Real-life magic

Welcome to this week’s Reno News & Review.

I’m back from my little musical sojourn around the Northwest. Tour was great. I feel really fortunate that I get to experience that life—traveling with some of my best buds, visiting cool places, meeting people, and hearing great music. It’s a privilege to enjoy, and I’m thankful I get to do it—even if only for a week or two at a time a couple of times a year, plus the occasional weekend strike.

For a long time, I thought that music was important because it mattered, but in recent years, I’ve come to the conclusion that music is important because it doesn’t matter. Music is an activity that we choose to do—however we choose to do it. It’s not something that we need to do to stay alive, or further the species. It has no real utility. But it’s so precious because it can be real-life magic—things that seem impossible happen every day.

I recognize that a life devoted to the arts is a gift, and I do my best to savor that and to make it accessible to as many people as possible. That’s one of the many reasons I’m proud of the work we do here at the RN&R.

Anyway. The first gig of the tour was in Salt Lake City, so we started off with a long drive across Nevada. And here’s the thing: it’s a lot greener and wetter than you might remember. Of course, it was late April, which is about as wet and green as it ever gets around here, but I was amazed at how much greenery I saw, nominal deserts that looked like marshes, and a Humboldt River that looked like it could be surfed. It’s not just here on the western border that things look wet and green. Central and eastern Nevada are altered landscapes as well. It’s hard not to think that climate change is the culprit.

But nothing I saw looks quite as threatening as the Truckee has lately. That river is a loaded weapon.