Check out the kid with the guitar:
The "kid with the guitar" is actually 31 or something like that...but you've never heard of him, right? Never saw him in his glam-rock phase or maybe it's still going on - it's hard to tell in America.
I came across Miyavi by accident - something Youtube remotely related to something else I was watching. Needless to say, this is the most amazing guitar playing I've seen in a while. The guy can coax whatever sounds he wants out of the beast, it seems, that "fit" whatever is needed for the rest of the song.
I bring this up because it's an excellent example of how well we're conditioned towards seeing our own purview as pretty much the universe. Plus, it's a shame that a guy who can play guitar like this is almost completely unknown in the United States. Especially since, if I recall from what I read, he actually lived here for a while.
And, when you come across something like this, it's like finding life on other planets: If there's one Miyavi, besides the talent I already know exists there must be millions of them; that is, there must be millions of talented folks I've never known. And there are. That's a pretty amazing thought, especially since the number of acts that are famous are few and far between.
I do hope that Miyavi, and those of his talent find more renown in the USA; we need some kind of popular music renaissance. We haven't really had any kind of cultural effect in our music from a foreign place since the "British Invasion" of the '60s - unless you count its aftershock of punk/New Wave, which I guess you could, since even Disney movies make reference to Depeche Mode. Too, folks like Leonard Cohen are far more well-known abroad than here. (We share him with the Canadians, who are pleased to have the opportunity to "export" Canadian content to the US - but Cohen's lived everywhere, including the USA.)
I remember the '60s and '70s. Even in the mid-60s, stuff like this looked strange and remotely ancient:
The thing is, much of the music that's still selling well now is about as old as that clip was in the late 60's/early 70s.
Culturally, for whatever reason - maybe America's own love with its own form of conservative Stalinism that only allows "so much" pop culture - we're stuck in a period defined by what happened 40 years ago, with notable exceptions...no...wait...rap music has its roots in the 70s/early 80s...Lady Gaga owes a lot to Madonna...Justin Bieber...well, enough said about him...you get my point.
Of course there was true innovation in music back then. And this is not to say that today's music is entirely vast, frozen, white wasteland, with apologies to Frank Zappa. And yeah, Miyavi owes quite a bit to other guitarists as well...though...to be fair to him, I don't know other artists that are in his generation - or otherwise - who have videos on YouTube - made outside the US, evidently - that do the equivalent of tell you how to do "Miyavi slap guitar."
And I guess this post doesn't have much to do with Buddhism in general, save to say, "Keep an open mind."