19 August 2008

The Wheel of Music

NOTE: The following entries are a couple months old (except the John Mayer Letter)...

I'm obsessed with iTunes and when I have a free second going on their little website and picking out new songs is the thing I like to do best. I get thrilled over finding not so much "new" songs but new old songs that I remember from when I was a kid or a specific memory from back in the old high school days. I know I listened to some garbage but I also liked some quality stuff that I let go of somewhere along the way. I recently got into a discussion about American Hi-Fi: the early 2000's (?) band that had songs like "Flavor of the Weak" and "The Art of Losing" with great lyrics like, "hey ho, we're gonna start a riot, you don't want to fight iiiittt!!" So I guess it wasn't the greatest of my musical exploits back in the day but I remember being crushed when their cd got loose in my backpack and was scratched beyond repair. I don't remember why I didn't just go out and buy another one but I did get their follow up album which I also don't have anymore.. the point being I checked them out again on iTunes. I was expecting to be pleasantly surprised and ended up really bummed out. This music belongs to someone else still in 2002- not me. I still like the catchy beats and I remember all the lyrics but there's no way I could listen to this stuff again. It's like wearing the same clothes I wore sophmore year of high school - and it's really not because the music is dated in any way. It's just that the opening chords of these songs bring back so much nostalgia it's not even worth it. I think that's insane - and proof of the power of music.

I recently got "Rock 'n Roll Woman" by Buffalo Springfield and although I've heard this song a million times before I personally have no connection to it. I just thought it was a cool song but when I have it up in my brain (aka in headphones) - it takes on a whole new meaning. It sounds sad, distant, lonely.. creepy. I can picture a beautiful girl dancing slowly in front of the band at one of their concerts all decked out in '70s gear being IT, you know? And then she's suddenly 51 years old sitting in my living room with newspapers all over watching Deal or No Deal - my mom? She loved this song and it creeps me out beyond belief to think that she once looked very different, she once went to concerts all the time, and now - she's not going to anymore. People grow up, yeah, but is that just another way of saying they slow down? Sometimes. It's all or nothing in my head - and probably in reality too. That's what "Rock 'n Roll Woman" by Buffalo Springfield means to me. Wild.

I've heard murmurings that people don't like Vampire Weekend. It's funny because a band like that is so fresh it's physically impossible to think of any attachments to a song. I'm sure a lot of people will say that it's the arrangement of a song or the musicians that determine whether or not it will be great but think of all the number one songs here in the US over the course of time. I'd have to say a lot of those weren't amazing musicianship. Some songs just grab you by the throat every time you hear them - and that makes a great song. A band like Vampire Weekend is fun if you're taking some time to enjoy that kind of thing. I'm definitely not looking for my wedding song when I put them on. I just dig funky beats sometimes and that's what they're good for.

So I guess my point was that sometimes you have to let a song go like a relationship or an old tv show you watched as a kid. I watched Zoobalee Zoo a few months ago and at age 22 it's not nearly the same as age 5. Bummer. But you know, you take the good with the bad: I guess I wouldn't have liked Annie Hall when I was 5 so it was a compromise. I'm a HUGE nostalgia person as is my entire family. My boss at work even mentioned that I seem to like "old" things. I guess so. I guess I have the belief that if it ain't broke, don't fix it but the only thing that gets in the way is time. I definitely have a mental disorder when it comes to that - and that's why some things have to be buried in the ground and for me some of that stuff is American Hi-Fi and Zoobalee Zoo. For my mother it might be Buffalo Springfield but then it gets passed on to a new generation - and that's me right now. But later on it won't be..

and that's the way this wheel keeps turning.

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