• What is music?

    Nov 5 2009, 8h15

    I regularly state that music is my life. I listen to dozens of songs each day, I play guitar, I write, and I'm always researching a new artist. A lot of people ask--"Well, why music? Why not sports or something else?"

    It's a good question and it's one that's not easy to answer by any means. Sure, I could have picked up sports and that would have been fine. I could have been an artist in terms of painting and such--that's fine too. For me, there's something in music. There's something terrific about hearing a great album for the first time or mastering that hard guitar riff--an almost transcending sort of feeling. I feel a lot of nostalgia when listening to old bands--nostalgia a sports fan might associate with a particular sports team, or that an artist might associate with a particular MC Escher work.

    A friend of mine stated she began crying tonight when the New York Yankees won the World Series. She moved to Nevada a few years ago and misses New York. For her, the Yankees are part of New York and she can still have that piece with her in Nevada. She recalled that during the season, there was never a time in her life where the Yankees weren't on. I feel that way about music--I can associate a lot of it with good times in my younger years. I had watched the World Series and the American League Championship Series, and as a Yankees fan, I definitely felt the tension and the overall excitement. I wasn't anywhere near tears though. I understood her passion and her reasoning, and it's the same passion and reasoning I put into music.

    Music can transcend spoken word--while some music does include speaking--albeit in the form of singing--there's much more to it. The intricacies of the music, be it a simple acoustic guitar or a lush backing band complete with strings, add so much more to the music. It moves beyond simply stating a mood--it conveys it. The best music is the kind where you feel it too by the end of the track--where you feel the sort of indifferent mood of suffering in Elliott Smith's "Miss Misery" or the pain behind the words of Nick Drake in "Black-Eyed Dog", one of the last songs he recorded. In certain songs, you can feel the optimism of the songwriters--you can feel what they're feeling at a deeper level than he or she simply stating their mood, be it sadness, joy, or anger.

    What is music to you?
  • Music I keep meaning to check out but put off for some reason...

    Nov 2 2009, 8h42

    Devendra Banhart
    Sufjan Stevens
    Iron and Wine (I have their stuff, just haven't had a good chance to listen)

    I forgot the others...