(NOTE: What you’re about to read is long, rambling and completely self-indulgent. While basically everything I’ve written on this blog is to help promote east coast Canadian bands, this one is purely me writing about me and my love for music — the good, the bad and the ugly. I originally wrote this last summer, fueled by a few beers, simply to throw on Facebook for some friends to read. But I still think it’s the best thing I’ve written in a long time, and that’s kind of sad considering I write stuff for a living. Here it is, unedited except for changing “my fiancée” to “my wife.” Some of you may get it, some may not – but if you love music right down to the core of your being, I think you’ll understand my inner crazy. Feel free to drop me a line at email@example.com – Cheers, Eric.)
Music is awesome. I don’t know how else to describe it.
I thought of the ‘power of music’ last week when I was at the gym, doing chin-ups. Now, you should know, I suck at chin-ups. If I do a few sets of a half-dozen, I’m having a great day. So, AC/DC’s ‘Girl’s Got Rhythm’ comes on the radio, and I come to life. I have a burst of energy listening to the band’s driving little tune from ‘79, and pull out a good set of chin-ups, which felt great.
The next song comes on – I forget what it was, but it was wholly underwhelming – and drains the life from me. Have I mentioned that I suck at chin-ups?
I move on, probably just to think about anything but crappy chin-ups, and I think about how music is such an incredible force. A song can lift you up, drop you fast, give you energy and slow you down. It can bring back memories, those you wish to remember and those you don’t, and it can provide a backdrop for new ones to be created. It can even make you speed, if you don’t watch yourself.
When I was in high school, I could hardly tie my shoes in the morning without a song playing.
While in college, I walked to work all the time, and it was a fair hike. My Sony Discman (probably my third or fourth by this point) was my companion, and it finally died on me one day. I left work for 20 minutes and walked across the street to the only electronics store in town and plunked down a solid $200 I didn’t have on a new Discman. Beer, food and coffee be damned – I wasn’t going without music. (Truthfully, I don’t think I quit drinking beer for any length of time … maybe the length of my shift …)
Today, music still follows me wherever I go. I listen at work when I can, I’m constantly rotating CDs (yes, CDs) in the car, and if I’m washing dishes, working out or just sitting around, music is there.
My wife sometimes asks how the hell I can go from listening to the earliest, thrashiest Metallica to the honky tonk of Dwight Yoakam to the new wavish pop of The Sounds to the lush beauty of Sarah Slean, all in one sitting. Then, I’ll put on the dumbest horror rock you’ve never heard in Wednesday 13 (who offers such classics as Elect Death for President, Till Death Do Us Party and I Love To Say F*ck) . Truthfully, I have no idea how it all works, but I love it anyway. No one ever said it had to make sense.
Music started for me way early in life. There’s an old VHS my parents have from my brother and sister’s first birthday party. I can be spotted in this, dancing to Steve Earle’s ‘Sweet Little ’66.’ I grew up with a love for my father’s country music, mostly Alabama and Earle (who I’ve returned to in recent years and think is the greatest songwriter out there).
Somewhere along the way, I Read the rest of this entry »