A traveling musician came to my door one night. “Fam,” the stranger said, “I come from the next town over; where the audiences are warm and the tracks are hot.” I stood there without saying saying a word. Perhaps the uninvited visitor could tell I was skeptical. Immediately, they turned-up the charm. The musician then started his pitch, “I’m trying to expand my audience, and I heard you like to write. I’d really appreciate — if you’re willing to give my mixtape a listen — your support.”
I wasn’t sold.
“If only it were possible,” I told the stranger, “But without a decent pair of headphones, my ears won’t be able to appreciate the sounds you’ve put together. While dejected, the musician did not walk away and, instead, reached into his pocket; pulling out a small, white stone with his right hand. “Ah, but with this — my magic rock — we’ll be able to hear all of the sounds this world has to offer,” the stranger said. The carried a whiff of sage towards us, when the artist concluded by saying, “All we need is a quiet room.” I was, admittedly, intrigued. Finally, I relented and invited the musician inside; where we sat at my kitchen table; the magic stone between us, not making a sound. The musician seemed deep in thought, before saying, “Maybe what we need is a computer. Do you have a laptop we can use?” I went into the bedroom and brought out my computer; but still not so much as a peep came from the stone. “What might help,” the traveler added to the conversation, “Is an internet connection. Could you go to my website?” Overcome with excitement, I agreed.
We started from the beginning — by playing the most newest track — until reaching the catalog’s end; amazed at the high-quality audio that the rock, an otherwise regular relic, could elicit from a pair of crappy laptop speakers. I thanked my guest profusely; even offering to buy some merch, which they gladly sold me. “Remember,” the musician mentioned before going on the road again, “Tell your friends!”
“I will,” was my answer to the bard. No sooner than they took a step, though, a feeling came over me — from deep within my chest, — and I said, “If you know of anyone else that has a magic stone, make sure to tell them to come through our humble village, but especially my house!”
“For sure,” was the stranger’s ebullient answer. What follows, in these columns, are the musical recommendations that strange, an unexpected creative, has continued to send me over the years.