“Music is an actual bodily need.” -David Dubal
As human beings, we learn pretty quickly what it takes to physically survive. We need air to breathe, water to drink, food to eat and shelter from the elements. Everything else, we are told, is a luxury; tiny pleasures sought out so that a day won't seem so long or a night won't seem so dull.
I've never heard either of my parents say that music was a necessity in this life. I've never heard a teacher say that, without music, I would somehow wither away to nothing.
And, in a way, they are right.
But, in a much bigger way, they are completely wrong.
So, when I read the above quote, I recalled the question posed by Joe Kendrick - “what's good in music?”
And I found the answer to be quite simple: what's good in music is what has always been good in music and that is the way music continues to affect our lives.
Of course, the rules keep changing because our world keeps evolving. Instead of word-of-mouth from a good friend, we've got hundreds of blogs telling us what new song we just have to hear; instead of mixes on cassette tape, we've got sites like The Mixtape Club. We are now a global community of music lovers, music snobs, one-hit wonders and lasting impressions - and all of this is just a click away.
It could feel terribly anonymous, this post-it-note way of sharing information. And if that were truly all we had, then I think we would feel disconnected from each other. But we are human beings who want to do more than just survive - we want to feel, we want to express, and we want to share all of it with anyone who will listen to us.
No amount of technology will ever prevent this “actual bodily need”.
Artists will still be in studios or in their own bedrooms, creating and crafting the next big hit - or, at least, the next big hit for 15 minutes. Fans will still spend money on songs, whether it's the whole album from an independent store or just a single song on iTunes. Writers will still build up or tear apart someone's creation, on the pages of Rolling Stone or on a site like Stereogum.
And people like me will still use music as a soundtrack to their life - the highs, the lows, the loves, the losses, and every day in-between.
What's good in music?