“Can 2016 just stop already?” You’ve probably said that, or read that somewhere on your social media timeline. Typically I see it in reference to the heartbreaking celebrity deaths of 2016, from David Bowie to Prince, Sharon Jones to Leonard Cohen. But this year has also contained the most divisive political season in generations. There have been tragedies at home – mass shootings like the one at Pulse Orlando, floods in Louisiana, the fire at Oakland’s Ghost Ship arts community – and abroad – the conflict in Syria being a major one that not enough Americans are talking about.
But framing it all up as the unhappiness in the world ending along with the year, unfortunately, misses the point. Beloved celebrities are going to die in 2017. The political tone of the country is, in all likelihood, not going to improve. Catastrophic things will happen all around us, and all around the world, and there’s little we can do to stand in the way.
I don’t say all this to be a massive bummer this holiday season (honestly, though, parties and presents do feel more trivial than ever). Rather, it’s to underscore the importance of music in or lives. Continue reading →