My South Florida music binge journey in quarantine Chapter 1: The beginning
Central Bureau Chief
“When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times, and the latest,” said Henry David Thoreau. Music establishes itself as an untouched entity that fixes all our solutions in a heartbeat. Often, when I’m in a depressive state of mind, my mood alters after listening to my favorite music. Why is that? Ashford University reports that “One of the first things that happen when music enters our brains is the triggering of pleasure centers that release dopamine, a neurotransmitter that makes you feel happy.” We can gather that when someone suffers mental or physical pain, necessary treatment involving music resides as a universal cure.
Exploring the vast expanse of diverse music resides as one of the greatest aspects of the quarantine life. During our time of confusion, it’s important to escape from reality and look to the bright side. Personally, listening to my favorite albums like Drake Bell’s It’s Only Time, Mastodon’s Crack the Skye, or Gustav Holst’s the Planets, I think of the Henry David Thoreau quote aforementioned. Listening to the comforting sounds of my favorite albums relaxes the tension in my head. Nevertheless, it’s time to divulge into a new brand of music, the local scene. As a bass player in two South Florida bands, I’ve only met and heard a handful of bands while gigging. I’d follow these bands on Instagram yet I’d never take the time to listen to their content. Why start now? Two music legends, Herbie Hancock and Henry Rollins, sparked interest as they’ve expressed their opinion on how to handle this situation with music.
As anyone does when waking up in the morning, I grab a cup of coffee and browse through my Instagram feed. While on Instagram, I looked on my good friend, Luis Canessa’s stories where he tagged Herbie Hancock’s post. For those of you who for some reason haven’t heard of Herbie Hancock, Britannica can explain. “Herbie Hancock, American keyboard player, songwriter, and bandleader, a prolific recording artist who achieved success as an incisive, harmonically provocative jazz pianist and then went on to gain wide popularity as a leader of electric jazz-rock groups.” Tapping onto the link brought myself to an Instagram post in which Herbie expressed how we can make it through these turbulent times.
“We’re living through a difficult time. But I’m giving hope when I see how people around the world are responding with music. People are gathering for concerts online and singing from their balconies. Music brings us together even when we’re apart. I look forward to the day I play for you again in person. In the meantime, keep playing, keep innovating, and keep one another in your hearts. Music brings us together even when we’re apart.”
After browsing the internet, I uncovered a Rolling Stone piece that interviewed one of my idols, Henry Rollins. Again, if you’ve never heard of Henry Rollins, Britannica will explain. “Henry Rollins, American singer, poet, monologist, and publisher whose tenure as the lead vocalist of Los Angeles hardcore group Black Flag made him one of the most recognizable faces in the 1980s punk scene.”
Rolling Stone writer Hank Shteamer conversed with Henry Rollins in his article entitled “Social Distancing with Henry Rollins: Staying Busy and Keeping Up With ‘Protein Listening’. Shteamer asked Rollins on what music he’s been tuning into during the pandemic. “I engage in two kinds of listening. Protein and carbohydrate. Protein is records I’ve never heard before, where I have to lean in and focus. Carbohydrate is music that’s familiar to me. Right now, I’m in a 90/10 protein-carbohydrate ratio.”
It’s only a matter of time till I wanted to chronicle my listening experiences with these different bands but to also speak with them. South Florida provides a unique voice in the music scene since it churns a melting pot of culture for people waiting to listen. My South Florida Music Binge Journey in Quarantine existed to ask bands how they got their name, what were their inspirations, questions about their new albums/Eps, and what was their idea of ‘making it’. Speaking or writing, We’re Wolves, Supergold, Modern Mimes, Johnny Two Chords, Corazon Rabioso, Palomino Blond, and The Darling Fire have brought an abundance of hope for the future.
During the next few weeks, we’ll be releasing a collection of articles about what local bands South Florida should listen to weekly. Every article will showcase a band about my journey discovering them, include an interview with members of the band, and an album review. During this time, more bands are still in the process of responding and hopefully we’ll be able to expose their band more. Stay tuned as these articles will be released one band at a time. Stay safe out there!