Searching For Beauty In A Cynical World – Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

Valentine’s Day is bullshit.  So is New Year’s Eve.  They are manufactured holidays designed to sell greeting cards and chocolate and booze.

Okay, New Year’s Eve is real, but to think that it has to be the greatest night of your life is ridiculous.  And who the hell says that all vows and promises and resolutions have to start on New Year’s Day?

You can change your life any day of the week… and you can always recalibrate and start again.  Fell off the wagon, ate something you were not supposed to, skipped the gym???  Tomorrow is another day.  Don’t put things off, but don’t always beat yourself up either.

Valentine’s Day is an opportunity for florists and restaurants to gauge you.  The only positive thing is that the day serves us a reminder that every single day should be romantic… Every single day should be filled with love and love-making, flowers and poems and of course, beautiful, soul-stirring music.

The news today has made me cynical.  The Republican primaries have made me question the true nature of politics.  Gone are the naive thoughts of people wanting to change the world.  In their place is the notion that politics is a game of power, ego and self-enrichment.  Yes I could have come up with this years ago… and I did… but I try to bury it… I try to start anew… I try to believe that maybe, maybe there is someone out there who will inspire and challenge us, who will make us be the best country and the best people we can be.  But we all know motivation has to come from within… it has to be a self-created and desired thing.

Pessimism is only countered by optimism… That is its only cure.  Ironic, but true.

And so on a day when the news is particularly disturbing, music can be a salvation… an escape… a mood and a game changer.

I went out in search of beauty.  I went on the web and Googled “the most beautiful record of all time.”

The hits and lists were interesting… so many electronica and ambient choices…

“The most beautiful songs of all time” brought me a lot of classical choices.

Specificity is a bitch… the devil is in the details… Did I want to be inspired, uplifted, happy???  I certainly did not want to be sobbing.

I think I just needed a U-Turn… I could see where my brain was going and I did not want to let it sit there.

Bitter, party of one needed a dining guest… Cynical needed a table mate.  I looked at my CDs… and then iTunes… and here it is…

This is the album I picked to knock the cobwebs of cynicism and frustration out of my head…

It is from a band that I grew up on… a band who has endured… a band who is still together making great music.  Aside from one tragedy, they seem to be a pretty stable lot.  But for me, this music just makes me happy.  Bruce, of course… The Beatles, The Who, The Stones, U2, Led Zeppelin… yes, yes and yes… Trashcan Sinatras, The Pearlfishers, Thirteen Senses… all on the short list… but today…

Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Greatest Hits

Yes, folks it is a greatest hits collection… and yes, they have some awesome, incredible records, but sometimes a greatest hits package is what the day calls for… and today, the day has spoken!

Supposedly they will be on tour soon, and since it has been years since I have seen them, I am excited to catch this hard working, genuine rocking band.

I love the blend that is Tom Petty… Bob Dylan, The Byrds, Bruce… classic rock… a little Southern and Florida accent and a whole lot of California.  Laurel Canyon is on the palate and so are his Wilbury bandmates… Roy Orbison, Jeff Lynne and the greatly missed George Harrison.  Jangly guitar rock for the modern age never sounded so good.  Mike Campbell is a true guitar hero… Benmont Tench a professor of the keys… I miss Stan Lynch and Howie Epstein… had the true pleasure of meeting Howie and Tom backstage at the short-lived folk festival at UCLA years and years ago… but having Rob Blair back on bass and Scott Thurston and Steve Ferrone in the mix makes for one tight unit.

Rock and Roll is alive and well as long as Petty and company are on the road.  Thanks for the U-turn, boys!

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Filed under Life... Plain and Not So Simple, Marc's Mixed Bag - A Little Of Everything, Marc's Playlist - Music That Moves Me

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