Sunday, May 24, 2009

For giving me music ... and words.

Guest Blog: Friend who lives close to the bar.

Yesterday’s blog by Friend-who-cooks-pancakes-and-sometimes-cooks-grilled-cheese-sandwiches discussed his pool, but failed to mention that at least once a month they have live music in the evenings. That pool really does rock.

While Friend With A Truck and Friend Who Plays Accordion are in Chicago, I wanted to talk about one of the most important things in my life....Music. I firmly believe that I can’t live without music. It’s right up there with oxygen, water, and thin mints. Today’s blog title comes from the inscription in a book given to me by a very close friend (are guys allowed to have a BFF?) Motif: An Anthology of Writings About Music is the book, and I highly recommend it. Several good friends, and some of my favorite artists are featured.

I picked up the moniker Friend who lives close to the bar because I live just a few doors down from the Monkey Wrench. We tried out Friend who lives close to the Fish House, Friend who lives close to the cemetery, and even Friend who would rather be at the Monkey Wrench than the Fish House or the cemetery...none of them stuck. The Monkey Wrench has great music on a regular basis...my house has become the unofficial green room for artists... they hang out here before the show, tune up, drink a little bourbon...after the show they come back with fans in tow...maybe play a few more tunes then wake up the next morning on the couch fully-clothed with the lingering smell of bourbon and bad decisions.

I’m not a musician...but I play a mean radio. My intense love for music lead to working on the business side...what we call “Artist Development.” It’s a catch-all phrase that means I’m willing to do anything I can to help advance the career of an artist. I have such a passion for music...a passion for the people who write the music...a passion for the people who forgo more lucrative careers involving a desk just so they can write songs for me...for us...to enjoy. Don’t I owe it to them to do everything in my power to help them succeed? Don’t we owe it to them to buy their CDs and go to their concerts?

Here in Louisville this weekend is the Abby Road on the River Beatles Festival. I like the Beatles. I really do, but I don’t understand why 30,000 people come from all over the country to hear cover bands when they could just come my house and we could listen to the real Beatles on vinyl, and I promise it is better. Don’t get me wrong, I love a good cover...I love music that is constantly reinvented. One of my favorite albums last year was a covers album...And I really like the Abby Road festival. I like that 30,000 people come to the city that I love. It’s the largest Beatles Festival in the U.S., so I know it doesn’t suck or people wouldn’t come. You know what else doesn’t suck? The dozens of original artists that played out this weekend. 30,000 people come to a cover band, but we can’t get 30 to come to some of the best original music I’ve heard in years???

I know we all have different priorities. Jobs...kids...reality TV...but a life without music is a life without meaning. Do you really want your life to pass you by, missing out on that one song...that one poem? I read somewhere that all song lyrics are not poetry, but all lyrics are poetic. Life-altering poetic. Do me a favor this weekend...go to wherever you keep your music collection... CDs, records, tapes, itunes, 8-tracks...whatever...seek out that song...the one that has special meaning. Share your music...with us...or with a friend...and over the next month go out and hear some live original music...maybe even the artist that penned your favorite song.

This Friday, May 29th, Friend with an Accordion will be playing live at the Monkey Wrench with the magnificent David Mead. No he is not a magician. That would be kinda cool. David has a new CD out and it is also magnificent (and also not a magician). So mark your calendars now and find a baby-sitter. Brigid Kaelin & David Mead: Live at the Monkey Wrench. May 29th, 9pm. Feel free to drop by the house before or after the show. You’re always welcome.



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