About Alexandra Heep

About Alexandra Heep: The internet has allowed allowed Alexandra to maintain a semblance of life when encountering an unexpected, lingering health crisis. The Internet is a lifeline which not only allows her to remain connected to friends, but also survive, via writing.While Alexandra Heep is her pen name, she does not hide behind it. Instead, she used it to brand herself on the Internet and to create opportunities.

Alexandra published her first book, a collection of her best poems, on July 11, 2012. You can buy it at Lulu.com

Support independent publishing: Buy this book on Lulu.

Sunday, April 1, 2012

A is for A Heap of Music

(To my fellow A to Z bloggers/readers: I know this is long, but I wrote it months ago before I found out shorter is better. Future posts will be much shorter.)

My regular readers know that I have already done an A-Z music post a while back, but I had to cram 26 items into one post. So, as soon as I heard about the A to Z April blogging challenge months ago, I knew exactly what my theme would be: music. I plan on highlighting one band, song or relevant music topics for letters of the alphabet throughout every day this month. Since there is so much music out there, how will I narrow it down? I could give you the short answer, but as a writer I am not going to do that without telling you a little bit of the inspiration behind my choices.

I have had countless music discussions over the years and found out something interesting: People listen to music in different ways that goes beyond genres and personal taste. To elaborate: I was at first horrified when a good friend of mine informed me that he never paid attention to lyrics, only the sound of the music. To me, that was bordering on blasphemy as I rarely gravitate towards music that has no lyrics or shoddy ones. Plus, I have to be able to understand most of them. Translation: The vocalist has to enunciate. I also like when all members of the band harmonize their vocals (that's why my favorite band is Uriah Heep).

I like my lyrics to be complex, deep and poetic. Subconsciously I also seem to be searching out artists who actually write their own music. This may seem like a given, but you'd be surprised how many performers are simply "recording artists," meaning they sing stuff written by others. Lyrics aren't that hard, arrangements are difficult. For me, when band members come together to collaborate on these efforts to put out music that they have written and arranged, I respect the music so much more. Alas, that also explains why so many bands break up, they simply can't work together. It also explains frequent lineup changes for long-successful bands. Ask me about that sometime!

Then there are those who only listen to lyrics, but don't much care about the sound. Again, to me that is difficult. Even the greatest lyrics won't interest me if they are set ot a sound I don't enjoy. In my case, that encompasses just about all of Country music. I just can't get into it (with very few exceptions, as you will see later in the month).

I also had another traumatizing revalation recently: Another close friend told me she had perfect pitch and hence did not like rock music because, well, here is what she said: "When I hear rock music that is more 'noise' to me than melody, I quickly lose interest." Oh, the horror of that statement to someone who lives and breathes rock n roll! Just kidding, she is like me and we each understand that everyone has individual tastes - there is no right or wrong in regards to arts.

Back to the technical. For me, it's the opposite. I know that the likes of Whitney Houston (before Bobby Brown got to her) and Mariah Carey had/have technically flawless voices, but their music bores me. (sorry Whitney, RIP) Granted, some of what is called rock music is just noise, but a lot of it is not. The music posts I will be putting up hopefully will not come across as noise.

Lastly, none of these posts are going to be reviews and it will not be as simple as going from AC/DC to ZZ Top or other mainstream stuff. Nor will these be biographies or discographies. If you want those things, you'll only have to pick up a copy of the Rolling Stone magazine or look at any of the thousands of articles on the Internet.

No, this is going to be about the passion of music and artists. Also, my posts for April will focus on the forgotten, the underrated, or the stuff you never knew about rock icons that fit the criteria above: lyrics, composition, sound. I hope you'll find something that you like in the days and weeks to come. And, despite my long-winded intro, there will be things you don't expect.


Unknown said...

I've joined the blogging challenge, too. I wish you luck and look forward to reading your posts. :)

GLBT Promo said...

I enjoyed reading your post, but I've always been a person who enjoys a wide variety of music. I like that about me. I'm not all rock, or all country, or all alternative. I can listen to The Smiths; I can listen to Whitney Houston; I can listen to Luciano Pavarotti; I can listen to Dolly Parton.

Jolie du Pre

Alexandra Heep said...

Amanda, good luck, I stopped by your blog as well.

Jolie, I also like other music like Classical and I have seen an opera or two. However, rock is my passion. Thanks for stopping by!

Hilary Melton-Butcher said...

Hi Alex (hope that's ok/!) - I am so unmusical it's sad - but I love listening to all sorts of music and have come to realise that musicians are great story tellers too - and as I see and hear works/bands dissected - it is fascinating to be given that overview ..

I'll enjoy reading your posts - cheers Hilary

OT Ebby said...

I'm also doing the A-Z and have read some interesting stuff already. I'm looking forward to the rest of your posts this month as I also enjoy lots of different types of music.

Good luck!


Sarah Ross said...

Hey, it's nice to meet a fellow music obsessive, although I am intrigued to find out what bands you're into. Will definitely be stopping by again.

MOV said...

I never thought about music in all this kind of detail before. Thanks for making me think about new things!!


Anonymous said...

I have weird taste in music..it's all over the place. Sometimes the lyrics draw me in, sometimes the melody. Sometimes it's just the right song at the right time.

Glorygarden@msn.com said...

Looking forward to your posts. This sounds like fun. I'm glad I have them emailed to me otherwise I may miss one and I don't want to miss any!

Red said...

I love this idea! I have a rather eclectic musical appetite. While I am horrible with the names of the bands, I can quote the lyrics which really touch me. It is kind of like learning scriptures when you are a child...you grow up and remember the meaning, but completely forget who said it, when and where.

This is going to be fun ;) If I can remember my way through the Google labyrinth to get here.


(And I still think yours is shorter than mine;).)

Alexandra Heep said...

Well, Red, longer is not always better. Oh wait, yes it is ...

Karen Jones Gowen said...

I didn't think your post was too long. It was interesting.

And I am here to welcome you to the Challenge!