So this is my swan song. It’s been four great years writing for The Voice, but the time has come when we must regrettably part ways. There are only so many occasions in life when you get an opportunity to express something important, so I want to offer some parting advice to you, dear reader.
If you find these words hard to stomach, please don’t take it personally. Just know that my intentions are pure.
1) Take advantage of free music on the internet while you still can. It will not last forever, and it just so happens that listening to music is incredibly cost-effective in the status quo. The iron is hot, so strike.
2) Anyone who makes fun of the way you dance is an idiot.
3) Stop wearing iPod earbuds. The quality is awful, everyone can hear what you’re listening to and, honestly, they’ve looked stupid for a long time.
4) When you’re at a concert in a small venue, be respectful of the artist. Obviously it’s easier to chat with your friends during a slow song, but it’s pretty annoying for everyone else. The same goes for singing—pick a few songs to participate, in rather than proving your mastery of the canon.
5) There comes a moment when it’s too late to learn how to play an instrument, and it’s when you die.
6) There’s no such thing as “liking everything but country.” If you don’t like country, then you probably can’t handle a lot of music. Put a little bit more thought into your answer there, sport.
7) The difference between an EP and an LP is simple. So look it up.
8) Don’t be ashamed to listen to the music you loved in your youth. Just be honest with yourself about it—there’s a line where nostalgia can only do so much for a song, so familiarize yourself with it.
9) Pitchfork Media did more for independent music in the past ten years than any other major music publication. Mock it if you must, but don’t be lazy about it.
10) You’re always going to like music that you recognize better than anything else, so do your best not to give wedding bands too much credit.
11) When a song comes on that you associate with a sad memory, let it play. It’s a beautiful thing, really. Why would you rob yourself of that?
12) Don’t dismiss the music that your kids will love as teenagers. Granted, I’d hate Ke$ha too if I were 50, but, really, there’s always going to be some merit in it.
13) Yelling “Freebird” at a concert was funny in the ‘80s, but it’s not anymore.
14) Most people who love music also love to share music. We all know that a song is that much better when someone else agrees that it’s a good song, so don’t take it the wrong way when someone asks if you’ve heard of “x” band. They’re not seeking a moment of self-satisfaction—they just want to be pals.
15) When the last Beatle dies, it’s okay to cry your eyes out.
That’s it. It’s been real. Now let’s move on.
Give Dan his happy ending at email@example.com