The sun shines on a dreamer Shines a light on you when you listen to your heart The sun shines on a dreamer Shines a light on you through the dim, through the dark -Wade Bowen
Ain’t it funny how music works. More so than any other artform it is a conduit of emotion. It can be both time machine and present placeholder. It speaks when words cannot. This is never more apparent than it is in the spring. Coming out of the dearth of winter and feeling the sunshine on you once more is akin to hearing that riff you loved in high school blasting out of the speakers once more. I’m very cyclical in my music consumption. It’s really either all or nothing.
I’m basically unable to be a passive listener.
I must sing along, play air guitar and drums, stomp my foot in rhythm or silently immerse myself in lyrical dissection. It’s not a pastime for me. It’s a way of life. I’m not alone either. There are millions of us wired this way. It is why we take it so personally when we encounter folks who don’t feel as impassioned as we do. You know the types. The ones that only listen to what’s on the radio and only do that as a matter of convenience. We are the seekers and doers. The creators and promoters of what we hold so dear.
We ebb and flow with the seasons too. Music carries us through all 12 months, but there are certainly times when we lean on it more heavily than others. This typically coincides with the times we are outside more. Spring and summer. Patios, grilling out, river floats and the like. Music just sounds better when the weather cooperates. Even the sad songs have more poignancy in the bright and sunny times.
This winter has seemingly lasted forever. Had I not been lucky enough to escape to Mile 0 for a few days in late January I’d dare say it was interminable. But, I’ve found the cure. It’s the calendar flipping to March. The month of Texas Independence, baseball, March Madness, SXSW and St. Patrick. It’s here and so are we…with the tunes. Songs and playlists that have been dormant for a while are now back in the rotation. Good times are in sight and good melodies are here to back them up.
Artists feel this way too. There’s a long lull from Thanksgiving to Spring Break in the gigging world. There are bright spots in Steamboat, Red River and Key West…but they are few and far between. Things tend to trend upward now and steamroll right through the summer and into the fall fair season. It’s a special time.
Which brings me back to my active listening. I never truly stop, but there are moments in time when I’m going through the motions. Times like these just feel better. The lyrics hit harder, the groove thumps louder and the melodies linger on the breeze for days.
The sun shines on a dreamer. And music shines a light on everything. The right, wrong, good and bad. The highs and lows feel more with music. More than film, more than print. Music evokes it in a deeply piercing way that nothing else does. Thank God we’re in sunshine season. The music, and dreamers have been waiting.
-River Jam 2019. July 12, 13, 14. San Marcos and New Braunfels. Details soon.
-Branching off that diatribe, baseball season is amazing for many reasons, but not the least of which is the weather in which it traditionally takes place.
-The pay for college entrance scandal is baffling. 500K to get into USC? Bruh, take your own tests and get where you get. Boomer and GenX parenting run afoul. My generation scares me sometimes.
-That old Rodney Crowell song “Song For the Life” is speaking to me at shows lately. Lately I find myself enjoying a Topo Chico at the gig as much as a brew. Cheaper, you miss less of the show in lines and you’re able to not need an Uber after its over. #old
-The backlash to the SXSW backlash. Inception.
-Word is they’re doing a sequel to Bohemian Rhapsody. The Freddie Mercury tribute concert was one of the defining musical moments of my youth. I remember Live Aid in bits and pieces…but I remember every second of the tribute show. Metallica, GNR, Elton John, George Michael slaying “Somebody To Love”. That would be a nice place for Part 2 to end.
-Axl Rose may be unavailable to play himself in that, but I bet Mama Fratelli is available.
-Speaking of movies…where have all the funny movies gone? I love a good drama or think-piece or documentary as much as the next person. But, it’s been years since I can recall an tremendous, raucous, truly laugh out loud major comedy release.
-I got to take in Josh Weathers at Dosey Doe the other night. A truly remarkable listening room and a transcendent artist. Weathers is just about the most talented musician I’ve ever known. Seamlessly twisting through all manner of genre and style with natural God-given talent. He’s big…but should be a household name. In a different time and place, I suspect he would be.
-This month’s recommended album: QCNH – self titled. The Fort Worth rockers are back with thick riffs, tasty jams and lyrics that pontificate in alternating realities and imagined galaxies. It’s trippy, groovy and unique. It’s a fun, provocative listen that gets better upon each run through.
-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twain