The Day the Music Died


I left on a two week vacation and the several posts I had lined up to keep the traffic hits a coming (including the “I am leaving on vacation but have some posts queued up” post) didn’t pan out. If you stick around here until April 2016 you may find them. The past two weeks I have been on an epic, cross USA journey to a music festival. Perhaps you have heard of it?

Or perhaps you haven’t. Truth be told, I am not a very big “music” person – I hadn’t really heard of it until last year. I knew of festivals such as Lollapalooza which stood out, but not this one. Still, the trip sounded fun and our company lets us drive the branded RV anywhere if you book it. It’s handy. yup, an RV! A 2001 35′ Winnebago. Complete with the floral pattern couches and everything. Here is the route we drove.

The highlighted cities are the cities we spent a night in. With four drivers you can pretty much drive constantly on shifts, especially when you have full food and washroom services on board. We did all of that on 10 days (the first 4 days was a weekend in Niagara Falls). We did the bottom loop first through Nashville and finished up in Chicago. I had an additional 4.5 hour drive from Niagara Falls afterwards but that is where we dropped the RV off.

Back to the title – I am not really a musical person. I have some bands and songs that really resonate with me from specific, formative times in my life (University, childhood, etc.) but for the most part music doesn’t fire me up. I don’t feel music like my wife does. Sometimes I think I am broken because of that – or at the very least, am missing out on things. You may think I am crazy for driving across the country for a music festival when music isn’t really my thing but while music is meh for me, the experience of getting there and being a part of it was still incredible.  Plus the hike in Jemez Springs was good for the soul.

I want to explore the music thing for a moment because it actually bothered me that I couldn’t get into it while I was there, surrounded by people who could. I remember times where music was important to me and even 20 years ago when I was part of the underground rave scene I would dance until the sun rose and really loved it. I think I started tuning music out because I worked for so long in bars, restaurants and night clubs and music would distract you from service or the sale. I think that is where it started. I also play almost all of my games with sound off. I don’t even know what I am missing half of the time. Quiet gaming stemmed from my wife getting frustrated when I had headsets on, ignoring her completely, laughing with strangers from all over the world while we slayed digital dragons. I quickly learned to play with one ear out so when she talked to me I could respond. This is also why I now favour single player games, or single player MMOs (which most are now anyway). Funny that is finally starting to understand my love of video games when I explain it to her in music terms. See there, when Nero dropped that sick beat? That is like getting a new level!

Ok, it sounded way cooler with an EDM track in the background.

She’ll never really understand.

Coachella was all that it was billed as – concerts day and night, a lot of drinking, some dancing, tons of bands and crowds and live art – I have some nice pics over at my Instagram feed which I don’t think I have listed here anywhere because it is more life than interweb related – if you are interested my Instagram feed is founts_ca (and I’ll see if there is an widget for that).  They had corporate hippos in suits and an office environment that were absolutely captivating to watch. My main frustration was lack of internet. Being Canadian, roaming rates are disgustingly expensive and I thought I was smart hitting the first Wal-Mart when I crossed the border and grabbing a contract free WIFI hub from T-Mobile. It worked “ok” in cities (received 4G) but pretty much everywhere in between was only 2G service and wouldn’t let you download emails or surf basic information. And most of our trip we were “everywhere in between”. Still, that forced me to unplug a bit but I fell so far behind on keeping up with games and blogging, and I am happy to have returned.

The best part of the trip for me was just driving across the USA. I have spent a lot of years in many USA cities but I didn’t fully appreciate the beauty of the roads and parts between. The drive from New Mexico to California was stunning. The beauty around Flagstaff was amazing. There were stretches of just pavement and forest and I had never experienced the USA that way before. I definitely appreciate it a lot more. Also, RV’ing is an amazing way to travel. I thought the novelty would wear off but I can totally see myself taking another trip like that. I would definitely make it with longer stops in between drives but it’s a comfortable way to travel. I’d just have to solve the internet problem better.

So, I am back. And much like my lack of music I am not much of a picture person either, so besides the dozen on my Instagram feed the rest is in my head. Very safe place to be.

2 comments / Add your comment below

  1. For me my interest in music and gaming has pretty similar feelings and highs.

    For music the beat, the backing and the vocals start getting inside and you begin to feel that rhythm which in turn becomes your internal rhythm – it’s all you know and you sink into it. For gaming that aspect comes from the flow – that moment in say, Ori and the blind forest where you’re completely focused on the map, your actions and what you need to do – that’s all you know and you sense that rhythm of movement and action.

    And your story makes me want to go on one of the road trips i used to do all the time. Beach hopping, concerts or just seeing random friends. Awesome part and it’s funny but i think that feeling of beauty you get form the endless road is almost similar to that flow from gaming, and the rhythm from music.

    1. See that is the part that makes me sad! I don’t feel music like that. I think I spent so long tuning it out as background noise that it just doesn’t affect me in any meaningful way. The trip though, it was awesome, and I am really fortunate to have some great friends to share that with. I’d definitely do it again!

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