume, you make an ass out of u and me. Remember we are human.

Music is the same. Musicians are taught a variety of notes and symbols, the purpose of which is to produce a sound, or a succesion of sounds that will trigger a reaction off in our brain. That's all very well. But, how about when the music industry sugar-coats the outcome and produces endless rubbish such as boy and girl bands whose only goal is to create a caramelised sound that will dull our senses and turn us into zombie-like consumers? It's the same effect as driving by the book. You just join the queue of vehicles going in the same direction and at the same pace. Fortunately, unlike in traffic, in music it is the near-misses that save you from the utter tosh that industry seems to represent in this day and time.

The examples below are by artists who don't conform or have never conformed to a norm established by an A&R person or a producer. They are innovators in their own right and we ought to be grateful that they still dare to take risks. After all, these are the near-misses that enrich our soul musically.

As for my almost-accident today, I could have done without it. I don't need to have a fatal crash when I have been colliding with music like the one below for most of my life.

Copyright 2008


  1. a veces pienso que tenemos que manejar a la defensiva no solo en la calle, sino andando por la vida.

    nos vemos bro'

  2. ¡Sííííí!¡Cirilo Villaverde!Tienes mucha razón.

    Saludos desde Londres.



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