August 2020: The Music Remains
The one thing that remains constant is music.
The entire world has been on fire for the past six months, and the band plays on. One could make all the band on the Titanic playing as it sinks analogies he or she wants, but it does not remove the irrevocable fact that it is true. Time and time again during all of the trials and tribulations we are all experiencing, music has been the thing we have all turned to. There were blips of Tiger King and sports relaunching, but where television has looked different and movie theaters are nonexistent. Music has remained a beacon of steadiness.
While live music has been gut punched and it is horrific to watch what our artists and venues are enduring from a financial standpoint, people are listening to music in seemingly greater numbers than before all this started. It’s an escape, it’s a shoulder to lean on, it’s therapy, it’s transformative, it’s special and it is flexible. It can be as real or fantastic as you need at any given moment. It can transport you, reassure you or soothe you. Music is special. It always has been. But, as the old saying goes, trouble reveals character, we’re seeing the true character of music and it is shining.
Be it a Sequestered Songwriters show on a Monday night or a random Facebook live you come across. A new playlist you discover on a streaming service or a song you happen to hear while driving in your car. Music has been the tugboat that is slowly pulling us through our day to day existence in the pandemic. The band plays on.
Early on in this situation, we launched our Good Mood playlist to bolster the endorphins of everyone. Songs of hope, happiness and salvation. Songs that made you tap your foot. For 90 days we added one song each day. It was therapeutic. As this situation rolled on, it felt best to leave that alone at a certain point. Because some days required sad songs. We built playlists for that too. Artists kept releasing music. We kept creating, writing, hosting podcasts. Shouting from the rooftops about music we loved. Concerts cancelled, well, my earbuds still work.
And we march on. The band plays on. We continue to listen. The music will stop. Nero may be playing his fiddle, but so is Brady Black. I know which one I want to listen to.
-Times are tough, but my musician friends are tougher. Astounded by their creativity and grit throughout this mess.
-Wear. Your. Mask.
-Yes, Taylor Swift released a new project. Yes, I still don’t like it. I gave it a go. It’s not for me, and as an old dude…I accept that. Happy that it brings so many others joy.
-What are we binging? I’m pretty sure I found the basement of Netflix.
-Never been less excited for the start of football. Hoping it happens.
-Lovely way the DFW teams that are already playing have been losing games. Constantly inventing new ways to do so. -This month’s recommended record: Gabe Wooton – Old Quarter Live Sessions, Vol 1. Wootton is a prototype of the songwriter’s songwriter. Devilish, quick-witted, human without apology. This live collection finds him in his element. Down in south Texas at a historic venue doing his thing. A testament to songwriting, humility and above all talent. This is the type of record that your favorite songwriter is going to listen to 1,000 times and take something from and present it to you in an inspired form.
-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain