Wednesday, 17 June 2015


I'd like to point out that I don't listen to new releases exclusively. Since my posts concern mostly young artists, a few have assumed my musical knowledge is limited to the 21st century. Not true. Grew up listening to my dad's favorite cd's while driving around California. The Rolling Stones, Bob Dylan, Van Morrison, Aretha Franklin, Miles Davis, Mose Allison, Robert Johnson, Muddy Waters, Cannonball Adderley, and so on. I could write on how listening to Karen Dalton is perfect for rainy days or how, as I did in my teens, Pink Floyd's Dark Side of the Moon is perfect for dozing off (I mean this in a good way). But I won't discuss that. This blog covers live performances. Whether the artists mentioned are talented or not.

Las Vegas

A California beach

On the road  (California)

One reason for writing about current music is my financial situation. Would love to watch Neil Young perform, only the tickets are too expensive. Also, my best concert experiences occur in small venues at small prices. The second reason is I prefer living for the present. For many years I've listened to artists of my parents' generation thinking nothing is as good nowadays. It might be true (always up for debate) but is a heartbreaking notion. There's this quote I love from a recently read book, How to Build a Girl by Caitlin Moran. It approaches the problem our generation has with cynicism.

"Cynicism means you presume everything will end in disappointment. And this is ultimately, why anyone becomes cynical. Because they are scared of disappointment. Because they are scared someone will take advantage of them. [...] Cynicism is, ultimately, fear. Cynicism makes contact with your skin, and a thick black carapace begins to grow – like insect armor. This armor will protect your heart, from disappointment – but it leaves you almost unable to walk. You cannot dance in this armor.
And of course, the deepest irony about the young being cynical is that they are the ones that need to move, and dance, and trust the most. They need to cartwheel though a freshly burst galaxy of still-forming but glowing ideas, never scared to say "Yes! Why not!" – or their generation's culture will be nothing but the blandest, and most aggressive, or most defended of old tropes. When young people are cynical, and snarky, they shoot down their own future. When you keep saying "No," all that's left is what other people said "Yes" to before you were born. Really, "No" is no choice at all."

I think that says it all.

Now I leave you with Tom Waits' "Anywhere I Lay My Head" from the album Rain Dogs. Wishing someday I'll attend a live performance of his.

Only in my dreams.

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