It seems as though I increasingly find myself struggling more and more with the upkeep of Mixtape Muse, especially this past week. In regards to last week, I didn't want to do anything with a computer (it's what I stare at all day after all) following work, and outside of relaxing after getting home I just wanted to ride my bike as much as possible. It was a pretty scary and, in some way, uncomfortable thing to feel a disconnect with music, something that's been my life outside of school and work for more than a decade now. More than anything, it was a lack of passion I felt for music, and so, it felt like an unusual emotional disconnect from something that has helped shape me into who I am today.
So today is Monday, start of a fresh week, and my morning commute this morning ended up being a significant one. I put on some soul in the form of Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings, and that disconnect felt less apparent. Soul is a no B.S. genre and sound, one that cuts right to the heart of the matter and speaks more truth than you ever thought existed. The inherent honesty is something that's both immensely rewarding and incredibly uplifting -- you could be the most depressed person alive or the happiness, but you always feel empowered when you hear it. And so, that emotional disconnect I felt with music, something that has kept me alive for so many years, seems to have nearly faded with my morning commute. So much modern music (no, not all of it!) lacks the sincerity and emotional power of soul that it feels as though we're running in circles, not moving forward and carrying on. Soul, new and old, can restore your faith in whatever you believe in. Of course, that's just my opinion, but maybe you feel it is a fact, as well.
In what was probably sophomore year of college, I had my school's president on the Mixtape Muse radio program. I had asked if he'd like to share some songs that meant a lot to him, and he graciously agreed and came on to share some fantastic tracks. One artist he shared was an R&B/soul singer I was not at all familiar with: Esther Phillips. Her performances stuck with me all these years later, and I even picked up a still sealed LP of her 1975 record Performance (which I must, sadly, admit I have yet to spin since picking it up a few months ago). Definitely spinning that when I get home tonight.
I'm excited to get my head back in the game (as much as I can). Cheers, friends.