Hi, my name is Kathleen, and I am going to be blogging about music! I really love music and it has impacted my life in so many ways that I would have never imagined such a broad, yet general, yet subjective matter could cover it all!
I think that music is something that everyone can enjoy. It has something for everyone and there are so many ways to access it that honestly, sometimes I wonder how people do not know more about it. For example, you do not even have to look for the most popular music, or the “coolest” artist. Even just humming your own tune is like connecting to other people through a collective creativity. This is beautiful because we do not all need to listen to the popular stuff, the cool stuff, or emulate the cool rock stars, the “popular” kids, or the “indie” kids, etc. I do not like those stereotypes because I believe that they keep people outside of the music community by saying that you must enjoy a certain type of music to be interesting and recognized within the community.
While it is somewhat true that you need to be famous or successful in order to make a living from music, you need to be able to be different and stand out. I think that people should not feel pressure to be famous and make an abundance of money. Music can be your livelihood and pay your bills, as for famous people. But it can also be a hobby or a passion, too. And there's nothing wrong with keeping a passion to yourself. So, if you feel pressured to be famous and have all this luck and success from your music, I believe you do not need to feel that way. I am saying that from firsthand experience…
During the pandemic, while I was in online school, I went through a patch of hyper-fixating on those super successful, young musicians. They were the same age as me! I was honestly jealous of them. But over time, I realized that they also had a spur of luck. I told myself that their luck was going to be mine—that all I was missing was that luck. I was going to do everything in my power to get that luck and get to that place where they were. And maybe I was hazy from online school taking up my life, or maybe it was also childish behavior that fed into these ideas. But I also think that if you’re a musician and have a passion for music, you will probably feel the pressure of success at some point. And I feel for people who feel that way because it is not just for music. It is for anything. People feel that their only salvation is to be famous. If you are trying to pay the bills, that may be true. But you can still perform even if it can't fully support you financially. You can still meet new people and grow your passion without it having to be your full-time job. There is another side of music, the more wholesome side, wherein you make music and participate in the music community just for the sake of doing it. And this is the idea I want to cultivate with this blog, starting with a conversation about one of my favorite bands, Vulfpeck.
A while ago, my band teacher told me that he was playing in a church later that week and that he was performing a song by a funk band called Vulfpeck. He played me one of the songs by the band, and I was immediately intrigued. I had never heard of this band before nor heard the song, and it was amazing. The song was called “Christmas in L.A.,” with the lead singer being Theo Katzman. I was blown away by the tightness of the band. They were so connected and well-coordinated. Vulfpeck really emulates the wholesomeness of the music community. They add so many intricate details, for instance—in one song—bells, to make each song intriguing. Their music is a dreamy and upbeat escape that snaps you into a haven of funk. I have been opened to a whole world of their music filled with impactful, slow, meaningful, emotional and all-around beautiful songs. And there are also some songs—songs that are almost humorous like one called “Funky Duck," or one called “It Gets Funkier." Their humorous attitude towards their playing is also really inspiring. In the music video for one of their songs, "Birds of a Feather," their band leader, Jack Stratton, is playing pancakes and hitting them with spatulas instead of drumsticks. It is hilarious! You can tell that they have a lighthearted attitude towards their music, and this is something I want to emulate. The songs are a great escape when I am feeling down or if I want to celebrate my happiness. I do not think I will stop listening to them anytime soon—they’re great!
I hope that my discussion of some of the aspects of the music community as well as the band Vulfpeck has inspired something in you, or changed your perspective, or introduced you to something new. Please enjoy this video of me playing a cover of the song I mentioned, "Christmas in L.A.," and have a great day!