Finding Transcendence in the Thick of Life
with gratitude to Ann Powers for the insight
"This the heart of soul music: transcendence intertwined with an unflagging sense of being in the thick of life, the sound of ordinary people heroically getting by. To live is to face the fight. To not want to fight is to live. Fly on."
About Ann Powers
"Ann Powers is NPR Music's critic and correspondent. She writes for NPR's music news blog, The Record, and she can be heard on NPR's newsmagazines and music programs.
Excerpt from Weird Like Us by Ann Powers
In 1984, a twenty-year-old punkette with two-toned hair and a plastic raincoat boarded an American Airlines jet and left home, in search of a fantasy that she wanted to make into a life. That nice Catholic kid gone haywire was me, fleeing toward a future as a poet, a rock star, a groupie, anything but the accounted-for accounting major my dad said I should be. My fantasy was the floating world where artists and other weirdos made their own rules, turning their lives in the city's twilight into one long experiment.
What is a Bohemian?
"Traditionally, the bohemian is conceived of as an artist and freethinker who develops alternative means of consumption (barter, rent sharing) out of necessity, and embraces alternative lifestyles as an offshoot of his (classically, his) personality. But for Powers, informed as much by feminism and economics as by aesthetics, these personal choices are not bohemianism's window dressing; they are bohemianism.
Analysis of Don't Wanna Fight by Alabama Shakes
February 10, 2015
True Grit and Sacred Howling
Popular Music is a form of religion. It functions as a means by which people create their identities, form their worldviews, acquire a sense of community with one another, and gain sustenance for life, animated by “touches of transcendence” which they feel in the music itself.