Crazy Heart Communication

Last night we saw Crazy Heart. It is a pretty typical story about a drunk country singer who makes an effort to change late in life. I can’t say that the story was really all that original, it has some great acting that really helps to relate to the characters. The musical side of things also felt very real. The way he wrote songs and traveled around in a old suburban, sleeping in dumpy motel rooms and playing terrible places was all right in line with real life. It was obvious he had some success at some point in his life, but that was well behind him. The film presented a realistic picture of a working musician that had found success and lost it over time.

The movie portrays a rather realistic view of a working musician.

What’s more, it shows a rather realistic perspective of song writing in general. If you write a good song, it should sound a feel like other songs, even though it might be completely different. That is not to say you should rip off other songs, but rather you consider the audience. The older I get the more I realize how important it is to consider your audience when communicating. It is a huge challenge to put yourself in someone else’s shoes and consider their influences and perspectives on different topics and use that information to make your own point.

Songs are most definitely a form of communication both through the lyrics and with the music. If you listen to music, there is huge segment of popular music that uses a basic back beat. This is where the snare usually hits on the second and fourth beat of a measure or phrase. This is because it is a such a popular beat that it is in so many songs. My guess is that it will continue to be a critical aspect in music for years to come, simply because it gives listeners something to immediately feel comfortable with.

I’d definitely recommend Crazy Heart. Not so much because the story is so enduring, but simply because it clearly communicates the difficult life of a working musician. The long drives through beautiful country only to end up at a dirty bar (or bowling ally in the movie) with the appreciation of one or two fans making it all worthwhile. I think part of the appeal of music is that you have that opportunity to communicate on such a different level where the ideas and concepts are less important than transferring some set of emotions through sound. Even though it can feel pretty thankless at times, it also doesn’t take much to know you’ve made that connection.