Hey there 🏄
If you're seeing this it means that nearly 2 years ago you trusted me with your private email under the pretense that a music based newsletter would soon find it's way into your inbox, either that or you're a wonderful new friend who's decided to take the journey with me. If it's the former, surprise surprise, I finally got around to it. Ta-da! If it's the latter, I'm grateful that you're as curious as you are.
I've discovered in my 27 years of living that there are very few certainties and simple truths in life, but one thing that seems intrinsic to the human experience is this: doing that one thing you want to do will always be the hardest thing to do. Whether it's picking up a book you know you need to read, calling that person you know you should call, or showing up to practice the instrument collecting dust in the corner of your room, you will always find resistance in seemingly the most backward of places and disturbing ease in all the wrong ones.
It seems we can do two things in response. We can choose to follow the path of least resistance and hope for the best, or we can transmute the appearance of resistance into a compass for purpose. Can it be that easy? If you ask me, I optimistically say "Yes"! A change in perspective can reveal that a negative force like resistance is really just a beacon for where your character needs to continually show face. If you fall down 7 times, you better get up 8. That is the thinking that has helped me find my way into your inbox 2 years late. But alas, what's that thing Gandalf said about arriving on time? I'll let you google it if your mind is still blank.
What to expect 👀
First, they will not always be this long, but some extra due diligence felt necessary for the inaugural edition. Let's get into it. What can you expect from this exchange? You'll find this to become a familiar format. It will go like this:
• Personal Updates - For example, what you just read up there ⬆️. I'm a human being and I'm growing and learning so much as the days go by, I want to share these things from time to time. Expect opinions, vulnerability, humor, and of course, messiness.
• A Song to Study - I listen to on average around 81 collective days or 116,000 minutes of music per year. One half of the gift I wish to give you for your attention is this - a song to study. Every week I will share with you an ear-worm that has been moving me in one way or another. My goal? Expand your musical horizons and sonic IQ without it feeling like a chore.
• An Album to Live In - I listen to all the new releases so you don't have to, on average I listen to 5-8 new albums per week. I find looking back that so much of my life has been punctuated by the arrival of particularly potent musical projects. They find their way into your ear and suddenly your life is never the same. I'll do my best to orient you with albums of impact.
• Podcast Companion - This will come later, but once I find myself back in a place where I feel comfortable creating podcasts again then this will be the place to learn all about our next guest, their music, and more.
• Occasional Misc. - Videos, Twitter threads, thought-provoking ideas, pictures from my life, yada yada.
Enough reading, time to see what I mean.
A Song to Study 🎧
D'Angelo's song Really Love was one of the stand-out tracks of 2014's Black Messiah. This song is seeing some what of a second wind in my world right now. That's because I'm currently working my way through the new J Dilla biography, Dilla Time. In it, it's revealed that this track was recorded way back during the Voodoo sessions in the early 2000s but somehow didn't make its way onto a project until D'Angelo's emergence from his hermitage in 2014. Just goes to show the quality of music that was on the chopping block for the highly-lauded Voodoo.
I'm also highlighting it here today because it's a tremendously important song in my relationship. This song has always been a balm during challenging times, particularly for my wife, Liza. I remember playing it for her the first time and seeing her eyes go wide before welling up with tears, during that particular phase she described it as a heavy blanket during a long and cold night. She's since gone on to crown this one her favorite song of all time, or close to it. Enjoy.
An Album to Live In 🎁
Jessica Pratt's Quiet Signs is a haunting piece of music that deserves your time and attention. As the name indicates, this is a quiet journey. One best studied in the dark under flickering candle light or in the morning with a fresh cup of tea and open windows. This album strikes me as a rare and odd experience. The opening instrumental track lures you in and allows your mind to create its own expectations of what is to come, this experience makes the reception of Jessica's voice all the more special. Her voice goes on to defy all expectations and the compliment of sparse twangy arrangements helps to transport you to an almost fantastical setting. Anyone else get medieval tavern traveling bard vibes? No? Just me?
Until next time...
I understand how sacred privacy is in our day and feel tremendously honored when someone trusts me enough to let me into their inbox week after week. Thanks for being here ❤️.