Music Revival

I hadn’t realized until recently the extent to which quality music had become absent from my life. I love love love the news and talk programs on NPR, so I’d say 80% of the time I spend in the car, I’m listening to public radio. Another 15% is spent listening to one of Camille’s 2 CDs (mostly the Elmo and Wonder Pets songs). The last 5% is spent listening to popular songs – albeit not often “quality” songs – on my few music radio stations I tune to when I need a rare NPR break. Even on my occasional work-related road trips, I’m catching up on podcasts, not listening to music.
But this past week, I’ve been reminded how exciting it can be to hear good music. The Savannah Music Festival is going on right now, and some friends invited us to a concert last Thursday featuring The Red Stick Ramblers. They’re a group from Louisiana, and their music is a mix of Cajun, jazz, swing and blues. It’s been a while since I’ve listened to live music, and I’d forgotten how energizing it can be.
Then Friday, I had to drive to Atlanta and back for a meeting. I loaded plenty of podcasts on my ipod, but after hours and hours of driving I got weary of listening to people talk and wanted some music for a change. Playing favorite songs off my ipod was like seeing old friends again. I got all misty-eyed listening to “Southland in the Springtime” by the Indigo Girls, sang Fiona Apple’s “Paper Bag” at the top of my lungs, cranked up “Black” by Pearl Jam, and quietly marveled at the odd, creepy, yet fascinating songs of Neutral Milk Hotel.
Then last night we had tickets to another music festival concert (a nice perk because Lee did the music festival’s website!) and saw Angelique Kidjo perform. She’s from West Africa, and her songs combine African beats with a bit of funky jazz, and her on-stage energy is palpable. By the encore, not a person was sitting down.
We’ve got tickets to one more show next week, which I’m looking forward to. But most of all, I’m glad to have been reminded that once in a while, I should turn down my beloved NPR and turn up some good music. I think it’s good for me.