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M U S I C A L    P H I L O S O F E E
Writing about music is like dancing about architecture.
- Charles Mingus

 

Here's what some folks say about my music:

Recording Magazine:
I think Todd says it best in his cover letter: the song '17 Girls' is a "romping pop treatise on adolescent libido." I know some of you will find this concept offensive and send me a bunch of letters. Don't bother. Save a tree. Despite what could have turned into an adolescent grope at songwriting, Todd has delivered a melodically strong, well crafted song. If Warren Zevon had written it, it would probably be met with adulation. The production leans toward Phil Spector's 'wall of sound'. The vocals remind me of the Beach Boys doing 'Kokomo', and are well recorded. The electric guitar sound is great; I'm not sure how Todd got it, but it's worth registering with the patent office.

Wall Street Journal:
The rock flame apparently burns bright in North Carolina, home of the surprisingly contemporary X-teens. "Love and Politics" (Dolphin Records), the group's second LP, is the work of a talented quartet who have been earning their keep in computer programming, education and ad sales. Particularly notable are Robert Bittle, who also writes many of the songs, and the stylish vocals of keyboard player/songwriter Todd Jones and bassist Kitty Moses. Now if they could only quit their daytime jobs...

Billboard Magazine:
Art school smarts, peppery post-wave pop get solid production and packaging in this debut for a North Carolina quartet.

My thoughts...

Too much is written about music, and pretty much all of it is ineffective drivel. Even the most skilled writers can only clumsily hint at the purpose and impact of music, while music describes itself perfectly. So why do I even bother? Well, I am incessantly barraged by "What kind of music do you play?" questions. I never know how to answer, and often come up with vague titles like "Experimental Pop" or "Wimp-Metal." But I admit most of these monikers are deliberately intended to confuse the close-minded more than anything else. Then there's the rock-jazz-funk-country-punk-ska-showtunes label that seems similarly intended to confound.

But I suppose it is fair to ask what I am hoping to achieve through my music, so I will relent with a ham-fisted attempt to philosofize. My music is shamelessly pop rooted. The only thing that keeps it from being utterly disposable, like classic pop music, is that it nevers seems to have a freshness window in which it is identifiably current. My music is seldom subtle, although I love the complex chordings of the best jazz music and seek to infuse my music with nice 7th, 9th, 11th and 13th chords. My music is not supposed to be relaxing. While unintentionally so, I want music to provoke and question. Not just by way of throwing out deliberately inflammatory words and running away, but by making observations that seek listener corroboration/refutation. My music is intended to be fun. Perhaps as a way to avoid ugly pretension, I always try to make my music funny. Sometimes in a 9-year old boy kind of way, okay, usually in a 9-year old boy kind of way, but laughter is a wonderful response to music.

...Dear God, I just read the above. It's really stupid. I apologize and will rewrite or obliterate it shortly.



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