Long ago, when I patrolled the San Francisco airwaves, as a sophisticated button pusher, with my perverse sense of ideological beliefs I felt I could write and make a difference. While I still believe that I could have that affect, music has evolved into something that is a tragedy. Indie Rock, while really not all that indie, is making the biggest impact on my life right now. As is Alt-country, mostly Ryan Adams & Wilco. I drank a bit this evening and just laid down and listened to the Whiskeytown’s album Pneumonia (Pronounced Pneumonia).
Ryan Adams (lead singer of the aforementioned Whiskeytown) is my generation’s Bob Dylan lyrically speaking, though Bob Dylan could still be called such, I suppose. You grow up and your tastes evolve or devolve for that matter and you learn to know what you like. A sound, a chord, a lyric. There are songs that speak to you and you listen to them over and over again in your stupor and they fill your heart and head with visions. You begin to relate to the artist and his/her plight. Music evokes feelings that nothing else can, in me. I can be climbing the walls with a panic attack and just the right song can bring me back down to earth.
I’ve never been a drug user, sure I’ve smoked pot, but none of the hard stuff, but I’ve heard the feelings one gets while listening to music are quite nearly euphoric. That one of the things that, when I was younger, intrigued me about “experimenting” with drugs. For some reason I never did, nor will I ever. Perhaps the thought of lasting effects stopped me in a everlasting stance of cowardice. I don’t regret that decision but I know that the few times I have been “stoned” I can literally feel the music coursing through my veins. If it weren’t for music, my life would be a boring endurance test, that no one would be interested in winning. Here is my favorite Whiskeytown song, “Jacksonville Skyline”, plus a couple others from a live performance in ’98 that I particularly enjoy. I encourage you to buy it, steal it or however you get your music. It’s off the previously mentioned album Pneumonia.
Whiskeytown – Jacksonville Skyline
Whiskeytown – I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash Cover)
Whiskeytown – Dancing With The Women at the Bar