Making Good Music Popular
2.2 Million Connections and Counting
"(...) Keep doing what you doing ...putting smiles on people's faces BRAVO!!!!! ....Violetta..........................
P.S Please never change!!!!!"
Keep checking back, or stay in touch (see below the vid),
as this album evolves through 2014
(ie, new songs are added every few weeks or month...)
Reviewed Below: Flying, by Pop Music?
Advance copy, used by permission, Music & Culture (Magazine)
Flying, the premier song from Austin Washington's band Pop Music?, is one of the most remarkable pieces of music in decades.
Flying takes the form of the operatic music of Queen, and much classical music, completely eschewing the standard format of chorus/verse found in the sort of song you might expect from a group called Pop Music?. However, the question mark in Pop Music?'s name is key - the stated purpose of Pop Music? is "to make good music popular". In this, they succeed.
Flying has three distinct sections, or acts, although the theme from act 1 is echoed in act 3, where the story of the song seems to resolve. Despite the song's operatic form, the song itself is not operatic and over the top, as Queen's music was. Flying, instead, evokes the best alternative rock music made today, with shades of The Beatles, in that it is unafraid to be melodic and rocking at the same time.
Austin has a perfect voice for this genre, with his normal range evoking Chris Martin or John Lennon. Above and beyond this, (literally), Austin is perhaps the best falsetto singer since The Beach Boys, making Justin Timberlake's feeble attempts at falsetto sound as flaccid by comparison as his recent songs.
Flying's production evokes the best qualities of the legendary producers in pop music's fabled past, updated perfectly for the present. Phil Spector's idea of "mini symphonies for teenagers" is recalled in Flying's grand scope. David Bowie's creative productions of songs like "Walk on the Wildside" is echoed, particularly in the creative transitions from one section of the song to another. The orchestration of the third part of Flying is as good as anything George Martin would have done, while section two reminds the listener of the mixing and arrangement skills displayed in the Abbey Road medley. That all this could be packed into one song is perhaps evocative of our Twitterfied world, but it is, while updated for the modern world and replete with its own unique contributions.
It should not be surprising that Austin, who is best known as a writer and public speaker, would create lyrics and words that simply cannot be compared to any words set to music in our day, and which would be top shelf in any epoch. "I think you made a virtue of flying in the wind", speaks to anyone who has ever pined for something lost, such as a lost love, and refused to let it go. The protaganist of the song lives in a fantasy land "where all your dreams are always coming true". The continuous "ing" tense - unavailable, incidentally, in most languages - evokes a yearning for a paradisiacal dream, which raises the stakes on Dorothy's rainbow dream, "where the dreams that you dare to dream really do come true". Austin's utopian vision ups this. "All your dreams are always coming true". While this may evoke an orgiastic den of pleasure to those on a more Justin Timberlake plane, to the soul of a poet this must surely point to something higher.
Ultimately, with the cleverness of Dr. Seuss and the depth of a poet, the lyrics Austin writes raise the standard for what music and songs can be. Pop Music?'s first song, Flying, all told, raises the standards not just of what pop music might be, but of what all music can and should be.
***** Five Stars
Joe Wrigley, for Music & Culture
How is Pop Music?'s Music Both Pop Music and Not Pop Music?
(because of confusing punctuation)
"one of the most remarkable songs by any band in decades"
"finally, a return to real music"
"this song [Flying] gives me hope that real music is not dead"
Glass Enclosed Nerve Center is an evolving album, throughout 2014.
Or simply donate directly, here:
Hi, I'm Austin.
Music pops into my head.
It is extraordinarily easy to record song ideas, and even songs. My phone and computer and external hard-drives are full of them.
However, turning an idea into a finished song is a bit of work - actually, a helluva a lot - and also costs some money.
Case #1 - Flying
Left alone on Christmas afternoon, I was distracted from my eggs by a song in my head [No, I am not a chicken. I was eating them. Or not eating them, actually...] Knowing that, like almost every other song that pops into my head, it would vanish if I didn't do something, I went into the living room, and recorded it. No big deal. It sounded like this:
[la la la la la...it had the singing, piano, and even drum loops - crazy drum loops - and a lame bass part, but if Flying, now is a 10, then it was a...4, at best...]
Getting Flying to sound like it does in the video, and making the video...well, it takes effort, time, help, and even a bit of money. It might not sound like a lot. I think it was $350 (beyond having had to to buy a computer and software and all the rest of it.) But that $350 to get a good drum track, which in turn inspired better guitar and bass parts and all the rest - it's a kind of big roadblock for me, if I'm just going to continue giving away my music, which is what I've always done.
So, please support the music that pops into my head in 2014, and on Christmas Day, 2014, get...a downloadable album and also, if you want, a CD, and/or a Vinyl Album, and in all cases ALSO get downloads of songs as they are made throughout 2014.
Thank you for your help, support, and encouragement.
If you make music yourself, or want to get $1,000 + to share some really good music (like the song flying, and many many others) go to ShareMusic.com [new site in December will explain all this!], and find out how to make your music better, make it heard by more people and even get some cash (!)join our mailchimp email list, except, if too many ppl join, we'll have to pay, so don't (unless you do)
"one of the most remarkable songs by any band in decades"
"finally, a return to real music"
"this song [Flying] gives me hope that real music is not dead"
Also, on PopMusic.com 2014, music we're trying to make popular...
1) Pop Music 2014 is dedicated to the best music that should be popular. ("Pop" music originally was an abbreviation of "popular music".) PopMusic.com 2014 is dedicated to that original meaning - with a twist. We're not going to report what's popular, as that is mostly the stuff crammed down your eardrums by soul-less blood sucking corporations. Instead, the goal is to make good music popular. Very little of what passes for "pop music" will be here. It won't necessarily be new. But - at least some of it - will very likely will be new to you.
2) Music that pops into my head. Songs come to me constantly - 99.9% of them float away, and thus are never more than itinerant travellers in my hazy imagination when I'm doing something else, or things sung into my endless list of phone recordings, and forgotten, or sung out-loud to a friend in lieu of speech, towards the end of random conversations about the most important thing in life - nothing much. Some of those will be here, too - the 0.1% I had time to record properly...
Music that Pops into My Head - 2014
Flying came to me Christmas morning a year ago.
We all have our tragedies, so imagine a terrible tragedy - someone dying. That had just happened, and somewhat related to that, I ended up being all alone on Christmas afternoon.
This song came to me just after my cousin left the house and I was left alone on Christmas afternoon. I had gone into the kitchen to try to eat, when this song started haunting me. I knew that if I put the honey on the toast, or ate another bite of egg, I’d never do anything with the song.
It would just be a passing ghost of a thought, like so many others.
I was hungry, but thought...just this once, record it.
Happens 0.1% of the time.
I’m glad I did.
I recorded it as, or just after, I wrote it - I forget, actually. All in...maybe ten minutes, maybe forty-five. I don’t remember.
Later on in the year it turned into a “band” recording as my friend added killer drums, and I bounced off his ideas, and added (what I like to think of as) killer other parts...(at least they’re not bad, I like to think...)
But the soul of the song was captured as it came to me, on Christmas afternoon. It just popped into my head. Of course I had to do something with the idea. But also, some higher thing was surrounding me the whole time. I felt it then, and I know it now.
When someone dies, it kind of messes you up a bit. That might help explain these videos I ended up making around the time I was adding all the other instruments. :0
As "artistic " :0 as they are, they do kind of reflect the theme of Pop Music 2014.
Reject consumerism, and the corporate, faceless, soul-less culture we’ve created for ourselves. Which is to say, the customer is usually wrong, as he only wants what he wants because he's been manipulated to want it. On the other hand, there is so much beauty in the world and universe, of which precisely 0 is sold to you by McDonald's, or Universal Music. Even if a large corporation gets ahold of someone with talent, like, say, Lorde - they somehow make it seem disgusting. They force her to do interviews with insipid morning disc jockeys, and turn what might be something beautiful, even artistic, into a three-ring gut-wrenching heart-shattering circus.
Beyond that stuff that overwhelms most of us most of the time (unless we take extreme precautions) - the mass marketing of magic, miniaturized then turned into manure by money-making-muck - is something like, perhaps the song Flying (in the video above), and surely the movie, Tomboy, referred to over there >>> - something of a higher order.
Here is a song that should be popular from a film that should be popular.
Of course, neither are, because they're just too bloody beautiful.
Let's start with a little lesson: How do you know art is good? Simple. You feel like you're floating about three feet off the ground, for about three hours after you experience it (that is, after you see a painting, hear some music, or watch a play or movie.) If you don't have that experience, it's not art, it's just commerce. Or at least it's not art for you.
Almost everything that is presented to you as something artistic - from reproductions of Dali prints to Lorde's music - is at the very least sullied and perverted by the mind-set of the corporations or institutions that promote it.
Occasionally something truly beautiful and magical shines through. I just saw Amelie for the first time. That is a very good example.
Another is a more recent film, Tomboy. There are so many things that are great about it, I don't know where to begin.
It evokes the warmth, love, and wisdom possible a more latin family (i.e., no one in France was ever sent to a place like Gordunston). Just evoking that feeling is enough to make it art, at least to a person from a colder culture.
The film is about a girl who is mistaken - with her complicity - for a boy one summer. This is addressed in a beautiful way, without the politically correct insanity that would infect an Anglo (ie, American/Canadian/UK/Australian etc) evocation of the same theme.
I don't want to ruin the film for you, but the point of mentioning this here is how the virtually inexpressible joy of life - not just of child-hood, but of innocence - is perfectly captured in this scene, with this music.
I found this on Youtube. Pop Music circa 1963, a year before Beatlemania erupted in America, and before anyone in Sweden seems to have been instructed to scream uncontrollably for The Beatles. What I love most:
1) The sound engineer didn't get the balances right between the various microphones - so you can really hear the John Lennon harmony part on one of the songs, while at other points you hear instruments and vocals you couldn't normally discern individually in a mix. Those guys - The Beatles - had a lot more skill than it sometimes seems, what with their goofy haircuts, weird clothes, and insipid words. Just this one example - singing harmony parts live, while everything else is going on (screaming girls, playing their instruments, performing for the cameras), is amazing. They're not obvious or cliché harmony parts, either, which surely makes them harder to sing. None of this happens without a lot of experience and talent, combined.
2) Towards the end, for the obviously un-planned encore of Long Tall Sally, knowing they are short of time, Paul McCartney starts up the song without even taking time to tell the other Beatles what song he's about to start, much less to count the song in. He just starts singing, and before conscious thought seems to have intervened, the others, automatically, fall in. Right song, right key, in time, in sync. As Paul McCartney said in an interview once (something like this) even if the hadn't been famous, The Beatles really were "a good little band".
3) The way Ringo goes hog-wild, ape-sh**, batty-bananas on the drums, especially towards the end. Because The Beatles' beats were kind of "straight" by later standards (they didn't "swing"), it's easy to miss, when hearing The Beatles music today, how hard they rocked (for their time). They started out playing small clubs, even playing lunch time shows for local workers. Not just for teenaged girls. There is still some of that pre-Beatlemania rawness visible. You can feel from this performance something you can't on their records - it rocks. Someone who heard The Beatles playing clubs in Liverpool said they lost some of their edge when they left that raw environment. But it seems they hadn't lost it yet, in 1963, in this club-sized TV studio. For its time, this was hard rocking, and Ringo is rocking as hard as any drummer ever rocked.
Also, funny: the way PM encourages the audience to clap along, in a goofy, dorky camp-counsellor kind of way. It's just kind of funny, considering how audiences would react within months, with no overt encouragement...hmm...anyway...
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Your music really made me think. I've been in some trouble, and haven't been able to decide what to do. After listening to your song it clicked. I know what to do! Thank you so much!
I'll be one of the first to buy your music!
Love and Cookies,
i really like your music! put more on this site i will visit it often now !
Can I have an autograph? You guys are going to big!
“ fucking sucks ” [Austin: Can't win 'em all! But, then, she's Gemini, maybe she'll change her mind. And, um, I don't think that's her real pic! :D]
WOW! I just heard that song and-WOW!- it really moved me. I think you guys are fab! Don't change ANYthing! Keep up the fanTAStic work, sugar!
P.S. If you ever go on tour, pleeeeaaaaaassse try to make it to Georgia, honey!
Love and kisses!
the more i listen the more i like!! :)
Hi my name is elise and im 11 years old. i think you guyz are so talented and you rock! i hope you guyz make an album so i can buy it and listen to it everyday! bye peace out~ELISE~
Global Media decided to stake PopMusic.com on one quixotic idea: to make music better.
Lesser people would have taken their ownership of PopMusic.com as an opportunity to make millions by plastering naked photos of Miley Cyrus, and anything else associated with the brainless music called "pop music", all over PopMusic.com.
That would, indeed, be the obvious thing to do.
But Global Media's mavens had something more than mere magic up their sleeves. Don't ape Rupert Murdoch, and dive for the dirt, they thought. Instead, why not use the power, influence, and audience of PopMusic.com, to help raise hearts, souls, and minds of people who would otherwise be jack-hammered down by the filth and spittle spewing forth the the factories which crank out the crud currently called pop music.
So, discovering someone considered a modern day Leonardo (the Renaissance version, not Dicaprio, thank God), a plan was hatched. Let the miraculous maker of music make music, and Global Media will let PopMusic.com do all the dirty work (as if by magic). Which is to say, direct the millions upon millions of people who search for pop music and end up on PopMusic.com, to something infinitely more sublime than "pop music" as that term is used by the barf-bags who spew it forth, today.
Austin is, objectively, a miracle - with degrees from Oxford, called by some "the greatest speaker on earth" (he has spoken, live, to more than 7 million people), has inspired David McCullough and the Governor of Virginia to help promote his book (Austin's first book, The Education of George Washington, has been called by early reviewers "completely unique", "a tour-de force of scholarship almost impossibly combined with Wildean wit - a truly unique book, which, if it doesn't become a classic, will say more about the world than it does about the book.")
When not jetting around the world spreading magic, joy, inspiration and hope, in his spare time, Austin makes music/ words that are a cross between Shakespeare, The Beatles, Dr. Seuss and Tchaikovsky, with a little Neil Young and Dr. Dre thrown in.
In other words, like nothing else on earth, but better than everything else.
Austin's music has never been advertised (that would destroy, in his mind, its purity), nor promoted in any way (other than, perhaps, twice yearly emails to fans, friends, and followers, if something exciting and new has been put up (join here).
There is no press agent, nor PR.
There is no radio airplay nor music videos - (although a sort of whimsical videos are made, something like a cross between - well, like nothing else, to be honest.)
The one exception to the no promotion rule, of course, is the awesome power of PopMusic.com, attracting millions of people in search of sh*t.
A few of them - you, perhaps - after searching - you scalawag! - for sh*t, find PopMusic.com, and discover the light gleaming through a magnificent doorway to a new dimension of heart-filled soul-inspired music. Music that, for Austin, is a mere hobby, yet music that makes The Beatles seem like mere amateurs, Tchaikovsky seem like a street musician, Bach seem like an out of tune monkey grinding a broken pop organ. To compare it with the sh*t that passes for "pop music" these days is not even possible.
Austin's music, and pop music, are as different as pigs and penguins, poultry and poltergeists, paparazzi and popes, pendulums and penitentiaries.
In short, they have nothing in common.
Yet this is Austin Washington's mere...hobby. Which is to say, he only makes it when he is not making television shows, writing books, or speaking to some of the millions of followers, fans, and friends this most remarkable and special person has, with no effort at all, acquired...(well, no effort except people - like us, and perhaps you, in your own way, too - who, upon learning of of Austin , do our best to, quietly and discretely, pass his magic on...shhh...pass it on...)
also includes music that pops into my head
and the stories that inspire it
Pre-order Pop Music 2014 here, now, and get immediate download of the two songs in the video above - also, you'll receive a special preview edition with extra bonus tracks, and surprise gifts (!) - also get it before anyone else :)
What do you do when given the most magic website on earth - PopMusic.com, with 500,000 new visitors every month - but you hate pop music? Do you change your music? Or do you change Pop Music?
I consider music a kind of disease - not for you, but for me.
I have something like five iPods - gifts, mainly - yet I have never listened to music on one, ever. Because there is music, always, playing in my head. (I mean, not always. It's not like I'm completely nuts - but, often. It's my own music, you see? It just comes to me - all the time.)
For example, I was editing that video about Bangladesh, and my trip there, for my friends. And I thought - I should put music with the video. So, as I was editing the video, I made up the music for it (the songs themselves are played in full at the end of the video, btw.) It took zero time to write the songs, I just made them up as I recorded them. It therefore took, maybe, 45 minutes - max - to write, record, and perform them.
By way of contrast, a single song in the genre called "pop music" these days can take over a year to make. Not always. But often. I know I read that the Black Eyed Peas' song Where is the Love took over a year. And Justin Timberlake takes, what, five years to make one album? I've spent ages on songs, too, in the past, but with technology getting better and better, there is less and less to stand between our imaginations, and other people's ears.
So, for me, for these songs - and dozens of songs I am making these days - can become complete songs in 45 minutes or less...at least six songs on Pop Music will be these kind of spontaneous effusions - the others, all, are inspired, and even recorded that way - but worked on, and re-recorded, and refined, and edited, and mixed, and remixed, all told, let's be honest, for a year or more at times. I put in the sweat, but sometimes the spontaneous ones - written, recorded, and even finished in minutes not months - can be equally, and even more magic.
The world changes. Songs don't have to be, individually, as important as economics and technology have made them for over a century. Maybe songs can be more like greeting cards. Or sonnets. Or conversations. Or hugs.
Ephemeral (and yet somehow eternal), but memorable and important.
Most - not all, but most - of the songs on PopMusic.com, from here on in, will follow the pop music formula. (Or maybe I'll change my mind. But Pop Music is a good title for an album, and band, on PopMusic.com!)
Get Pop Music 2014 here, now, and get IMMEDIATE download of the two songs in the video above - cool... :)
What is Pop Music - on PopMusic.com
The purpose of PopMusic.com is to change pop music into something good.
Here are the rules.
1. If you listen to music, enjoy (and watch your life transform, transmogrify and improve just from listening to to the music at PopMusic.com which is not pop music as it was - but as it is, is becoming, and will be.
2) If you make music:
a) never use a click track
b) never use a drum machine
c) never spend more than four hours making a song - in other words, writing, arranging, recording - never more than four hours in total.
d) never completely write a song before you start recording it.
In other words, pop music, as nearly as possible, must be the music that pops into your head.
Think you've got what it takes? Apply here [coming soon, join now to stay in touch], so long as your music qualifies, to have your music seen by over 2 million devoted music followers and lovers (and counting...)
You can join PopMusic.com here.
You'll get gobs of music, and if you make music, a very cool way to share your music with up to two million people (and counting).
* * *
Music has been popping into my head since I was 4 years old.
PopMusic.com has been posting the music that's popped into my head from the first songs I recorded, about ten years later. An early early early song is this - Purple Tinsel v.1 (Purple Tinsel Falling), and v.2 (Purple Tinsel Rising).
If you look carefully at the photo, you can see both Jerry Garcia and Jimi Hendrix mixed in with my face. They, of course, were people who played guitar, and were known for a certain sort of drug. Purple Tinsel Rising is the result of my first (and only, thank God!) prescription for Ritalin (a drug vastly more harmful than any 1960s era drug, imho). I took a track of my friend tuning his guitar, and edited it for - literally - days, 'til I ended up with this hypnotic track. (For those of you who don't know, Ritalin makes you FOCUS!!! I strongly advise against it, I think it is terrible for you, and a crime that they prescribe it to creative and energetic children, so that they will behave like automatons. Fortunately, I got something out of my Ritalin experience- a song!)
Purple Tinsel Falling, from which Purple Tinsel Rising was made, is a kind of homage to The Beatles, Grateful Dead, and very vaguely Jimi Hendrix. My favourite part is the guitar solo, which was my friend's. My second favourite part is the bass - another friend. I was more the singer and producer, only. And writer.
Another early song, although a bit later, is Rachael. It remains a magical song to me. Rather than try to explain why it was and felt magical, here is a video, made at the time, that conveys it all..written and recorded one hypnotic fall, by a gray sea under gray clouds, it, and my life at the time, felt like dreams. I truly think this song is a piece of magic. At least that's what it does for me. I hope it does for you, too.
Currently, I'm making Pop Music, which sort of refers to a band, and the album's title. Playing on it are musicians who have had strings of hit records, and also a former member of the Tel Aviv Philharmonic (I may have that wrong - some orchestra in Israel!) He played horns, with some of his friends, on two songs. etc. So, the group is ad hoc, but the music has a consistent core. It drops into my head seemingly from heaven or somewhere, and is almost always recorded while the spell of inspired nonsense lasts. All too often, it is then enhanced for, sometimes, over a year. I'm trying, though, to be more like The Beatles were - they made plenty of good music, and almost never spent more than three days on a song, and of course often spent just a few hours. If it was good enough for them...
Pop Music |pop müzik|
1 Music by the group Pop Music - or others - made to communicate and transfer the energy of good(ness) to those who hear it.
Music has popped into my head since I was 4 years old. I've spoken to over 14 million people around the world (mostly through the media.) Here, at PopMusic.com, I combine those stories and the music - as music, or at least songs, always have a story about them, even if there's no story in them (we're not all Taylor Swift, after all (!) (Thank God.) (No offence, Taylor....)
I'm inspired by Nigahiga to make the videos pretty light-hearted, mostly, but just as with Nigahiga, I hope there is at least a sense of decency behind them - not crude.
Over 80% of the over two million regular visitors here are repeat offenders! So, we must be doing something right. Anyway, thank you for coming again (or for the first time) to pop music, and please help support...all of this! CU...AW :D