Ralph Higgins

Ralph Higgins
color pencil sketch by Gayle Higgins

Quotes I Like

"If you do not take an interest in the affairs of your government, then you are doomed to live under the rule of fools."

– Plato


Friday, October 5, 2012

Rap Crap

            This must have happened to you.  You’re sitting at a stop light and your car begins to vibrate - then bounce. You begin to feel vibrations going through your entire body.  Is it an earthquake?    Is it a jackhammer?  Is your car giving birth to a hybrid?

            None of the above.  It’s some moron in the car next to you blaring rap crap for the world to hear.  The more people who can hear it, the cooler this dingbat thinks he is.  Either that or he’s deaf . . . or soon will be.  He’s bouncing in the seat as though someone put cayenne pepper in his underpants and his hat's on sideways. That's a dead give-away.

            Some of the stuff kids listen to now would be hard to define as music.  Evidently all the elements of music have now been deleted except rhythm.  I guess we've gone back to banging on hollow logs and jumping around a camp fire.  What are the “songs” that these young people will look back on nostalgically in 30 or 40 years?   How much of the noise will they even remember?  

When my folks were young it was Benny Goodman, Tommy Dorsey, Woody Herman, and Sinatra.  That was music.  When I was young it was Fats Domino, Little Richard, Pat Boone, and Elvis.  Now it’s whatever it is. 

Maybe that’s why there are so many of the old groups made up of some of the original singers performing their songs from the past. Some of these guys can barely make it to the stage, but there’s a demographic that remembers and appreciates them.  The fact that they can still sing and perform is encouraging.  I heard Dave Brubeck perform when he was in his ‘80s.  He was still great.  Brubeck’s bass player was so old we thought he was a cadaver held up by wires.

The Beach boys may not be “boys” anymore, but their harmony still beats the blaring cacophony of noise that accompanies some weird-looking skinny dude banging on a guitar while shrieking incoherently.  Even worse are the angry rappers chattering, twitching, grabbing their crotch and inventing new ways to use profanity.

Nowadays a hyperkinetic mob convulsing to loud and abrasive sounds is considered a “concert.”  I played in several symphony orchestras over many years and the term “concert” has an entirely different meaning to me.  

One of my all-time favorite movies is “Amadeus” because of its great music.  The musical score soars to heights we rarely hear anymore.  To hear Murray Abraham, who played the envious Antonio Salieri, describe the beauty of Mozart’s compositions is a treat in music appreciation.  Compare the genius of Mozart with what passes as music today. Fortunately, you can still find good music, but you won’t hear it at a stop light.

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P.S. – If you are in the mood for something nostalgic, go to my website at www.ralphhiggins.com and click on the music page.  Chuck Montgomery, a good friend of mine since kindergarten, is the film editor for the TV series COPS.  He was learning how to put a video online and sent the “Sierra Autumn” video to me for my website.  This was actually his first shot at a video. I think he did well, but I would have been happy if he had omitted the photos of me with my old horn.  You can see by the battle scars on my trumpet that it has seen a lot of front line action.

Gayle shot some photos of our area and Chuck added a cut from my CD on this short video.  Unfortunately the video gets stuck and jerks around once in a while, but give it a try.  Just hit the arrow. You can also hear a couple of brief samples from my CD, which may bring back some memories.  Even old guys can blow air through a brass pipe and sing in the shower.

 If you go to the art page you can see some of Gayle's wonderful creations.  You can click on the website from this blog page.

1 comment:

  1. Amadeus was a great film, on my top ten list. I've seen/heard a few $300 cars with thousand dollar sound systems.