i love it.
i mean, of course i do, but sometimes i’m reminded how much i love all the little bits.
i’ve been listening to cath… by death cab for cutie. i’ve had the album for a while now, but as is often the case, i’ve come back to it and discovered how much i like this song. is it one of my favorites? probably not, but certainly one of my favorite death cab songs.
it opens with a guitar rift and symbols and the first verse is my favorite….
when i really like a song, i dissect it. though sometimes not always in the same order. in this case, i was struck by the opening lyrics; they’re not shouted, but the inflection definitely grabs the listener’s attention. sometimes the melody itself grabs me, or a particular instrument, then i learn the lyrics later. i’ll listen to a song i really like over and over again, until i’ve processed all the different parts.
i can’t say i internalize or absorb songs, because often times, i can’t accurately recall lyrics, notes, melodies, or rhythm without hearing at least a part of the song. it’s like every song i like or love is simply indexed in my brain and hearing a part of it pulls the rest from countless neurons.
songs themselves can serve as indexes for memories. numerous songs serve as indexes for places, people, and events in my life. hearing such a song immediately puts me back in that place. or numerous memories regarding a particular person can come flooding back to my from simply hearing a few notes of a certain song. these memories are vivid; i can recall facial expressions, furniture arrangements, time of day, voices, clothing, etc. yes, songs serve as place holders for my notoriously bad memory.
my love of music started as a curiosity. as a child, i listened to what my mother listened to: oldies. the beach boys, the beatles, the supremes, and the like. i hadn’t heard anything different, really. (in elementary school, i remember secretly listening to eazy-e, not because i liked it, but because i knew i wasn’t supposed to) my first introduction to ‘different’ music was during a summer visit to my father in arizona. i remember standing in the hallway, for i don’t know how long, listening to my sister’s tracy chapman. i have vivid memories of the lighting, of the posters on her wall, the bed, clothes strewn on the floor, the shadow of her moving around. fast car was the song. i liked it at that young age, but grew to really like (even love?) tracy years later.
i’d caught the bug, but it immediately went into remission. i was still too young to know how powerful music could be, or just how much of it was out there. fast forward several years and again its my sister introducing me to new music. while preparing to go on a road trip, we went to a music store, looking for things to listen to help pass the hours we’d be spending in the car. this time it was pink floyd, the final cut (not their best album, by any means). i took the suggestion and listened to the tape (yes before cds!) over and over again. i thought my sister was so cool, so maybe i thought i’d find the answer to being cool if i just listened to it enough. no such luck. still, the music bug that was in remission, now began to replicate and multiply. it would still be a few more years before i was really into it.
so, we fast forward again to high school. by then, my music tastes had grown. my best friend was in the same boat, though his case may not have been as severe. i’d spend hours and hours browsing the racks, listening to albums and artists as i could. the majority of my money in those days was spent on cds. during the four years of high school, the size of my collection tripled to roughly 200 albums.
in college, my music buying tappered off, though i still spent a fair amount of money on cds; it was the age of napster and i was downloading music at a very good clip. if i heard a song i liked, i went out and downloaded every song i could by the artist. by the end of college, my cd collection had more than doubled in size, but the size of my mp3 collection rivaled that of my cd collection.
now, we’re in the age of the ipod and iphone. i have one of each. i go no where without music. i think if i had been infected earlier in life, i’d be playing and instrument or two by now. i’ve tried to learn (teach myself), but the problem is, i know how it’s supposed to sound and i’m impatient. i get frustrated easily and end up putting the thing (guitar) away out of disgust. but i also wouldn’t mind being able to sing, play the drums, piano, violin, sax, whatever. i see someone play an instrument really well, and i want to be able to do it.
maybe someday i’ll learn to be more patient and i’ll actually learn the guitar. until then, i’ll have to be content to listen.
anything you’d like to recommend?