Bring the Noise

Music is my muse. 

Play me a song from my collection, and I can probably give you a dozen memories associated with it. I can tell you, more than likely, where I was and what I was doing when I heard it for the first time. I may share emotions elicited by it. 

I could go forever not watching tv. But not listening to music? I’d rather be stabbed by tiny sporks, thank you. I can’t get through my shower, let alone the gym or my commute without music. Not just any music, my music. My taste, on my timetable. 

Right now I’m on Miles Davis kick. I’ve had a kind of blue and sketches of Spain on repeat for the last few days. Last week it was Halestorm and Mozart. When I’m working out, lately it’s been Black Sabbath and the Beastie Boys. I’m just getting back into it in the gym, and I need all the motivation that I can get. I only recently discovered Hawkwind, and I’ve devouring all that I can (& what iTunes offers. Hall of the Mountain Grill? Hell yeah!)

I like to have background sounds going at all times. My brain can’t operate in silence. Even when I’m sleeping, I have binaural beats playing. I used to get anxious when I meditated because of silence. Then I added background noise and bingo! 

When the iPod came out, it was made for people like me. I’ve collected an immense number of cd’s, tapes (including every single radio show I ever did) and vinyl over the years. I couldn’t bring my collection with me everywhere, so having it digitally has allowed me easy access to whatever I want to hear, when I want to. I can do the crazy segue ways that I was known for on air, going from the Clash to Patsy Cline. It works for me, maybe for other listeners not so much.

But if you listen a little closer to our previous example, it does make sense. Thematically, Train in Vain (the great hidden track on one of the greatest albums of all time, London Calling) and She’s Got You are similar. Both are about heartbreak. Both have a plaintive cry over lost love. Both elicit emotions.

I rockout when I’m doing housework. More than once my son has been horrified by my lack of dance moves. Apparently I resemble the stay puff marshmallow man being electrocuted when I’m pumping up the jam. I get my groove on when I’m cooking too. I’ve got my jazz brunch playlist, my mambo Italiano one, southern fried rock, yogi new age..the possibilities are endless. 

I’m probably the only parent in the universe whose child tells them to turn down the music. 

When some of my favorite musicians have died, it’s like losing a family member. Joe Strummer from the Clash (my all time favorite band) was a particularly difficult one to deal with. The future is unwritten, indeed. More recently, when David Bowie became a star man, I felt sucker punched. The reality that there will never be more music from them is grim. 


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