Saturday, September 13, 2008

Revelation at the Comet on a Friday Evening

Sometime last Summer:

"I'm sorry 'bout the bad reviews, man."

He looked at me with this surprised and suddenly hurt expression. He hadn't expected it from my lips and neither had I as a matter of fact. But I had been looking for a topic to converse about and that seemed as natural as any. Everything I had heard lately, about any album, not just his, had been a little bit if everyone in the industry was jaded, tired of the next big thing, sitting back, taking a drag off of their American Spirit and waving their hand in front of their face. "Too rock. Too hard. Too much bass. Meandering lyrics." What does it matter who it was about. It became all the same over and over and over. And when I said it to Josh as a topic of conversation, on a warm Summer night on the porch of the hurt. And it made me sad that the world was so just one moment.

To tell the truth, all of those things that I read and heard were nothing. The album was rocking and was hard and had amazing bass and the lyrics were searching and beautiful.

I don't know. When I sat at home the next day, listening to the record and condemning myself for the comments I had made, suddenly I understood everything about this business to which I had latched myself and I didn't love it so much anymore.

Tonight, ages later, as I sat in the Comet next to a new group of friends around a small table in a dark dismal corner, we got into an argument about a particular band and their inner workings. Who was better than whom. What made the best songwriting. The overall creativity level of a man's work. I thought to myself that it didn't matter so much one way or the other. The extraordinary beauty of the work was that it made an impression on one individual, one quiet socially awkward individual who would probably never take a chance to voice his opinion ever again. But it was there in the glaringly beautiful wide open...if for just a moment and definitely under the influence. This is what matters. Not the reviews. Not the published critique of a particular piece. It is what one little lovely person brings home and cherishes about a piece of music, how they connect with the arrangement, how they can read into the lyrics with just one listen. This is what matters.

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