I’ll begin this post by telling you about the last meeting and then I’ll finish by keeping you up to date. Last week’s meeting may have seemed a little unstructured, but I can assure you it was part of the plan. There was no explicit discussion topic last week; participants and I gathered and listened to music that we felt connected to us right there and then. This was to utilize the skill of immediacy.
Psychologists utilize immediacy when they focus primarily on the present situation to investigate the relationship at hand and dig deeper into potential issues or feelings. Now, this was manifesting a little bit differently in group since I am not a licensed counselor and this is not a professional therapy setting (nor is it meant to be), but the principle was still there. By having a completely casual conversation and playing whatever music was connected to at the present time, I was able to both disclose and listen to thoughts and feelings as they arose. A few of the songs that were played and discussed are listed and briefly summarized below:
- “Woke Up Older” by The Wonder Years. This song is one that I played. To me, this song captures the essence of stress or anxiety and, for me, listening to it neutralizes either of those feelings. The idea that as you “catch [yourself] in the mirror to see [you] aged a year this week” hits me as a visual for what I may be feeling. It causes me to take a deep breath and step back a little bit.
- “Racing Trains” by The Wonder Years. I played another Wonder Years song in a similar vein as “Woke Up Older.” “Racing Trains” is an acoustic song found on TWY’s oldest full length Get Stoked On It. It is a song that talks about awkward run-ins on a train, but also gives off a reflective vibe to it. The imagery that The Wonder Years uses in their lyrics is very unique, both from other bands and how listeners interpret it; for me, as I mentioned above, the song is reflective in a way, and I feel calmer after listening to it.
- “Firstwake” by Silent Planet. Silent Planet is a band that comes up a lot in this group. I relate to them a lot and it’s become clear that many other people do as well. For me, this song captures many things; desperation and emptiness are present but also consolation, and it is the last one that is felt the strongest. Many other Silent Planet songs were played at this meeting as well: The Well, Native Blood, and Wasteland.
As far as what’s going on in and around “The Listener,” there is a bit to keep you up to date on. There weren’t any shows that I was able to attend and observe in the last week, but I’ll be sure to go to one soon so I can tell you guys about it.
There’s plenty going on with THE GARAGE, however. For complete details, be sure to check their social media to hear from Jack on the new developments. It’s supposed to be opening back up again very soon, and when it does, there will be more shows to go to. I’m sure we all have fond memories of shows at THE GARAGE, or shows in general. For me, one of my favorites was last November when the Journey’s Noise Tour came through and I got to see I Killed the Prom Queen. Prom Queen has come up a few times in discussions and blog posts, but for those of you who don’t know, they have been one of my top three favorite bands for going on seven years now. THE GARAGE is such an intimate venue that I was able to hang out on the barricade getting mic grabs from vocalist Jamie Hope all night and then hang out with them after their set. There’s something to be said about a place that encourages listeners like us to meet and connect with our heroes. It speaks to the importance of venues like THE GARAGE, and also to the community that music creates. That is everywhere around us.
That’s about it for this post. Next meeting is going to be centered on something I’ve been reading. I came across a book called “The Tao of Music: Sound Psychology” by John M Ortiz, Ph. D., and it discusses how music can be used to help with many kinds of issues. Come to group to find out which one is next.
As always, feel free to get a hold of me at this email address to ask about group or find out where it is.
See you soon.