This I Believe

Madeline - Plymouth, Minnesota
Entered on May 15, 2007
Age Group: 18 - 30
Themes: creativity
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Music has always been a huge part of my life. I grew up playing three instruments and dancing around my living room to my parents’ infinite record collection.

Music takes me away to a place that nothing else can. It’s what keeps me sane and what helps me get through the day. Whenever I am dancing on stage or at a concert, or simply listening to music in my bedroom, I forget everything that is going on around me. I get lost in the rhythms and voices and I lose track of time. Music is a powerful thing.

To this day I still remember the first time I saw a parental advisory label plastered upon a CD case. I was in 4th grade, and I just couldn’t grasp the concept that some people felt that certain types of music should be censored. Violent or non-violent, crude or clean, political or non-political, I’ve always felt that music is a form of free speech, and it is my right as a citizen of America to listen to the music I so desire, regardless of its content.

This past April I was lucky enough to attend a Bright Eyes concert, which turned out to be one of the most incredible shows I have ever been to. There are no words that could possibly explain how exhilarating it was to be at that concert, hearing real, live music that actually had a story behind it.

It seems to me that hardly anyone writes music anymore. I constantly hear re-makes of old songs when I scan the radio stations in my car, and every time I turn on my TV at home there’s some new uncreative tune playing non-stop on MTV. The vast majority of music released today is severely lacking substance.

It’s almost as if the fear of being censored has left musicians these days to stray away from writing music that makes a point just because it has the potential to offend someone. The fear of being restricted or negatively judged combined with the notion that record sales may be low seems to be the straw that broke the camel’s back. Where have all the Bob Dylans and Bob Marleys gone?

If no one is going to step up to the plate and start creating music that makes a statement, it may be time to just throw in the towel and let the RIAA have it their way. If the limit is not pushed, things are going to start going backwards, and it’s only a matter of time before dancing like Elvis is considered crude again and Parental Advisory labels are added to all CD’s that contain the word stupid.

Bring the real stuff back. I want to hear protest songs and meaty guitar riffs and songs that strive to change the way people think. I don’t want to be 50 years old, scratching my head and wondering why the only thing I listen to is 60’s rock.