Windows down, volume up, it’s time to belt it out and dance like a fool because the speakers are ablaze with the best kind of salvation. Your song is on and you now know for sure that even when you’re complacent and crumbling and eternally sour, you have a sweet, saving grace dancing around your fingertips.You know that even if you’re bored with it all and sinking and slumping, you have something armed and ready to jolt you back to life. You know that as long as you have music, you’re not an accessory to life.
We can’t live without music, because music, at least the type of music that isn’t watered down, or fractured, or heavily tinkered, is our heart’s most trusty translator. I realize that sounds cheesy but I’m willing to bet that at least half of you sing at the top of your lungs whenever a Celine Dion song comes on. Celine gets it better than anyone: with music, a heart will go on.That’s something anyone can relate to.
But music is more than relating to something. It’s handing a feeling some drum sticks and a bass solo. It’s breathing along and beating against the contagious pulse of that song that you can’t, and wouldn’t dare, get out of your head. Good music is what life is all about.
Surely you know what it feels like to be held captive by a song. You know because you’re living, and everyone who’s living is a mad musician in the making, hardwired to understand an untainted truth: when plain words fall flat, music, with its innocuous beat streaming from speakers, and iPods, and grand concert halls is nothing less than pure, authentic magic.
You’ve heard those hypnotizing lyrics, you’ve sung along to that vexing chorus. You know what it feels like to be under the spell of a song. Melodic magic rattling inside, punching your voice box, puppeteering your limbs. Good music nourishes the soul and tells you a story that soon becomes yours.
And I hope, like me, you’ve been told so many stories through music.
The best stories my dad ever told me were through music. My dad is a teacher, was once a marine, but has never been a musician. Yet somehow, he knows seemingly everything about music. He can tell you the background story behind every song from the 60’s and 70’s. He can identify a song by a single note. He snaps his fingers when he walks down the street and plays the drums on our cereal bowls. He lives and breathes music.
Music is storytelling, story-taking, story-adapting. I have stories to tell because of the songs I’ve listened to.
For example, when I hear Moby’s “Porcelain”, I think of my older brother Brian and his childhood friend David sitting by a silver boom box. I think of how because they thought it was the coolest song ever, I did too since I was a little sister bent set on being just like her older brother. After Brian’s boom box bit the dust and I grew up, I became my own person less occupied with the pursuit of coolness. But even today, when I hear that song, with its minimal lyrics and cinematic background, even when Moby lost his cool factor which he probably never really had in the first place, that song tells a story I can still relate to: a little sister, no matter how less little she may be, will always look up to her older brother. Moby knows better than anyone that the bond between siblings is a type of Porcelain that can’t be shattered.
Music never fails to remind me who and what is most important in my life so my advice for this week is simple: listen to some really good music because Celine and Moby understand more than anyone else that good music breeds full and happy souls.
Here’s a short list of songs I’ve listened to recently and fallen in love with. Feel free to love or hate them because music, of course, is terribly subjective.
Moon Taxi- All Day All Night (unfailingly optimistic)
The Mowgli’s- Freakin Me Out (unfailingly optimistic pessimism)
Bastille ft. Ella Eyre- No Angels (a really good remake and mashup of a TLC song)
Dresses- Catch (unique, quirky, you may hate it before you love it)
Moby- Porcelain (oldie but goodie 🙂 )
You Better Love the Songs Listed Above or Else,