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News vs. Rock And Roll

These are my reflections after seeing an artistic incident.

August 16th, 2018 | Journal | | Comments: 1

In a most fortunate series of events I was able to see Counting Crows, Līve, and Boom Forest perform in Hartford, Connecticut for free last night. And despite the show being hosted at a huge corporate venue (as all things tend to be once enough people show enough interest), the show seriously reaffirmed many THINGS for me.

A few of those THINGS are:

  1. why I do music
  2. what makes me loves music
  3. why I write music the way I do
  4. what I hope to hear in every song
  5. how I hear melody
  6. how I hear instrumentation
  7. what I believe a song can accomplish
  8. what the world needs
  9. what I can do to help
  10. why good band dynamics are so important
  11. there are kids (of all ages) out there that will always need encouragement, goading, sympathy, reminders, or some sort of whatever-“RESONANCE”-means-to-you to give them enough hope, vision, courage, bliss, distraction, fear, fuck-it, or tears to face another day, another challenge, another impossible life to overcome (or at least to survive and commiserate with the realities of life).

A huge part of what makes me who I am musically (and probably life-ly) is due to what I learned from listening to the recordings of the frontmen Adam Duritz (Counting Crows) and Ed Kowalczyk (Līve). These guys have come to life from different directions, but both are virtuoso lyricists, vocalists, and performers with tremendous insight. They had immeasurable impact upon my informal path to learning and understanding of the effort, energy, and emphasis that good music requires of the singer/songwriter, demands of the listener/thinker, and begs of the disengaged/disingenuous. I cannot overstate the profundity their efforts have infected and hovered over my own work.

HIGH ART can often feel unachievable. It is truly difficult to achieve, but I find myself continually returning to those works that wreck me most and they are the most basic of forms. The simplest words are the most profound.

When Līve performed their relatively non-hit, but surprisingly prescient song “White, Discussion” (especially when considering the current U.S. presidential administration), Ed Kowalczyk offered this statement:

“I just want to turn off all the news and listen to rock and roll for the rest of my life.” — Ed Kowalczyk, Hartford, Connecticut, August 15, 2018

And though that sentiment may seem childish or dismissible at face value, it reminds me of why I began investing in music in the first place. We are humans and we are bigger than than the circumstances we happen to find ourselves landing in. The news is worth shutting off. It is designed to make us reel, react, and regurgitate. Instead we should revolt, reinvent, reset, and remind each other of why and how we should live.

I remind you…as I am reminded…as I remind myself…

If anything without love rules you, overthrow it.

If anyone acts as though they are above you, remind them how the “Lightning Crashes”.

If any task seems too hard to start, to endure, or to end, return to the beautifully complicated truth of “Anna Begins”.

And as always, “If Ever In Doubt”…

But blogs are blogs. Blah, blah, blah, blogs. And as “White, Discussion” sums it up:

“Look where all this talking got us, baby”

1 Comment >

One Comment

  1. 1 Ryan Burns 7:05 pm Aug 16, 2018

    My dude, I love reading your stuff. I’m glad that you got to see those bands!!

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