How I Learned to Love EDM and Stop Worrying That I Can’t Identify Guitar Riffs

Come on ride… come on ride  the musical discovery train? However this is more of personal journey but lets just say I am letting you into the train of my mind. Chuga Chuga choo.  In the last year I have amped up the amount of music I listen to and subsequently discover (as evident by the Vivi Tells you) and I have started to learn my music liking patterns. Some of my key factors to get me into a song:  Clapping, feet tapping, catchy choruses, good beats.   Just recently two new aspects of my musical journey has come-forth and they are distinct but also related.  Let me explain. Well of course I am going to explain otherwise this post is short and pointless.

1. A Night At the Electronic Opera

The most listened to album for me in the last two months is Settle by Disclosure.  I am a bit surprised that Spotify hasn’t stopped the album and prompted me with “maybe you should buy this one sweetie.”  I listen to enough R&B that Sir Spotify sweet talks me now. FYI for you and the Spotify robots: I do own the album. It is the only music on my phone. The only thing that matters. I didn’t want to like the album based on prejudicial reasons: the album cover, the band name, the fact that it was so Indie loved.  However I tried Latch. Then I tried the whole album and now we are on to me sometimes listening to it two times in a day. The whole album. I guess its genre is House.  I know i can dance to it, relax to it, just be happy.  I really don’t understand or know the granules of the EDM family but I will try to learn. For myself more than you. Sorry it is true.

I was reluctant to see them in  concert. I found a myriad of reasons why I shouldn’t go even though they are probably my current favorite group. Then I was graciously given a ticket to see Disclosure and I did see them this week after a long day where I was awake by 4am, didn’t nap and the concert didn’t start till 9:30p.  T. Williams opened up for them and he is more Housey than the big D.  No lyrics. Just an adorable man on mixers and stuff. I guess calling him adorable won’t woo him into my pants. If you are so wooed, T Williams come on over.  Oh the music. T. Williams was an unexpected surprise experience. I found myself  dancing from the first song and didn’t stop till he stopped playing, 1hr 20 min later.  It was this breathtaking experience of light and sound. I was in love. I knew this would be something I would strive to listen to live as much as I could.

Right before Disclosure came on,  I moved closer to the stage. Again it was this extended moment of me being in euphoric trance. Yes I did have a bit of gin in my body but the music took me over. I was embraced by these beats that warmed me up like a white girls first pumpkin spice latte. I sweated; I was tired; I was sore but I didn’t care. I was the happiest I have ever been at a concert. I had found this new love and we had the most majestic first time. THere was no awkward fumbling of a condom. It was a beautiful thumping parade for my soul.  It made me so elated. I gushed to everyone I could about this experience. I am gushing to you.  I know this type of music may not give you this same experience  but if you have a type of music that might approximate this feeling, seek it out immediately. See it live Immediately.  This is the type of happiness we all need to experience and share.

2. A Day at the Guitar Races


My friend, Butch, established the San Diego Mixtape Society about a year ago. It is a simple premise: you assemble a mix of music based on the theme, you share the mixes with others, talk music, and probably drink.

This month’s theme: epic guitar riffs. I generally don’t gravitate towards songs with heavy prominent guitar so I expected a slight challenge.

However it was harder than a challenge.  When I started to make my list, I was kindly informed that none of these songs, save one, had a guitar riff. I searched and looked for more songs that I enjoyed and nope no riffs either. Then I figured out one simple point:   I can’t pick out a riff to save my life.  I can now. Well I have a list of songs that has them but trying to identify the riff in the song. Yeah. Can’t do that.

Honestly I tried not to care but I do strive to enjoy all types of music. Maybe I don’t listen to rock all of the time but sometimes I do enjoy a Rolling Stones or Pantera song.  I wanted to be able to be like everyone else and know about the magical world of the guitar.

I realized that it came down to this scenario: think of the song Smoke on the Water and now imagine you had to sing the song to someone. You would probably start with the beginning guitar riff.  I start by singing the chorus:

This issue eneded up with me choosing songs that I enjoyed which were rock songs but not knowing much beyond the general beat and lyrics. For example I thought that this beautiful song had a great guitar riff and it sadly doesn’t:

I also realized that people have different descriptions of riffs.  When telling this story to different people: I would get different definitions on what constitutes a riff. Which confused me more.

Thus I did what I had to do,  I cheated and had Andreaboo come up with most of the list, I revised it slightly and added a couple songs that I found (thanks google!!) that I enjoy. Here is my handwritten list and the cover I created for the cd (bonus!!):

Now I am riff free and will listen to some awesome EDM I am discovering:

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