THAT (that) wrote,

Listen, Don't Look

You know, music is all about appearances these days. It's like being in middle school again. But you know what a pretty face or a cool pair of shoes really means? Nothing. Absolutely nothing.

I'm going to tell you why I don't give a good goddamn what musicians looks like, how they do their hair or what they wear.

Look at this dude. What a dweeb. He makes Rick Moranis look like Andre 3000.

Except that he's um, played with, oh, let's see...
  • Miles Davis
  • Dizzy Gillespie
  • Stan Getz
  • Joe Henderson
  • Roland Kirk
  • Chet Baker
  • Gil Evans
  • Horace Silver...
You know, a couple of decent jazz players.

On the song I'm about to offer you, he is accompanied by Glen Velez, who is uncontestably one of the most virtuosic and wide-ranging hand percussionists in the world. And the guy on the oud? Well, I've never heard of him before, but his name is Simon Shaheed and he is a monster.

Mike Richmond: Araby

This is by far the most stunning synthesis of Arabic music and jazz I have ever heard. I didn't even know such a thing was possible.

So I really don't care how buff you are and how much everybody wants to breed with you. This dorky short guy in the square duds? With the Bob Ross 'fro? He can kick your ass into a musical dimension you will never even understand.

And that is why I don't care who facebook thinks is hot. It's got nothing to do with the music, man. Nothing. Maybe I'm a dinosaur; I don't care. If evolving means losing my ears and only using my eyes, then the hell with it. Extinct me.

There needs to be a balance between the senses. We're paying a price for becoming such an overwhelmingly visual culture. That price is the exile to obscurity of great talent and the exaltation of mediocrity, just because it's easy on the eyes.

So next time you hear some new music... don't google the act to see their video and what they look like and what kind of clothes they wear. Listen with your eyes closed. Listen in the dark. And then, perhaps, if you are paying attention to your ears, you will see the light.
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