From the Hip | Introducing Phil Patterson
Music, especially live music, has never been better …
First I’ll try to let you get to know a bit about me, your new musical fellow traveler. I’m a middle-aged, bohemian wannabe with an incredibly ordinary life.
I’m from Fort Wayne, Indiana, but moved out West in the early ‘80s and later returned to my hometown licking the wounds of a life spiraling out of control. As I have reconnected to my “heartless heartland” roots, I have discovered, in a new way, the same thing I learned in high school and college as I pored through cutout album bins and lived the life of a music geek/hipster poser before the age of irony (or before anyone was labeled with the “hipster” moniker).
I learned that music— the most reliable mistress, goddess, whore— shall always be the medication that provides a spiritual center for the angriest, chill-est, hippest, or even most ordinary amongst us.
What I can say about the music today from jam bands to bands like Arcade Fire, Broken Social Scene, or even the post-psych rock to chill wave or alt country scene is that this generation of over self-affirmed, connected-to-the-pod “millenials” and their cohorts make live music exciting, warm, and technically proficient all at the same time. I could cynically compare bands like Mumford and Sons or Band of Horses to some of the ‘70s soft rock bands like Seals and Croft or America, but I don’t detect any of that narrow tribal or faux music snobbery of my own youth.
This generation has music geeks that probably know more about the minutiae of my progressive rock days than my aging post-toasty brain can recollect. I’m hoping to see real growth in the youth and music culture now that this generation is about to be thrown into the globalized meat grinder— a world that seems to be offering a much poorer return on investment for your soul.
I’m a bit envious to see all of this today as the successes of a new generation so painfully point out the failings of the previous one. While Fleet Foxes compares favorably to the just-pre-psych Beatles and I consider Embryonic, by the Flaming Lips, to be the album that supersedes Pink Floyd’s Dark side of the Moon as the ultimate head trip anthem of all time, there very well may never be another Beatles or Stones because music today just has so many more access routes to our lives.
There are so many great live bands that exist today, and I have eclectic tastes. So, I hope to get to know some of you and get your input as well. I would love to develop the collaborative skills of this younger generation and believe that what makes music so great is how it’s the language of the soul.
Later all you groovy kiddies!
Photo by Tony Frantz