What a crazy, crazy year. We lost the greatest innovator of our time, Steve Jobs, as well as one of our bravest intellectual thinkers, Christopher Hitchens. Terrorists were captured, dictators died, and we watched as the courageous activist Julian Assange was hunted down which showed the public that you best keep your mouth shut. The Senate passed a bill allowing the military to arrest U.S. citizens without a warrant and to even kill them if necessary. Our way of life is shifting completely, and no one can predict what will happen next. Groundbreaking music helped raise the bar thanks to Arcade Fire, Adele, Cold Play, and Florence and the Machine. We saw countries reclaimed by it's people and our own country did something it hasn't done since the sixties by showing it's frustration with Wall Street and forming the Occupy movement. I feel like I spent at least one moment each day shaking my head in disbelief. It was a crazy year.
What does this mean for music? The only era I can think to reference this time to is the 1960's and what followed in the 1970's. Fans often credit the turbulent period of the 60's as being the fuel for both musicians and fans. Music became the only outlet for expression. We have many outlets for expression, so that isn't good enough these days. What we need now is high quality music that transforms us. We live in an unpredictable time period. Everyone I know agrees that now is the most important time to stay focused on the present. You have no idea what this crazy country will do next and you have no idea if your house will still be yours or if you will still have a job. All you have is now. Music suspends time, and a good musician can make you feel like you have travelled to another plane.
This year I committed to 2-4 hours of music playing a day. Most days I did 3. What happened to me recently is I graduated to a different "zone." After being sick for almost 2 weeks, I lost the ability to sing and it made me desperately appreciate it more. When I was able to sing again, I was more focused than ever. The world outside myself stopped, and time was suspended. For the rest of the day, I was calm and focused. Music changed my life.
Everyone needs music, and I predict what you will see is music that is higher quality than what we have experienced over the past 2 decades. I am hoping for something like the emotion of the 60's and 70's with the high quality sound of the 30's Jazz era. Please people, give me something good.