At the beginning of April I signed up on blip.fm. Since then I've been having so much fun searching out old music from my past, checking out new stuff in other people's blip-lists, and even more exciting, finding other people as intoxicated by the melodic drink as I am. Beautiful. I've even dubbed a fellow blipster as my personal DJ Hero. He wrote a blog entry this week that spoke to me. It also reminded me of similar conversations I've had with Mr. B, but one in particular.
I completely grasp the concept of "to each their own" and I have a very healthy respect for it. There are many types of music because there are many different types of people. Some of us can enjoy and appreciate many of the choices available, others seem to prefer to swim in just one pool and that's okay too. What totally confuses us is those individuals who don't necessarily dislike music but who's lives don't depend on it like air or water. We just don't get it. We know they're out there, we've met them. They look just like everyone else. They aren't missing ears or have an extra foot or anything like that but when I hear that they don't really think or care about music, I'm sure I stare at them with the same expression a child would wear if they did have one of those unfortunate deformities. Mind boggling.
We were both raised in musical families. My mother spent much of her life on stage playing guitar and singing with her three sisters and their mother. My grandmother also plays piano as well as yodels. She has an LP. I'm not even kidding. Up until about a year or so ago, she was still performing somewhat regularly. Click here for a little clip from a while back about my Nan. While their particular style is not my cup of tea, I do admit that listening to her brings tears to my eyes sometimes. Anyway, I inherited pipes from my maternal genes but what they failed to pass on was the ability to actually use them so that others could listen without cringing. It doesn't stop me. Oh no. I even belted out a few songs with Mr. B's band at the Hard Rock Cafe once (with much preparation), but that's another blog entry that I may or may not share some day. Back to the story. Mr. B's family history is also rich with musical ability. His grandfather owned a music store and taught many different instruments to over 2000 students. Wow! I guess you could say, it's in our blood.
Together, Mr. B and I are an endless mental jukebox of emotions tied to so many songs it would take historians years to document them all. Okay, maybe months. Like many of the friends we have met along the way, a great part of the foundation of our relationship was based on ... you guessed it... music! Mr. B introduced me to The Cure. Anyone who reads this who really knows me will be well aware of what a monumental event in my life that was. You see, we were "those" kids. You know... the ones who spent a whole Saturday in the record store or scouring yard sales for those little vinyl gems. We were the kids who made mixed tapes and spent hours arranging the songs in the perfect order as to tell a story or document an important date. That was my favourite thing to do. If you started life as a Y chromosome and I gave you a mixed tape, you knew I liked you. Like REALLY liked you. I did not waste that kind of time and effort on someone who didn't deserve it. I'd make one for a fellow merd (Music nERD) instead. But let's say I did go to the time and effort and you appreciated it, at the very least you would become a soul mate for life, even if your kisses were yucky. If you didn't appreciate it or "get it", you were quickly escorted to the friendship waiting room. Harsh, I know - but true. Mr. B appreciated and reciprocated it (and his kisses were, and still are, oh-so-yummy) so maybe he didn't have me at hello but he did have me at Caterpillar Girl.
All of that is an experience. It's memories, it's emotions, it's life. It makes me sad to know that there are people out there who haven't ever experienced that. Maybe they have something else that speaks to them? Maybe it's art or literature, which I also totally understand. But music... oh, music is all of those things and so much more. It's not just the songs themselves, it's everything that attaches to and rides around with them. It's like how the smell of candy apples can take you back to your first time at the Fair or how the taste of tequila can put you right back to the night you were so drunk you could see sound and all you wanted to do was die but you couldn't die because you were on some one's pull out couch in Hillbillyville USA and if you were going to die, you wanted to do it in your own bed back in Canada but you couldn't even sit up let alone walk to the car and drive in it for 8.5 hours. *pant pant pant* Anyway, point is that a song does the same thing. It takes you back to a happy time, a sad time, or to the friend you made when one of you simply said, "Hey, have you heard this?" One of the groomsmen in our wedding, and still a friend today, started out as the manager of a music store who encouraged (perhaps tolerated is a better term) my visits on Saturdays or when my mother was doing groceries. Throughout my high school years he introduced me to old bands I hadn't heard before and I introduced him to new stuff that only the "morbids" or indy-kids knew about. (That's what they called my crowd in school - not to be confused with the idiotic Hot Topic jockeys falsely known as goth kids today.) Once high school ended for me, our friendship began. We had a few mutual friends and we all became as thick as thieves and Mr. B and I often hosted pre-club drinks at our little pad. The circle grew, every one's musical library expanded, and although our little life together was quite humble at the time we were the richest kids because we had friends and music.
I leave you with one question: Do you like music... or do you live it?