Music

Afternoon Tunes & Coffee

I wouldn’t call myself a caffeine addict, but I can definitely tell when I could use a cup of coffee. For example, I was dragging my feet all the way from the bus stop to my apartment not too long ago, so I felt it was appropriate to put on a pot of yummy Starbucks Blonde Veranda blend.

Then, by some crazy chance, I was inspired to write this post.

First of all, it should be noted that the soundtrack to this entry is the album “Around The Well” by Iron & Wine.

Music has always been close to my heart. When I was in junior high, I would actually carry around my bulky, duck-tape covered case of CDs just in case I wanted to listen to something different from what I already had in my bright yellow Walkman. (Side note: Thank goodness for iPods and how they allow me to compactly keep my music with me all the time!) Back then, whenever I felt like this world was crashing in on me, I would slip on my headphones and retreat to a different one. Music expressed what I couldn’t.

Today, music isn’t so much an escape for me as it used to be. As I’ve gotten older, I think I have become more entranced by its beauty and power of expression. There are times when I am blown away by an artist’s ability to stitch words together and explain something in such a unique, strange way that makes total sense. I love that moment when I hear a string of lyrics and all I can think is, “Yes. Exactly.” God gave people the incredible gift to create melodies and harmonies and put them together with beautiful notes on a piano or a guitar, or what have you, and it allows people to relate, to know they aren’t alone in their struggle.

What ties it all together, though, is seeing all of it come together in front of you. I can honestly say that there is nothing – absolutely nothing – like great live music. I’ve been to more concerts than I can count, but especially in the past month I’ve had the chance to be in the presence of some true, raw talent*. I can’t imagine how hard it must be to stand in front of a group of people and share your deepest secrets, your worst pain, and your best joy. I have been so impressed by these artists’ performances and their willingness to strip themselves of any pretense to share their hearts with their audience.

The other awesome thing about going to a concert, too, is actually being in the audience, surrounded by people who are enjoying the performance along with you. That’s one of the many ways that music brings people together. That being said, I strongly believe that no one should be denied the opportunity to hear good music. It is meant to be shared and enjoyed.

So, basically, I am very thankful for music. It is one of the coolest parts of God’s creation. And paired with a mug of afternoon coffee? Perfection.

*Noteworthy artists that I’ve seen live recently:

Jake Lewishttp://jakelewismusic.com/
(download his latest EP for free here: http://jakelewis.bandcamp.com/)

Ben Rothermelhttp://www.benrothermel.com/
(download his “Basement Sessions” EP for free here: http://noisetrade.com/benrothermel)

James Vincent McMorrowhttp://www.jamesvmcmorrow.com/

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