Saturday, July 18, 2009

Music Makes The People Come Together

I wish I could sing. I'm not as bad as some of the unfortunates on American Idol but I can't really sing. Regardless, I do it often and loudly. I've found I sing best in the key of Jonas.

It all started with my clock radio. Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 was my thing. I wasn’t old enough to attend concerts or understand a lot of the music I was listening to but none of that mattered. I had strong feelings about music. With my cassette recorder in hand I would assume the starting position. My index finger would hover over the record button in anticipation of my song coming on. I placed myself within centimeters of the clock radio so as to get maximum volume and clarity (if not for my technologically advanced husband I may still be using these methods.) Once my song was playing I could barely pay attention to it as I was so concerned with missing a golden note or God forbid getting that assholes voice on my precious recording. The worst was when he would "wanh wanh" about how "Total Eclipse of the Heart" got Alice from Acron, Ohio through losing her fiance to cancer. Songs were about what could happen in the future. Some invoked day dreams and some confused me to the core. What the hell was cancer?

One of the best inventions of all time has to be the ability to listen to music in your car. Honestly, as a teenager listening to great music in the car was the best feeling in the world (I was still a virgin.) I realized I sing even better going 80 with the windows open. The future was the road ahead and it sounded amazing and loud. Music became communal. I developed my penchant for mixed tapes. I love giving as well as receiving. Music contributed to memories with my best friends. Michelle and The Grateful Dead, Lynn and REM, and Rebecca and Marc Cohn.

In college music was about drugs. I smoked a lot of pot and declared, "music is the greatest fucking thing in the world and I could sit for hours listening to music and doing bong hits and eating shitty Chinese food for ever." Rinse repeat, rinse repeat. Music was about being in the moment. I had no thoughts about the future because I never wanted my current situation to end. I listened to a lot of blissful bands and thought I was so cool. I was in on the secret. The artists were speaking to me. It was so personal and dramatic and intense.

In my 20’s music was my companion. Living alone in Manhattan in a small studio apartment music became my motivator. Music helped me clean my apartment and got me ready for many nights out. It was all very adult. Later on music was passionate and made me swoon and fall in love. Entire CD’s underscored the huge changes I was making in my life. It was magical.

I currently find myself sitting in my family room with an actual family trying to find the right music to inspire me to clean and organize the toys, make lunches for camp, and finish the dishes. Maybe I'll even start the laundry. Fuck it, I'm just gonna listen to music.

1 comment:

D to the J said...

I remeber (teenage years) the louder the cool song was while driving, the cooler you were. For some reason I thought "Here I go again" by whitesnake; at a decible that made my ears bleed was supposed to get me get me chicks?