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The Trip Out

MadameFLY: The Prototype Years

You're right, this picture wasn't taken recently ... it dates from a favorite time in my life when I worked in photography and hung around with other photographers, one of whom used me as his model in some experiments with infrared film.  

 

How did I get like this?  Judge for yourself.

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Foundations

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It all started with that stack of 45 rpm vinyl my Dad brought home for me when I was about 10 years old....

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All Grown Up

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That would be the college years and the formation of strong musical preferences ... this where most people stop, the musical preferences established during these years seemingly sufficient for the rest of their lives ... and there you have the rationale for the endless number of AOR stations on America's homogenized airwaves.  

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Serious Business

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I was fortunate to meet folks who got into the music business and took me with them ... our specialty: blues, folk, jazz, and other forms of "home made music" AND we were lucky enough to live in a DC suburb that boasted the coolest radio station: WHFS where you could expect to hear anything, as long as it wasn't predictable.

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Years later, looking back on all I learned then, I have to say:  Music is good for you ... but the music business?  That's a very different story.  In Los Angeles, they say "The music industry was created to make the film industry look good."  Or, in the immortal words of Hunter S. Thompson:  The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There's also a negative side.

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80's

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By the time the 80's hit, I was out of the biz but still hanging w/ folks who made music happen ... the concert promoters IMP made sure I saw some killer shows in those years:  Grace Jones, Ry Cooder, Robert Palmer, Thomas Dolby, UB40, Burning Spear, Talking Heads....  

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But the really significant moment was when I heard Brian Eno and David Byrne's MY LIFE IN THE BUSH OF GHOSTS.  And the next most significant moment was when I played it for a kid in the heart of Mexico who wanted to play me some Mexican rock and hear something from America...

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Strange Bedfellows

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Country music?  New Age? Together?  This is like chocolate fudge sauce for your hotdog, right?  Just me searching for the next sound....

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The Key

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That's Key West, where a chance encounter at dinner led to the world of music that I know today.  Tranceporter, this is dedicated to you and your love of music: long may you mix!

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The Internet was the key to finding the world of music while living in a small Florida town with no particular claims to musical sophistication.

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Here and Now

bulletThe observant reader might imagine from this biography of musical highlights that MadameFLY is quite possibly older than dirt. Since, on the internet, nobody needs to know if you're a dog or an ancient crone, why would I want to mention this? Well, along with all those years has come the experience of all the music I heard and that's quite a lot ... I've watched some trends and I can find it sorta cute that the cycle of style revivals gets shorter and shorter, so that now 80's music is all the rage in places ... hey, I liked it too.... But -- sooo much music, so little time is my motto, and looking back is counter-productive to heading off into eternity with a brain full of every kind of music there is.... They don't say Been there, done that for nothing, my dears....

But now, right now, I find, is quite the most exciting time in music that I can remember ... and I can remember Elvis and the Beatles, both of whom generated huge excitement ... the difference (OK, a difference) between then and now is that then the audience was passive in the sense of being listeners who were enthralled by the performer ... we wanted to get our hands on the performer who inspired our adulation ... whereas now, we can participate in so many ways, and what we want is to get our hands on the music, not on the artists -- well, OK there's exceptions to that, too -- but you see my point, I hope. Instead of simple star-worshipping, now we are there for the music experience and that experience offers an expanded set of possibilities. We are also there, I believe, with improved critical faculties ... so, for instance, you can appreciate that even as tunes grow lyrically and structurally more minimalist, musically they can be more richly complex than ever. It strikes me as the auditory equivalent of crystal-formation captured by stop-motion photography.

NA01460A.gif (2317 bytes)So, here it is, years later and I'm still on the Trip Out and now I've added mixing to the ways I have of appreciating music.  DJ culture gives me the tools to share the music I love with the rest of the world .... I hope to share some with you, too.

Keep in mind: there is no Trip Back.