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Welcome to the (Music) Machine

Written by Beth Keating on July 4, 2009

What is it about rock and roll music that makes so many of us bend-over-backwards crazy with devotion? A little over six months ago I started a small online space called Drone Magazine, dedicated to expressing the aural inspired desires bubbling away incessantly inside of me. I’ve been a rock and roll convert for some time now. When I was younger I’d keep lists every year detailing each gig I attended. And though it’s not a particularly uncommon ambition, I always knew some piece of rock and roll would have to factor into whatever endeavour I chose to follow. Beginning the baby-steps with Drone has made this ambition particularly luminescent.

I come to Music Feeds bearing passion, erratic and irrational musical obsessions and an addiction to well-informed rock and roll discussion. In my opinion, some of the greatest things one can experience in life include the exact moment an album clicks – and turns from a humble musical recording to all you can – and want to – listen to, as well as intoxicated conversations about shared aural passions, and those few and far between gigs – that creep under your skin, becoming something subliminal.

What I love most about rock and roll is it’s intangibility (those unexplainable emotions it is capable of arousing) and it’s truly democratic nature. Since it’s very beginnings in the 50s, through the DIY surge of punk in the 70s, to the more recent digital revolution, it’s a form which welcomes everyone who chooses to be a part of it.

The result is a sometimes overwhelming amount of creative output for one to choose from. But this also, as convoluted and disarrayed as it stands, is brilliant when you think about it. It makes room for us – the critics. Our place is just as vital as the music itself. My rock and roll is a never-ending dialogue – between musician and audience, and between myself and others. With the subjectivity of opinion, everything comes together – literally, there is something out there for everybody. Of course, what gets my pulse racing is kryptonite for another person’s ears. To me, this is what is wonderful about rock and roll (and any kind of music in general). With this in mind, it means everyone has a place – from artist to listener, to fan, to disdainful critic.

So, tell me, what gets your pulse racing with excitement, aurally speaking? I am obsessed with (almost) all things psychedelic, shoegaze, garage, noise, grunge, post-punk, no-wave – etc. Some of those genres might seem disparate, but in my own individual, interpretative way, they fit solidly together. Some of my favourite bands include My Bloody Valentine, Deerhunter, Sonic Youth, The Jesus and Mary Chain, The Brian Jonestown Massacre, Autolux, The Black Angels and The Scientists. I’m also deeply in love with Australia’s wonderful ‘neo-psychedelic’ community. Never pass up an opportunity to see The Black Ryder, The Laurels, The Dolly Rocker Movement, Songs, Beaches, Slight of Build, Dreaming of Ghosts, or the gazillion other bands in this genre worthy of mention.

As I said before, my rock and roll is a dialogue. My passions are nothing without having some way of expressing them. So, don’t view these columns as didactic, self-perceived authoritative lectures. Get involved – talk back. Tell us what you think and why (no ignorant wankers or arseholes though please! Let’s keep this informed and positive!). Let’s celebrate this crazy, indefinable, intangible art form, and let’s celebrate our wonderful, individual passions for it.

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