Monday, June 8, 2009

3S1P: Day Two

Songs for the morning:

1) "Be My Husband" Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice
2) "Let it Rock" Kevin Rudolf feat. Lil Wayne
3) "Good" Better than Ezra

Wow this song is way more depressing than I remember. But Good kind of fits perfectly into that mid 90's alt-rock sort of set up. You take a hook that sounds uplifting "It's been good living with you" and then mire it in lyrics that are hard to decipher and end up being ridiculously depressing (the song's about coming home to find the person you live with has left you). Classic example of this is Semi-Charmed Life by Third Eye Blind. There were hordes of kids in high school who would walk around singing the "doo doo doo" chorus like idiots having no idea that the song was about being addicted to meth.

This also kind of describes my high school experience. The exterior is glossy, but watch out once you get below the surface. I remember, in the midst of being really depressed, treating music as a form of escape at that point in my life, a way to express the things that I desired but hadn't attained. I think in that sense it was sort of like the earliest form of honest prayer for me. I'd talk about the stuff that I really wanted, but didn't really have any sense of how to actually do anything about those feelings/emotions. I remember singing "Everlong" by the Foo Fighters as a scrawny, awkward high schooler, and singing it with some force, but not having any idea of what it felt like to be in a relationship. Same for pretty much everything that the Wallflowers put out in that era. There was a sense of living a virtual life through the songs. Through them I lived out heartache, love, and anger vicariously. That was so cathartic and so ... well ... dangerous.

For a good four to five years after that point I remember feeling like I had to create moments of emotional resonance, like the scenes in movies where the music swells and the awkward but likeable protagonist really goes for it (you know what I'm talking about "Can't Hardly Wait"). But the crazy thing about that is that the best moments, most real, most emotional are not the ones that we manufacture but the ones that reveal themselves honestly. So, in searching constantly for that emotional high, I often missed out on the little things that God had blessed me with that were so much more genuine, so much more amazing. Classic example of this is a night that I was hanging out in Williamsburg with my Dad. It was freezing and he let me borrow his sheeps wool lined gloves. I had a pretty gnarly cut on my hands because, at the time, I was struggling with some low grade OCD and had taken to washing my hands every time I touched anything. The result was that I, basically, washed the skin off my hands until they would bleed infrequently. Anyway, my dad passes me his gloves and I realized that halfway through wearing them that I was bleeding on the gloves. I looked up at my dad and said "I'm really sorry but I think I ruined your gloves." He looked at them, and the blood, and just said "do you honestly think that I care more about gloves than you?" No big speeches, no one burst into song... well, someone might have, but it was Christmas and I think there were carolers in Williamsburg, but that's unrelated ... but that was something that I'll remember for the rest of my life.

That's the funny thing about Good and so many songs like it. For all their attempts to create an emotion that the listener can relate to, they're completely unrealistic. Who would go home to find that everything was missing from their house and that they're significant other had left and then would break into a catchy chorus of "well... it was good living with you" A CRAZY PERSON THAT'S WHO!!! Unfortunately for a good portion of my life I would try to create those same emotionally soaring moments because I thought that's the way that things were supposed to be. But to be honest, for all of my trying the thing that I realized that I was most missing out on was the little junk that is so insanely awesome.

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