Second Time!!!

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I will be in the audience of my second John Mayer show in 25 days. It’s less than a month away!! When he announced that he was going on a world tour I immediately started scanning the tour dates, looking for a close enough show.

Vegas was it.

I was surprised that my dad was willing to go with me. I was surprised that I suggested we go! I’ve never gotten on a plane to see a concert on a whim. (The first John Mayer show we went to was courtesy of relatives, who won tickets to see him at The Hollywood Bowl). That was a good show: the venue was nice, the audience was having a fun time and the musicians weren’t missing a beat. It was a sold out show.

That was in 2007.

And while April 22 won’t be exactly seven years since the first show, it’s close enough. This will be a special show for me, because I’ll get to witness the John Mayer Trio in person! They introduced me to the blues and opened up a treasure trove of musicians that I wouldn’t have heard of.

That’s what John Mayer’s been doing for me ever since I was 13. I picked up the guitar because of him: Seeing the music video to “No Such Thing” awakened something in me, and I couldn’t ignore it. I played Room for Squares on repeat until my cousin wanted to throw it out the window. Every album he released after, I bought. I own his two DVDs. I used to sit down with my guitar and go through the tab books for his songs. To this day I still get excited when he announces new music. Whenever I get bored of the guitar for whatever reason, all I have to do is listen to one of his songs or watch a performance of his and I’m back.

Say what you want about his personality, but John Mayer is a great guitar player and songwriter.

I can’t wait for April 22!

The Arts

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The arts were an important aspect of my childhood: if I wasn’t in band or reading, what would I be doing? I wasn’t good at math, and while science was interesting, I didn’t like dealing with numbers. Music has numbers too, but it’s not complex like measurements.

When I heard about public schools cutting the arts to pay more attention to exercise, I was disappointed. When my university football program made itself to be in dire need of funds and pushing humanities to the side, I was shocked. People give money to athletic programs, but the arts get left with nothing.

Why?

Now, Trump wants to eliminate the National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) and its sister agency National Endowment for the Arts (NEA). These are federally funded programs that have done so much for rural America, and saving lives through drawing, painting, reading, writing, music and theater.

I can’t explain the need for continued funding for the Arts in this post, but this article in Paste Magazine can, by looking at how low-income, at-risk children and war veterans will be affected by the proposed cut. And this article in Quartz, documenting how important the NEH is to America’s story.

Yes, we all need to know basic math. We need to embrace technology at work and learn how to use a computer and some software. We need to exercise and be healthy. But we also need to be creative and express who we are. You can’t express your feelings in a spreadsheet.

The Power of Music

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http://www.theodyssey.com

The documentary Alive Inside is a touching film about music therapy, and what a simple iPod can do to help Alzheimer’s patients. It will have you tearing up in the first five minutes.

Music is powerful. It wakes us up, it puts us to sleep, it makes us sad–even when we’re not particularly down at that moment. We listen to our iPods at work to take away the dullness of being in an office all day; we go to concerts to escape our problems. It brings people together, no matter what language we speak.

I was always interested in music, from being in band to playing guitar. My iPod is filled with different genres, from rock and instrumental, to Oldies and country. I get songs stuck in my head for days. Sometimes at random.

What would life be without music? Think about all of the moments in your life, good and bad, and tell me if music wasn’t present in each of them, or at least majority of them. I’m betting more than half of your memories involve music in some way. There’s nothing else I can think of that touches each and every one of us in profound ways. Can you?