The Music Blog: Zola Jesus

As I come to the end of this musical journey, and there most certainly will be an end, and very very soon, don’t be surprised to see me meander. This has been introspective for me since mostly I have been writing to myself.  In the course of my life, I have met many people who state they love music, but the vast majority of these people do not. I feel some raised eyebrows out there. What most people are saying is that they love jazz, or they love rock and roll or they like country music.  When they make these statement, I truly believe they do love music. If you speak to them about music you find yourself in a spinning drain that goes something like this; I love music, actually I love rock and roll, actually I love rock and roll except for this kind of rock and roll and oh that kind of rock and roll too until what you are left with is I love rock and roll but it has to be classic rock, and then classic rock only from like 1965 through 1979.  They don’t really love rock and roll at all. Its more than just not liking a band. Not every band even should be universally liked. I hope this makes sense and I hope that in writing this I am not singling any one person out. I know a lot of people like this, in fact most of the people I meet who say they love music. I think this Is the reason I love my friend Melsie so much, because she really appreciates all sorts of music.

I have made it pretty clear that I do not care for the country music of today. I have listened to it though before I made that statement and even then, there are some country artists, like Kenny Chesney I really love. I am not crazy about the direction hip hop has taken my beloved r&b but I have a lot of that music and I had a co-worker once who played some neo-soul that I just loved. I do not have a lot of that music, but I am recognizing I do not have the resources to do everything to buy everything. Still there are some things happening in music the really make me smile and encourage me, like the Weekend. I just don’t know how you can listen to his music and not be enthused.

I have written all of that as a pretext for this moment. The rise of Netflix has been very good to music. I can watch the show 13 Reasons Why just for the music alone. So it should not surprise you that I discovered Zola Jesus on Netfflix.

One of the shows I have really enjoyed is the science fiction show Another Life. The show stars Katee Sackhoff as a captain of a long-range space faring ship. She is fighting some trust issues with her crew mostly because of a previous posting she had to another ship in which there was an incident in which several crew lost their lives. She has been widely blamed for the accident.  In fact, she followed a procedure to save the ship and most of the crew but the result of that was the loss of some crew. She did everything right but like the crew she has blamed herself. The show only has one season to date and there will be a second season but I do not see everything so its not unusual for me to watch a series two or three times. This show I have seen three. It was the third viewing where I discovered Zola Jesus. There is a moment in which the crew is trying to wake the captain from a cryo-sleep but cannot because she is trapped in a dream loop. She is reliving that accident and trying to change the outcome and until she goes through every possibility she is trapped.  Each time she changes her decision the outcome is worse until there is a slow realization that she has to live with her decision and that she did the best she could. Now we all do this maybe not in dreams, but we all have some regrets, some things we wish had turned out differently. While she is going through these permutations there is a song playing, and the words of that sone kept repeating, “If it doesn’t make you wiser, doesn’t make you stronger, doesn’t make you live a little bit what are you doing?” That song captured the moment so well and I wanted to know who sang the song. So, I searched for the song and found it.

Nika Roza Danilova is an American singer song writer mostly from Wisconsin. She took her performing name from the French writer Emile Zola and some religious guy that you might have heard of (I kid because I care.) I don’t know why I have grown so fond of her. I admire the massive creativity that she has shown in her music which is mostly Goth. She has a big voice and I have watched two live performances on youtube and just loved them. For many, anything electronic means that what is produced is not music. I am sorry that is just not true. There is a mighty creative energy behind her music, and I have been following her on Twitter and she is absolutely an artist, a musician and a tremendous creator and actually a really sweet person who wants the pandemic to end so independent performers like herself can get back to work, get back to what they love doing.

I just love her and her music.

Look, you have many options in this life so why not be open minded and give something new a try. I love the old bands too and I don’t quite obviously sit around listening to tons of new music but its out there and some of it is amazing. Among the things I have learned from this blog is sometimes you gotta shake things up a bit. Search out new music because some of that music will knock your socks off.

Mike out

One thought on “The Music Blog: Zola Jesus

  1. I think my comment went to the wrong post. Lol anyway I’m gonna go to Spotify and listen to this musician. I’ve heard of her somewhere else. I take this as a sign to go explore her mosaic 💜


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