Musings @musicandmeaning.com

So I stood at the station with a plan and a pocket of poems.
"He had a theory that musicians are incredibly complex, and know far less than other artists what they want and what they are; that they puzzle themselves as well as their friends; that their psychology is a modern development, and has not yet been understood." – E. M. Forster

Archive for November, 2001


Thursday, 8 November 2001

The power of music and WBE

It’s been nearly two months since I last updated this page… the last time was just after the attacks on 11 September, and me trying to begin to deal with it, through written words.

In nearly all the difficult periods of my life, I have found music to be extraordinarily healing. I remember that on the weekend after the attacks happened on 11 Sept., I tuned in to KCRW to hear Weekend Becomes Eclectic, and was relieved to hear Anne Litt at the mic again. I think at that point, everyone was just trying to get back into some sort of post-trauma life as best as possible. But it was very, very helpful to hear the show again, and the music that Litt selected was just spot-on for the moment. I remember thinking that she knew just what to play. Some of the tunes: U2‘s "Walk On," David Gray‘s "My Oh My" — which got cut off, unfortunately, leading into an NPR news report — Miles Davis, Chet Baker, Dave Alvin, even some strong>Beatles and Kinks tunes…and music that I learned to love thanks to my dad: some Glenn Miller, Nat King Cole… she played a lot of older tunes that would definitely not be played much by any other station in the same weekend.

I felt better after listening to the shows, and I’m sure that I was not the only one. In a time of chaos and confusion — and we all felt it; no doubt the folks at KCRW were just as affected as anyone — it was good to hear my favorite radio music program on the air. When I wanted news, I’d go to a network TV station, but by the time the weekend arrived, I needed to break away from the hard reality and I needed to know that the world that I used to know wasn’t completely eradicated by terrorism — that "my" world was still intact…still going forward in spite of sustaining a huge wound. Hearing the show that weekend, live as usual, was a clear sign indicating that we would go on and we could go on.

It may seem like a small event, really, or even a non-event, but to me it was important. It wasn’t just the music that was healing (I think Litt herself said that the music she chose was for "comfort food"); it was also because of the fact that she showed up to work as usual, as did all of the KCRW music program hosts (and other programs, but I won’t go into that here). Music is an extremely important part of life — for me, anyway — and, as I mentioned, can be especially important during difficult times. So, thank you Anne Litt and thank you KCRW. And thank God for the gift of music.

Moving on to less serious things… I’ve given this some thought, and I’ve decided that at some near point in the future, I am going to start using this space (probably) to write more formal entries. More like an infrequent column. I guess you could already call this a sort of column, but they’re more newsy bulletins than personal essays. For example the opening topic of this entry (about KCRW after 11 Sept.) would actually be an ideal subject for a column, IMO. That’s the kind of stuff I would write about. But maybe more in-depth. With titles. :-) The last time I wrote a regular column was over six years ago. I guess that I miss the experience, so I’m creating my own opportunity here.

Other news: Was that one of the best World Series ever, or what?! Absolutely amazing.

Music of the moment: Richard Buckner is remarkably still very much a factor here. Especially "Pull," "Goner w/ Souvenir," "Lucky Buzz" and "Once." As for other music, well, I’ve been listening to a lot more than just five CDs lately. But for a sampling: I finally
updated my CD player inhabitants.

Quote for the time being:

Hey Jude,
don’t let me down.
You have found her,
now go and get her.

Remember
to let her into your heart.
Then you can start
to make it better.

– what else? The Beatles’ "Hey Jude"