‘[T]o listen to music too hard – to hear it in terms of its component sounds, and to co-ordinate these with some production-orientated scheme of representation – is to risk not hearing music at all’ (Nicholas Cook, Music, Imagination, and Culture [Oxford, 1990], p.161). Truly to listen as Wordsworth desires must as a minimum require suspension of musical-analytic memory and inference, because precisely such functions will interrupt the completeness of listening. via luka
"I wonder what Mark Fisher would have thought about the spread across all the end-of-year lists of what is effectively (regardless of genre or sonic specifics) a new singer-songwriter ethos...  recordings approached and analysed and felt largely as literary expressions... narratives of self, social comment, political stances and statements, representations of identity, thematic links  ....  the criticism surrounding it somewhat more attentive to sound and rhythm than Paul Nelson's purely literary appreciation of  Jackson Browne in Stranded , but fundamentally coming from the same place, the same understanding of how popular music works and what it's for.  Today, listening to and reading about this kind of album (fucking Norman Fucking Rockwell the supreme example), it feels like what's going on between artist and critics is a performance of  Importance and Seriousness - Masterpiece Theater you could call it - one that harks back achingly to a time when such major stat
  Because I very rarely rehearse, at first I am at odds  with the guitar. It doesn't feel natural, but this means my mind is open to new ideas. I  haven't formed ruts down the fingerboard by playing the same things. It's still very much  unexplored territory.   Maybe that's why I don't feel attached to my instruments. It's almost  like I'm going to dominate them in some way. I don't feel like they're part of me; they stand  between me and something new - The Edge
 “Here it was an aesthetic revolution that made the changes. For 5 years the class system didn’t seem to exist--nobody ever used the word…. I remember about 1970, for the first time in something like five or six years, I heard someone who was being interviewed on the radio use the word ‘working class’. Which would have been unthinkable in say, 1967 or 1968. Unthinkable. I thought, ‘my God, that’s the death knell of change. It’s coming to an end.’ And it did, and now we’re back in the same closed, confined, class-conscious little society… I don’t think the radical change needed to transform this country can come from the political direction at all. I think it can only come from the area of the arts--some sort of seismic shift in aesthetic sensibility, of a kind that we saw in the mid-60s, when this country was improved for the better. There was no question about it--liberated, briefly….”  J.G. Ballard, 1983
 "Ambient techno doesn't need a brightly burning SOUL like Billy Ray Martin's; 'soul'--and this applies to all forms of MODERN music, not just techno--is dispersed polymorphously throughout the soundscape, taking up residence in the bassline, the panoply of textures, even the drum track.   Instead of 'soul'--that one bombastic figure pouring out a heartful of passion--there's a diffuse spirituality/sensuality that spreads across the entire surface, or skin, of a piece of music.   Time to talk of music in terms of its erogenous, or eroto-mystical zones, rather than its 'soul'." - SR
 "Music makes you happy and it doesn't harm you. Most things that make you feel better are harmful. Music is like a drug - that doesn't kill you" - Fran Leibowitz, on why people love music and love musicians. 
  " The whole ethic of the band, though it was unwritten and rarely spoken, was to create new music, so if a piece had a similarity/reminded someone of another work it was generally rejected. The emphasis was on new... It was all about new sounds and new ways of writing a song.... Even now, making a new sound is still our first impulse, and that includes not repeating previous Pram recordings...To repeat ourselves or someone else would be boring and not really worth the effort.... My working life is ten times harder than it needs to be because I hate repeating what’s gone before “  -  Matt Eaton,  Pram,  2011