I’m a music fan. I’m not a fanatic or aficionado or great musical scholar. I don’t have extensive knowledge of the underground indie rock scene and I don’t know the complete history of grunge music in Seattle in the early 90’s. But I love music. I’ve listened to the same radio station since I was 13 (102.1 The Edge) and I never tire of the music they play. Mostly alt rock, with some mainstream, retro, and hard rock thrown in for good measure.
I listen to music to remember. I listen to music to escape. But mostly, I listen to music to feel something. I want to feel joy through the song. I want to feel the pain. I want that anger. I want to feel what the writer felt when they penned the lyrics. I want the music, the tune, the melody, the harmony, the rhythm to possess me and enrapture me and force me to move. I want a song to grab me by my collar, pull me in close and hold me there until I can’t breathe.
When I come across a song that does that for me, it’s like an out of body experience. I can see myself absorbing every note, every word. I can hear myself think “this is it.” I can feel myself blocking out every other noise in this world in order to concentrate on what’s permeating from the radio.
Most recently is Tighten Up by The Black Keys. This song tortures me, it’s so beautiful. It feels raw and honest and brutal. It’s in my head, but I don’t want to shake it.
I wanted love, I needed love
Most of all, most of all
Someone said true love was dead
And I’m bound to fall, bound to fall for you
Oh, what can I do?
This song holds me until I can’t breathe.
Every time I listen to a song I love, I feel a slight sense of mourning. Pre-mourning. Because I know I can’t not listen. I need to listen. But every time I listen to a song, no matter how much I adore it, I’m one listen closer to growing tired of it. To no longer wanting to listen to it. To growing bored of its tune. Knowing a song so wonderful and so gorgeous has an expiration date is heartbreaking.
But until then, I treasure the music. When it grabs me, I grab it right back.