Before you speak, ask yourself, is it kind, is it necessary, is it true, does it improve on the silence? -Sathya Sai Baba

Friday, October 21, 2005

"Hit that perfect beat, boy"

Oscar brings the 80's love in this great blog post about the Smiths. Gotta give some love back...

One of the things "they" say is that the music that you listen to between the ages of, say, 16 and 25 is the music you'll listen to for the rest of your life. That may be true. One thing I will say, though, is that no other music taps as directly into your limbic system, in the core of your emotions, as the music you listen to during those years. You may be embarassed by it, you may disown it, but if you grew up in the 80's, and somebody plays Lisa Lisa and Cult Jam, I guarantee you are gonna feel something!

Part of it is just the sense of discovery that you feel. The first time you hear that band is like the discovery of pot, or masturbation, or kissing, or the first time you really understood a poem or a novel. It's like a great secret has been revealed to you and you alone. You stare at the stereo, incredulous, wondering that the world has contained, all along, this incredible sound and you have been waiting for it to find you all these years and lo, here it is. And you copy down all the lyrics and you write the band name (if possible, in script exactly copying the font on the newest album) over and over on your notebook and you go into your room with your headphones and you lie on the bed, rigid with the electricity of feeling that the music pushes though your body by way of your ears and you know that you have found a piece of yourself that was hidden in the world. This music, this band, they may have made it, but it is yours.

And there's always a first band, isn't there? The band where you see them on the screen or in the magazine or maybe just on the little blazing stage you made for them behind your closed eye lids and you say to your self, "That's me! That music, that attitude, that hair, that sex, that fury and rage and screaming and spitting and drugs. That's ME!" I remember distinctly the look of disgust on my saxophone teacher's face the day I told him that I didn't want to play jazz, that I had heard a band that sounded like how I felt, and that I wanted to make music like Oingo Boingo. He didn't understand. Nobody ever really understands. That's what makes it yours.

So, to Danny Elfman, and Andy Partridge, and Sting, and Simon LeBon, and Robert Smith, and David Bowie, and Siouxsie Sioux, and Morrissey, Adam Ant, Michael Stipe and all you eighties freaks, a salute. I don't listen to most of you at all, anymore, but I can sing every one of your songs by heart.

1 comment:

  1. A little late, but....great post. Made me put on some music ;-)...mcs