So this is how I was going to begin…
“I think I may have written this post before… or something similar. But it bears repeating, it needs repeating.”
Just to make sure, before I continued, I went to the Marc’s Muse archives… and lo and behold, it turns out that this brilliant post (Hey, at least I think so…) was never actually published. What? I was so sure I put that one up there.
It was written in February of last year after going to see a friend of mine do a show at Molly Malone’s. Ironically the same friend (DJ Julie Slater) that I just saw this past weekend. It was called “In Praise Of Live Music – Why It Matters And Why We Must Support It”.
The gist of that one was how going to see live music can be a huge pain in the ass… For big shows dealing with the Evil Empire that calls itself Ticket Master… getting gouged for parking and disgusting food… For small shows finding parking, fighting traffic, chatty people in the audience, etc.
But once inside… once settled… once the music starts, it all changes. Once the lights go down in the city… those chords and notes take you away.
So let’s take this one from there.
On any given night, in any given town, you can go out and listen to live music.
It’s not always easy to get to, it’s not always affordable, but it can be done… and it should be done… and it needs to be done.
On any given night, in any given town there is a stadium, an amphitheatre, a bar, a club, a small, darkened venue… a space in a corner of a room or a restaurant, where someone sets up a guitar and a mic.
On any given night, in any given town you can find a free show or live music that doesn’t break your musical bank or screw you to the wall.
And the reason you should go listen, must listen, is because live music is a communal experience, a shared, emotional experience… a shared human experience. We stand next to friends or strangers… bodies touching, moving, swaying, dancing. Eyes closed… eyes open. We watch other people watching, listening… and see how the music moves them, touches them. We see the bliss on someone’s face as they listen to a song. It’s powerful, beautiful. For that same bliss is on our face, for someone else to see. We make the experience even more wonderful for each other, just by sharing… just by being in the same room, in the same space… and allowing ourselves to be moved by the music.
This past Saturday night I ventured to Genghis Cohen… lots of free parking… they don’t make you buy drinks… and the crowd is pretty respectful. I missed dinner with the group, but got there shortly before they opened the doors to the stage. My friend Chris Santoyo opened things up and he was great… two guys, two guitars and fantastic harmonies… They brought a few other buddies up and the guitars rocked… and the four-part harmonies soared. On any given night…
Another friend, Julie Slater was next… She is always great, funny and charming, yet puts us guys on notice for the broken mess we sometimes leave behind. She rocked the room and did a really lovely cover of Bon Iver. I was supposed to play harmonica on a song, but I was never definite about the date, so next time… next time…
So that was it… evening done. The gang walked outside, hung out for a bit and said our goodbyes. Since we all came separately, I drove on my own. Julie (a different one) said she was gonna go back inside, because the guy who was playing sounded good. She liked his voice. I had never heard of him, so I figured what the heck… I’m here, I have a stamp on the back of my left hand… and you never know. And I always love that musical what if… What if this is your next favorite artist? What if you are gonna discover something amazing? What if you stay?
On any given night…
Chris Trapper was his name, and I would soon learn that he is one hell of a writer… His stories were genuine and set up the songs quite nicely… His humor self-deprecating and actually funny. Hey, we all know that a lot of times singers’ stories and jokes fall flat… These did not… and oh yeah, he could sing and play guitar. Then he’d mention about having this song in There’s Something About Mary (the wonderful pop tune “Everything Shines”)… and that song in August Rush (the stunning “This Time”)… He talked about his previous band The Push Stars and suddenly I recalled hearing a song or two. This is the kind of alternative/rock/pop that I love… Just so in my musical wheelhouse. Got a chance to chat with him afterwards, and he was so friendly and genuine and truly thankful folks were there… A class act. It was a great way to end the night.
On any given night… if you put yourself out there… open your ears and your mind… you just mind find some new music you love.
So check out Chris Trapper and the Push Stars… and remember, there is so much out there, so much just waiting for you… Rock, pop, jazz, Afrobeat, Reggae, blues, metal, folk, grunge, hip hop, trip hop, alternative, R&B, Soul, Gospel, Indie, electronica, country…
Open yourself up… make the effort… and remember…
On any given night… Live music matters!