Music has always been a huge part of my life. I’ve always had this indie/eclectic/off the beaten path kind of taste that I’m hugely proud of. I have over 5500 songs in my iTunes, and you probably haven’t heard of most of the bands on there. My tastes cover most genres and I consider myself well-versed in mainstream music even though I don’t really prescribe to radio music. I’m borderline in-your-face, I-knew-that-song-before-you-did hipster-ish and frankly annoying.
I hope that never changes.
But no amount of good music taste will give me the thing I desire most: a beautiful (hell, I’d settle for tolerable) singing voice.
I watched The Voice today (nothing new here) and I’m a huge fan. I think the whole Blind Audition system is fresh and awesome, and all of the judges have real personalities. I could go on and on but I’ll save my praises for another time.
The performances are so raw and real. You can literally feel a person’s yearning in the trembling vibrato or the power vocals of every contestant. And while it’s a game that we all buy into, there’s so much reality in their singing that you can’t help but root for every single one of them.
But watching these types of shows make me so incredibly jealous. If I could have anything, I wouldn’t buy a new car or ask for a million dollars. All I want in this cruel world is the ability to hold a tune without making someone leave the room. I tried choir, but if there’s one thing I firmly believe it’s that you can’t teach someone how to have talent. It’s inborn, intangible, and (for me) unattainable. So to all of my friends who can sing, keep singing. If not for yourselves, do it for me!
On a completely different note, music is one of those abstract things in life; It’s such a binding force. It’s on the level of TV and movies: you can instantly connect with someone over that one obscure song in your library, just like having that random DVD on your shelf or shoving that one line from your favorite show into daily conversation.
Connecting with someone on music is different though. I strongly believe in the idea that music tells stories of elation and heartbreak (and everything in between), and the ability to relate to someone through melodies and lyrics suggests that you’ve both experienced something similar. For me, that kind of connection goes further than superficial banter and simple flirtation ever will.
But music can also be a deal-breaker for me. If you don’t have similar tastes in music — or at least respect my tastes (and this goes for TV and film, too) — you can pretty much show yourself to the door. I was recently in a situation where someone I was talking to dissed Paul McCartney (ergo, The Beatles). And while I let it go in the moment, I kept coming back to it. How can you not like The Beatles? That’s Rule #1 of living on this earth. And while I fully appreciate the honesty and personal opinions, it’s a deal-breaker. I value things like this too much to just let it go.
And so I’m complex. But I like what I like. And I’m willing to share what I know and I’m more than willing to learn and appreciate new music.
The bottom line is that music is powerful. Whether you’re listening to Kanye West or Bon Iver (or both), it’s potent. We all turn to it for solace and for warmth, and I think that says more than I have been able to articulate in this post.
*I apologize for this post being all over the place. I’m trying to fit all of my thoughts on “Music” into one post, but it’s such a vast topic, and my mind is going everywhere. Blergh.