Life According to Matthew

Upon a dislike of one’s occupation (or rather, ‘Upon a dislike of one’s –insert any frustrating necessary evil here-‘) and other ramblings from the surprisingly clean desk of Matt Mulder:

So there are things in our lives that suck. That’s just the plain truth. Yes, I know if you have a positive attitude about it, it makes the situation better, or if you find some outlet for your stress, you’ll feel better. But, sometimes you just have days wherein you question your very purpose within the context of whatever this thing may be (whether it be a class, a job, an extra-curricular activity, etc.). And that sucks. A lot. And sometimes, you might have a stream of days within a short period of time where these types of days occur. So, what do you do? You can’t just up and quit because the going got tougher than usual, you might depend on this for an academic degree or as your means to pay for said academic degree.

What I’ve found helps is to plow through whatever it is (if you can’t get away from it; if you can, then by all means, get away from it for a bit), then afterwards chill by yourself (or your friends, if you’re an extrovert) and perhaps, discover new music, such as the ‘Pickin’ On’ series (a huge series of cover albums that are done bluegrass style). It makes me happy. Speaking of…

Cover songs/albums are great. That’s how many artists ‘back in the day’ (that being before the 70’s-ish) did it. If you look at any jazz, folk, or blues albums from back then, you’ll begin to see several songs or pieces of music that are covers of someone else’s take on the same thing. Pieces like ‘A String of Pearls,’ ‘The Girl from Ipanema,’ and many others. This is what’s known as a ‘Standard,’ or a piece of music that’s essential to all repertoire for a certain genre. Standards are widely known by the musicians of that genre, and are most often quite popular pieces. Even some of the most popular songs of today and the distant past are covers. ‘Wagon Wheel’ by Darius Rucker? Cover of a Bob Dylan song. ‘Knockin’ on Heaven’s Door’ by Guns ‘n’ Roses? Bob Dylan. ‘It Ain’t Me Babe’ by The Turtles (that one might be a bit more obscure)? Bob Dylan. This is beginning to seem a bit one sided on the Bob Dylan front.

Anyway, folk singers like Bob Dylan and Woodie Guthrie (The guy who wrote ‘This Land is Your Land’) went around the country and picked up folk songs and made them into better versions of themselves, which can often be the case for cover songs/albums. Relient K released a two-part EP entitled ‘K is for Karaoke’ on which they covered several famous pop songs and made several of them sound better (for example, ‘Baby’ by the Biebs).

Let’s see here… any final thoughts? Yes. Life sometimes sucks. You’ll be fine. Covers are great. Listen to more of them. Vinyl records are amazing. Buy them. Buy all of them. Well, that’s it for this week’s ramblings. Cheers.

-Matt Mulder

 

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