I turned 60 this past weekend and it was a series of celebrations with friends and family. I have never celebrated better and with even some ease. Birthday’s have not been my thing in the past. I am reminded of one of the 25 Great Questions … “How old would you be if you didn’t know?” … Yeah …
One of the things that I find keeps me feeling younger is to keep engaged with young people and not as some sage or wisdom dispenser but as someone who gives them freedom to lead and who tries to appreciate new things.
And one way I do this is to keep open to new music. I so love music generally and am always delighted when I find some new musician or song that I did not know before.
There is been so much over the past year that I want to share some of it with you all and then make some observations –
- Foster the People played the 2012 Bridge concert and they clearly blew away all the other groups playing there. Wow! And FTP are clearly is a band that I would not have encountered without going to that annual event. They played it acoustic which was different for them. Mark Foster played 6+ different instruments (guitar, marimba, piano, pump organ, drums, some middle east string instrument). If you want a feel for their acoustic side watch this.
- Sons of Bill have a terrific Christmas concert that I have attended the past 2 years and in the spirit of full disclosure, my newest son-in-law is their lead guitarist. Still they now play to sold out mid-sized venues pretty frequently so I am not alone in my admiration. Really like “Radio Can’t Rewind” among others, you can see Sam play it here.
- Gillian Welch is one that I added from a suggestion by my daughter Alana. I especially like “Look at Miss Ohio” but the Revelator is more well known. You can watch her play in the same tiny venue as Foster the People above here.
- Susie Stevens was sent to me by a friend from the mountains in Southern California. You can listen to some clips of her music on iTunes or here. I especially like “Anywhere” and “Silk and Steel”.
- Last but way up there is Kristin Erickson. I like so many of her songs – but for starters I recommend “Take a Breath”. She is a person who has traveled so far in life and experienced so much and it clearly shines through her music.
There are more but this list can make the points needed for this essay.
First is that except for Foster the People, much of this music you have likely never heard before … and it is all great, unique, inspiring. We get spoon fed so much of what we listen to, that becomes overplayed by radio and hyped by labels and media that we forget that there is an amazingly rich culture out there for us to experience.
Second is that I find that many people my age keep listening to music that is from some past time and they forget that creativity is happening by so many people around them right now. As we all stay engaged and recognize this wonderful fact, we will be more open to new ideas and especially those coming from young people.
(I know I probably should be using Spotify or something like that to do this sharing better … still learning new things but often takes longer for this old dog.
BTW, we are updating the SWG website to something much better so stay tuned …. and then I promise to post more frequently!)
Oh, and while I just turned 60 about 1 month ago, I choose 45.