Expat Magazine

91. Music

By Martinfullard @MartyFullardUAE

There is no way that a writer, especially a rubbish one like me, can please everybody.  Writers aren’t like Politicians or Hollywood Film Actors who can please everyone all the time with their vague, all-encompassing responses and ideas.  No, we piss people off, a lot.  So today, note it down, I am going to lose some of my treasured readers.  Today we are going to discuss music.

There are many factors that split the world and the respective countries that reside within.  On an international scale foreign policy is a big one.  Mitt Romney is trying to give us the impression that if he takes power, everything will be ok and that all countries in the world will kiss and make up.  Religion is another biggun; 99% of the worlds population just want to get on with their own lives, it’s only a tiny minority of Christians, Jews, Muslims, Hindus and Sikh’s that want to cause a fracas.  But to the surveying masses the tension between faiths comes across as a bigger deal than it actually is.

As far as an individual nation is concerned, people are split by politics, global temperature fluctuation and X Factor.  But then we get down to the third layer: the people.  The people of a nation are split by one overwhelming factor, and that is music.  From the playground up to the boardroom a person’s music taste can define them.  This is a trend that has been in place, globally, since the 1950’s after the invention of the teenager.  Sub-cultures are basically determined by musical interest.

In 1960’s Great Britain there was a very violent clash of sub-cultures: Mods and Rockers.  Mods wore Lambretta coats, rode Vesper scooters down to Brighton and listened to The Who.  Rockers wore leather jackets, bullrings, tattoos, rode big nasty bikes and ate the elderly.  They generally listened to more dark music like the works of Eddie Cochran and, weirdly, Chuck Berry.

Things haven’t much changed today.  If you like Hip and Hop music, or Rythem and or Blues, then you wear a silly hat with baggy clothes and talk in a language containing very few words that appear in the Oxford Dictionary.  If you like Metal music then you dress in black and dance around heretics and eat bats.  Political parties, global super-powers, foreign policy, it all changes over time but the sub-cultures created by different music genres has stood the test of time.  If all music was the same then surely all its listeners would be the same also.  Imagine if there was no Paul Weller and no Ozzy Osbourne and instead all we listened to Barry Manilow, we’d all be Communists.

So, after 459 words lets see how the UAE fits into all of this.  Arabic music…sorry folks but it all sounds the same to me.  It’s not that I don’t like it; on the contrary, there is just no variety.  I know of one boy band, a group, hilariously, called Salami.  Yes, they are named after cold cut meat.  But even their stuff (don’t ask how I own a copy of their CD) sounds the same as everything else.

Now, the sharper of my readers may point out that I can’t speak Arabic, and therefore have no idea what the singer is singing about.  True, but I have asked a friend about some songs and there is one whereby the male singer spends 3 and a half minutes singing about a ladies leg.  Not legs, leg.  Which leg shall forever remain a closely guarded secret.  But it’s the music itself; it’s a lute, a flute and not much else.

91. Music

Sssh! Romney’s coming! Play that same song again!

I am not trained in the history of Arabic music, or any music for that matter, and there are too many words on the Wikipedia page that I do not know the meaning of.  I assume they are musical instruments.  So I speak as an ignorant Neanderthal, but without some Arabic musicians riding Vespers and some biting the heads off of bats how can the UAE provide the variety it needs to cater for the cosmopolitan demography?

It just doesn’t fit in with the UAE.  The UAE is all about diversity, there is little you cannot do here if you go to the right places.  Ferrari World, skiing, 1000’s of different restaurants, you name it you can do it.  But whenever you tune into an Arabic Radio station it just sounds like they are playing the same song over and over again.  It’s like listening to the Cantina Band in Star Wars.

This is not the kind of topic that requires me to come up with a far fetched solution, no, but I want to help the cause and stop the UAE accidentally becoming Communist.  Since I am hell-bent on becoming rich and famous by any means possible I have come up with an idea that I think will not only line my pockets, but also provide the UAE with a wide assortment of different musical genres.  I will put together a panel of judges, each from a different musical background.  I will get them to choose their favourite acts through an auditioning process that will be aired on TV.  There will be several knock-out stages for the different Arabic genres and hopefully we’ll end up with a winner.  But it won’t matter; everyone will be a winner because they will all have been on TV. We shall therefore have the variety of Arabic music that is needed.  I’ll call it UAE Uncut Factor.  As far as I know there is no such show out there that adopts this judges/contestant format and I am confident that it will be popular…

And if all else fails at least it will draw attention away from Mitt Romney’s foreign policy…

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