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Music Savaged By The Average Beast

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for September 14, 2004

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Matt Would Have Played That... I
by Stiffy Biceptz

So much of the great Alternative music I discovered at New Brunswick, NJ's Melody Bar, I learned about courtesy of Matt Pinfield. There was and still is something special about hearing music in a club. The big sound, the mood, the crowd, the lighting, they all contribute to an experience very different from simply hearing a song on the radio. Some tunes I fell in love with at the Melody might not have made the same impact had I not had a dance floor available to help unleash the potential energy in the music. Often when we are listening to the radio, itís more of a backdrop to something else we are doing at the time, like driving or cleaning the garage. Rarely do we just sit in a chair and stare at the stereo, focused on the music as art rather than entertainment.
But the club environment is a space where the music is the sole focus, a place where it can have a much stronger impact as art, where it can really move you. This was a major reason the Melody was so important to so many ó it was really a Music club more than a bar. Most regulars were there three or four nights a week, year after year because of the music. The alcohol, the lighting the people, they heightened the experience, but werenít the central draw. Without the wonderful, mysterious, powerful music that Matt brought to us three nights a week for over ten years, it would have just been another club.
This column introduces a new Stiffy Biceptz feature where I highlight music Iíve discovered that I think Matt would have played at the Melody back when he was the king the Alternative music world. Iíll occasionally revisit some older tracks that came after Matt left the Melody, but focus mainly on newer stuff. Since I have neither the time nor the money to be up to date on every new band, new to me might be a few months old. This column is ultimately a means of forcing Stiffy Biceptz to keep up with the alternative music scene. Letís see how long its lasts...
Some of my selections will be obvious, others not. Matt had a keen sense of how far he could stray into pop territory without compromising the scene and he would never hesitate to play a track that the mainstream had embraced, so long as it was cool. Iíll try to be as sensible.
My inaugural picks: An English band called Delays put out an album in May called Faded Seaside Glamour. Two tracks stand out, ďNearer than HeavenĒ and ďLong Time ComingĒ. Both tracks have an earthly, jangly, shoe gazing sound, but with an energy that would have had the dance floor filled. The band has a ride/Cocteau Twins/Lush feel, and would have been a regular feature at the Melody and on WHTG back in the early nineties.
The Black Eyed Peas' latest album Elephunk has a number of cool tracks, the best being ďLetís Get it Started (Letís Get Stupid)". This track absolutely rocks, and is the kind of track us leapers would have waited for all night to hear. Matt was the only DJ in town that played Rap and music pigeon- holed as ďblackĒ for an alternative audience, and the Melody was a far better place for it. Letís Get Stupid is a perfect song for some serious dance floor acrobatics.
Thatís it for now. Thanks for listening

©2004 Stiffy Biceptz
[Matt Pinfield's name used by gracious permission of its owner.]

All material ©2001-2014 Sean Carolan, except as noted.


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