Today I was driving with Ed in the car. We just finished seeing X-men: First Class (I liked it quite a bit, I rank it above X-men but Below X2). We began talking about music and how we sometimes connect songs with people (me) and sometimes we don't (Ed). The conversation was brief but we also covered how no one has made an "important" album in a long time. I'm attempting to think of an example of the last important album I bought, but it keeps making me question "important". I'd say for me the last important and impactful albums I bought were The Format: Dog Problems, Norah Jones: Come Away With me and the Streets: Original Pirate Material. But those are important to me, not the grander pictures (except maybe Norah Jones since that album swept the Grammy's in 2001). I think importance is hard to define or label until a decade later, a decade ago I was a high school freshman so I'm still too young to know if anything i listened to in High School is 'Important".
Anyway, this idea of music representing a moment in time stuck with me. I struggle to separate the song from the moment. Example; my freshmen year of college I had a small mp3 player. It only held about 100megs of music which is roughly 5 songs more than a blank CD. Do to the small memory and my lack of a desire to change up the MP3 player everyday, I heard the same 20 songs ALOT. Because of this whenever I hear the song "Les Wirth" by twothirtyeight I immediately think of my drive home from college (specifically train tracks on lenni road which I almost always seemed to be crossing when the song came on). Furthermore whenever I cross over those train-tracks I'm reminded of the song. I always remember what bands a person showed me and forever connect that band to that person.
In Ed's car we were listening to The Rocket Summer: Hello, Good Friend. This album always makes me think of Shrop who played it for me in his car one night driving to the local late night diner. I became obsessed with the song Brat Pack. At the time we were attempting to write a teen flick (about what I can't remember) and I convinced myself this song would be the ideal opening credits song. In retrospect this was the biggest problem with Shrop and I's movie writing techniques. We were always more focused on a shot idea, a specific line of dialogue or musical cue instead of actual plots. However while listening to this album in Ed's car I wasn't thinking of Shrop specifically; but I was thinking about how much this album makes me think of California. This would be for two reasons.
1. When I flew out to California last summer I drove down to Baltimore instead of flying out from Philly. The reason I did this was because a flight out of Baltimore was $50 cheaper than from Philly and I had a friend who lived in the area who I figured I could leave my car with for the week. This plan fell apart however when my returning flight wouldn't land until almost midnight and she had work at 5am. So in order to save $50 I ended up spending $100 in parking and at least $40 in gas. I never was good at Math. Anyway, during my drive home after a good week in california I listened to this album. I focused on every lyric and thought about how it expressed my desire to move away, but also my fear of leaving my comfort zones
2. I still feel this way when I hear this album. The problem is except random lyrics here and there throughout the album, I don't think anyone else I know would listen to this album and go "wow this is making me think about Matt Kelly moving away". If there is any album my friends would listen to that would possibly make them think about me moving it would be Less Than Jake's Hello Rockview which is a ska/punk album all about choosing between dreams or being stuck in a boring town. That being said, I'm pretty sure Gainsville, Florida is more exciting than my hometown.
Currently I'm watching Rocky Horror Picture Show and it's making me think of my last girlfriend. She was obsessed with this movie; I was a huge fan of the movie myself. I use was because this is the first time I'm actually sitting down and watching it from start to finish since the break up three years ago. At the time of the break-up I thought this movie would be ruined forever. For a while I was correct. However right now I'm enjoying it. It still makes me think of the ex and it probably always will... but at least I don't feel a strong desire to cry like I would have two and a half years ago.
I think it's completely healthy to sometimes connect music with people, places and events. It's part of what music is for. Sometimes I question why I bother writing a blog and why I want to write movie scripts and I think it's because of Chuck Klosterman. Today I reread all of Killing Yourself To Live and it dawned on me. Chuck's writing and most blogging is roughly the same. Klosterman is an insanely talented writer and brilliant mind but the reason I (and I'd like to believe most people) read his books and essays aren't so much to enlighten me or teach me something new but more so to validify my normalcy. When I read his opinion is the same as mine... I feel good. I feel like I have validation for my liking or disliking sometime. Sort of like why I defend my love of the Marx Brother's comedy classic Duck Soup because Woody Allen's character in Hannah and Her Sisters decides not to commit suicide after watching it. Ridiculous yes, but still the fact a fictional character didn't take his life in a movie because he enjoyed a movie I also enjoyed makes me feel happy. Same goes with when Chuck Klosterman defends Weezer's entire Post-Pinkerton discography, it makes me feel better about loving Raditude. But it's not just his opinions that are comforting, reading about someone else having the same relationship issues as I do makes me feel less lonely. I've always tried to write things to make others go 'I feel the same way' or 'I know what this guy was going through'. When I'm writing scripts, music plays such a key role in that. Not only do I connect music with people places and events of my past. I connect them to future events that I create in my head. That however... maybe a serious issue worth talking to a therapist about.