Friday, April 13, 2012

Like the corner of my mind...

We have all read the posts about the demise of certain things.  One in particular, I enjoyed:


I was thinking about this today as I listened to a song from the past, but I will come back to that.  I recently finished reading "It's So Easy (and other lies" by Duff McKagan, bassist for Guns n' Roses.  GNR was a BIG part of my love of music growing up, so I enjoyed the book, even if it did follow the exact same pattern of every other rock star bio that I have read in the past.  Seriously, they all start out with what they did as a kid, how the band met, and then talk about how much drugs they did.  They get clean, and move on.  They really all follow the same formula...but I digress.

So, I went back and listened to some of my favorite GnR songs from Appetite for Destruction, which is probably the most amazing and complete debut album of any band ever.  I am sure some of you would disagree, but you can start your own blog and talk about it there.  One song in particular that really impacted me was "It's So Easy", which was written by McKagan.  It is a great song, but I remember it more for the amount of "f-words" that littered the song.  As a 7th grader, this kind of stuff sticks with you. :)  I listened to that song, and that song only this morning.

Walking around my house, I noticed that I was humming a different song.  "Nighttrain", which is another great song from the album (who am I kidding, they are all great) was what stuck to my brain.  I realized I hadn't listened to that song in years, but it was the one I was singing to myself.  I thought, "Now, why would that song be the one I am singing?".  Then it hit me...that was the next song on the album after "It's So Easy".  My brain had automatically transitioned from one song to the next because that was the song that played on the cassette that I had. Then I got sad, because I realized that this particular phenomenon is gone forever.  Nobody listens to albums that way anymore...song after song...we all set our iPods to shuffle and move on.  We are no longer conditioned to hear the next song in the album the way it is intended to be.  My kids will never know what that is like.

Part of the reason I enjoy music as much as I do is how immensely personal it is.  Songs invoke feelings and memories.  I can't hear "Welcome to the Jungle" without thinking about blasting my dad's stereo in our tiny living room and worrying that my neighbors were going to complain.  I can't hear "Look What the Cat Dragged In" by Poison without thinking about riding in the back of my mom's minivan on a long road trip with that tape on repeat.  I am so fascinated thinking about how the digital music and the way we consume it will shape the future of music and how it affects people.  I certainly hope that my kids will have emotional ties to music, and I am pretty sure they will.  It is just a matter of them having life-changing experiences while they listen to music.

It is funny how our brains work.  I would be interested to know what songs are tied to your memories.
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