I love music. The styles I listen to are wide ranging which is the main reason my CD collection has taken over my home like a kudzu vine. I don’t know the exact number, my estimate is between 1500 and 2000 which doesn’t include the hundreds I’ve traded in, given away or sold over the years. Of course, among the forest of sounds there are a few favorites that stand out as redwoods among the pines. But lately a few of my bellwethers have been disappointing in their lack of output and possible demises.
Aerosmith: My all time favorite band has been in the news recently for every reason except the release of a new CD. Their last recording was in 2004 and it was a CD of covers. Their last CD of original songs was in 2001, 9 years and counting. In the past year one member has had throat surgery, one has had knee surgery, one has had shoulder surgery, one has had surgery on his head after hitting it on his Ferrari and another has had multiple surgeries as well as multiple rehab stints. They’ve reached the point where Steven Tyler has quit the band on Monday, re-joined on Tuesday, been kicked out on Wednesday and invited back in on Thursday. You might as well rename them the Desperate Rock Stars and move them onto Wisteria Lane. The lawyers have gotten involved now so I’m convinced the original band will never record together again.
Sarah McLachlan: The Canadian songstress with the ethereal voice has recorded 1 CD of new material in 12 years. You heard me. 1 CD in a decade plus. Surfacing came out in 1998. Afterglow didn’t arrive until 2004 and since then nothing. Oh there have been live recordings, Christmas collections, remixes and unreleased rarities, but lets face it, these are cubic zirconia friendship rings when I’m looking for more of a commitment. My God woman, sea slugs move faster than you. I’m still enjoying your previous CDs: Fumbling Towards Ecstasy and Surfacing are practically worn out, but how about some new songs? These are the prime years of your career and your output is so low if you were a bauxite mine you would be abandoned.
System of a Down: There were rumors of trouble in the band after the Hypnotize/Mesmerize tour was over. The band members themselves didn’t help matters by saying one day they were breaking up and the next day saying they were just taking a break. Great. Another band that needs a marriage counselor. Didn’t I see this drama already on Friends? Singer Serj Tankian recorded a solo disc that sounded a lot like System of a Down without Daron Malakian’s great guitar playing. Daron and drummer John Dolmayan formed Scars on Broadway and released a CD that sounded a lot like System of a Down with keyboards. A few weeks before the tour, Daron announced its cancellation because of “his lack of enthusiasm” for the project and he didn’t feel like touring. Since then he has dropped out of the music scene so completely people began to worry about him. Serj Tankian on the other hand is now working on a jazz orchestra CD. Excuse me? A few years removed from headlining the Ozzfest and the singer suddenly wants to be Michael Buble? Sadly, I see this trial separation becoming a divorce as daddy hides out in his den drinking gin and tonics while mommy becomes who she was always meant to be.
I find new artists to listen to nearly every week. Recently I picked up on Shaman’s Harvest, Corinne Bailey Ray and The Heavy. But you always return to your favorites and I’m getting antsy waiting for new CDs from these people.