November 2016: Pals

Pick up your loose ends, take ’em to your friends…they’ll put ’em back together again…if you let them. – Rusty Wier

Many things have healing power.  Yet, I’ve never found something as therapeutic as good tunes and better friends.  Rusty Wier was a sage man.  In times of darkness, struggle and pain…sometimes music is all you have to pull you through.  In our most recent times, we’ve all been surrounded by hate, strife, emotion and vitriol from all sides.  Friends have been lost and gained over messages we retreive from the devices connected to our virtual, electronic umblical cords that are now permanently attached to our hands.  It’s a crazy world.

That’s why it’s important to focus on the positive and the real, tangible humans you have around you that you can authentically refer to as friends.  Billy the Kid knew this:  PALS.

The old saying that “friends are the family you choose,” is so very true.  When you go through hard times you discover this via a very unscientific mix of flakiness and sturdiness.  You find out who you can count on and who you can’t.  Another favorite saying of mine related to this is, “no friends like old friends.”  The amigos you’ve known the longest are like tall oaks in a forest of weeping willow trees.  They stand tall and proud alongside you.  They don’t cowotow to your weaknesses and the accentuate your strengths.

Many years ago I was adopted by a musical family of friends.  We shared a common passion and a common workday timewaste on the old message boards. Pre social media, this was about as high tech as it got.  Some of the greatest friends I have, I met via this scenario.  We may only see each other occasionally throughout the year, and when our annual family reunion rolls around some of us may be so busy organizing things that we can’t sit down and catch up as we’d like…but I know they’re that tall oak in the forest for me.  They’ve got my back. During the recent hard times, many have reached out to help reaffirm my foundation and assure me that things will be okay.  Their advice has been indispensable and well-timed.  This crazy, musical family of friends is bonded together through thick and thin.  Marriages and divorces.  Births and deaths.  Elections and riots.  Good times and bad times.

Thread that runs among all the relationships of this little OKOM family is just that: the music.  There are times when music feels like my only friend.  And, I know you’ve felt that way too, even if you don’t want to admit it.  Music boosts us when we’re down, and boosts us higher when we’re up.  It consoles us during grief and cajoles us when we’re weary.  It can be spiritual, powerful, emotional, digestible, forgettable, unforgettable, magical, fantastic, realistic, easy, hard, sensual, plastic…it can be whatever you need, whenever you need it.  Music lives in our hearts, minds and souls.  It’s in the air we breathe, it’s in the fabric of our beings.  Having that as common connection to other people is not to be taken lightly.

True friends show their true colors at the darkest hours.  So does my friend, and yours, music. Whatever despair you’re feeling, whatever joy you’re celebrating…music (along with God’s grace and love) will put its arm around you and remind you that it’s going to be alright…it’s got your back.  Over time, certain songs and artists begin to feel like personal property…family if you will.  It’s not just 3 minutes and 15 seconds of minors and 7ths…it’s real to you.  It connects you to places and things and emotions…just like a person.  It’s your friend and it’s your family.

OKOM families are special, don’t forget that.  Let’s lean on each other and lean on the tunes.


-Music documentaries may be my favorite viewing.  The recent Soundbreaking series on PBS has been top notch.  They’re telling well-worn (and new) stories in a non-linear, interesting fashion.  A must watch for any music fan.

-How ’bout dem Cowboys?

-Speaking of…I was retweeted yesterday on my personal account from Bleacher Report, Yahoo and Uproxx leading to a tweet that as of this writing had well over 2 million impressions.  Crazy.

-I joked that I will now use sports memes to promote Greenfest.

-Went to see Doyle Bramhall II Saturday night with the amazing Brandy Zdan and lovely Emily Gimble opening.  It was a magical gig.  Doyle dates some chick named Renee Zellwegger.  Yes, that one.  She stood in the crowd alongside us all night, avoiding being gurmed (for the most part) and couldn’t have been nicer.

-I can taste the Pumpkin Pie right now.

-Already putting the finishing touches on our year-end favorites list.

-This months’ recommended album: Seth James and Jessica Murray – “A Million Miles of Love”.  This record is the sound of two people in love that just happen to also be two of the finest musicians in our state.

-“Of all the things I’ve lost, I miss my mind the most.” – Mark Twaint

Brad Beheler

Raised in Waco, refined in the Hill Country, escaped from DFW. I've worked in just about every facet of the music business for 20 years. I like to write about it all. e-mail Brad Editor-in-Chief

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