Thursday, December 20, 2007

Erik Hokkanen And The Current State Of Music

I'm not one to comment about music much. It's not for lack of loving it, it just has more to do with the fact that I don't posses the vocabulary or the knowledge to pay it proper respect.

Well, I'm going to give it a shot here, because I was treated to a religious experience Tuesday night in Austin, TX. And the preacher was none other than Eric Hokkanen and his group of misfits called the Hip Replacements. To me good music makes you want to do stuff you normally wouldn't do. And Tuesday night, in the tight spaces of the Flipnotics Coffeespace, I wanted to stand and dance. To flail my arms about and to hoot and holler. And if you know me and know my lack of dancing skills, you know that is high praise. But that's what Erik's sweet music can do to a guy.

Erik is a man of many sounds. One moment he may be playing a Finnish Waltz on his fiddle, the next he may be playing surf music on his Fender. But no matter his instrument, the man puts his heart and soul into every note and that passion fills the room and spills out the doors.

Two things occurred to me that Tuesday night in Flipnotics. One, that I was witness to something amazing. I thought of the other people in Austin and elsewhere, at home watching TV or asleep in their beds, completely unaware that this man and this band existed and they were literally shaking the foundation from underneath me with their music. Second, I thought about the mess that is the current music business. That it cost me nothing to see Erik play, and yet I might pay upwards of $100 for another more well-known name and witness half the show I got Tuesday night. It ain't right.

So if you live in Texas or are passing through Austin and you get the chance to catch Erik Hokkanen and The Hip Replacements, you must seize the opportunity, because to do so is to taste and feel what real music is all about.

Thanks to my good friend Wally Williams at Tequila Mockingbird in Austin for turning me on to him.

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