The Soundtrack to My Life

I know to the average person, who maybe doesn’t consume music to this degree, my collection would seem out of control, but it’s truly not that big

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Since selling my house and getting laid off from my job, I’ve had a lot more mental space to think about the one thing that really makes me happy, music. This comes as a shock to many regulars to this flog (that’s flogging log, for those of you keeping track), since this is a music flog. But seriously, since I’ve been laid off I have purchased a lot of music, plus downloaded a lot from the internet of records no longer in print. I mean, a lot. I went on a binge. I bought so much new music, I don’t really even know where to start. As I am typing this I am uploading the new One Night Stand In North Dakota (a band I highly recommend, they are an acoustic duo from Pity Me, Durham, England) album recently out on my beloved Plan-It-X records. This came in a package with an order from No Idea, where I bought a split 6″, an LP and the latest Razorcake. Today I also bought Mob Rules and Paranoid by Black Sabbath at one of the few, corporate chains left. As they are all dying, catalog material is going really cheap. For me that is hard to ignore. I went record shopping yesterday, Friday, Tuesday and last Sunday. I bought music from a band on their website and had it delivered (this would be GIVE who you need to check out. There LP and new 7″ are FUCKING AWESOME). I have not even listened to all the music I have purchased in full. I have several used CD’s I have not even gotten to.

So, as I was in the metro, reading The Geography of Bliss: One Grump’s Search for the Happiest Place In the World and switching from Jimi Hendrix’s Axis:Bold as Love to Jonsi’s GO!, I realized something. Part of me is trying to build the soundtrack to my life. Also, and this is the best part, this quest is completely fucking stupid. In movies, music is used to heighten the emotion. It sits in the background, under the action and seems almost inadmissible to the whole cinematic, visual experience being undertaken. In actuality though, the music creates the emotion. It’s the cue that tells the audience what they are supposed to feel. How they are supposed to read that moment. Because as humans, as much as we love to believe, are really bad at reading cue’s and non-verbal communication. Also, we interpret that shit our own, selfish, non-universal way. So soundtracks allows the director to tell the audience what is happening.

Now, I’ve kind of done something stupid. I interchanged soundtracks, and I sorta did this on purpose and sorta did it because I am lazy. Soundtracks used to be (I assume, I didn’t actually research this, I came home with this thought, sat down, put on Devour and started typing while uploading music) what we now call the score. They might have always been the score, but they weren’t commercial releases, except now they kind of are and Hans Zimmer and Phillip Glass make the best one’s so far as I can tell. I also like that dude from Oingo Boingo that works on The Simpsons and Mark Mothersbaugh. That’s neither hear nor there, except to say that I wish Mark Mothersbaugh was scoring my life. It would probably show a lot better and people would probably be less confused by me.

So, what I am really saying when I talk about Soundtracks (as I now listen to Mob Rules for the first time ever, and it’s pretty sick. I had no idea and only bought it because I’ve been thinking a lot about Henry Rollins and how he always talks about how awesome Sabbath and Dio are and well, he’s right) is that like, even those commercial packages that the movie studio’s and the record companies they mostly now own throw together with crappy tracks, you know, the songs they put in during the opening credits, montage, and closing credits. Yea, well I was thinking I am just trying to make one of those for my own damn life, for my own damn story. But the problem with that is (holy shit Geezer Butler is amazing on this album) even those soundtracks only pop up in the film during emotionally intense moments. Unless it’s an opening title with the character being normal for introduction sake, you don’t just see a fat dude in the metro, reading about Iceland and then realizing he hasn’t listened to the new Jonsi album in a while and wants to make the connection with what the writer is writing about because he happens to be writing about art and culture in modern Icelandic society.

Tonight, I am going to sit in my parents living room, in front of my computer set up on the desk and listen to a shit load of music, eat leftover Burritos and listen to a bunch of new music while reading Razorcake and wondering about the damn records in the record review section. It’s a pretty idiotic thing to do, considering all the things in my life that I need to figure out. But two-part harmonies by those two lovely Brits from Pity Me, Durham await me, as does The Bomb, and whatever else I have either recently purchased or whatever this other stuff reminds me of. This is my life, the creation of an immense and ultimately incomplete soundtrack. I don’t even have the patience to consume music outside of some fairly narrow avenues. I know to the average person, who maybe doesn’t consume music to this degree, my collection would seem out of control, but it’s truly not that big. And it will never be big enough. There is not enough time to listen to all the good music in the world. But I will do my best and try.

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