I’m en route to see one of my bucket list bands. M83. They’ve evaded me through a number of festivals and performances. Laneways, NXNE Port Lands, any number of obtainable international concerts. I’ve had my eyes on them year after year but the confluence of factors never seems to match. Finally that wait is over and I just have to endure one of Toronto’s shittiest venues, Sound Academy (now named Rebel, as if that was any way to shine a turd). I feel like the Trix rabbit with prized kids cereal in sight. Is it gonna be everything I want and more? Well I’ve only heard great things about their live sets, so fingers crossed.
The concept that I’m running out of a bucket list haunts me a little. It’s great that I’ve been fortunate to see so many mind blowing performances, but to have so little on my audio vision board leaves me wanting. At this stage it’s pretty much Farther John Misty, Fleet Foxes, Courtney Barnett and Run The Jewels. Radiohead, The Antlers, The Dodos, Grizzly Bear, St Vincent, James Blake, Sufjan Stevens and the many other assorted names were all excellent in their own right, but I need more to fill the gap left by obtaining fulfillment.
It’s as easy as it is disappointing to say that I don’t consume new music as voraciously anymore. It sucks. I’d love to be on that cultural cutting edge, but it takes a surprising amount of work for what seems a trifling endeavour. It was so easy when I ran in circles that constantly fed me new material. In my early 20s, everyone had an ear to the ground. We’d help each other and the sharing became both an activity and the source of our conversations in its own right. It was an exciting, self perpetuating cycle. The more I had, the more I wanted.
The funny part is, there’s more out there now and even more avenues of discovery. So many services take the role that my friends did, but without that element of human connection, it’s hard to take suggestions with gusto. Much as an algorithm can get it right, there’s no interaction. The algorithms know hard data, but not emotional resonance. It was never just the music, but more the community engagement that felt like sincere connection. It now feels like one of those activities I’ve left behind, which is fucked up when I’m talking about something as central to my life as music. It’s not like my needs (and it is a need. This stuff is important) to find new tunes that excite me have dissipated.
Is this an ebb and flow thing? Will I end up getting periodic music dumps to stay somewhat relevant? Will I just pilfer through Best Of lists like everyone else? Or is there a graceful acceptance to understanding that in life, things come to pass? That years and responsibilities change us, priorities shift and what once mattered fades as we grow?
Who knows, maaan? All I know is that I seem to desire live music less and less, then every time I do it blows my fucking face off. Speaking of which, I’m about to go tick something off my bucket list. Later buds.