08 May 2007

Music On My Mind

I've written before that Supernatural brought me back to the classic rock genre. And I'm grateful to the show for that, because I'd forgotten how much I love classic rock. Not all classic rock, but Zepplin, the Doors, Def Leppard, and Rush were soundtracks of my life in my late teens, and more recent rock acts that I'd forgotten about have been featured on the show, Screaming Trees, Queensryche, Alice in Chains. I've got my whole Supernatural playlist listed in the sidebar right now under my listmaking mania header, if you're interested in the types of things that I'm talking about.

I like all music, though, there isn't much that I won't listen to, including alt-country, (Wilco, Rascal Flatts, Ryan Adams) hip-hop, (Kelis, Mary J, Beastie Boys, Public Enemy) soul, (Amy Winehouse and Joss Stone) and R&B (Alica Keys & Alyiah), classical, even opera. (Madame Butterfly is a personal favorite.) If you took possesion of my iPod and scrolled through the artist list, you'd find such diverse things as Jason Mraz and Natasha Beddingfield, along with Bat for Lashes, Gorillaz, Jimmy Buffet alongside Tommy Lee. Setting the iPod to random shuffle is always entertaining and an adventure, because often something will pop up that I've completely forgotten is there.

I spent several hours last weekend cruising around iTunes, finding all kinds of things. Listening to 30 second blurbs of all manner of music, hopping from one list of all of an artist's songs to another. Is there anything that isn't on iTunes? I think not. I also spent some time trying to clean out the things on the iPod that I haven't listened to since uploading my music collection in January, because my iPod is a Nano and it holds about a thousand songs and I need to have stuff on there that I actually listen to, rather than stuff that clutters it up.

Music is something so visceral, so primal, so vital, even spiritual, sacred. You need only sit in on a drum circle and feel the stirrings in your soul of ancient memory to know this is true. Surprisingly, Celtic music fosters that same feeling in me, of coming 'home', of hearing something that maybe I don't remember personally, but my soul seems to. Cutting yourself off from music is about as easy as cutting off an appendage. There's rhythm in everything, from the mundanity of a changing traffic light to the clacking of the keyboard when you type. There's harmony in everything, from the wind in the trees to the patterns of overheard conversations.

I go nowhere without my iPod. It is on in the car when NPR news isn't on. It is on in my office when I don't have visitors. (Which means it is on most of the time.) It is on when I'm on the computer at home in the evenings. I have the headphones on in the grocery store, while I'm cleaning my house, and of course at the gym. All of which is either a statement about how we interact less and less with society in general (encapsulated in my own little world syndrome) or about how we expect to be entertained all the time, I'm not sure which.

That's not to say that I won't take it off to talk to someone, because I will. Most of the music I listen to makes me happy, and I really enjoy the fact that I am able to carry it around with me, accessible to me at all times. When I am able to sing along with the music, that makes me happy too. I get so much positivity from my music.

But there are songs that make me sad too, that evoke particular memories and can bring tears. It seems so strange to me that music connects so much to our emotional cores, evoking both joy and pain. For a long time after moving home from Europe, stupidly and strangely enough, Don Henley's "Boys of Summer" really bothered me, reminding me of a group of guy friends that I was afraid I'd never see again. My fears were fairly well founded, I have not seen any of them since 1992. But I hate to admit to having such taste in music!! Another one that can also make me cry is extraordinarily cringe-worthy, Jimmy Buffet's "Someday I Will" which is about hopes and dreams. Every single time I've heard that song done live (and we go see Buffet EVERY SINGLE SUMMER, y'all, DH is a big Parrothead) I've been standing in the crowd sobbing, because I find it that moving.

Van Halen's "Right Now" was released when I was living in Europe, I remember the video on MTV Europe, and you will remember it too when I remind you that it was one of the first videos that had text on the screen that you needed to read. I found that really moving too, both then and now.

Punk music makes me want to jump around and scream a lot. Techno still makes me want to dance, even though I can recognize how horrible it is now. RiotGrrl stuff makes me want to spring into action to make my voice heard. Opera makes me wish I'd kept studying voice. Chick singers like Tori, Sarah, Sheryl, make me want to sing at the top of my lungs. Classic rock makes me want to watch Sam and Dean. Especially the shirtless Dean we saw in What Is and What Should Never Be last week. Hee. Couldn't resist squeezing them in there, you know I had to fit that in if I was going to mention SN, right?

I know I haven't written anything at all about the therapy sessions which I mentioned in a Tuesday post a few weeks ago, but that is because my first appointment with the head-shrinker is tomorrow. Today I feel more upbeat, but I don't know if that's because I think we're making progress at my giant suck of a job, if the meds are kicking in and making me feel better, if the weather's better or if I'm just finally really feeling better. I'm not going to have much time to write about the session because I am leaving on Thursday to go visit babysis in Cal-if-or-ny-i-a. YAY, sibling goodness.

(And yes, we're flying though LAX, and yes, I'll be keeping my eyes peeled for a highly unlikely Jensen sighting. Just thought I'd mention that.)

I will probably be mostly offline while in California, because babysis really does live on a desert island in the middle of the Pacific ocean, and they have a very slow satellite-relayed to dial-up connection to the interweb. Plus, I can go scuba diving, sailing, ocean kayaking, hiking and snorkeling there, so I'm guessing that I won't have much time to be checking in. I'll update when I can. I still want to write a post about the French elections, but until I can, check out Petite's eloquent post on the matter.

Listening to: Random iTunes mix

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