Music is Music is Music

“I got the vegan beef and cheese breakfast burrito, which was, like…a tortilla.” My friend Kevin is one of those guys who not only has his shit together but everyone else’s, too. Or so it would seem from his expression, which glows with the kind of goofiness you only see in the inbred and the enlightened.

I saw him in Seattle a couple weeks ago, at his radio station – KEXP – arguably one of the best in the world. I see KEXP stickers on cars in Australia, for christ sake. People like good music to fly around in the air. Smart people do, anyway. Standing next to Kevin, I couldn’t stop holding onto him, couldn’t stop holding onto Seattle itself, really. When I’m there, I suck in its glittery air, hoping I can hold glittery in my lungs long enough to infuse other places I go with it. I don’t blink, trying to paste its maniacal yet soothing colors onto my eyeballs. And I hold onto my smart, glittery, maniacal yet soothing friends like they’re lifelines to the good life.

Burrito-wise, Kevin was actually talking about Austin, though. We once spent a limbo morning together in Austin, TX, during South by Southwest. An odd, transitional, crossroads-y kinda morning. Where maybe we could’ve sold our souls? But probly not, knowing where we were at, burdened and burned by integrity. Robert Johnson somehow gained integrity at his crossroads, buying into the devil’s demands. Our music business had reversed that equation…and I was wondering if I’d be keeping songs to myself from now on. If Kevin’d be programming Billie Holiday into The Minutemen into Bach in his living room.

“Music is music is music,” is what he said over his vegan tortilla, over the napkin holder, ramekins of salsa and half empty cups of coffee.

I stared at him. “And?

His inbred, enlightened grin. “And it’s gonna be ok.”

In Seattle, I hugged him tighter and begged him to say it again. “Music is music is music,” he sing-songed, his smile growing until it stretched out his rubbery features. “And it’s gonna be ok.”

Posted in: words, writing on April 12, 2015