There has never been such a gap between popular and quality mainstream music as there is today. The biggest cause of this shift is technology. You can listen to virtually any artist and any song, in any genre, subgenre and sub-subgenre, instantly, at the push of a button. There’s amazing technology that can actually tell you what music you would like, before you even listen to it. All of this makes for an endless stream of new forms, and new hybrids of new forms of music. But the downside is while the periphery flourishes, the core of music culture decays. Before the advent of the new technology, you were pretty much stuck at least somewhat in mainstream music culture. Most music was consumed through broadcast radio, or local record stores with limited inventories.
At the time, the most discerning music consumers were chained to the mainstream masses. So they raised the level of discourse and the quality of the product that the masses were producing. It wasn’t the perfect filter, but chances are that if you turned on the radio during the sixties or the seventies, you could find something of ‘quality’ playing.
Try that today, all you’ll get is…well you can fill in your own favorite names. Hence, those discerning music consumers, who once raised the level have completely withdrawn from the mainstream and gone into separate cocoons to hide with their privately discovered musical gems. And without them the mass market has cratered into a cluster of crap that appeals to the lowest common denominator.
The person to blame for this rather lengthy prelude is none other than Damian Sage, a singer and songwriter based in Los Angeles, CA. The New York native has just released his latest single, written in collaboration with Robo H – “Memories”, which opens with the lines: “Tired of all these insipid songs on the radio, whatever happened to good old rock and roll. Spewing words that have no real meaning. Lot of people talking but not saying anything.” It got me thinking…
Damian’s music is always full and with a depth of emotions unmatched. This particular song has that same dramatic and haunting music the artist is noted for, coupled with lyrics indicative of a man who has come to terms with some of the demons, and with a little bit more bitterness about how the intrinsic art of his craft has morphed over the years.
But “Memories” should not just be circumscribed to the music world, as it in fact, is also a compelling metaphor of our ever changing society which is becoming more shallow and superficial.
And when Damian’s roaring voice ragingly echoes out the lines: “We seem to have lost our way. Where are the good old days, when raw emotions could have filled up all the ocean. Now it’s just a sea of grey…”, the analogy between the evolution of modern living culture and artistic expression in song, is potently evident to me.
“Memories”, to all intent and purposes is a bold and powerful statement, no matter how you read its message – literally or metaphorically. You will instantly be drawn into the mesmeric crunch of the hard driving musical arrangement which seems to ignite the passion and emotion in Damian’s voice.
His vocal delivery is as aggressively angry as it is poignantly beautiful. This song is everything I like about Damian Sage -emotional, passionate, visceral, and authentic with just a hint of hope, no matter how dark the horizon. As a matter of fact that’s what I loved out the old music too!
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This single is available on iTunes and all other major digital download outlets.