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This Makes Me Want To Travel To NYC Right Away…

tunnel

Above you can see a photo that I shot in a pedestrian underpass near the train station in Bad Schwartau. But to be honest, the post is not so much about my photo this time, it just reminded me a little bit of wall tiles that are common in subway stations. I want to talk about something related now. I was bored today and browsed the web and then I found a YouTube video that amazed me.
Someone recorded three musicians who performed in the subway of New York. Not only do I like this type of music pretty much, these guys do a mind-blowing performance. But see for yourself…

I really love this. They cover the song “A Change Is Gonna Come” (Original: Sam Cooke) and the singer Mike Yung has a voice that makes we want to travel to New York to hear him live (laugh). Yeah, I am kidding, but if I would live there and if I would need to take that train every day to get to work, I probably would always be too late. But it’s not only about the singer, the drummer and the guitarist are awesome too, and they perform so well together.

Some street artists are so much better than these mainstream artists we know from TV and Radio. I just prefer real music, and by real I do mean live performed music of talented people, and not the type of arranged, and edited music that comes out of studios. Technology is so far, if you can’t sing, someone can make you recorded voice sound good with tools like Auto-Tune. I am not saying that there are no talents in the mainstream music industry, but studio music sounds so clean and improved, that emotion is completely removed and the result is just synthetic noise.

To be honest, I am a fan of electronic music, and if you consider this, it might sound strange what I just said. I think my point is, when it comes to voices and real instruments, I really don’t like it overly polished. If I am in the mood to hear electronic music, that’s another story, but there the whole music is based on synthesizers. In other genres, if you listen to the voice and instruments when they perform live, you either hear the raw talent or a pure mess. In the case of the street performers in the video of this post, you hear the talent. I was not even annoyed by the noise of the arriving trains in the video, because they perform so well, but of course I would like to see them perform in a less noisy place.

By the way, I actually didn’t know the song “A Change Is Gonna Come”, but I liked it so much that I grabbed my guitar and learned it right away after I found this video. On a sidenote, back then me and a few friends performed in a subway in Germany, and after 10 minutes we got thrown out of the place by a Deutsche Bahn security. And nope, it was not about our music, it’s just that Germany is a bit backward in this case. I mean here, you can’t even perform in the streets of some cities without asking the local authorities for permission. On another sidenote, I’d like to find other musicians again to make music together, but since I am more interested in blues and older music, it’s really difficult in my city. I’d like to do something like the guys in the video of this post, but this will probably remain a dream.

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8 Comments »

  1. The singer does have a great voice. I think New York does seem to allow self expression in public places a lot more than some cities do. I’ve seen buskers in the railway stations in Sydney. I think they have to have a permit though. Most Australian cities allow them in shopping precincts with a permit too. I do agree that modern technology means that in many cases talent comes second to image for musicians today. I find the “stars” coming from TV talent shows are very manufactured. Not necessarily their fault, there are some good singers but the judges are looking for a package of looks and appeal that can be marketed like breakfast cereal so the best people don’t always win.

    • After I wrote this, I browsed further on YouTube and found other artists playing in the subway, and then I saw one that had a permit card in front of the tipjar… yeah, looks like it’s not much different there either. Still I find this very strange… when we were younger and heard we would need a permit to make music in the public, it was like a real culture shock and quite depressing.

      Yes, over the last decade I got the impression that music is now more about the appearance of the artists and a lot about sex, because that seems to sell. The talent shows are hilarious… it’s probably not much different in your shows, but here they manufacture a new “talent” and not even a half year later you never heard something about this so called “super star” again. Yeah, I think you are right, it’s more about the whole concept of this show, they just burn through singers and market them for a while, until there will be a new show. I bet the singers don’t get a contract that goes further than a year.

      I am generally not so much interested in pop music anymore. I like some songs but overall I prefer music outside of the mainstream. Watching YouTube for example is fun, there are so much true talents out there,… and it’s refreshing to watch these videos.

      • Yes, I agree about the sex part too. It’s part of the deal. A great many of the talent shows (I don’t watch them I admit) seem to be as much about the judges as the contestants which was not the case when I was younger. Most are modelled on American Idol or Britain’s Got Talent. I’m sure you have the same ones made locally. I do understand the need for permits because if you had too many buskers at the same location at the same time it would be noisy and you would not be able to enjoy any of them so there has to be regulation of some kind. However to a young person it probably seems a lot of fuss about nothing. Young people have a higher tolerance for noise I think.

        • I think rules are definitely needed… it’s true, in a free country you have rights, but they end where it overlaps with someone elses rights. In this case, someone might want to make music, another person doesn’t want to hear music. So, authorities try the compromise, setting up spots where a few artists are allowed, and areas where there is no noise. That means I am less rebelish about this today but Germany for example is an overly bureaucratic aparat, and I bet getting a permit in this case is as difficult as setting up a company (no joke, out of experience even the simples requests often don’t come without the hurdle of filling out 10 forms at once, lol). I am less so against rules, but I am pretty much against excessive bureaucracy.

        • An American blogger I knew who lived in France for a while used to describe her struggles with bureaucracy there. It sounds a complicated country especially if you are not French.

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