To be a fly on the wall

In music by summerburkes0 Comments

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entrepreneurs crafting menacing hip-hop with the perfect booming beat in a New Jersey basement during a dirty snowstorm.

Indie-rockers, bug-bitten and sad, pouring their hearts out on an unseasonably warm night in a cobbled-together studio with threadbare sofabeds and used shag carpet smelling of mold and feet.

A ‘70s funk big band with sexy backup singers and all those trumpets, oozing libido and humid sensuality in a cramped, makeshift recording space in someone’s dingy apartment above a liquor store.

A simple, painfully universal country tune made by cotton-picking good old boys in under five minutes at a storefront Southern hit factory during the Depression.

A bouncy, happy, sloppy pop song recorded by three handsome punk rockers in a gargantuan zillion-track fortress under the watchful eyes of a manager, a publicist, a producer, an A&R rep, a studio engineer, a tour manager, two roadies, a caterer, and their girlfriends.

An emotionally troubled hermit and his painfully shy best friend working out their demons on an 8-track in mom’s basement.

Early-grave angels like Jeff Buckley, calling the spirit in the tense moments immediately prior to creating a sound recording they know will make their fans see God

Creating art among other artists, in rooms specially made for creating art, with other artists close by, doing the same thing. We miss that. It still happens. We just don’t go get it anymore.

All mod cons. City streets. Underground clubs. Generator shows at the BART station. Bluegrass and reggae festivals in Golden Gate Park. Saxophone-tooting street performers in Union Square. Sunday afternoon punk shows at Thee Parkside. Thundering ragga-jungle warehouse-party all-nighters at the 5lowershop.

New world music.

Sigh.

This is what people did when they used to talk to each other face to face. They usually ended up singing and banging on things. Some of them were very good at it.

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