What type of music do you like? It’s one of the most common get-to-know-you questions there is, and I love it because music has always meant something so much more to me than background noise or a fun accompaniment to whatever I’m doing.
As I answer that question I always find myself eventually getting to the part about what I don’t like. I realized the common thread for songs and styles I don’t gravitate towards is the soul, the essence, what the song embodies, just doesn’t resonate.
It’s why most rap or cheesy, pop country doesn’t make it to my speakers often. I don’t hate it. It just doesn’t resonate in a way that makes me feel something, gives me a sense of solidarity with the writer, inspires me to live more fully.
It’s always a treasure to not only find artists who are able to accomplish that in your heart but are able to hold on to that connection for the entirety of their career. They’re few and far between, and I was reminded of that resonance this past weekend.
I remember Lacie burning me a CD (a statement I’m just now realizing dates us) that stayed in my car for the rest of high school—The Rocket Summer, more specifically Bryce Avary. It’s been a soundtrack to life through youth, early adulthood, and continues now as I enter my 30’s.
I sat there in the crowd last Friday, moving my body, singing the words, and feeling alive the same way I did all those years ago when I was hearing it all for the first time.
I’m so grateful, because I know it costs something to be an artist. You give up many aspects of a “normal” life. You forego many opportunities that could make life more comfortable. You bare your own heart in a way that allows others to be entertained and encouraged.
David Ramirez, another of my favorites, writes in one of his songs,
“And these songs will only take me
as far as the people will go.
If I can't make them happy,
Well, they won't come to my shows.
Mayby that's what's killed
All the great voices in the world.
Always bleeding for every line
but no one was bleeding in return.”
Buy the T-shirt. Go to the show. Pay for the music. Support those who are actually supporting you more than you know. I know I need those who are sacrificing for the sake of art.
As I’m writing this, I’m closing a loop in my own mind from experiences of my past to the present. I realize now I’m going to be that old guy at the concert, the one who doesn’t look as cool or hip as the youth who are packed in at the front but is feeling every moment of it.
I’ll be there, because I know now more than ever, we need real, authentic art in our world—the kind that shapes us and ultimately makes us who we are.