Tag Archives: music

listen to music.

15 Sep

On my way to work, I usually listen to news on the radio.  It’s a quick way for me to get the basics of the world on my 15 minute commute. Remember, Grown Men know the news.  However, my news station of choice has been raking me over the coals of guilt and shame this week during their twice a year pledge drive (though I’m starting to suspect it’s MUCH more often than that).  Some well meaning woman whom I’m totally sure is wearing a dog-hair cardigan and sensible khakis is softly berating me with statements like, “We provide quality news and entertainment to you year round – all we’re asking is for you to provide for us once a year. Is that too much to ask?”  Oh geez, I get it, I get it, I’ll give you my 20 bucks — just bring back your soothing and gentle presentation of the economic meltdown and multiple wars!

So, I’ve done what any good NPR listener would do this time of year and plugged in the iPod.  And yesterday, I found myself doing something very un-Morning Edition.  Instead of quietly driving, considering, and reflecting — I sang.  Oh heck yeah, I sang!  It was ugly and comical to those who caught a glimpse of me in the rear-view mirror but man, it felt great.  And the reason it felt great was because music is important and something that Grown Men tend to enjoy less and less of as they become older and more “mature.”

The truth is, music is primal.  We know this by looking at babies.  For example, take your average little fella who’s just learning how to stand.  I guarantee you that a majority of the time, when you turn on Single Ladies or some other classic but terrible dance song, that chap is going to start bouncing.  Then, if the song is particularly, wonderfully, bad (Telephone by Lady Gaga), he’s going to start smiling, clapping, and having a heck of a time.  Does he know the complexities of the lyrics (“Just a second, it’s my favorite song they gonna play. And I cannot text you with a drink in my hand, eh?”)?  No, he has no idea what’s being said.  Does he enjoy the bold vocal arrangements and unique instrumentation found in modern… whatever. No.  All he knows is that this noise makes him feel good and he’s gotta dance his Pampers off.

Grown Men, you’ve got to put down the talk radio and listen to music more often.  Because music, even crappy music that you’re embarrassed to tell people you like (Madonna: The  Immaculate Collection) is one of the great forms of enjoyment we get in this life.  And, in our adult lives, we need as many outlets for pure, non goal oriented, relatively pointless happiness that we can find. The problem is, we get old (or at least, we think we get old) and those purely enjoyable activities get replaced with kinda fun, but sorta purposeful, but “it’s not that bad”, but “a little boring” acts — like email and catching up on the Tivo. 

Listening to music is one of the disciplines of our lives that must be practiced to keep us grounded, creative, peaceful, and well-rounded men.   Taking five minutes to lean back in a comfortable chair with The Beatles is probably more helpful than one more email, one more episode of Entourage, or another call returned.  Even if it’s a crappy artist that only you like (Creed), the fact that you enjoy it and can create space to partake in it is critical for your overall balance.

You’re a Grown Man, listen to music.

One more thing, please don’t assail me in the comments because I listen to NPR. Their political agenda is unimportant to me and they don’t yell, which is key at 8am.

go through a Johnny Cash phase.

2 Apr

Let’s define a phase, namely, one dealing with music:

Obsessing for 1 or more month over a singular musician or band. During this period, you completely buy into the fact that this artist is the only one that has ever really understood you and music could never get better than this.

Let’s define a Johnny Cash phase:

Getting a copy of his greatest hits, freaking out over the fact that such a bad-ass exists in this world, listening to every recording from the popular Sun Recordings (“I Walk The Line”, “Folsom Prison Blues”) to the ominous and touching American albums, start wearing black – a lot of it.

Here’s why you should like him:

One, he sings country, rock and roll, and rockabilly music that doesn’t use ridiculous terms like “Sippy Cup of Milk“. What’s more, he can craft a melody while half-in-the-bag on Tennessee whiskey that will crush you.

Two, he wore black, all the time.

Three, he seemed to be a Christian AND often went to jail.

Four, he really loved his wife, June.

Finally, he penned this insane lyric:

I wish a was a trapper
I would give thousand pelts
To sleep with Pocahontas
And find out how she felt
In the mornin’
on the fields of green
In the homeland
we’ve never seen.

And maybe Marlon Brando
Will be there by the fire
We’ll sit and talk about Hollywood
And the good things there for hire
Like the Astrodome
and the first tepee
Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me
Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me
Pocahontas.

Enjoy your phase, see you in a month or so.

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