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2020 Send Off

Updated: Apr 6, 2022

Ahh, the end of 2020 has finally come, breathe a sigh of relief, pour a glass of bourbon, put on “I Shall Be Released” and know that we’ve at least hit the end of the calendar year, not that a change is going to come like the new day but sometimes just surviving is a victory. This year I found I had a lot of time by myself, as I’m sure many people did, but I was able to endure the times of solitude experienced through various coping mechanisms, mainly surfing and music. The fact is 2020 was really a year that gave me the time to focus on the intricacies or of these things that I rarely have to get into. Rather than waking up at dawn and rushing to the beach to knock out a quick session just to get some exercise, I was able to use my work from home status to wait for the right tides and study conditions. With music, this left me with time to not just explore new music but to listen to albums and listen to them over again, to really dive into what they were about more than what you get from just a first impression.

Now, I don’t want to make things sound all hunky dory because it was definitely somewhat depressing, and, based off the fact that Elliot Smith was my number one Spotify artist, I was definitely in some sad spots, but it wasn’t nearly as bad as that time I broke up with my girlfriend and binged Blood on the Tracks for a year straight. Maybe it was tough on the dance stuff, we didn’t have raves to go to, we never got to hear “WAP” at the club and Tame Impala’s The Slow Rush probably more describes the dance scene of 2020. The kind of dance scene that takes place in your living room with your home stereo maxed out and an out of sync strobe light flashing, as your other two friends scream the words and try not to spill their drinks on your rug. It may not be Club Space but I’ve always loved a good dance party, it shows commitment and as Billy Idol said, “Well there's nothing to lose; And there's nothing to prove; I'll be dancing with myself.”

The reality is the atmosphere has changed and it’s already started to bring about a change in music. Much like we can’t go to a concert or club and are forced to consume music in a different way, the artists who create it are forced to create it in different ways too and I think the interesting thing is that the music is just starting to reflect that. Sure, Run The Jewels dropped one of the most relevant albums right in the middle of all the chaos but it almost seems like we were just starting to see the results of artists being cooped up at home especially when Phish, My Morning Jacket and Taylor Swift all drop surprise albums. The idea we have of what to expect from the world is definitely changed and it sucks we’re forced to alter our lives in these ways but I think we as humans always respond in interesting ways to struggle, it’s why those stories that created the blues always meant so much more because Robert Johnson fucking knew what it was like to stand on the Crossroads and I think musicians who know the struggles of 2020 will keep coming to us with new stories of tribulations and triumphs for this year and years to come, so happy 2021. I look forward to it and the music to come.

Billy Idol ft. Generation X. "Dancing With Myself". Kiss Me Deadly. Chrysalis. 1980. Vinyl EP.

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