Recently I saw two art forms that reminded me of how real music sounds like. The first being La La Land and the second seeing Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox. Both of these have jazz influences and brought me back to how real artist are.
They believe that real music is felt not just heard. They don’t stand on stage with their lips pressed on the microphone, they take you on a journey and let you peek inside their window of pain or glory. Even playing an instrument isn’t just playing notes, it’s painting them for all of us to see.
La La Land immediately made me want to go to a jazz club. No structure, just play. Yes of course you go to a concert now and artist have solos as well, but nothing beats hearing someone wail on a saxophone or dancing across those ivories. A lot of people don’t like jazz music, they say it’s to chaotic, but isn’t that the point. Isn’t that life? Before even seeing this movie I had a jazz station set on my radio and I find it relaxing or energetic depending on what’s playing. Hearing the rawness of jazz just makes you feel human. There are no right or wrong notes, it just is.
Which leads me to the concert. My best friend got me tickets to see Scott Bradlee’s Postmodern Jukebox and honestly they left me with hope for real musicians. Some of the singers have been contestants on American Idol while others were equally talented vocalists. A little background, PMJ was started in NJ in Scott Bradlee’s basement. He just wanted to take songs of today and set them in past eras, from the 20’s-50’s. I fell in love with, well it’s hard to say them because there are many different artists, but anyway I fell in love with their version of “Creep” featuring Haley Reinhart. It’s bluesy, sultry, and heart wrenching, both vocals and music wise. After seeing the show I fell even more in love with the lineup they brought and their versions of “Call me Maybe, “Stacy’s Mom”, and even “Mmmbop”. This singers pleaded their souls with every song and the musicians were extraordinary! They got to show off there skills with solos in multiple songs and their was even a tap dancer who acted as part of the percussion. The audience sang to every song, danced along in their seats, and hoot and hollered with “Yassss” and “Woo!” towards notes that were being hit or just because. There was no pyrotechnics and no fancy dance breaks. Instead the whole cast spread their contagious love for music and genuinely enjoyed every second they were on stage.
Those are the concerts I love to go to. Where the band sweat every once of their performance because they lay it all out their. Where the vocalists take you to a place that you see their emotions. Not where an artist stands in front of a mic for two hours stoned or too drunk to play. Not where the theatrics are more important than the music, with the exception of Gaga because she puts on one hell of a show and we know she can sing from the Oscar’s a couple of years ago.
I guess what I’m trying to say is the roots of music are lacking in today’s music. The younger generation are growing up with an appreciation for “dance” music, which if that’s your fancy good for you. Don’t get me wrong I dance to today’s hits when I go out but nothing beats sitting in a small venue and really seeing the music come to life.