Wednesday, November 4, 2009

about loving music

First things first: I think I'm gonna stop writing these posts late at night in an effort to be less emo.

That said, here's what's on the mind: music. I'm not really one of those people who knows a ton about music. I'm pretty easy to please, and although my favorite kinds are movie music and chill music, like they say, I'll listen to almost anything. I grew up listening to country with my neighbors and later, when I was a little older, just regular top forty. I always joke that I'm not very cultured, and while it's less true now I suppose, my brother and I didn't grow up in a way that would turn us into young adults with knowledge of wines and art, the Louvre and literature and music, good music.

And of course, what's good music, anyway? Well I don't know, how would I know? So following my half joke that I'm uncultured, I tell my friends to teach me, to show me music. So before I tell you the rest of this, first I want to say that one of my favorite things is to listen to people talk about what they're passionate about. I think it's, in part, just because I get really excited about things and then love it when other people do too, and also because when I'm feeling awkward or not sure what to talk about, the easiest thing for me to do is to get the other person talking about what they care about, because people really love to do that and it makes it easier for me when I need it to be.

So getting my friends to share their music with me was two-fold. On the one hand I wouldn't be the kid who didn't know All You Need Is Love is by the Beatles, and on the other I'd get to know about the things that other people really love which is always interesting and oftentimes serves to take the pressure off me.

And since then, I've learned so much about music. And here's the thing. It hasn't just been in one genre. I'll tell you something that's a pet peeve of mine and I hope it isn't pretentious and I hope I'm not that way about books, but I hate when people profess to love something, and we'll use music as the example, who are really into music, but all they love is screamo. All they care about and listen to and talk about and say is good is this one type of music, and to that I say, you don't love music, you love this type of music. Just like people who only love literary books don't love books, they love a certain type of literature. Maybe love is the wrong word for this. I think it is. What I'm talking about specifically is a friend of mine who will listen to any type of music as long as it's music, and he may not like it, but he can appreciate it. He recognizes the things that are good in it. He doesn't love metal or bluegrass exclusively, but he loves music and he appreciates it.

I'm not sure where I'm going with this from here, but tonight I listened to Porcupine Tree. Something I never ever in a million years would have listened to on my own, a band I've heard of kind of off and on for a little less than a year, but have never taken any initiative with at all. And I really liked some of it. Not all of it--not that I disliked any of it, but there were definitely parts that struck me more than others. And on top of that, this particular album came with a book of photography and I got goosebumps looking through it. I'll tell you what. You never really know. I'm learning to listen better, to people I mean, and it's funny how it works out when the vehicle is already your ears.

I could list the bands I've been introduced to in the last year or so, the music I've come to love, to appreciate, and the music I haven't. I love music, but I don't think I'll ever be one of those people who really loves music, who knows a lot about bands and different genres and decades and all of that. I just like to sit back and feel it, and words are my thing anyway, the first thing I ever began collecting and listening to and trying to create with.

And I'm learning that listening isn't just giving people the space to talk or share the things they love, but it's meeting in what's shared, something like taking it by the hand. And when you let go sometimes you find, there in your own hand, you've come away with your own piece of what they love.

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