Thursday, June 02, 2005

monty got a raw deal are ya? thats lovely. forgive someone who particularly annoyed you with how they were driving on your way to work today, then continue reading.

last night i went to a free concert in the downtown dallas. artist: monty montgomery. very few people have the control of a guitar that he does. he is really talented. however, i don't really like any of his music. he is not a very popular musician, i mean, i hadn't heard any of his songs before last night and he certainly isn't on the MTV video countdown. oh wait, MTV doesnt have music or videos anymore so i guess it would be the VH1 video countdown. the point is, this guy has a good voice and amazing guitar skills and is not making it big and probably never will. he probably has 100x the talent of matchbox 20 or hootie and the blowfish but will not sell even 1/100th of the albums they sold.

"but wait mike...what is the disconnect?" you ask. i believe there are three facets to the most unrecognized and immeasurable forms of talent that brings success.

1. newness/fresh-like/uniqueificity - the "NFU" is huge. this is most noticed when this stems from the lead singer. if a band/artist has NFU, you can usually tell. take the Red Hot Chili Peppers for example. they have multi-dimensional NFU (MDNFU). is there a single band out there that you could actually mistake the singer's voice to be anthony kiedis? no way. i would also contend that flea, john, and chad all have NFU as well. you can tell if flea is the bassist. you can recognize the raw sound that john frusciante rips on the "i could have lied" solo. great stuff. and chad smith...andTim can verify my appreciation for the snare drum sound he gets on their albums. i love it.

2. songwriterability - this is the most difficult to measure. whatever it is, monty doesn't have it. he has a great voice and ridiculous guitar talent, but i get bored with his songs. they are way better than i could even think of writing, but since the blog is all about criticism i think monty just doesnt write good songs. matchbox 20 is the first band that i can think of that makes great sounding music that people love but their level of difficulty is at the very bottom. rob thomas has no range. if you don't believe me, take another listen. and if you still don't then listen to "hang" on their first album and note that the guitarist sings the chorus because rob just cant sing that high. and it is not high, andTim could hit it no problem. i think it is in the song "real world" that the guitarist actually plays a "guitar solo" that is the same note hit about 30 times in a row at the same rhythm. somebody at least get this guy a wah pedal.

3. the storyteller - if your words cant be understood, you are out of this equation to 99% of listeners. to the musicologist, this is where a band can really turn into an inspiration. many a lyric is completely overlooked and is a good part of the art form still left in music. after all, music (and any other form of art) is about expression and communication. i think some of the best storytellers include adam duritz, bruce springsteen, and bob dylan. songs become classic when they allow the listener to relate to and/or appreciate the lyricist and if the songwriter really pours their heart/mind/soul into a song. this is what makes music so great.

monty montgomery really doesnt have any of these. many musicians can rip up a guitar in guitar center like eddie van halen, but if they do not have any of the 3 intangibles listed above it will have a tough road to the top.

longest blog ever.



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