Nope. That's not a typo. I meant "salve." As in soothe, chill, heal, protect.
I was reading this list of "11 Problems Music Can Fix" (http://mentalfloss.com/article/30649/11-problems-music-can-solve) this morning, and it made me think that I had just been through a couple of pretty rough weeks emotionally and physically. But it was, in part, the music (and the opportunity to create music) that made me feel better.
Think of some of your favorite tunes (for me, the oddball autopsy of life and death performed over winning pop tracks by They Might Be Giants is very near the top). I could talk at length about what I find appealing about that band, and I probably will pretty soon. But all the critique and allusions aside, I like TMBG because they just make me feel good. It's smart, it's funny, it's musically clever. TMBG is like hanging out with a really sharp pal with a great sense of absurdist humor, and that just makes me feel good.
What music makes you feel good? I'm not talking about which band has the most indie cred, or who has the coolest t-shirt, or which singer you're in love with, or any of that peripheral stuff. Just what makes you feel good?
Can you name something right away? Good for you. If you can't, you need to hear some new stuff, and maybe listen differently, too.
In fact, with this recent election fresh in our minds, I know a lot of people who are really concerned for the country's future, and it's making them feel bad. In my mind, the most important people in the next four years will be visual artists, writers, musicians, comedians, and playwrights. The real base of resistance against the potential of fascism is always composed of artists.
If you're feeling like this, take my suggestion: find a musical artist that you didn't know about before every month for a year... longer, if you can. And judge them on one criteria only: does it make you feel good? Because that's all you need to know.
Here are some artists you may not have heard just to get you started: Gillian Welch. Scritti Politti. The Pimps of Joytime. The Record Company. Björk. What, you've never heard The Clash? You should fix that, right away. That stuff is angry, raw, and it makes you feel real good.