on musicPosted: September 30, 2008
[THIS SPACE INTENTIONALLY LEFT BLANK’S SEMI-MOMENTOUS 100TH POST]
Lately, I’ve been measuring trips not by distance but by the amount of songs it takes to get there.
I have one of these irivers, bought during the holiday season about two years ago. It holds about a day’s worth of charge, and has a button that can be programmed to shuffle all of my songs. No shaking necessary, (Eat your heart out, new-new-new-Nano). I use the button often, most likely to drown out the background static of an overly crowded area or to listen to something aside from an engine rumbling for the minutes I spend staring out onto the road. Conventional wisdom would dictate that the way home today took fifteen minutes. By the current standard I used, it was one ‘okay’ Coldplay track, one ‘fantastic’ Coldplay track, one ‘quacktastic’ Bloc Party track, and a Stars track that I haven’t found an adjective for. It’s an odd feeling, the feeling you get after releasing your ears after minutes of engrossing them within guitar/glockenspiel/whatever driven music. Rock and roll melts away, revealing your surroundings. A calm quiet can be heard if you’re not within the crowd. Your mind tricks you into thinking that something is missing. I suppose it’s after listening to loud crowds, throngs of people with their own specific conversations and agendas, and replacing it with overly loud music that lets your mind realize how quiet it reality really is.
If Wikipedia could be considered a viable source, which sometimes it is, ‘music’ is defined as “sound organized in time”. In essence, the clicking of a pen in the middle of a quiet room is music. A babbling brook is music. Guitar-driven noise rock is music. Like most forms of art, that’s bullshit. However, that goes without saying that the truly well-composed and put-together piece, one that is not necessarily ‘good’ but instills ‘something’ within the mind is the exception to the rule. Under circumstances that I couldn’t really dictate, a few days ago I ended up sitting next to a person that asked me what I was listening to. Mind you, I was staring out of a window with headphones on.
“Hey man, what you listening to?”
“What you listening to?”
“Uh, Japanese rock.”
“Japanese rock? What’s the point of listening to music you can’t even understand?”
What was the point? There wasn’t really. Music is created to stir some sort of feeling within its listener, much like novels. Heartbreak songs evoke feelings of sympathy and assuage the ones who are going through the exact (.) same (.) thing. The lyrics are inconsequential, the true driving force of any musical track is the instrumentals. A capella is something that I’m disregarding right now, mind you. Some are able to express more of their emotions with a six strings rather than the words of language. The melancholy that exudes from the final note of a song instills more than dancing around the idea of “I’m sad, I’m here to show you my sadness” with words. The snappy riffs and the upbeat tempos of an overexcited drummer convey more energy than a shout. If they all coalesce, it instills the true purpose of the song into the mind of the listener. Music is supposed to make you feel. Lifeless, soulless music is pointless. What’s a poem without adjectives? (I would say modern rap, but that would just be a bad joke.)
The person went on to say,
“You gotta feel your music, man. Bob your head or some shit. If you don’t you’re not feelin’ your music.”
A valid point.