Desert Island Manifesto

It should surprise no one that Speed Metal Symphony, the Cacophony album with “Desert Island” on it, is indeed one of my supposed “desert island albums”. In reading the song lyrics a few days ago, you may have been thinking or laughing to yourself, wondering “what on earth is this all about?”. As one of my cynically astute friends pointed out, the lyrics to “Desert Island” exist merely as an excuse to write a song. In this case it is no big deal, because an amazing song it is!

But then again, for as goofy as the lyrics are, “Desert Island” is a song that is actually about something. Yes, it’s cheesy and charming and ridiculous, but it has a distinct message that it sticks to. Which is more than I can say about most music these days, particularly amongst newer bands. Do you know what I mean by a message? There is a concise point to the song. They talk consistently about one thing and paint a distinct picture of it, give it a flavor and message. A lot of music does not do this.

A mission statement or clear ability to communicate is a symptom of high (and not necessarily academic) art. Indeed, can something be considered art without a message or concise communication? Both folk art and fine art feature sincere communication to the audience; folk art almost more so since it is passed on almost entirely through a direct personal, non-academic transmission between generations. Most music that catches on today (not necessarily even pop music) is at best clever and at worst completely vapid or even ugly in spirit. I say this, but then again, every generation claims their own to be a degenerate one on the path to cultural suicide. So, I won’t conclude much along this line of thought.

In a theme similar the critique of musical communication, my same aforementioned friend once gave me flack when directing him to read several enjoyable blogs. His criticism was that blogs are too brief and unorganized to make a poignant or sincere communication. At best they function as “good conversation” or conversation pieces. But frankly, that’s the best one could hope for while reading text against a back-lit computer screen. I mean, every time I try to read an academic dissertation or essay on my monitor I cry a little, moan–and then go to the optometrist. Reading on a computer screen is painful and a test of patience.

Just for fun, here’s a “desert island” CD list off the top of my head. This is probably the most unsurprising list in the universe for you people who have read even a few posts here. ^__^

Hmm, I’d probably include anything that’s on my “Ten of the Best Albumsposts, now that I think about it. Also…I absolutely cannot believe I am arguing that those lyrics resemble fine art. Good lord…

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~ by chaosrexmachinae on June 12, 2008.

5 Responses to “Desert Island Manifesto”

  1. Did you know that Marty Friedman is from Laurel?

  2. I knew he was from Washington DC. If he’s from Laurel, I’m not surprised he plays that one down. Laurel is D-pressing! What’s your source?

  3. the only source…wikipedia.

  4. btw…got a random email from Johnny Chang. Pretty awesome.

  5. Hi! I was surfing and found your blog post… nice! I love your blog. :) Cheers! Sandra. R.

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