Thursday, February 27, 2014

On Memory and Music

Earlier this week, I wrote about a song that takes me back.  Lately, I've been listening to a lot of "old" music, and I found the timing of that Journal Day prompt to be rather serendipitous.  Of course, by "old," I don't mean "oldies," or anything like that, either.  It's the music I listened to five years ago, ten years ago.  The bands and the albums and the songs that got me through life as I knew it then.  (Truth be told, my musical tastes have always been consistent, though I would say they have grown much more eclectic, the older I've gotten.)

Music, for me, is a huge emotional trigger.  My mind always ties up memories and music so tightly that there have been melodies and musicians I have been unable to listen to for years after experiencing heartbreak, or pain, or loss.  There are some songs that I still can't listen to; try as I may, I've just never been able to recover and get over those negative associations.

Within the last few weeks, I've started listening to more bands that I used to listen to, maybe two years ago, maybe ten years ago.  It started off unconsciously at first, but then I realized what was going on.  And it makes sense...  there has been a lot of change in my life over the last several weeks, and it would make sense that I found myself gravitating towards familiar (though seemingly long forgotten) tunes.  Then I decided it might not be a bad idea to stick with it.  To reclaim the music of my past and make it the soundtrack to a brand new life.  To experiencing all of it, the good and the bad, and falling in love with it all over again.

The other day, while I was cleaning up around the apartment, I turned on a Dashboard Confessional album--something I haven't listened to since I was a teenager, probably sixteen or seventeen.  And truthfully, at twenty-five, it definitely wouldn't be my first choice, but it took me back to an in nocence long forgotten (and the ability to see it existing, still, in my current life).  I did some writing to Jimmy Eat World a few nights ago.  I had an ex-boyfriend who loved Motion City Soundtrack, The Get Up Kids, and Letter Kills, bands that still, many years later, remind me of him.  I remember playing Of Montreal's False Priest while driving home in the middle of night from Washington D.C. in October 2010.  We went on a crazy 34 hour road trip to attend the Rally to Restore Sanity and/or Fear and I had the volume on low so I didn't wake my sleeping passengers.  Yesterday, while I was hanging out and cooking myself lunch before work, I listened to two Andrew Bird albums; they were both in pretty heavy rotation between 2008-2010, when I was living in DeKalb.

Lately, I've been utilizing Google All Access Music and, to a lesser extent,, to find new music, new bands, new genres I've never really given a listen to before.  The Internet is a magical place; I may not have the CDs that I used to play over and over... and over and over... again, but I can locate 'em in digital form easily enough!  It's time to rediscover, (re)expand my musical horizons.  I can't wait to see what I find.

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