Saturday, June 23, 2007

Choosing Your Music Carefully

Some advice that I really should remember to follow in the future:
The next time you are on the fine line between depression and just plain exhausted uncertainty, feeling like the world is crumbling all around you, or just not quite right in the head due to life, hormones, the alignment of the planets, etc., DO NOT LISTEN TO PETER GABRIEL.

I don't care if the album is called "UP." This is not short for "up-beat." This is not how you will feel as you sit in traffic wanting to pull your hair out as you wait for the traffic, lights or weave out of an almost accident. You will scream at the top of your lungs, and really, even in Seattle where everyone is busy talking on their cell phones as they drive? They'll be able to tell that you, actually, are not on the phone. They will turn and look at you at the stop light; there will be fear in their eyes. You will scare people. You will scare yourself.


What to listen to instead? I'm not all that sure. There is so much to consider.

Music and memories are very much tied together for me.

For Example, I was telling Andy today, as we drove up to the Alderwood Mall, music blaring on the stereo, that I have the most inappropriate songs tied to guys I've dated. I don't think I've ever really been "into" the same kind of music as the fellows in my life. So when one of them, (who loved Erasure and certain other bands that I was kinda "eh" about) and I happened to "discover" we both really liked Closer by Nine Inch Nails? Yep, it kinda became "our song." (I can't believe I'm admitting that one to the world.)

It's not like it gets any better with age. The X? Well, we were driving around Stanford-town/Redwood City. Possibly to go to Beltramos for some lambic. The Butthole Surfers happened to be playing on the stereo. He hears Pepper for the first time. Right. Our song. "They were all in love with dying and they were doing it Texas," baybeee. I know, I know, how romantical and all.

I will always associate Duran Duran with the X. That kinda sucks. I liked them way before him. Alfred can back me up with that one...we had cassette tapes of those boys long before X really got into them. He was all about the Queensriche, Iron Maiden, Styx, and Rush. On the flip side, I will also associate the Go-Go's with him. Yep, he loved the Go-Go's. I wonder if he's admitted that one to the new "I only listen to angry punk rock music" girlfriend? My absolute favorite memory associated with "Our Lips are Sealed" would be him speaking to Richard over the telephone and asking him if his liking of the Go-Go's (which included dancing and singing along to them) meant he was maybe gay? Richard assured him that no, this was not the case. Then immediately sent him an email with just one word:
I love you, Richard.

I can't listen to Tori Amos' "Little Earthquakes" without remembering countless miles between the Renaissance Faire, Lake Arrowhead, and LA in my best friend from high school's little Corolla. As PG above sings, "Life carries on, and on and on, and on..." And it scares me to see just how much time and distance and everything has gone on since those days.

I bring this up as I recently "lost touch" with my best friend from HS. Kyra posted a while back about relationships and that Seinfeld episode (which I never saw) where they discuss "dumping" friends? Yep. That's exactly how it feels, like I've been dumped. And then what? All these memories that are a part of you...and that's all they can be now. All part of the past.

So do you sink into that past and surround yourself with the things that remind you of the good times: They Might Be Giants' Ana Ng? The Bobs' My Shoes Are (on top of the world)? A slew of Ren Faire ditties? ("Johnny Be Fine" to be precise)? Or shake it all off and look to a future with one less person in your life? And maybe listen to too much Peter Gabriel in the process?

Quien sabe. But I think I might have to open my ears up to new music, to maybe create new associations so I can take a break from the past.


Bezzie said...

Hee hee, what's worse is when you associate music with your friends' exes. U2 is ruined for me because of the way a jackhole treated a friend.

tana said...

What a great post. I feel exactly the same way about music. I can be driving along and a song comes on the radio or I pull out an old CD that I haven't listened to in a while and just start crying. Or getting that really queasy feeling in my stomach that is something like pure, unadulterated happiness mixed with melancholy. I have a lot of music like that. My entire high school and community college experience could have a soundtrack. What a great post.

Beth said...

Yep, I think some new music is in order. A lot of the music I associate with breakups doesn't get played on the radio anymore, so I'm pretty safe. ;)