Posts tagged the now
Live Music is my Drug of Choice (The Eternal Pursuit of the Sweet Spot)

Some things are meant to exist in a single moment, then never again. It's easy to forget that in the world of instant gratification, social oversharing and permanent documentation we live in. I'm grateful for the ability to capture memories and chronicle the stories of our lives, and I use it to my advantage daily. But that makes us readily able to forget what doesn't need to be broadcast to a bevy of followers and what should be actually, genuinely over when it's done.

When we recognize those moments, they tend to cause us to pause and soak it all in. That makes us more present and appreciative. They're the moments that make us feel more alive, knowing that we're really, truly experiencing them, often with other people who aregaspin the same room as us. I often have to fight off my own urges in order to experience these moments; I've been jamming with other musicians only to fall into a killer groove, creating a spontaneous burst of euphoria that my less-enlightened instincts want to record and have forever. But reaching for a recording device takes me out of the moment, and once I decided these moments are supposed to exist then and there and should dissolve into the ether after they've passed, they became more meaningful to me. They became a brief high that served as a nice reminder of the impermanence of everything.

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Now Is All That Matters

I was staring irrelevance straight in the face, and I didn’t like it. The conversation began innocently enough: We’re in an interesting time musically, I was explaining to a friend, because popular music as we know it was created at a time that has allowed us to see an amazing amount of creative innovation, but recently enough that we don’t have to be completely overwhelmed with the amount of music we could potentially explore as listeners and performers. (Though sometimes I still do feel overwhelmed when trying to cover enough musical ground to feel as though my grasp of music history is reasonably comprehensive.)

I told my friend that with the Internet allowing thousands of indie and self-released artists to find their way into my listening space these days, I do find it challenging to keep up to date with the trends. Imagine, I postulated, how hard it will be to feel encyclopedic about music in 50 or 100 years. There won’t be enough hours in the day; there will just be too much music to sift through. You could never feel like you’ve been exhaustive in your listening experience. I’d be so stressed about hearing as much music as possible and connecting all the dots that I’d probably never relax enough to actually enjoy the music I did hear. I sure am glad I live now and not then, I told him. What a privilege it is!

I sat there feeling satisfied by my position in the universe when he lobbed the bomb at me: “In 50 or 100 years, it won’t matter. None of the music that’s important now will have the same importance then. It will be as relevant as the music from the 19th century is today.”

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