“Different strokes for different folks.”
This is a common quote used to express how different aspects in life can move someone. Whether its getting out of the city into nature, exploring the depths of the oceans, getting lost in a video game, or going to your favorite watering hole for a well made cocktail, people will always find ways to find themselves. For me, integrating music into my daily routine has become an essential tool for my motivational needs. For example, listening to that ripping, haunting guitar solo from Jimi Hendrix during his live performance of “Machine Gun,” makes me push myself to whole new level during a workout… Or when I prep myself to go on a date, listening to Frank Sinatra’s “I only have eyes for you,” makes putting on a suit feel much more classy and inherently raises my confidence. Whenever I have a bonfire with old friends from high school, it’s fun to rap along with Ice Cube’s ballad, “It was a good day” or Depeche Mode’s “Enjoy the Silence.”
Recently, I spoke with my cousin about a concert she went to where Buddy Guy had opened up for The Rolling Stones at Summerfest, in Milwaukee, WI. In so many words, she described the vibe that she felt throughout the entire evening as “amazing” and “the most talented night of musicians and song”. Whether its classic rock, punk, classical, country, or hip hop, those who have a knack for music feel an emotional energy that is almost impossible to put in words.
One of the biggest influences for my taste and love for music was from my family. One of the first albums I can remember listening to growing up was Dark Side of the Moon by Pink Floyd. While a pretty cliché album to mention… the sound produced from my father’s old vintage turntable, paired with a set of old Klipsch speakers, provided a more memorable experience than most re-mastered recordings we hear today. You can’t replicate the crackling sound a spec of dust causes on an old vinyl record, even with all the fancy audio equipment available on the market today.
Why do songs bring on that “déjà vu” vibe???
Every year, until I was 18 years old, my family would take a trip up to St. Germain, WI to join with a group of friends. Before the era of cell phones, tablets, and the daily use of the web, our group would enjoy a week of solitude in the wilderness by a lake… You know what are some of my most memorable moments from these trips were??? THE MUSIC… For the five-hour drive up to the cabin, my sister and I would sing the back up vocals “woo-woo” to “Sympathy for the Devil” by The Rolling Stones… While relaxing on the beach, a friend of the family would blast The Door’s Greatest Hits while I built horribly structured sand castles for my Darth Vader action figure… Which by the way, would have had Emperor Palpatine so pissed off he would have turned me into a newt… Although being a newt wouldn’t be so bad… Back on point…
It’s interesting to reminisce on these certain moments where music has left a lasting impression to the point where it creates a vivid emotional memory. But one question ponders in my mind…
Will these new generations of music provide the same emotional connection that I experienced during the short 31 years of my life???
I would like to think so, especially with some of the more modern albums I have listened to in the past few years. There is hope!!!
While I somewhat agree with professional music critics that modern music is not up to par with vintage innovation, there seems to be a new sprout of ingenuity in the past decade. The Alabama Shakes, Of Monsters and Men, Black Keys, Joe Bonamassa, Michael Buble, Luke Bryan, Jason Aldean, just to name a few, have managed to revive some old school vintage sounds, with a modern twist. These new age artists have managed to create ALBUMS… A lost art that seemed to dissipate in the late 90s, which have only been seen far too in-between since then. Has this shown that music innovation is slowly being revived???
Whenever I am being introduced to new music that I normally would not have enjoyed years ago, I now have learned to listen with an open mind. My taste has mostly been for blues and rock, but this has evolved… During an amazing trip to Iceland a few months ago, I experienced my first rave in the middle of a freezing cold fishing village called Ísafjörður. Somehow a good friend of mine and I ended up at a festival called “Never Been South”. Normally, I am reserved about “house music”, but I just let myself go with the experience… Holy crap I was amazed!!! There was something indescribable about letting your body express itself to the music that made you feel like you were in different dimension…. An outsider may read this and automatically think… What kind of drugs did this dude take??? Well, while I assure you that I was not sober, I can vividly recall the emotions I felt at this time, and strongly encourage others to try it once.
So will music continue to evolve with generations to come? Will these classic legends still influence the up and coming bands of the age? Will we continue to connect ourselves emotionally to musical notations???
While Michael Jackson moves some people to dance, Lady Gaga influences others to sing, and ZZ Top makes some tap their foot, one thing all these instances have in common is that it drives people to express their inner beings. Any professional can analyze music to write an article, blog, or podcast, but in the end, only the individual can determine how they connect themselves to it.