It occurred to me today that I haven’t talked about music much on this blog, despite that fact that I’ve set out to talk about everything that the library offers, at the very least. Our music collection is freaking ginormous and it circulates at least as much as the books. Probably more, if I had to guess, although books will win out because we have more of them overall. But music, and certain songs and singers in particular, have had a huge affect on me. There are great songs that I have loved that immediately transport me back to the town, house, room, or the car where I listened to them the most. About as close to time travel as I can get.
So here are five songs that have meant a lot to me, for better or worse. I won’t list all of the reasons, because some of the experiences I have had with music come about as close to sacred as it gets for me. And then I’d like to hear from you music nuts as well. I know you’re there, I still laugh about the What’s your song? poll where we all chose our own soundtracks.
1. Eulogy by Tool
I had no idea that songs could be non-linear. I was playing a lot of guitar at the time, and 99% of what was on the radio was verse, chorus, verse, and then a guitar solo at the end. Eulogy goes everywhere and arrives somewhere completely unexpected. This song expanded my perceptions of how creative music could be, and how limitless. I spent one entire summer listening to Aenima as I drove to and from a gold mine where I was working.
2. No Surprises by Radiohead
I have always been fascinated by artists who can create a mood unlike anyone else. Radiohead has their share of detractors, and even I don’t love everything they do, but I believe they can create a mood that most sad-sack wannabe angst bands would love to be able to pull off. No Surprises was the soundtrack for the second miscarriage we went through. Not good memories, but memorable.
3. I Love N.Y.E. by Badly Drawn Boy
This is from the soundtrack to the film version of Nick Hornby’s About A Boy. The book is great, the movie is not bad, and the soundtrack is better than all of them combined. I Love N.Y.E. is a gorgeous instrumental that sounds like winter to me. It raises the hair on my neck every single time I hear it, and I’ve been hearing it for years now. I put this on loop after we brought Max home from the hospital, wondering if it would soothe him the way it soothes me.
4. Into My Arms by Nick Cave
Only someone like Nick Cave could make a non-rhythmic line like “I don’t believe in an interventionist God” work. And not only that, it is part of one of the loveliest ballads I know. Love him or hate him, Nick Cave takes his music seriously and he thinks things through. While I’m here, I’ve got to throw my other Cave favorite out: People Ain’t No Good. It’s just perfect. And Red Right Hand. And watch the movie The Proposition, which he wrote!
5. Claire De Lune by Debussy
I don’t know if I’ve ever told you guys that I’m a pretty decent pianist. I started piano lessons when I was five. I loved it, but it wasn’t until I heard Claire De Lune as a teenager that I became obsessed with piano music. I think it is the most beautiful song out there. I truly do.
All right, your turn. Music that has moved you, changed you, and/or shaped you, for better or worse.