Monday, March 29, 2004

Pesach Cleaning

While cleaning for Pesach, I came across an old NY Times article, "The Rhythm Century: The Unstoppable Beat" by Jon Pareles. The entire article is quite interesting.
Here's a 'graf that I think nails why many of us find so much of today's JM dissatisfying.
Melody has become beleaguered, the victim of shrinking attention spans as well as pushier rhythm sections. Tunes, as always, are music's mnemonics, something to hum on the way home after a performance, and some composers still dedicate themselves to graceful, asymmetrical arcs and ripples of melody. Yet from Broadway to the pop Top 10, even in ballads, melody is under pressure to reduce itself to hooks that are shorter than sound bites. Leisurely phrases are giving way to terse rhythmic modules: riffs replace arias. And it's a rare hit ballad that doesn't reappear with a dance-floor remix, substituting a big beat for a gushy crescendo.
These comments could just have easily been written about the contemporary Brooklyn Jewish music scene.