Sunday, March 24, 2013
Music: A Letter
Here's a metaphor for you: Existential hum is the cat's purr.
I've been trying to write this for what seems like a very long time. If anything, I've been trying to write this solely to be writing something...anything.
Music is very important to me and that is what I intend to write about here, but we'll see where it takes me. Music is so important and so special because it serves no purpose other than to fill your head with thoughts. Sometimes lovely thoughts; sometimes sad thoughts; sometimes sexy thoughts; sometimes funny thoughts; sometimes terrible thoughts; sometimes happy thoughts; sometimes thoughts that lead you to believe that the only logical thing to do is dance. These are the main reasons why music is so important to me. I honestly thought I lost that love for a very long time, and I thank god I have it back.
"If I should die, god forbid, let this be my epigraph: The only proof he needed for the existence of god was music."
- Kurt Vonnegut, From Man Without a Country
On the flip side of this, I also believe it is too special to abuse or overdose on. The phenomenon that is apathy towards music, at my core, does not make sense to me. The fact that a human being can stop listening, stop caring about a band because other people that this hypothetical person do not like or understand start listening to the band, does not make sense to me. I understand not liking a bands new music, I've done that many times myself (Weezer is one example), but why would anyone abandon the music they love just because other people love it or claim to love it as well. Not only does this not make sense to me, it actually slightly disgusts me. If you do not love it, or if you are not at least trying to love it, why participate? I will never not have a special place in my heart for the album Pinkerton. Madame Butterfly.
I haven't been going out very much lately. I keep intending to go out and see friends, drink some drinks, have a good time. Instead I keep staying in and watching documentaries about extraordinary people from the past. Ken Burns presents Jazz. Ken Burns and Lynn Novick present Frank Lloyd Wright. I've been thinking about the past, as I am wont to do when left to my own devices.
I think about how fortunate I am in this world. If I wanted to, I could listen to music 100% of the time. This is not hyperbole. We as a society, as a civilization allow anyone with earbuds and a portable source for endlessly streaming music to drown out the sounds words and opinions of their physical reality. Music can become one's only source of thoughts and reality if they so choose. Personally I would not want this because I know how much of my reality I do not like or simply tolerate due to my modest upbringing. If I ever started to think that I am simply tolerating music instead of enjoying, even loving music I hope I have the good sense to turn it off for a while.
I think that's what I did in the past. I think that's what I did when I thought I lost my love for music. I think I am now mature enough to realize that I simply needed a break.
I feel so disconnected from the rest of the world sometimes. I pick and choose from the things I have available at my expense without regard for style, history, age or trend. I choose things because they feel right. They make me feel right. Or at least better. Here's some examples of some music that has made me feel better lately.
Something/Anything by Todd Rundgren
Stop Making Sense by The Talking Heads (Specifically Naive Melody)
Hard Promises by Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers (Specifically The Insider)
A Love Supreme and My Favorite Things by The John Coltrane Quartet
London Calling by The Clash
Late For The Sky by Jackson Browne
P.S- I very rarely pay attention to new music, though I know I should at least try. I did recently see the movie Spring Breakers. Much of the sound track was by Skrillex. I would definitely never just listen to that soundtrack as an album, but as the soundtrack to that beautiful, but ultimately terrifying movie, I would say the music was pretty damn effective. And I have to mention the use of Britney Spears songs, specifically when the main characters are dancing around the grand piano at sunset. That scene alone made seeing that movie worth it.
Thank you for reading. And thank you for writing.
Aaron C. Molden