In these days of an over-corporatized music industry, it's harder and harder to find great music. Poor music aims only to sell, good music achieves its aim to be highly listenable, but great music excells at communicating the human condition. Great music is probably the most successful humanistic art form, surpassed emotionally only by great poetry. With such potential being diverted away from worthwhile direction, I must admit that it breaks a little bit of my heart.
I grew up on music, and I've probably learned more from lyrical subtext and interpretation than any class or book could teach - because it taught me how to emptathize. I'm not a cold hearted person, but I do have a natural tendency to be insular, forgetting the rest of the world while obsessing over some mental task. Great music says to us "walk a mile in these traveller's shoes, you'll find they fit"
As popular music has gone from crap to stinky crap, I'll admit to having sought refuge in the eclectic. I've often been heard saying that if an artist sounds like something I've heard before, I'm not interested. I've found some good music for sure, but until this morning I can say that these ears have been want of truly great music.
So what's got me blabbing on like this? Po Girl, and they make great music. CBC Radio 3 has a great piece on them in this week's issue (2.20). They've got a wonderful mix of folk sound, classically trained musical sensibility and soulful voices that match equally soulfull lyrics. This is music to play when you're at the cottage, when all your defenses and pretenses are left back in the city. Music to play on a mix tape in a beatup pickup as you make your break across the praries. Music for when you miss your lover.