(Artwork care of Karen Ramsay (www.karenramsay.com), profile photo care of brianlackeyphotography.com)

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Commentary - The media IS the message

What does music mean to you? Is it just audio wallpaper? Something to fill up the space, but hardly worth noticing? Maybe it's a tool to keep time during your workout or to create a wall to keep the other sonic distractions at bay.

Maybe only a few songs really reach you -- those tunes from your youth that can take you back or the emotion trigger of a shared song -- and the rest don't matter.

It seems like I've always had music playing in my head. My personal soundtrack varies from songs I've listened to recently, old favorite tunes that resonate with my mood, or sometimes a new idea for a song I hope will come together. I've been comforted by Miles Davis solos, cocooned by Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun, and tortured by ear worms that won't go away (Mandy... curse you, Manilow).

Despite having a host of old favorites, I've never lost my interest in finding new music. There's a magic when some band comes out of nowhere and finds a home in my head. Whether it's the compelling noise lurking within Wilco's Yankee Hotel Foxtrot, the surprising blend of Dengue Fever's Khmer rock, or the Porcupine Tree's heavy intensity, I appreciate finding a new musical friend.

I started this blog to capture and share the albums I add to my collection and the shows I see, but I've stayed with it because it provides me with a window on a wide world of interesting music. Each new band I check out offers the chance that I'll find a spark of novelty. Some albums turn out to be old friends I hadn't met yet and sometimes a whole new world opens up.

I love music because it's a fundamental part of me. I write about music to share that deep connection. I get a payoff when I help a friend or reader discover a new band or rethink an old one.

So, what does music mean to you?

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