I think it's interesting when a word within a fairly limited field like music takes on two totally distinct meanings. "Break", for instance, means totally opposite things in 20s jazz and 70s funk - is it when the bass and percussion briefly stop playing, or when all instruments except the bass and percussion stop playing, often for an extended period? It goes to show just how diverse music is, how much thought is put into its terminology and how many different influences it has.

This post is about another of those dualities, albeit a considerably subtler one: the two distinct meanings of the word "minimalism" in popular music. Neither messes with tonality and both work towards some sort of reduction, but beyond that they're very different.

The first meaning comes from descriptions of popular music. "Minimalism" in this case involves the reduction of the number of tracks, the simplification and "cleaning up" of timbre and melody, the removal of traditional harmony and progression, quite simply the creation of as reduced a pop track as possible. Something along the lines of Laffy Taffy by D4L, striving towards bouncy rhythmicality and tiny, economical hooks.

This type of minimalism is very consistent with the development of popular music as a whole for the past 40-odd years. Going back as far as the mid-sixties we see attempts to conciously reduce the complexity of music as much as possible to increase impact. Twine Time by Alvin Cash and the Crawlers has (almost!) no harmonic progression, James Brown's Cold Sweat also removes the melody instrument. And then we've basically got funk, which gets increasingly simpler for the next decade before culminating in something like this. Meanwhile the English, the Jamaicans and, slightly bizzarely, The Welsh were adding their influences and it's basically flowed on from there.

The other type of minimalism is a transculturation from contemporary classical music. Here, "minimalist" music retains its complex timbre, has big harmonics and complicated melodies. These are all very important elements of classical music. Instead, it is reduced by having a section repeat over and over again, possibly with a series of permutations or small additions. There's no conventional structure. It also tends to be a bit detached and not so grandoise. Phillip Glass's Strung Out would be a fairly typical minimalist composition. Or Terry Riley's In C.

This type of minimalism tends to square less well with pop's simplicity and heavy structuring and the examples of popular music that completely embrace this minimalism are certainly much fewer. The obvious one is the band Polyrock:

But that was produced by Phillip Glass so that's kinda cheating. Then there's genres that are explicitly labeled as "minimal", they tend to tap into this type of minimalism too. Like minimal house/microhouse. Or minimal techno. The influence appears in certain post-rock bands but not in others. Same with other post-rock-derived styles. Or with good old krautrock. You can find some indie electronica with definite minimalist influences.

But I guess since minimalist classical music was influenced by rock in the first place a lot of the stuff you could consider this type of minimalism might just be correlated. Is an endless James Brown workout minimal? Is a repeated sample? Is a hip-hop instrumental in general? Heck, is Laffy Taffy? And round and round we go...


Esoteric research methods #2: Wikipedia vandals

This one is a little bit related to the last ERM. It's also about people trying to push through a message, a self-promotion, in the entirely wrong place. The difference is that here, they're earnestly to make it appear to be pure fact.

Wikipedia's 2 million plus articles and completely free editing aren't the easiest thing to police in the world. There's plenty of examples of people putting up a page about their own obscure little band, or just linking to their myspace page from the article of a bigger band or genre. However, these usually dissapear fairly quickly, as they tend to be fairly straightforward to spot.

For longer-lasting self-promotion, a clever Wikipedia vandal will tap into wikipedia's vast web of genres and post their own genre. Being less obviously based on notoriety, genres are much more difficult to disprove and tend to stay up much longer. And maybe, just maybe, one of them is hiding the next big thing...

The gold standard example of a successful genre placement is the "local scandinavian" (in reality, one group of friends) genre of skweee. Not only has the genre page been up for a year, but they've managed to keep a reference on the page of much more notable genre electro for almost as long! I'm sure I'm not the only one who's discovered Skweee (what a fucking stupid name, btw) this way. It's not bad stuff, and might well stay on Wikipedia as it seems to stand a decent chance to breach noteriety. Ironic - Wikipedia writing music history instead of describing it!

There are a few others that probably stand a smaller chance. Genres with tiny stub pages and few links to them like thizz, birdcore or Brick City club (and that's just from the genres of hip hop page) will probably be edited out eventually unless someone rewrites them better. But they still last longer than those pure band pages!

Finally, another sly way of self-promotion on Wikipedia: this map is prominently located on the hip hop of the United States page and includes at least one genre too obscure to have a Wikipedia article that has stayed up! The "Bamabounce" music that's created by seemingly just one person (the annoyingly named DJ (7)+->) and possibly one of his friends is way obscure (plus it's just bmore, really) but nevertheless it's managed to place itself in a considerably more illustrious circle...

Update: This page of "music genre stubs" (short articles describing music genres, often automatically labelled) is a great source for finding tentatively launched genre labels, trying to get into the mainstream discourse. A few of them will make it (heck, a few of them don't belong there at all, they should have proper length pieces) but many of these labels will inevitably dissapear. Catch them before they're gone!


Genre of the Week: Hi-NRG

Most advances in electronic dance music have been made by either homosexuals or total freak-out technogeeks. Gays have driven dance music on in the clubs and geeks in the backrooms and bedrooms, and while many pioneers have been both the flamboyance and the social ineptitude have tended to tone down each other.

Not in Hi-NRG though. There most of the main players were both flaming homos and introveted knob-fiddling nerds.

Take Ian Levine. A key player in the mainstream popularisation of the genre, he brought Hi-NRG into England a few years into the eighties, produced the genre-cementing "High Energy" by Evelyn Thomas, and has consistently been the main advocate of the genre to this day. On the one hand, he was a complete burning shirtlifter, producing videos like this great one below where the highly masculinised Miquel (pronounced Michael) Brown romps around in a room of heaving torsos singing about one night stands:

But he is also one of the world's most infamous science fiction geeks with an unhealthy and ascerbic obsession with british TV series Dr Who, as well as a major comic book collector who supposedly owns every DC comic ever printed.

The music Levine had brought across to the UK soon became an important factor in the country's clublife and hit the charts big time before being retooled into mainstream pop with the addition of guitars and bubblegum harmonies by HDH wannabies SAW and consequently dissapearing in the underground in favour of new sounds. The once almost completely American genre of Hi-NRG ended up dying in the same continent it had once been born in.

Giorgio Moroder was a highly over-coiffed novelty bubblegum producer who easily fits the "gay and geek" model as this video clearly demonstrates. Somehow, for a few years in the late seventies, he managed to become one of the most innovative producers in the world and his increasingly electronic disco productions were hugely influential. Donna Summer's "I Feel Love" is the obvious starting point for Hi-NRG with its arpeggiated staccato melody, pulsating rhythm and disco sensibility, and Giorgio's solo material goes one step futher to create almost perfect electronic pop songs. (They don't have Hi-NRG's typical wavering bass line yet. Contemporary instrumental hit "Magic Fly" by Space does, though.)

It was another gay geek who brought the increasing flora of electronic disco songs together into a consistent genre, and that happened almost 10 000 km away from Munich. San Francisco's Patrick Cowley was a technological wizard who twiddled the knobs (Giorgio-style) on Sylvester's best records as a studio musician before producing a series of excellent solo singles in the first few years of the eighties, probably the best ones the genre has ever seen. Then in 1982 he started hosting the infamous Menergy night and the EndUp where he brought together all manner of electronic disco and pretty much created Hi-NRG as a concrete genre. In hindsight, 1979 obscurity "The Ultimate Warlord" by The Immortals (how geeky is that title?) was probably the first song to fit perfectly into his format.

Unfortunately, Cowley died (of the new disease, RIP) later that year and couldn't produce many records. The task of popularising the genre fully instead fell on a man who was (exception that proves the rule) very cool indeed - Bobby "O" Orlando, a New York producer who might have been one of history's most prolific. His hits with dozens of throwaway bands like The Flirts have that complete Hi-NRG sound with all the chaff stripped away, perfectly adapted to the charts and the dancefloor. If you feel a Pet Shop Boys vibe in some of his material it's because he was their main inspiration musically and even produced their first single...

On top of that Hi-NRG was obviously a major influence on the more evolved and disco-divorced italo, discofox and latin freestyle, and I kinda doubt Africa Bambaataa was unaware of it when he created "Planet Rock". It's also, at least initially, one of those great wavering uncertain genres that signal there's real creativity going on. But it's left precious little impact in the history books, because the parallel development of equally disco-derived dance and garage music became such a much more significant influence on house, and by extension all electronic dance music since.

It's a pity, because at its best moments the swirling, primitive, polyphonic sounds of the best Hi-NRG is right up there with the best of music. Hopefully the vogue for primitive synths we've seen recently might mean Hi-NRG will also get a little bit of an upswing.


Selling in: Musical Gentrification and Its Effects

A frequent concept in the lay history of popular music, as it exists, is the idea of going mainstream. A musical genre is dislodged from its original community (a subculture or a high-culture setting) and enters a broad, generally well-known and generally well-liked central stream in the world of information, being frequently featured in all media. It reaches the lower-middle class and probably the working class, and in the process gets looked down upon and becomes uninteresting for the participants in the original subculture.

This certainly happens, and happens reasonably frequently. But it's perfectly possible, though significantly rarer, for the opposite to happen - for a broadly working-class, declassé genre to become a hip cultural expression for the clever, upper-middle-class subculture, what Swedish magazine ODD at Large called the "sharp culture".

Think of it as a process of musical gentrification. Without passing through a middle-class, "mainstream" phase first (like happened with rock'n'roll), a contemporary working-class music becomes the musical expression of choice for a cultural elite. It is made possible entirely by separation - the lower middle-class shuns the musical products of the working class but the elite who never encounters them can well embrace it.

Nevertheless it is rare. Let's exclude "the tradition in Britain [...] of being interested in declining forms of Negro popular music" (Gillett) and other purist folkie roots-seeking, focussing only on contemporary moves. Let's also skip all the music stuck in the initial stages of (a) people being interested in the music and (b) people being the interpreters and distributors of the music and focus on the music that's actually become the music created by the sharp elite. Only a contemporary sublimation where the music goes from being created by the working class to being created by an elite.

I can only think of a small number of examples. Alt. country is a textbook one - a small, artistically inclined elite picks up totally contemporary working-class music and adapts its imagery, musical themes and methods of creation. Eurodisco, for a brief period before going completely mainstream, is a straightforward adaptation of contemporary African-American music by a european elite, admittedly via a New York one which, at the time, didn't create music itself. Currently, in Brazil, the highly elite "Não Funk" crowd with bands like Bonde Do Role and Edu K are busy taking the music of the favelas to the upper-middle-class suburbs.

And then there's the global ghettotech of Ghislain Poirier and MIA. I guess that's a fairly good example as well, despite (or perhaps because?) of the great distance between the artists who have inspired and the artists who have taken it up.

I really wish I had a good reason to dislike this kind of music, because I mostly prefer the original stuff that inspires it, but I struggle to think of one. Unlike the "adaptation of declining styles" it doesn't necessarily slow down progress; in fact it can be highly innovative. Nor does it, being so narrow and all, usually have a major impact on the original scene, thus not destroying anything and just adding new music to the spectrum. Being artists themselves, the musicians act considerably less like interpreters/potential warpers, and only stand for their own music.

Nevertheless, I can see two potential effects that can be seen as negative. Firstly, it is quite possible as the disco example illustrates that the musical gentrification is only a stage towards the genre going mainstream. I'm not sure this is always a bad thing, but still. Secondly, it's perfectly possible for the "new" genre to totally block out the original's resources and media space, the new artists having the verbal ability and the participatory voice necessary to reach out better.

What do you think? Is "gentrified music" a good thing or a bad thing, and why?


Help identify a musical instrument

Can anyone identify the midi controller/synthesizer/whatever shaped like a bright turquoise clarinet that appears in this Manele video? (Closeup from the 2:17 mark.)

It's not a Saxxy or a USB Electronic Wind Instrument. Any other clues what it could be? It's fucking cool and I want one.


Esoteric research methods #1: Hackers and scriptkiddies

Under this heading I'll look at ways to find new music beyond the normal suggestions and links. This week I'm just gonna repost an anecdote I've told before to give you a taste of the type of thing I'll feature.

Back in April 2005 I was reading popular British tech news site The Register when I came across this story. Basically, a virus author had created a virus that wiped out all files of Manele music, an eastern-influenced pop genre from Romania, and the tech site thought it was interesting as an example of how virus writers can use the technology to bring personal vendettas. Me, I decided to look the genre of Manele up... and today it's one of my favourite types of music. :)

Practically any genre is worth looking up, but I say look out for the ones people hate. They're inevitably the ones that are the most interesting finds, because they tend to be more rebellious and more upsetting to middle-class bourgeois sensibilities.

(The Register does a great line on news that mention Balkan music as an aside apparently. Here's a story which just caught my eye a minute ago which lead me to look up Azis - totally quality Chalga! Note that he, too, is presented as controversial...)


Genre of the Week: Rhythm & Blues

"I don't understand why they call this new stuff R&B," a punk rock friend of mine once told me. "Isn't R&B meant to be stuff like The Who?"

Well, R&B can be The Who. It can, without breaking any genre rules, be Ne-Yo. The reason for this is that Rhythm & Blues is not a tenuously connected genre at all, but a supremely well-timed standardised description of a market segment that has managed to outlast pretty much every other. That's because it's not really a subcultural marker like Disco or Indie. It's a racial marker. R&B started out as a description for and still pretty much means only one thing: what are the African-Americans buying?

At least since the age of W.C. Handy record companies have known there was a potential market in selling records to blacks. Back in the jazz age of the roaring twenties these were usually catalogued as "race records", but marketing techniques progressed and by the time charts started to appear regularly during the war mildly less offensive terms like "sepia", "ebony", "harlem hit parade" and indeed "rhythm and blues" took over on the catalogue pages. In 1949 leading trade publication Billboard magazine picked the last term and since this pretty much coincided with when "race" records started going a little bit mainstream the term stuck. And how it stuck!

Right from the start there was no question of this being a genre in the regular sense of the word - it would include everything from bouncy dancehall blues to sweet vocal groups and gospel. The artists were mostly black originally, sure, but by the late fifties even that was no longer a factor. In 1959 over half of the records on the Rhythm & Blues charts were white! (In Britain, where they tend to take things too literally, they honestly thought it was a genre you could work out of. Therefore The Who etc.)

The term survived a brief "it's just the same as pop really" shut-down in the sixties (because tastes started diverging back). Then after the term "soul" took over the chart name in the mid sixties it returned to functioning as a collective term for the wildly diverse stylings of contemporary funk and soul. It was no stretch to apply the term to the newer sounds coming out in the eighties and once it had become that ingrained in the world of charts and radio formats it's no surprise it continues to this day.

A bigger mystery is why hip-hop was never included in the term. Billboard tried for a while (renaming the chart "black singes" in the eighties, sounds like a dating agency) but ultimately gave up and created a separate rap chart, eventually renaming the main chart "Hot R&B/Hip-hop Songs" as well. Some would say it's because the mainstream sounds of the R&B world in the eighties had such a radically different aesthetic to the hip-hop of the time the two markets were no longer compatible. But there was plenty of stuff that bridged the gap, like this wonderful Midnight Star track:

Teddy Riley, the producer credited with creating modern R&B, might well have been initially successful because he put the early recordings of his style, new jack swing, much closer to the better bits of the mainstream than to contemporary hip-hop, thus further cementing the difference between the styles. Still, his funkier sense of rhythm appealed enough to hip-hop audiences to cross over, and it certainly wasn't unheard of for the biggest hip-hop producers to do R&B on the side as an experiment. (Here's The Bomb Squad doing a Bell Biv DeVoe track.)

At this point comes a dichotomy in the historiography of R&B. Is it pointless to talk about R&B as a music separate from hip-hop past this point because they were fully integrated? Or was it the case that real, serious hip-hop producers never touch the genre because it was too feminine, leaving people like Babyface in charge? I've heard people advocate both, and obviously the truth lies in between.

It's not quite as simple as just pointing out that several high-profile hip-hop producers did R&B as well. For example, Puff Daddy's The Hitmen certainly did do R&B, but though the sound of their slower hip-hop releases would potentially make great R&B backing tracks to our modern ears, their R&B material nevertheless maintained the seemingly anachronistic stylings of new jack swing. So not the same style at all then? But other producers, like Organized Noize, practically contemporaneously did both hip-hop and R&B that sounded if not the same then fairly similar.

The issue is not a simple one, and a stylistic breakdown doesn't help. For example, there's no obvious G-funk R&B (except questionable belated entries) while there's plenty of bass R&B - and which is the supposedly more macho genre?

I'm not sure all this matters. Because in my mind there's a third possible option. Hip-hop might have scorned R&B or tried to influence it, but around 1996 it didn't matter anymore, because suddenly it was R&B that rushed far ahead of its plodding cousin.

Timbaland's sound, evolving very distinctly out of the very standard new jack swing of proteges Teddy Riley and DeVante Swing, was the hottest thing on the hip-hop scene in the late nineties. And since then, certainly, hip-hop and R&B have been on much more equal footing.

Maybe we're coming back to the position R&B started in where it was the big catch-all term for black music? Because now, absolutely, it's the same people that produce the best hip-hop and the best R&B.


That's My Swedishness And I Can't Take It Off

"My Cool" by Adam Tensta is not just one of the best Swedish singles this year but it also has a peculiar quality: It doesn't sound very Swedish. When I first saw it on TV I had no idea it was made by a Swede, and as far as I can tell on repeated viewings there is nothing in the song or the video that betrays its origins, short of the name Tensta.

You may not find it a particularly noteworthy achievement but musical Swedishness is something that's not very difficult to spot. Even when the language and looks are factored out, it's not hard (I think!) to tell that Arash is Swedish, that Chupa Chupa by El Medico is Swedish-produced or what tracks from the Eurovision Song Contest are written by Swedes.

Yes, I think I can safely hear when a track is Swedish. But I have no idea how. The only study I've seen on the subject is a decade old and centered around rockist music circa 1987, so no help there. Besides a specific factor there's the very real possibility it's just psychological self-deception and it's all in my imagination. Or, more likely, it's a tentative and multifaceted combination of timbre, mixing techniques, production sound, melodic fragments, typical harmonic progressions etc. etc. that's very hard to define. I would definately like to see someone try.

Along these lines, I think I've got a fairly decent feel for Danishness, Norwegianity and Hungarianity. Futhermore, I would hope I can often spot Americanness, Britishness and Jamaicanness, if more selectively. And obviously countries with very strong pop music cultures of their own, like India, Egypt and Turkey, have very distinct sounds one can easily spot. I'm sure you have a different set off countries you can tell music comes from.

One more thing: It's way more difficult to do this if the melody is snatched out of context. I've been listening to a lot of Romanian Manele and 60s Greek Laíko lately and they were both, in two distinct generations, influenced by precisely Arab, Indian and Turkish music. The melodies are often taken straight from the pop songs of those countries. But despite this I often have extreme difficulty telling where a particular melody has come from - stripped of clues from the vocals and production it's much more difficult than one might think.


I'm a Musical Anti-Miscegenationist

I've read quite a few critiques and commentaries of Sasha Frere-Jones's blogfamous article about the lack of intermixing of black and white music, but I haven't seen yet anyone disputing the central premise. Well, I do. I'd very much rather listen to the two extremes presented in Frere-Jones's discourse than the supposed mixture between them. I like alt. country and The Arcade Fire, just as I like very pure, very narrow hip-hop in the southern minimalist vein. Whereas I find the slightly overworked artfunkmetal of Frere-Jones's band kinda boring. In the same way, I much prefer both Frank Sinatra and Louis Jordan to Pat Boone.

There are a myriad of different ways music moves across cultural borders. Traditional ways, like borrowing musical elements and trying to copy the music of others. More contemporary ways, like sampling, remixing and versioning. They're all for part of processes and work within a cultural context - people trying to create as cool music as possible for themselves and their community. Borrowing based on what they themselves value.

Explicitly setting out to combine two styles of music is different. In many ways, it's considerably more modernist in approach. Whole styles, without their inherent cultural baggage, are reduced to a set of readily-identifiable attributes and supposed attitudes. Then they're combined, within the context of a modern, culturally cosmopolitan pop production. The underlying value is one of universalism - all music is one music and it's perfectly possible to combine them all temporarily without any mumbo-jumbo "process".

The problems with that kind of approach are pretty much the problems of modernism in general. The "cosmopolitan society" where such combinations can take place is very much a Eurocentric, middle-class western one. One modernist paradox, I guess, is that this universalism is itself very culturally specific - you very rarely see any attempts at specifically "crossover" music from anywhere other than the white west.

Even more pressing is the issue of power. Who decides what cultural content gets put in the crossover music? By what criteria do they do it? Who benefits from the results? There are some fairly harsh criticism one can make along these lines. Timothy D Taylor or countercultural mass-pseudonym "Hakim Bey" in the "synergy" quote near the bottom of this page has some fairly strong ones - it's inevitably the stronger (i.e. white) party that benefits and directs. However, by suggesting truly cross-cultural collaborations as the solution they're missing out on what's perhaps equally pertinent a question: Who is it for?

I think that's perhaps the cusp of this argument.

I can't imagine Frere-Jones's band Ui ever doing anything whose main audience is going to be in the black community. Nor can I see Johnny Clegg selling significant numbers in Soweto, or Zap Mama doing significant sales in the Democratic Republic of Congo. If the aim truly is to create "equal" music that reaches a middle ground, why doesn't the audience reflect this at all? The answer is that the music, like most music, is created for its own community, no matter how many "exotic" elements are brought in. Claiming anything else is disingenuous.

Society in the sixties when white kids brought out "black" music was one where the consumers were mostly white. Black music for white people. It was all mediated, becoming completely "white" music in the sense that it reflected only what the white customers wanted.

It's time for "artistic" modernist middle-class whites to acknowledge that the music that they make is directed to themselves. Then perhaps any pretense that what they're doing is anything other than white music is swept away. If they indeed love black music (and we're still allowed to, I hope) then there's plenty of real black music, made for a black community, for them to consume. And they do! For the first time since the late fifties, the main music consumed is similar across the black and white communities. And this time it's not white music, it's black music.

That, surely, is more wonderful for a lover of black music than any mixed music ever can be.


A Little Self-Promotion

I guess a natural and slightly pathetic way to start a blog is to post something you've done previously. Me, sometimes I write articles. 25 Top Streaming Radio Music Stations To Expand Your Mind is an article I spent countless bored hours at work researching and prepping over the summer, posted at the site of one of my favourite internet communities.

Traditional internet radio is increasingly threatened by archaic copyright laws, user-driven Web 2.0 pseudo-radio and podcasts, and its continuous, unidirectional broadcasts are probably hopelessly antiquated. But it's still the biggest distributing medium for streaming content and attracts more of the slightly off-kilter outcasts, the unusual squares and the narrowly obsessed than all the more modern, demanding technologies. Also, it is still the technological tour-de-force in countries like Guyana, Tanzania and Uzbekistan and provides fascinating insight into the minds of the, er, middle-class self-important internet entrepreneurs in those countries, I guess, but also to a certain extent into their music scenes.

I say: stream right ahead.


First Post

I'd really love to say this is my first shot at blogging.

But that wouldn't be true. I have made abortive attempts. Overformatted. Underprepared. Half hearted. In Swedish. All deleted after a few posts.

You see, I don't actually like blogs. I much prefer the open, collaborative, community-oriented format of the forum. But then I started regularly reading and commenting on a blog. And that had blogposts that were basically replies to other blogs. And then I realised the tiresome truth.

The Blogosphere is a big forum. It's a badly designed, ill-connected, impossible to monitor, absurdly overcrowded, spam-filled, incoherent and ugly forum. And being a good member takes effort.

This, then, is the collection of my threads. Like good forum threads, they're meant to be universal and spark discussion. And like a good sub-forum, my blog is themed. It's dedicated to providing serious, thoughtful discussion on the neglected and underanalysed subject of popular music, past and present. Posts will range from broad analyses of overarching themes to petty commentary on individual Youtube videos.

I've made the mistake of locking myself too heavily into a format before, but nevertheless I can't stay away from one regularly recurring feature: the Genre of the Week is a slightly critical, slightly narrative description of a genre of music, past or present, narrow or broad (I'm resolved to do "Pop" at some point). I like genres in much the same way I like forums - they're a bit communal, a bit laid back and not so ego driven. By that analogy whiny indie types who claim to have no genre are the bloggers of the music world. :)

I'm trying to keep this blog as ego-free as possible. (Hah! Fat chance! It's a fucking blog for god's sake.) Still, I have to tell you something about myself in this initial post. My name is Johan Palme, I'm 26 years old and currently a musicology student. (I'm contemplating going back to my real job.) I live in a post-gentrification area of central Stockholm, currently being slowly drained of its dozens of record stores and invaded by yuppie PR types. Besides Sweden, I've lived in Hungary, Britain and Tanzania. I have degrees in Philosophy and Politics and in Journalism.

I've got a very broad musical background with an interest in essentially all kinds of popular music. I've written extensively about the subject, taught a course in its history, and at various times have had at least three radio shows with different types of musical content on the student radio station of the University of Umeå. I keep an open mind and try to acquire deep and analytical knowledge about all of popular music, which could potentially make me an excellent musicologist were it not for the fact that the subject is more about medieval chant types and teaching musicians how to read scores than about actually listening.

As you probably can tell, thinking about music is one of my biggest hobbies (others are architecture and cooking). I hope to share some of these little ideas and thoughts that appear in my daily life through this blog.

Hopefully you will enjoy it, and post many comments and go off on interesting tangents.

Like I said, I much prefer forums.