This is a really random thing to love because it is not easily quantifiable. I love looking at something old and familiar in a new way. I am having a relatively hard time remembering times when this has happened, but I know it does happen and I know I always like it. Luckily for my bad memory, and me it happened just yesterday so I can talk about it like a relatively sane and rational person.
Another thing I really like is books and I like people to give me good books to read. When I was in NYC recently, Shoshana gave me two books Tender Is The Night and Motherless Brooklyn. I read Tender Is The Night first and thought it was pretty ok. It certainly didn’t make me look at things in a different way though. I am now reading Motherless Brooklyn. The book is just hilarious. The main character is tourettic and the descriptions of his tics and the mental processes leading up to these tics are wonderfully written. One thing, however really struck me. This is not a spoiler so don’t worry.
Music had never made much of an impression on me until the day in 1986 when, sitting in the passenger seat of Minna’s Cadillac, I first heard the single “Kiss” squirting its manic way out of the car radio. To that point in my life I might have once or twice heard music that toyed with feelings of claustrophobic discomfort and expulsive release, and which in so doing passing charmed my Tourette’s gulled it with a sense of recognition, like Art Carney or Daffy Duck – but here was a song that lived entirely in that territory, guitar and voice twitching and throbbing within obsessively delineated bounds, alternately silent and plosive. It so pulsed with Tourettic energies that I could surrender to its tormented, squeaky beat and let my syndrome live outside my brain for once, live in the air instead.
Prince is another thing that I love, but that isn’t what is important. What is important is that I immediately began to think of “Kiss” and tried to put myself in that position, to hear the song the way this character heard it. My iPod was almost out of power but as soon as I got off the train I put in my headphones and promptly dialed up “Kiss”. The passage made so much sense. The staccato rhythms, the periodic Prince outbursts it all made me feel the way that reading the book made me feel. I listened to various Prince songs the whole way home (which meant like 2 songs) but I could see why Prince was this character’s favorite artist. Not every song was as obvious as “Kiss” but in everything I listened to the sporadic yet predictable nature of it was evident. I don’t know if I will ever listen to Prince in the same way again.
I don’t think this knowledge will either heighten or diminish my love of Prince in any way. I just think this passage was the beginning of a greater listening revolution. We all know that music evokes emotion, but can it also evoke condition? Can listening to a particular piece or style put us in a mind state similar to that of a person we would never think twice about trying to understand on that deep of a level. What does it say about how we all hear music differently? Even if two good friends love the same band do they love it for the same reasons? Do they even hear the same things behind the music? Anyway. As I love books, Prince, music, and revelations yesterday was a very good day for me. We have a few new songs today, as usual. Get guessin!
1. The morn the morn the morn that I was born my old man beat up the Dr. he clocked the Dr. because the Dr. said I looked like Chewbacca. Why Is Everybody Always Picking on Me, The Bloodhound Gang. Identified by CSMC
2. Standing on the corner of a civilization. There's a time there's a place for me.
3. Well you’re dirty and sweet clad in black don’t look back and I love you. Get It On, T-Rex. Identified by Shadow Falcon
4. I’m not your woman I’m not your man I am something that you’ll never understand. I Would Die 4 U, Prince. Identified by The Doc
5. You’re a white-collar boy and you gave into the law. White-Collar Boy, Belle and Sebastian. Identified by Monica