Have you ever noticed how sometimes things that initially give you great joy can mysteriously evolve into something that feels more like homework? I’ve seen some people (and by “some people” I mean sometimes me) become so obsessed with getting the latest “new” thing or accumulating some rare classic record or complete catalog that they seem to barely have time to actually sit down and listen to the music.
There are few things that excite me more than turning someone on to a new artist or helping them find a particular song or record that they love. I know a lot of people feel the same way. By working in a record store I get to experience this multiple times a day. It’s great.
But every now and then I encounter someone (and by “someone” I mean sometimes me) who gets a little too excited about a particular artists or piece of music. Before you know it, that someone starts turning into what I like to call a “Professor Know-it-all.” Sometimes our love for something has a way of snowballing into an obsession or even a full on addiction. Music is no exception.
If we’re not careful, all the same psychological issues that accompany any addiction, like peer pressure, low self esteem, or guilt can manifest in our attachment to music. Okay, maybe it’s not quite as bad as a four hundred dollar a day cocaine habit but when I catch myself slipping into the unfortunate skin of “Professor Know-it-all” I try to stop and ask myself some questions, like:
What is drawing me to this music? Where does it take me? Does it remind me of something I’ve heard before? Does it make me feel good? Does it make me wanna cry? Does it make me wanna dance? Does it remind me of a particular time in my life? Is it distracting me from something? Do I really like this or am I just interested because some person who seems like they know a lot said it’s good?
There’s no real right answer to these questions. One of the wonderful things about music is how it connects us and opens us up to new worlds and experiences.
But to quote the great Prince Rogers Nelson – “Everyone has their own experience. That’s why we are here, to go through our experience, to learn, to go down those paths and eventually you may have gone down so many paths and learned so much that you don’t have to come back again.”
Below is a playlist of songs that have resonated with me in the past month. I hope they bring more joy and flow to your life. – Thanks for listening, MMM
Included are songs by Toby Goodshank, MF DOOM, The Replacements, Sylvan Esso, Al Green, Rowland S. Howard, Ramsey Lewis, Porridge Radio, Little Barrie, Peel Dream Magazine, Deep Sea Diver, Sharon Van Etton, The Pastels, My Bloody Valentine, Ali Akbar Khan
(Subscribe to get a new playlist every 1st Monday of the month. Click on my user link or search: Major Matt’s 1st Monday on Spotify to cruise past playlists and discover more music.)