Give music a chance

I’ve often heard it said by many friends of mine that “I just can’t get into country. Is there a good place to start?” As a matter of fact, there is.
There’s actually a good place to start with every genre, though it’s not always an easy task to navigate the countless bands inhabiting a particular style. The key is to keep a steady resolve. The best thing you can do for yourself, and it is a favor to yourself, is to keep on listening until you find what works for you. Sure, you may find that you just hate a particular style no matter who plays it, but you won’t know for sure unless you explore it thoroughly.

If you’d told me three years ago that I’d be listening to drone, I would have laughed. The very thought of that style sent me reeling. The ceaseless whirring. The mosquito-like buzzing. The overbearing surges of bass. Drone, and all the irritating sounds I’d associated with it, was at total odds with my musical tastes. It wasn’t until I experienced Dylan Carlson’s pet project Earth that I began to wrap my head around this difficult genre of music for the first time.

Earth’s two-part “Angels of Darkness, Demons of Light” album kicked me into the genre with an unusual twist. Less rumbling noise and more western-tinged experimental rock, Carlson drew me deeper into his discography until, winding all the way backwards I stumbled upon “Earth 2” – a nasty, oppressive slab of noise that played like an Ozzy-era Black Sabbath record filtered through a refrigerator motor and slowed to a crawl. There were no hooks. There were no melodies to reach and grab on to. Nothing but the swell of noise erupting from the speakers. Halfway through the record, I found myself in a trance and in love.

Now, drone is something I don’t shy away from. When I see the genre tag drone next to a band’s name, I feel curious – not alienated. Finding something that works for you in a genre of music might not happen on the first try; it might not happen on the tenth. But you should persevere. Keep pushing through until you come out the other side with a new obsession. Unless, of course, it just isn’t for you. You’ll probably know eventually.