Welcome to my column on www.nonbeige.com!
My name’s Lindsay Wesker and I’ve been collecting music since my grandmother bought me a black, seven-inch, Tamla Motown single of The Isley Brothers’ ‘This Old Heart Of Mine’ from a market stall in Ridley Road in 1967.
Somebody once said to me, “You know, Lindsay, you listen to music in a different way” and I suppose I do because, like many kids growing up in the sixties and seventies, I wanted to write great songs like Lennon & McCartney, Bacharach & David, James Taylor or Joni Mitchell, or be a rock star like Robert Plant, Steven Tyler or Freddie Mercury. The music I made was okay but nothing special, but it gave me a chance to work with other songwriters and musicians, and spend time in recording studios.
I joined the music industry in 1981 as a journalist, and went on to work in record companies and radio stations. I now work at MTV and have been there since 1999. I created three TV stations for the company (MTV Base, MTV Hits and MTV Dance) and, to this day, I program music, which is like being a DJ but my tools are music videos.
My music collection dates back to the blues of Leadbelly from the early 1900s right through to the very latest effort by some skinny, pimply wannabe! I like anything that has a melody, I don’t care what genre it is, so my collection is black, white and all shades between, my collection is beats and rhymes, screeching guitar solos and six-part gospel harmonies.
I have a personal ear and a business ear. I can listen to something and think, “My God, what a piece of shit! It’s going to be a huge hit!” and, by the same token, I can think, “Wow, that is beautiful! It doesn’t stand a chance!” And sometimes, on very rare occasions, it gives me great pleasure to think, “I love it and it’s going to sell!”
The point of this column is to show fifty and sixtysomethings that there is good, new music.
Let me start by saying two things:
Firstly, do not worry if you’ve found yourself thinking, “They don’t make them like they used to.” Don’t let a young person ridicule you for saying that. The fact of the matter is: it’s true. Music is different. The genres have evolved. Music is made in a different way. Life is different. 2014 music could never sound like sixties music. It would struggle to sound like eighties music! What’s important to young people isn’t what was important to us. These days, acts can impress their audience with smoke and mirrors: still and moving images. Back in the sixties: The Beatles and Marvin Gaye had only their talent to rely on, and what exceptional talents they were!
Fundamentally, I even think the nature of melody has changed! Kids will rave about a great song and, to my ears, there is no discernible melody!
Secondly, if you grew up in the sixties or seventies, there may be no point in me telling you about the great music released in 2013, because there are hundreds of great acts from the eighties and nineties that you still don’t know about! In truth, you may still have a lot of catching up to do!
All I can do is talk to you about great music and the bods at www.nonbeige.com will show you how to purchase it by providing you with links.
So, what are you into? Tell me and maybe I can find you something new and interesting?
Where shall we start? How about Paolo Nutini’s third album ‘Caustic Love’?
Paolo’s what you might describe as a ‘blue-eyed soul’ singer. What is ‘blue-eyed soul’? Well, it may be non-PC to say (but we’re too old to give a shit) but ‘blue-eyed soul’ is pop music rooted in black music sung by white people.
Down the years, there have been many singers described as such: Dusty Springfield, Rod Stewart, Joe Cocker, Janis Joplin, Paul Young, Van Morrison, Lowell George (Little Feat), Bonnie Raitt, Daryl Hall & John Oates and, more recently, Jamiroquai, Christina Aguilera, Adele and James Morrison. If these kind of acts are your bag, you may like Paolo’s new album?
And, if you didn’t already know, the revolution has already occurred, and you no longer need to buy a physical CD, you can just purchase and download the tracks you like. Or, if you subscribe to Spotify, you can enjoy the album there?
Hope this has been helpful? Stay tuned for more.
Lindsay Wesker, April 2014
(Listen to Lindsay’s radio show every Saturday @ midday on www.mi-soul.com)
Below we have assembled a playlist with a mix of some old favourites and your future classics – Just press “PLAY” and ENJOY!