Wednesday, February 01, 2006

Musical Moods

She's a brick and I'm drowning slowly off the coast and I'm heading nowhere.

I had that line trapped in my head for the last two days. It was a little earworm, gnawing away at the edges of my brain, taunting me to recognize the song or name the group or remember more than just this scrap. This evening, I went to I-Tunes and bought the song. I've listened to it 6 times in a row so far. It just suits my mood - a little melancholy.

Funny enough, I was never a fan of Ben Folds, but I guess the song must have gotten a lot of play on the radio. That line just soaked right into my subconscious. It wasn't until I listened to it again and had a look at the lyrics that I realised how sad it is. I keep turning the lyrics over in my head, trying to find at least a little hope in it. I can't see it though.

I thought I'd turned the corner on my obsessive song-listening compulsion after my teenage-angst-Smiths years but I still get into musical ruts. I find a song that matches my mood and I'm hooked. Sometimes it's purely the words, like Modest Mouse's Float On, which would be my choice for a theme song if my life was a TV show. Other times, it's the way the song sounds, like Interpol's "Say Hello to the Angels". Trust me, it's definitely all about the beat and melody in that one - the words make absolutely no sense.

Other times, it's a deeper connection. The song reminds me of a particular time in my life. In a way, the song becomes inextricably linked with both a mood and a memory. When my grandmother was dying, I listened to Modest Mouse a lot. Months later, when I was trying to process her death, I was in a Flogging Molly phase. A couple of times when I was fairly miserable and alone here before Peter sold the house, two songs came up in sequence on my I-Pod and it felt like my grandmother was talking to me.
The songs were "Ocean Breathes Salty" and "If I Ever Leave This World Alive".

That's the nice thing about music - it can provide a bit of mood therapy. Now that I'm reaching the double-digits on playing "Brick", I feel like I have a good bit of the gloom and hopelessness out of my system.


At 1 February 2006 at 20:46, Blogger Arbusto said...

I dislike Ben Fold's music, especially Brick, but he is an entertaining. At undergrad he gave a concert. I was forced to go. Thankfully, students got in for free. He's funny and witty but his music stinks.

At 3 February 2006 at 01:54, Blogger Career Guy said...

There now. That's better. I think I explained this once, but if I get a song in my head, it's a clue to how I am really feeling, so I have to pay attention to that hint. Oh--thanks for introducing me to Modest Mouse :-)

At 3 February 2006 at 17:07, Blogger Lyss said...

Thanks. Now it's in my head.


At 5 February 2006 at 21:56, Blogger Barbara said...

If you sing the "Gilligan's Island" theme song it will make you forget all of that crappy music that you listen to. Man, that music you listen to IS depressing. I almost started crying....then I sang "Just sit right back and you'll hear a tale, a tale of a fateful trip......" It really works!!


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