Monday, January 19, 2015

Records, wine and walks: Finding the sacred in the everyday

I can’t remember the last time I listened to music just for the sake of listening to music. Pandora is on in the background, playing the same blend of songs over and over. At work, there was always music piped in or that I played over my headphones, and it was never good music. There’s nothing like the driving beat of sterile pop and top 40 hits to keep you vaguely motivated and provide the right amount of surface-level distraction. At parties, I always put on a mix of reliable indie rock, mellow and familiar and just ignorable enough to not overwhelm the conversation. Music is all about setting a tone, creating a mood, focusing the mind, filling the silence. 
I know many of my friends and peers feel similarly—we are the generation who grew up obsessively watching "Almost Famous" and really, really feeling that line about "loving some silly piece of music so much that it hurts." I love a lot of music so much that it hurts, and there are many, many songs I feel are deeply tied up in my being, even some that feel sacred to me. Still, I can’t remember that last time I treated music as something sacred or even as something interesting. I read new books all the time, but it was only recently that I was introduced to a band I hadn’t heard before and moved through their catalog the way you devour a novel cover to cover. 

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