Archive for the ‘Music’ Category

Guitar

Recently, I was jokingly accused of having music schizophrenia. My musical taste spans about 70 years. I love so many various music genres and artists/bands that it is much easier to say what I don’t like than to explain what I DO love. I grew up surrounded by a vast array of music, so my love of music started as an infant. My family loves to tell me that I learned to dance long before I ever knew how to stand or walk. I’m a music lover through and through. My daily life isn’t the same without at least a little music each day.

I strongly believe that my poetic talents and need to write poetry is a result of my love of music. I am so used to hearing thoughts and feelings expressed in verse and rhyme that at times my poetry simply flows from my mind onto the paper or screen. Sometimes my thoughts rhyme and I can actually see the lines in my head.

I’ve heard some people insist that listening to a lot of music can diminish your poetic creativity. The theory is if you hear too many verses, there isn’t much left for you to write. Instead, your head is stuffed full of other people’s words. I’ve actually found this to the exact opposite. Although I have a seemingly endless library of song lyrics in my head, I rarely run out of new ideas. In a general sense, I AM repeating the themes of so many of my favorite songs. Still, I am a strong believer that even when we rehash other people’s ideas, our creations will, nevertheless, offer a unique twist or perspective if we allow our individuality and unique experiences shine through.

Now, I’ll readily admit that sometimes I find myself repeating song lyrics, almost word for word, while I am writing poetry. This usually happens when I get a song stuck in my head and can’t seem to shake it. But overall, the more music I listen to the more my poetry grows and the more poems I am able to write. Surrounding yourself with others’ raw emotions, ups and downs, and ideas can be the perfect breeding ground for new and fresh creativity.

Even when I do my blogging and content writing I usually have music playing in the background. Music always puts me in my creative zone and also gives my fingers a great tempo to follow. In fact, you should see how fast I can type with an energetic song playing! The only downside to music while I am writing is I have the tendency to type the lyrics I hear into my writing. Consequently, I’ve learned to use only instrumentals or music in a foreign language. Ultimately, though, music and writing are a perfect pair for me, and I wouldn’t be the writer I am today without a childhood full of music.

 

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Raul Malo (middle) in 2011

Way back in the early 90’s (I’m guessing 1992), I discovered a band that changed my life forever: The Mavericks.  One night, I was listening to my local country station on my Walkman, and a familiar song came on (“Hey Good Lookin’”)…but performed by a band I had never heard before.  Even as a young girl, I was quite familiar with this old Hank Williams’ tune and knew it by heart.  My maternal grandparents and my father were always huge Hank William fans, so I was exposed to his music from the beginning.  I even remember my dad singing this song to me a time or two as he played his guitar.

Although I usually like the first versions of my favorite songs, the Mavericks won my heart and my fascination with this remake.  There was a richness and depth to the lead singer’s voice that pulled me in.  And I was mesmerized by the infectious beat and fun sound that the band brought to this classic country song.  In a strange way, I felt as though I had never truly heard that song before.  It took years before I finally realized that such rediscoveries are rare in life.

As the years flew by, the Mavericks remained my favorite band, and their music became entwined with my life.  My happiness and triumphs, my sadness and failures, even the ugliest demons and memories still live inside their music.  There is something about their bold mixture of music genres, the emotional depth of their songs, and their amazing chemistry as a band that keeps me coming back for more and listening to their albums day after day, year after year!

Eventually, I moved to an area that didn’t have a country music station and I lost touch with the Mavericks, although I had plenty of cassette tapes and CD’s—as well as great memories—to keep me company.  Eventually, I found out that the Mavericks had broken up and I was devastated.  I had always dreamed of seeing the Mavericks in concert one day, so I was afraid I would never get the chance.

In 2011, I finally got to go to my first concert.  No, it wasn’t a Mavericks concert like I had always hoped.  But it was the next best thing.  Raul Malo, the Mavericks’ lead singer, was still recording music and touring, and my fiancé surprised me with 2 tickets to Malo’s Christmas show!

Before, during, and after the concert, my world was a sweet, glorious blur.  I had never experienced so many raw emotions bombarding me all at once.  For years, I had pictured in my head what I thought the experience would be like.  But nothing—absolutely nothing—had prepared me for the magnitude and energy of Raul Malo’s music, voice, and stage presence.  And I wonder if I will ever be prepared, even if I get a lifetime of concerts.

I am happy to say that the Mavericks are now back together and better than ever!  I have overdosed on more than my share of YouTube videos and replayed their new songs so many times that I swear I sing them in my sleep.  But I still can’t get enough.  The energy, the emotion, the complex layers, and the intensity—it’s all back as if the Mavericks had never been apart for almost a decade.  On March 1, I was ecstatic to witness my favorite band in all their glory on the Tonight Show with Jay Leno.  Their performance left me spellbound, teared up, and excited about what the future might hold and all the concerts coming our way!