When I was in my early 20s I drove to New York City by myself to visit my girlfriend who was going to school there at the time.
A friend had recently given me a mix tape with some Bob Dylan songs on it. I was not a fan. I didn’t care for music with acoustic guitars. I found most folk music whiny and boring.
I liked loud music. I wanted electric guitars. I liked music that disturbed people and challenged their ideas. I was unfamiliar with Dylan’s famous break with the folk community when he went electric on his 1965 tour. But even that era of Dylan sounded tame to me.
I recall the first time I saw the Manhattan skyline, on the horizon, driving over a hill on the Jersey Turnpike. The tape player in my Oldsmobile Cutlass Sierra played “Like A Rolling Stone” from the cassette my friend made for me.
I thought about the millions of people who passed through that city and all the things that had happened there. I was both in awe and terrified. I could be a blank slate here. One might even say: “A complete unknown.” That was the moment I finally got Bob Dylan. It opened up a whole new world for me.
There’s so much music that initially didn’t make sense to me, but over time, I have grown to love it. I feel like there’s something about this realization that can help us to be more compassionate towards people we find difficult to relate to.
As my practice deepens I find there’s really no music that I can call good or bad. It’s just where we happen to meet along the path.
Below is a playlist of songs that have resonated with me in the past month. I hope they bring more joy to your life. Thanks for listening, MMM
Included are songs by: Boa Morte, Lael Neale, boygenius, The Paranoyds, The South Hill Experiment, Alabaster DePlume, Floatie, DOMI & JD BECK, RPBGV, Dennis Sager, Margo Price, Kim Deal, De La Soul, Tom Verlaine, The Velvet Underground, Commodores, Prince, Flea
(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.)