Russell Minick 2 Comments

Friend: What does music do for you? How is it helpful, and how is it dangerous? I’ve gone through a cycle where I have expected a lot from music, but now I wonder whether I’ve been asking more of it than it was intended for.

TelosX: Music teases me that satisfaction of connection is possible.

My main intake of music is yahoo radio. It adapts to my ratings of songs and tries to guess what I might like. It introduced me to the Yoshida Brothers (Japanese techno with traditional instruments) and a variety of folksters. All tease, some better than others, but all they can do is stir hope; not deliver the telos of it.

The issue you might be talking about is the iPod syndrome of despair (no, that is not a real thing, I’m just trying to think). You capture a couple thousand songs, many of which inspired at one time, and then you look at the menu and cannot for the life of you find a song to play; and you wonder why.

Part of the problem is the closed loop. …me-music-me… That is why I like the radio; it comes from without and surprises me. Not always for good. I just had Manheim Steam Roller playing Frosty the Snowman. I hit the ‘never play this again’ button. Led Zeppelin live “Going to California” is playing instead. A hippie/rock song I remember from my teen years. I would never choose it on my own, but it is making me think from angles that surprise me. Most recently I caught a documentary about Haight/Asbury hippies and the summer of love. A small group of people moved toward communal love and peace and psychedelic freedom. It seemed so pure and wise, until the masses came. Thugs, drifters, gawkers, young runaways. It imploded. And the summer of peace ended.

So, as I listen to this song, Robert Plant sings about a girl with flowers in her hair… and then comments to the audience “I don’t see them anymore” and gets back to his song. All of this happens as I am typing to you and I realize that music stirs the clutter of my soul and mind, occasionally prompting my feeling of being alive to surpass my awareness of my feeling of being alive; but not so often.

The aching problem of life is being stuck between the meaninglessness feelings related to the mundane and the irritated feelings of listening to grandiose verbiage from idealism speech/text. I guess that is where poetry sneaks in between and reminds us, we have an unmet desire. This is not all there is and we must press on. One day, Lord willing, what music hints at will be and will abide.

Gotta go. ‘Cat Power’ is singing aboutdreams and adulthood…… Colors and the Kids…

“It must be the kids and the colors that keep me alive… because the music is boring me to death… on this January night…”

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Comments 2

  1. more docs that show music alleviating the confusion and purpose of war. feeling pulling awareness forward. the image of who we were made in (Christ) pulling us out of the perpetual context we find ourselves in. i think of Psalm 40. in a pit, hanging on a limb. we’re pulled out. in my book right now, i read that photographers and musicians were the most forefront speakers of feeling during the Vietnam war that led to an abandonment of western rational naturalism and began to look to eastern thought for answers. the “press on” can lead in any direction. I’ve been challenged recently on numerous occasions, reflecting personally as I encounter other artists, to make sure my art and contribution of voice pushes out more hope than despair.

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