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Now, I look at what I said. “One of my absolute favorites.” How could I say that? It’s true, of course.

But.

That is not enough.

Thinking about what I love: music is such a pervasive part of my life, and I don’t share my (strongly held) opinions about it often (I don’t like having to defend them, you know?), nor do I comment on others’. …

My first career was as a professional musician. I left it because I felt it a little too deeply, and I couldn’t distance myself enough from it to do it as a job. Ancient History.

The truth is, in some music (in some art!), there is a reaching; a full-on commitment to stretch past the good stuff into the unknown, grappling with how to say it — how to play it — in the midst of figuring out what “it” is. It’s not a showing off. It’s more an exposure of raw self pushing off into the new while having/using all the old power and control. … From this, one might gather, correctly, that I prefer performances to recordings, and would rather listen to earnest live music of any quality than any amount of anything built in a studio. Generally.

So. Young Django. Great album (Stephane Grappelli, et al). I still lose myself in it. Massively better as a whole. The parts are, truly, a little weird out of context. Definitely the Portishead live performance forementioned. Veckatimest (Grizzly Bear). Blues from Laurel Canyon (John Mayall). Oh, lots of others.

Some music doesn’t seem to work that way, for me. Do some artists only seem to have one or two really compelling things to say? Or, maybe, when the recorder was on, they couldn’t figure out how to say it. John Gorka. Coupla great songs. Verlon Thompson. Yaz. Me, maybe.

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