I had a partner that used to say things to me like: “I don’t need you to solve my problems. I just need you to listen.”
At the time it drove me absolutely crazy. Just listen? What’s the point of that. I might as well be a stuffed animal. I come from a family of fixers. My Dad could tell you five ways to boil water before you got the pan out of the cupboard. It could be annoying. But it wasn’t his fault. He grew up in a household where asking for help was a total last resort. To him, if someone needed help, it was like they had fallen off a ship in the middle of the ocean and they were screaming for a life preserver. The best thing anyone could do is to start hurling as many things that float at them as fast as possible.
I would eventually grow to learn that sometimes the best way to help someone with their problems is to be the empty room that allows their own voice to reflect back to them. When it comes to music the size and shape of the room that it’s being played or recorded in can have a big effect on how it sounds. You’ll often hear engineers talk about preferring a room to be totally dead for purposes of judging a mix in the recording process. Some times people just need a dead room to hear their true selves.
Hopefully, this month’s playlist will provide you some comfort while you’re physically distancing this month. See how far you can get without bringing any of your voice into the music. – Thanks for listening, MMM
This month’s playlist includes songs by Kenny Rogers, Alice Coltrane, Shellac, Elastic No-No Band, Bill Orcutt, Stephen Malkmus, Ohmme, Alex the Astronaut, Porridge Radio, Exuma, Throwing Muses, Jim Sullivan, Kimya Dawson
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