Music is Heart-healthy!

Lynne Kiesling

Due in part to my trying to process everything that’s going on in the economy right now, and in part to my being in denial about some of it, my morning attention is drawn to this item: listening to your favorite music is good for your heart. In my case I suspected as much, because I am, ummmm, an active listener: whenever possible I sing along and dance and air drum in a fairly cardiovascular way. But this paper suggests that it’s not just getting your heart rate up; it’s also the feeling of joy leading to expanded blood flow. Last night provided me with a good data point on this hypothesis (OK, this is really just a current news hook to tell you about a show I went to last night).

My friend Geoff Manne was in town for the Property Rights and Innovation conference at the NU Searle Center yesterday and today, and at which I presented this preliminary and incomplete paper on layered entry barriers in retail electricity markets. Geoff’s a great enabler; the intersection of our musical tastes is sufficient to lead to valuable cross-pollination (most of it in my direction), so when he said that he wanted to see Centro-Matic at the Hideout while he was here, of course I said yes. Centro-Matic is a good indie-rock band from Denton, Texas, in the same rough musical area as Okkervil River, whom we’ve enjoyed live and to whom we are listening quite a bit lately. And the Hideout is a Chicago institution, so we look for excuses to go there.*

In brief, it was a good show, solid, well-done music at the alt country-rock interface. Lots of jangly guitar. The drummer was fun to watch, and I may actually steal one of his fills. One of the guys was swapping among bass, violin, keyboard, and synth, as well as singing backing vocals; very impressive. The Centro-Matic guys also play with two other folks as South San Gabriel, where they play their quieter, more mellow compositions. We were really enjoying their layered guitar with the pedal steel guitar, and how the drummer used maracas and brushes to give solid, soft percussion. If you like bands at the alt country-rock interface, check these guys out.

But then at the end they really endeared themselves to me in the encore, by doing a fabulous cover of the English Beat’s “Save It For Later”, which is one of my favorite.songs.ever. So I got to sing and dance and air drum, leading to a full-spectrum heart-healthy musical evening.

* Seriously, if you like music and you are ever in Chicago and have a free evening, it’s well worth going to the Hideout, even if you have never heard of the band or aren’t sure if you like the band’s genre. The Hideout is a true gem.

2 thoughts on “Music is Heart-healthy!

  1. I’m guessing attending basketball games will be similarly heart-healthy. Tonight TTU tipoff the season against St. Francis.

  2. I’m guessing attending basketball games will be similarly heart-healthy. Tonight TTU tipoff the season against St. Francis.

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