2017 has been shit in a lot of ways, but not with regards to music.
I’ve always considered myself rather modest and minimal when it comes to my consumption of music.
True, I have music playing from almost the moment I wake each day until about half an hour after I close my eyes for bed. Every night, I listen in the dark to a sleep mix I’ve created to help lull me off to dreamland.
Tori Amos in concert in Vancouver, July 2014.
How do you choose a favourite song from an artist who’s been recording for over 20 years?
I own every studio release that Tori Amos has produced. I can’t say I love all her albums equally, but as she is my “life soundtrack musician” – the artist whose music has played in the background of most of my life, scoring every major turning point and encoding my memories such – I’ve been able to find something to love about all of them.
Which doesn’t make picking a favourite song any easier.
(Neither does the fact that she’s also recorded at least 100 B-sides/non-album tracks, both original tunes and some amazing covers. And that her sound is constantly evolving, covering everything from pop piano ballads, rock, electronica, gospel, cutesy piano ditties, classical, and even musical theatre.)
From the recent Imagine Dragons concert in Vancouver. I thought this was the moment I’d been waiting for, but the best was yet to come.
I never paid much attention to the Imagine Dragons before the Grammy Awards on January 26.
I was well familiar with their radio-friendly first single, Radioactive, but also knew they were very popular with the kids in the youth programs I work in.
Which right there put me off of them, for surely my musical tastes were more discerning than those of a 12-year-old.
Then the Grammys happened. I don’t own a TV, but followed the progress on Twitter and the official Grammys website. When Radioactive won Best Rock Performance, it made me curious in spite of myself about what the rest of their debut album, Night Visions, sounded like.
In a word: great.
In a few more words, it’s easy to see why they’re so popular, and likewise why their fan base is of such diverse ages.
One of the iconic ads for the first generation of Apple iPods.
I am of the opinion that music makes the world go ‘round.
Whether you like to belt out radio hits in the shower, hum to yourself while concentrating, assemble the coolest party playlists, or sing along at church, I believe that everyone is a music lover in one way or another.
And music truly does seem to motivate the world, right up there with coffee. Every day – particularly on public transit, when I take it – I see people sporting the ubiquitous white (or red or black or what have you) headphones, piping sweet songs and strains into their grey matter.
My own days are no less musical, although, in tending to disfavour headphones, my method of delivery tends to differ.