Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Is There Music In Your Soul?

Sweet Sarah - you inspired this entry as you got me thinking...I am obsessed with music. There is nothing better that getting new CD's or buying new songs off iTunes or going to live shows (the pinnacle). I get so damn excited! My love for music has been a long affair.

As a kid, we used to get dressed up and play my mom's old records and dance and sing around the dining room table. I fondly remember Mitch Miller's rousing tunes in particular. Probably because they have such a child-like quality to them and I could easily remember all the words. I remember going to my grandmother's house and she would play organ music for us and let us play on it too. Eventually, as we got older, we took piano and organ lessons for years. I loved them at first, but as I got closer to the teen years, my excitement shifted to feeling burdened. Who likes to practice right? I then pursued the trumpet and loved it. I certainly had the lung capacity for this instrument and I got so much positive reinforcement from my instructor that the love for this pursuit lasted a little longer of my own accord. But then I hit high school and didn't want to be a band "geek". Ahh hindsight, you are so clear! Damn my preconceived notions!

Even though I stopped playing the music, I never lost the passion I have for it. In high school, me and my girlfriend Tammy shared a great love for music. I started going to concerts and it was all over from there...I was hooked! My first concert was Billy Idol. I never looked back. The euphoria of live music, beats through your body, the unity of shared taste and the feeling you get from the vibe an artist gives you. I have seen some pretty awesome shows in my life and I still keep my eyes out for the must see shows...even though they are farther and fewer between these days!

My hubby gave me an iTunes gift card for my bday and I have been keeping a long list of artists and songs that I want to add to my pile of music. Of course the amount of this card doesn't' even come close to covering what I want...so I have to be strategic on my downloads. I agonized over what to do. Buy just the songs I want or go all out and get a full CD. I come from a place where I miss the beauty of records. The full deal complete with beautiful album art! I tend to buy full CD's because I tend to be attracted to the B-sides that artists put out. So, I ended up getting the new Bob Schneider cd "Lovely Creatures" and it was the best buy. I love this man. He is a musical genius all around...lyrics, musical experimentation...he never does the same thing twice and masters it all! I highly recommend this CD. Then I ended up buying Mason Jennings new CD "Blood of Man". I was torn because I did not like his last CD release "Boneclouds", but every other CD I have is awesome. Well, thank God for Pandora and the ability to listen to many new releases in full. It was an excellent purchase. I feel like a kid a Christmas every time I get new music.

So now I have a little extra to play with but not enough for a full CD. I guess I will have to pick up some "one-hit wonders".

Max seems to share my love for music. He has been banging on his drum, with some impressive skill, for a while now and the boy can hum on tune! He has been humming the ABC/Twinkle Twinkle song on tune since he was 8 months now. I used to take him down to Music In The Park every Thursday in Hudson and the boy would just love it. He would light up and contently sit and watch the musicians. Then he would clap on cue after every song...so frickin' cute! We do a lot of dancing to music and mommy has her tunes on quite a bit. When I first brought him home and was on maternity leave, I would turn on some of my more mellow music and dance with him in my arms around the house. He loved it and it often put him to sleep.

Why is the importance music lost on so many? I just wish music was not the first program to be cut in many schools...much like art. I believe these are crucial in building a solid foundation on which to learn everything else. There are so many studies that show this simple concept and yet, they are the first things to go in schools. It is truly a travesty. I pray that changes when Max gets to school. We need music. We need the beauty it provides.

Now being a mom, I have had to give up a few of the things I used to spend my money foolishly on. But one thing I will never give up...is the music.

Side note (for my memory's sake):
I count myself lucky to have seen Pink Floyd, R.E.M, Dave Matthews Band (numerous times), Phish, Bob Schneider (numerous times), Ben Harper, Big Head Todd & the Monsters (numerous times), Eagles, Metallica, GnR, John Mayer, Prince, Mason Jennings (numerous times), Amos Lee, Citizen Cope, Crosby-Stills-Nash & Young, David Gray, The Flaming Lips, G. Love & Special Sauce, Gear Daddies, Gin Blossoms, Jack Johnson, U2, Robert Randolph & The Family Band, O.A.R. ...to name a few.

I need to see the following before I die or they break up: RADIOHEAD(top of the list), Tom Petty, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, The Shins, Ray Lamontagne, Pearl Jam, NIN, Justin Timberlake, The Fratellis, Beck...and I can't think of the others but there is more.

These are the ones I would have given an appendage to see: Led Zepplin, Michael Jackson, Sublime, James Brown, The Grateful Dead, The Doors, Jimi Hendrix, Otis Redding, Miles Davis and many more, but you get the gist.

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