Making Life Beautiful May 4, 2011Posted by Matt in love, music.
Tags: Ben Nichols, making life beautiful, music, Patrick Sanders, Patterson Hood, purpose of life
Those of you who know me, know that I have a deep love for music. You know it because I’m always talking about some new album I’ve either just acquired or I’m looking forward to picking up or about a recent concert event I’ve attended or any other number of things. Music, then, is one of those things that gives my life meaning, that helps me to face every day in the shadow of the human condition always trying to cast its dark shadow upon us.
And it’s not just any music, either, it has to be something that speaks to me in a moment, that burrows itself into the recesses of my mind and soul, that can infect me, change me. I don’t usually find these things in the million-selling, stadium-playing acts that everyone hears about nationwide. For whatever reason, whether it be their lives of apparent opulence or their oftentimes bland sound, artists like these rarely hold that type of appeal to me. It just doesn’t seem real.
When I think about what makes music good and meaningful, I think about experiences. I think about standing in a smallish, darkened room watching a middle-aged Patterson Hood of the Drive-By Truckers strain to get out the words of Southern fried darkness so inherent in his songs. He’s been doing this for years, decades even, without major success yet he keeps moving on with what he loves. I think about seeing Ben Nichols of Lucero stand in the pouring rain with tornado sirens going off in the background and the Mississippi rising on his left, but still singing the songs he loves. I think about watching my good friend Patrick Sanders on a stage in a small Midtown bar well after midnight on a Wednesday so that he can play his beloved songs.
That’s why I love music. I love the way that it moves and changes us, whether we are listeners or artists, how it speaks to us in ways that are seemingly so impossible to express.
I’ve been thinking a lot lately about life’s purpose and I know that there are any number of answers, from the textbook-sounding and mundane to the incredibly personal, but there is one in particular that I’m been contemplating recently. One that has invaded my mind and that seems so simple, yet in our world of deadlines and cubicles and one-upping our neighbors seems to get lost in the shuffle.
I think a purpose of life is to make this world a more beautiful place, to do something, however small, to alleviate some of the darkness pervading humanity that can so easily overtake us.
Do something. Write, compose, create, or heck, just love somebody.
Make the world a more beautiful place.