I’m fighting the urge that says that you don’t care why I haven’t blogged in a little while. If you are reading this, you clearly care at least a little bit.
I had a cyst in my wrist that was bothering me quite a bit for about 6 months and it was finally surgically removed in late January. My recovery has gone smoothly, but I spend all day at work on a computer. After 8 hours, it gets pretty sore. So, when I get home, the last thing I want to do is type.
But, dear reader(s), like an athlete coming off the Disabled List to rescue your team, I am returning to the Blog Game. A little dramatic? Of course, but if you’ve read any of my posts in the past you know that’s how I operate. I’ve come up with a so many ideas to write about over the last month or more, but I’ve had to shove them to the back of my mind because I couldn’t write them. I forgot most of them, but I thought of some more. So I will provide some random thoughts on topics here.
I know I’m not breaking any new ground when I say that mainstream country is one of the most embarrassing genres around today. I could write books on it’s demise and break down every radio song and show how they are all the exact same. Don’t worry, some people actually have. Or you could go listen to one Luke Bryan song and if you survive you’ll know exactly what I mean. That said, there is a semblance of uniqueness and talent left. Dierks Bentley’s newest effort Riser is definitely uneven, but it features some of the most creative, deep, and meaningful tracks you will find on any mainstream country album. Yeah, there are some absolute duds (“Drunk on a Plane”, “Back Porch”) but there are also some deeply personal songs that draw you back in (“Here on Earth”, “Damn These Dreams”). You could do a whole lot worse than Dierks, although he remains one of the most frustrating popular artists because of his ability to be great but his tendency to mix that with mediocrity.
Staying on country for a second, if you want honest, unflinching songwriting that can shake you to your core check out Jason Isbell. The former singer from the Drive By Truckers, Isbell has battled numerous personal demons (drugs, alcohol, divorce) that feed his insightful songwriting. Isbell presents some ugly truths, personal struggles, and a deep sense that something has gone wrong in this world and in his life. Essentially, it’s the opposite of everything you will hear on the radio.
But life isn’t one big back-road party, and it’s not one big pity party either. There is usually a balance of the two in life and there should be a balance of the two in the music you listen to in order to stay level-headed.
I’ve been reading some Søren Kierkegaard and some Charles Baudelaire lately. Yeah, I know, I’m pretentious. And yes, I know that those are completely different people with completely different lifestyles and beliefs. But, like I said, balance. Anyway, I don’t have the space to talk about what I’ve learned from these two brilliant men. I will discuss them later in what is sure to be my least popular blog post. Suffice to say, they have both influenced my thinking and in turn my writing of late. So much so, that my next post is going to be a poem. It will be my first that I’ve ever shown the “public”, so feedback will be appreciated.
This is the slowest time in sports. The NBA is still useless unless it’s playoff time. Baseball is in Spring Training which is exciting, but does not provide daily excitement. The Olympics are over. The NFL is making 21 year olds work out in their underwear and it’s the most exciting thing happening at the moment.
The Lego Movie. Go see it. That’s all you need to know.