toughen up little soldier

the veins and pancreas of pop-culture

essay: music is my boyfriend

If I were a fish living in the ocean, the water would be equivalent to what music is to my human form. I need it to live, as other land creatures need air. I breathe it in and let it fill my lungs and soul. It sustains me. Without it I would have no life, at least not one that I would enjoy very much.

Although it’s rare to catch me listening to heavy metal, country or club music, I do attempt to keep an open mind when it comes to sound and genre. My taste in music is constantly changing. My favorite thing is finding bands I’ve never heard of and falling in love with them. As it were, I happen to fall in love daily. That’s okay. For the time being these people and bands and artists are replacing a manly significant other that other girls my age tend to rely so wholly on.  When my friends say I need to find a boyfriend I tell them I’m practicing my independence but really I’m exercising my relationship with music.

One of my current lovers is the dirty British brogue, Pete Doherty. (I’m listening to him serenade Kate Moss with talk of cocaine and love as I write this). An accented rock god who’s rough around the edges. He’s hardcore like my Golden Delicious apple but when it’s just him and his acoustic guitar flying with no plane, his passion is clear and he’s nothing but amazing. His accent is thick and his tones are low and half the time you have no idea what he’s saying. It doesn’t matter though because the sound is so breathtaking that you just hear it as an instrument that wraps around you and seduces you to a bed of English roses. And don’t even get me started about when he spontaneously whistles in perfect pitch in the middle of a song. Perhaps Pete is more in love with drugs and rock and roll than he could ever be with a girl but I can live with that. He has said that all the best love songs were written about toxic substances and I really don’t doubt him. People condemn his reckless lifestyle but in 20 years he will have over-dosed and they will realize how much of a genius he was. Punk kids and wannabes will hang his sepia colored posters on their walls and say how much they love him. But what of when he was alive, People Magazine? It’s happened countless times. Nonetheless, he wrote me a poem:
“My did you look dapper in your mother’s old green scarf
With your famous auntie Arthur’s trousers on
You were slapped by that slapper
And how we all laughed
But you laughed the loudest.
In ’93… you could charm the bees knees of the bees.”
-Pete Doherty, The last of the English Roses

My sweet, sweet sisterly duo is next in line to my heart. Clara and Johanna are all about the rebirth of real down and earthy folk music. Forget folk rock, folk pop, folk rock-pop-rap-house-r&b; they’re the real deal. Their band First Aid Kit is made of strings & things and incredibly rich harmonies between the soprano/alto sisters that take away your ability to blink and make you want to get on your knees and live forever. With song’s about marital affairs, whimsical events and fairytale feeling characters, they are deffinately the newest old souls of music. The first time I heard them sing I was sitting on a futon in my friend’s apartment. When he said he had some heaven to show me I didn’t expect much from the two plain girls in flannel sitting in an autumn stricken forest. But then they sang. Their voices echoed through the trees and through our surround sound as they sang an acapella cover of Fleet Foxes’ Tiger Mountain Peasant Song. I had never heard such passion in my life and I was so in awe that I can’t even describe their perfect, pure, nostalgic, natural sound. I hope you’ll listen for yourself and I hope you are as paralyzed by the sound as I was and still am.

Named by a travelling spiritual guru hired by his Hare Krishna worshiping parents, Devendra Banhart is no stranger to the strange. With an array of beautiful tribal inspired earthy tattoos, Devendra can usually be found on the floor, guitar in hand, coming up with whimsical lyrics for the single purpose of pleasing my need for weird. Often on the subject of forest and jungle animals (and sometimes sewer rodents), his songs are poetic odes to a simplicity we seem to have left behind in childhood mixed with a complexity of spiritual and insightful wisdom. Lyrics like: “Little yellow spider, laughing at the snow. He must know something I don’t know cause I’m goddamn cold,” are lighthearted with a dark side. Completely vain in a lovable way, Devendra Banhart embodies everything on this planet that I feel strongly about: freedom, naturalism, philosophy and beauty.
So, it can’t pick me up after musical practice, kiss my cheek or watch Glee with me even though it hates that stupid show, but music is better than any boyfriend I could ever hope for at this time in my life. It’s portable and doesn’t hold me back. It gives me courage, puts me down, brings me up, inspires my creativity, brings me to my knees and catapults me high into the sky. It’s a lifetime lover. Although I do like to think of my taste as eclectic, there are still some songs and bands I won’t dare let into my life but when I do find something I love, I know I love it and my passion takes over and you know what? The music never resists. Music is always there for me, and that’s more than I can say about any mere man. ♫

1 comment:

Lori said...

update on my awesomeness:)

This article is going to be featured in the winter issue of What If? Magazine in the "what's your story" section! Soo check that out :D