I love listening to b-sides: the best songs are the ones nestled between the hit singles. Sometimes a record does something brilliant not in any one song but in the transition space between them. The feeling that’s left when the music fades to a faint scratching of the needle and the next note comes in and lifts us in a smooth glide. At some point, we stopped listening to songs individually, preferring to explore the entire universe of an album. It’s like a mixtape the artist made just for you.
I love the b-sides of cities. Los Angeles is known for the entertainment industry, for fashion, for influencer culture. The city vibrates at the low humming of its buzzing skeletal highways. A thin layer of shimmering dust covers the wide streets, the smell of smoke just around the corner. On the surface it seems empty and vapid but once you dip your toes in you realize this veneer conceals a marvelous, warm, loving community. When I’m here, I feel so in touch with my own presence. I feel this feeling of inner light: nothing that happens is ever inherently wrong.
I love exploring and getting to know the interiority of other people. First of all, receiving any portion of that from someone is a tremendous gift. We carry entire universes inside of us, much of it things we’re scared or uncomfortable expressing out into the world. Sometimes it feels so hard to know what context or connotation another person brings to their moment with you. So, when I get a peek of this, or when I am invited to share some of my own b-side, I treat that as a moment of mutual loving.
Tell me, what b-sides have you been enjoying lately?
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