There are a lot of things in this life we can’t control.
I’ve worked in the restaurant and service industry for a lot of years. If there’s one thing I’ve learned it’s this: You can’t control how people interact and communicate with you. I can’t force manners upon a woman who doesn’t see me as an equal. I can’t argue with a man’s sensibilities as he spits orders at me and blows up over something as trivial as a condiment or food item we might be out of. I can’t make people treat me with respect if they don’t want to, and I’ve definitely learned that if people want to be ignorant, they will be, regardless of what I say or do.
You can’t control what faces you in the morning when you step outside your front door.
Growing up in Northern Alberta, Canada has taught me the invariability and power of weather. I can’t control the size of the snow pile that will inevitably fall around my car in December. I can’t stop the rain from falling, the wind from blowing, and the ice from forming. I just dress accordingly and hope for the best. I’ve been making parkas look sexy since 1988.
Something we all eventually learn is that we’ll never be able to stop someone from changing. Personally, I find this fact frustrating and encouraging all at the same time. People just change – our lives change, the things we feel change, and there isn’t anything we can do to stop that. Ultimately, change is the only constant you’ll ever really know.
It’s hard to see someone you love and respect become a person that you hardly even recognise, or maybe even like. On the other hand, it’s pretty awesome seeing certain people in our lives blossom into beautiful, effervescent souls – stepping far away from the dark underlings we once knew them as. Some people spend years in relationships only to find themselves staring into the eyes of a stranger.
Life changes and so do we, and trying to control that change or stop it is inevitably futile.
Here’s another unchangeable fact – you’re going to get older. For some of us, our hair will fall out, leaving sparkling domes and thinning mops. For the lucky few who get to keep their precious locks, they will eventually grey and maybe even become white. Unfortunately, as much as we’d like it to be true, we are not forever young.
You can’t make your hockey team win. You can’t control the amount of cars that surround and ultimately trap you in rush hour gridlock. You can’t stop that dickhead cop from writing you a ticket, and if you’re one of the lucky few that can’t drink milk, eat nuts, or devour bread – well, that’s your body and you can’t deny its allergies.
But I have not lost hope. Because for everything in this world that is out of my hands – for every football score or piece-of-shit boss out there – there are that many more things that I DO have control over, and my personal luxury is music.
I alone control my auditory environment, and in this fact I find solace.
What makes up my iTunes library is completely my choice. What podcasts stimulate my ears is of no one’s choosing but my own. I pick the tunes that rattle the speakers in my car and I alone have jurisdiction over what beats I’m jamming to at the gym. That’s not to say that I don’t love to share, hell, isn’t that what we’re all here for? Ultimately, at the end of the day, when I go home, I’m choosing what song is owning my stereo.
No one knows you better than you know yourself, and no one can tell you how to feel when you hear music that moves you. I know what I like and what I don’t like better than anyone else. Only you know your body, only you know your soul, and only you truly know what you love. I’ve probably shared a thousand songs with all of my buddies, but it’s impossible to force them to love that music like I do- it’s only fair though. My friends don’t know the music like I do; it doesn’t speak to them like it speaks to me- not initially at least. Truly loving music is like loving anything else: first, you have to build a relationship with it.
Music continually helps define me as an individual. I sincerely believe that there are no two people in this world that have identical taste in music. There’s always going to be that guilty pleasure that you keep hidden away for just the right occasion. Your likes and dislikes are all uniquely your own.
The great thing is that at the end of the day, music is personal power and it’s the one thing I’ve come to rely on after everything else has seemingly gone to shit. I’m trapped in traffic (AKA the seventh circle of Hell), my team’s lost, it hasn’t stopped raining, my best friend seems to have no interest in my life, my boyfriend’s a dick, work sucks, life sucks, and there’s no winning in my forecast for today.
At least I can go home and enjoy a little freedom. I choose what I want to listen to. I know what song I need to put on to make my heart feel okay- that my friends, is the ultimate control.
For me, it’s been one of those weeks. I’ve felt kind of helpless. I’ve been going through the motions, trying to get by but coming up justtttttt short. I have been able to find comfort in one of my favorite artists, however, so I’d like to share him with you.
Andrew Bayer is a respected member of the Anjunabeats family and produces nothing but musical brilliance. He’s an American DJ with a multitude of talents, his unique sound transcends a variety of genres (including Progressive House and Trance).
I first discovered Bayer after his guest mix on Above & Beyond’s radio show ‘Trance Around The World,’ back in 2011. Since then I’ve devoured absolutely everything he’s put out. From practically stalking his Soundcloud to overplaying the few live sets of his that have actually been recorded, I’ve developed what can only be called “an obsession of the Bayer variety”. His sophomore album ‘If It Were You We’d Never Leave’ was released this past April. It’s an album that’s gripped my heart, taken my breath away, and whispered my life story to me, all in the same moment.
Needless to say, I am an incredibly grateful and loving fan.
However, just as we discussed, I can’t make you love him, that’s something you alone can decide. I can set you on the right path, though, and you know I love sharing. So here are some gifts…
1. Andrew Bayer – Perth
Only two days old on Soundcloud and I’ve already played it over a dozen times. It opens with a metronome solo and is followed by booming orchestral effects – it’s pretty, theatrical, and spirited (and all in under 5 minutes).
^^ Andrew Bayer – Perth (Original Mix) ^^
2. Bayer’s Guest Mix on TATW 383
I’ve shared it with every friend I have, passed it along to anyone who’s ever asked for music and I’ve personally played it over a hundred times- and no, that’s not an exaggeration. It’s where my love for Bayer began and it’s where I instinctively turn after I’ve had a week that’s left me feeling powerless.
^^ Andrew Bayer’s Guest Mix TATW 383 ^^
3. Andrew Bayer – From The Earth
Released in 2011, it’s a song that speaks for itself.
^^ Andrew Bayer – From The Earth (Original Mix) ^^
4. Andrew Bayer – Soul Cry
Off his new album, ‘Soul Cry’ sounds like everything that is right in this world. It’s deep and groovy, soulful, and profound. The track is laden with emotion yet manages to remain light and carefree. Its got an infectious nature that will deceptively coax you into listening to the rest of the album immediately after.
^^ Andrew Bayer – Soul Cry (Original Mix) ^^
So yeah… sometimes life is a bitch… Sometimes life makes you its bitch. You’ll inevitably get slapped around by some totally fucked circumstance, in which you’re left feeling like a powerless pawn in some higher power’s sadistic game of Chess. But believe you me, music can save lives, especially when life is kicking you in the back, and you’ve got sand in your eyes… don’t ever forget about the music, or more importantly YOUR music.
It’s your personal signature, your hug when the chips are down, and your comfort in times of need. Only you know what gets your heart going and your lips smiling… so PLAY IT. PLAY THAT MUSIC. Turn it UP, listen LOUD, and give life a cordial “fuck you”, because you’ve got your tunes and no bad day or unfortunate circumstance can take that away from you… Unless your iPhone goes through the rinse cycle in the washing machine, your apartment floods, your laptop is sitting in two feet of water, and your music library wasn’t backed up. If that’s the case, then yeah, you’re probably shit out of luck.
Kassie Mitchell is an EDM blogger, freelance writer, and all things words and music.