28 May 2009

Reality, Reality

I like people who have no filter. I enjoy hearing the reality of things most times far more than meaningless words shoved up my ears. With music, it's a little different. I'm angry that in order to get on the radio all you have to do is sound like Daughtry if you're a guy or some second rate version of Christina Aguilera if you're a girl. That's a little depressing but as the great Adam Lambert said, many record labels are supportive of a little change and perhaps its the artists themselves that are limiting the options. Who knows.

I want to share some great music for the ten people a week who read but I'm not enamored with anything right now other than The National and there are already 11 posts about them on this site. I guess a cute story quickly would be about my mother. As much as I love Mr. Lambert, my mother is CRAZY about him. She is a laid back person 99% of the time but when Adam is on the tv screen, she is like a teenage girl again. Last night she bribed me with homemade hot chocolate and grilled broccoli to watch Adam on Regis and Kelly with her and later hunt down every other talk show he was appearing on for the entire week. It makes me happy to see her so overjoyed by something so simple. I'm going to sound like a nutcase but this guy really seems like a good person and I love the little comebacks he's had regarding Gene Simmons and Clay Aiken in the media over the past few days. He's witty.

Before I move on June 1st, I'm going to finally get around to making mix cds for a few people I should've recognized earlier. One full of classic oldies for a new friend and another for my mom, filled with Adam Lambert and Buffalo Springfield. More than anything I can't wait to fill my new apartment with good music. Having two roommates might make my choices a bit more limited and my dream of dancing around with Stevie Nicks scarves and blasting "Edge of Seventeen" might have to wait until a night when they're both otherwise detained, but the image of my record player in the living room next to a large cabinet full of phenomenal records fills my head like sugarplums and gumdrops.

In my old apartment (if you could call it that), my old love would leave me alone often to drink with his buddies. Since I was underage - and not typically invited anyhow - I would turn up the volume on John Legend's "Once Again" album that had just come out and pretend the place was just mine. Pretend that I was in a penthouse somewhere with my own life - like a John Legend music video. The fantastical effects music can have on the mind are unbelievable. Without that album, I don't see how I could've made it through that period in my life. I didn't have an iPod so I would leave that cd in my Sony walkman for weeks on end, walking around the little Southern town with it, feeling sorry for myself, and wondering if John Legend was making the sky look more poetic than it actually was or vice versa. I would go behind the Martin's supermarket where there was an old railroad and tons of mountains and just relax with Mr. Legend's voice in my ears making everything seem like it could be okay.

During that time, I also managed to become friends with the lone owner of the only record store in town across the street from my boyfriend's workplace. I would go in just to browse but ended up striking up many a conversation dwelling mostly on how out of place we both felt. I told him more than I should have and he ended up knowing my boyfriend from face (of course we never came into the store together because that's not how we were). He understood my troubles and asked me what kind of music my boyfriend liked, as if this may uncover some clues into his ways of thinking. Although music was one of the things that brought us together, I had a difficult time thinking off the cuff - "Bright Eyes, definitely. The Cure. Johnny Cash." Immediately, this guy understood him like any good record store employee would. If I had been old enough and wise enough maybe I would've clued in on it too.

There's no denying that at times I miss having someone close to me who would make me genuine, honest to god MIXTAPES - as in cassette tapes - and listen excitedly as I strummed up enough phone passion to discuss Tom Petty's "The Waiting". Here's something I wouldn't typically say but if I had to analyze myself, this very site could in part be dedicated to a person who helped me understand within myself how much music could mean - in terms of a human's entire timeline on earth. When he was gone, the music was still there and lord knows I wouldn't have been able to decipher anything about The National without all the heartache he put me through. My heart can still break when I hear The Cure. Actually, I can't even listen to them. There are just some moments in time that were so, so good even if all the other moments surrounding them were terrible that become not only a part of you, but a literal piece of your skin. No one had ever taken music and handed it to me in that way, filled with so much of their own emotions mixed inside. This person seemed to better infuse his thoughts into other's music than his own words. I am very happy with the people in my life now and their own incredible musical histories, but I still search within conversations for someone to break my heart like that again with their stories. I don't think anyone ever will and that's totally okay. As I get older, I learn to care less and less about the dangerous things and more about the real things.

But if this person ever reads this, thank you for The National.


Anonymous said...

love this post Maven.

thom said...

I agree. I wish I had something either more intelligent to add here, but i just wanted to say that this post is great. It looks as though you've hit upon a great balance between writing about the universality of music and your own personality and story, and it makes for a compelling read. Keep up the good work!