Monday, November 15, 2010

Music to My Ears

                I’ve been on a music kick of late. Back in Washington, I listened to a lot of classical music and singer-songwriter stuff. I don’t know if you’ve ever known a musician but all the ones I’ve met over the years seem to have at least one thing in common. No matter the style, the talent, or what they do when they aren’t playing music, they all think that because they play music, they have the right to judge music. We all have our likes and dislikes, granted, but they take it a step farther. It’s not “Oh, I don’t really like X. They just aren’t my deal.” It’s “X is the stupidest band in the world full of know nothing hacks not fit to touch a guitar. How on Earth are they loved by millions around the world while I’m/we’re playing that one crappy bar with shit sound once again? Sell outs!” I’ve known other artists- painters, photographers, and writers, mostly, and most of the time we tend to say things more along the lines of “Q isn’t really my style but he has talent (or potential if the talent is lacking).” See the difference? There is an acknowledgement of skill regardless of person taste. But not musicians, oh no! You either do something that the musicians I know adore or you suck. Poppycock!  So I listened to “pre-approved” singer-songer writer stuff because that’s what the Ex liked and classical because, honestly, how does someone that learned guitar from a stoner in a musty shack make fun of Mozart or Dvorak?
                So, now that I no longer have to censor my musical choices (one of the great things about people being unsure of you is that you can do whatever you want), I’ve been exploring the horizons a little more. I’ve gotten more into swing and Frank Sinatra-style standards as well as Nina Simone. Right now, though, I’m listening to the choral station on Pandora. My father-in-law used to drive me to work on Sunday nights and we’d listen to the choral music concerts that a church in New York broadcast. I love so many things about choral music. First off, the singing is amazing. These people have stunning voices and are so emotionally charged. Secondly, I’m a sucker for religious art. Yes, I’m Pagan, but I adore all of it. Nothing will move me to tears more quickly than an artistic display of faith. I love the Jewish art at the North Carolina Museum of art (and was very happy to see they still have it) and always made a point to visit the Christian art section at the Seattle Art Museum. Of course, when the Louvre loaned SAM their Roman art display, I was floored by the stunning sculptures of the Gods. I roamed that exhibit slowly with a lump in my throat and tears in my eyes. And the Muslim calls to worship? Gorgeous. So, of course choral music would be something I’d really enjoy listening to. Plus, it’s exceedingly royal and has survived the ages. The piece I just listened to was almost 500 years old. Prince Charles ought to be crowned King in my office, there is so much choral music being played. Or I should at least have a golden throne in my apartment so I can lounge around in it like Cate Blanchett on the “Elizabeth” movie poster and declare war on various countries at will.
                In other music news, I think, I hope, I might be able to finally see Carolina Chocolate Drops in concert. My friend Wendy “liked” them on Facebook several months ago and I followed the link to discover a really fun bluegrass band. They are local to Raleigh and will be playing a show on December 11th. Carolina Chocolate Drops are the only bluegrass band I currently like but I’m hoping that I’ll discover more through them… and Pandora.
                Elijah has been exploring his musical tastes as well. He perks up for most music but especially anything with a danceable beat. Lady Gaga still rules his heart but we got in some old school Madonna the other day. “Holiday” I think it was. He also just about flipped out of his car seat for “We Will Rock You.” I’m not a huge Queen fan but he really enjoyed it so we clapped our hands and did the best dance we could while being strapped into a car. 

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