Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Where exactly does this rabbit hole go??

Today's post is a total stray from the usual.  No training talk, no paleo recipes, no race reports, but...culture and introspection; specifically around music.

Music...it is a big part of my life, and always has been.  I'm the type of person who likes to have a soundtrack playing for just about anything I do.  I grew up playing the piano, and I really want to learn to play the guitar if I can find some time; hopefully this winter.  I can't think of a time when I'd rather have the TV on than have music playing in the background while I'm doing stuff like cleaning or cooking, or doing work.  When I'm at work I can't make it through the day without pandora, even if it is against company policy to stream internet radio.  When I am training alone I always bring music with me unless I'm on trails.  In the car, the music is cranked up.  My musical tastes span just about the entire spectrum with the exception of overplayed top 20 garbage and club/autotuned rap.

Lately I have been listening only to singer/songwriter, somewhat folk-type music (generally seems to fall in that category, but not a prerequisite).  This is a drastic change from what I would call my usual soundtracks, such as the Foo Fighters, Audioslave, Led Zeppelin, Metallica, any other hard rock, etc.  I don't know what my sudden draw to this type of music is stemming from, but the beat, the simplicity, and the lyrics just seem to strike a note with me (pun intended).  It started with Gregory Alan Isakov, who I've mentioned in this blog before.  As I have devoured all of his albums and started to find other artists, I have found myself continuing down this path of discovering music that is so un-mainstream, but ridiculously good. 

I discovered Gregory Alan Isakov by watching the Ride The Divide documentary about the Continental Divide mountain bike race from Banff, CA to the Mexico border.  His song called The Stable Song is in the movie.  Maybe it is the visual and emotional context that the song is presented in, or vice versa, but I find that the connection between the song and the wide open spaces along with the personal reflection and inner challenges that are such common themes in the movie have created a really powerful connection in my mind.  They have awakened a previously dormant need for this peaceful place in my mind that I seem to now always be longing to get to.  I find that this type of music and the feeling of being in the outdoors, living simply and for the day, go hand in hand in my mind.  They aren't necessarily what happens in my day to day life, but it is what I work so hard for at least 5 days a week with the hopes that I can achieve it for the other 2.

So who are these artists that I've been following down the rabbit hole?  Well, other than Isakov, I've been listening to Iron and Wine, Ray LaMontagne, Alexi Murdoch, the Lumineers, Ryan Adams (thanks to a good reco), Joe Purdy, Brandi Carlisle, Ingrid Michaelson and too many others that Pandora or Spotify play.  Do you know any others?  I'd love to hear about them!

Here's to discovery in whatever form it takes for you


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