Music… We all love it or else you probably wouldn’t be here. For me I think that it was those weekend afternoons I spent washing the car with my mom listening to Casey Kasem & then Rick Dees count down the top 40 hits. I loved that stuff. But then it grew and by the time I could drive I was making trips to Eugene (about an hour and a half drive from my small rural community) regularly just to come home with a lot less money and new CDs to devour.
High school was never really my thing. It wasn’t all that challenging (except for Chemistry and Physics) and so I needed something else to occupy my time – something that I had an abundance of. I spent many a late night not doing my Spanish homework but surfing the net for anything that could explain to me the genius of the music that got me through the days. I remember being the first kid at my school with a pair of headphones around my head constantly and sitting outside my English teacher’s classroom until the bell rang just to spite her rule that my headphones could not even be seen in her class. I was obsessed…but that’s what music does. It grabs hold of you and doesn’t let go.
I’ve learned a lot since those times as I hope anyone who goes to college, moves out of their parents house, and begins a life of their own should. But really life isn’t all that much different. I’m still the same kid with headphones on as much as possible always looking for something new to sink my head into. Maybe that’s why I found my way into writing. I never really thought that I was a good writer – in fact I think I was considered a pretty average to bad writer all through school. And today who knows if I’m much better. I feel as though I am. But the one thing I do know for sure is that when I’m writing on the topic of music whatever I may lack in technical skill I make up for in pure joy. Why else would I be sitting up at midnight typing away listening to Aqualung?
Whether you enjoy the sounds of Louie Vega, Sun Ra, Ruth Brown, 50 Cent, or Slayer their is something out their for you and I hope that with my writing and DJin (Shameless self promotion: check out my radio show The Musik Lounge Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 at www.ksubseattle.org) I can expose people to something new and different. I will admit that I fit the age old stereotype of a music writer – a wannabe musician who failed. While I’m not sure I’ve failed, I think one has to try first, I do consider myself some kind of instrumentalist and I do have sounds in my head that I want to put to wax. But who doesn’t? You can’t tell me that at some point in your life when listening to your favorite song or artist the thought hasn’t crossed your mind “I wish I could do that!”
But while we all enjoy good music and some look a little harder than others never forget that it’s completely your taste and your taste alone that matters. Every critic out their wants to think that they influence people’s opinion on what to buy (and some do) but in the end all it comes down to is that we are all just fans and if you like something don’t be ashamed or shy to tell everyone. I used to hate country but then I met two people who loved it and played it nonstop. Now I work as an associate producer for three nationally syndicated country radio shows. And you know what? There are some acts that I like. Sure I don’t listen to them everyday or even on a regular basis but when someone is quick to scream “Country sucks” (as so many of my peers are) I’m always prepared to defend my enjoyment of the musicians who make the music I enjoy. And that’s all music needs to be: Something you enjoy and makes you happy like nothing else can.