Saturday, March 19, 2011

What I Don't Know Might Interest Me

I don't know what I don't remember. I broke my iPod, so it had to be wiped, just before I left for Florence. And every so often, I trip over a line from a song I don't have on the iPod and I remember to re-download the music, somewhere. (Before I continue: I own most of the music I re-download, they're on CDs that I didn't put on my laptop, because I didn't figure I'd brick the iPod when I wasn't paying attention. [Oh God, read the second part of that sentence until you laugh.])

So I'm singing snatches of melodies and choruses, anything that has stayed in the subconscious of my mind that I hear even when I don't recognize what I'm saying. Things just come out and I try to capture them. Yesterday, it was fun.'s Aim and Ignite. I just up and sang the chorus to “All the Pretty Girls” in a private moment and I thought “aha! That's another record I listened to!” I'd like to hear it again, so I redownloaded it. I wonder what it will be tomorrow. (Oh! Perhaps boysetsfire's final record, notes from the plague years and their demo of phonecall 4 a.m.)

My subconscious knows me better than I do.

Forgetting an entire lifetime in music and remembering it in snatches and hooks. Is that something?

I've written this and I've remembered:

Rise Against's the Sufferer and the Witness, Revolutions Per Minute and the Unraveling (the reissue Fat put out in 2005, anyway)

Tsunami Bomb's the Definitive Act and bside TB v. the Monster

Alkaline Trio's discography

the Shai Hulud discography

Reel Big Fish's We're Not Happy 'Till You're Not Happy

I remember things differently now than I did as a kid. I would have hung myself, years ago, if I ever said this: But of the Rise Against records I want to hear from those three, the Sufferer and the Witness is at the top. Simply put, the songs are better constructed on a song-y level. Plus, that's one of Tim's better lyric records and I suspect my love for Revolutions Per Minute is rose colored. This might be growing up, acknowledging that something I said when I was 18 was wrong and not terribly insightful or merely uninformed.

What I know is this: There's about a five song spree on Appeal To Reason (7-11, the Strength to Go On through Savior) that'll hold me until I get back to the Sufferer and the Witness. Brief digression: I think it is a goddamned crime that track 3? 4? on Appeal to Reason, the Dirt Whispered, was not a single on the radio. A song about a girl and the earth and resistance against the cold, monotonous monoculture, which is basically Thomas Barnett's (Strike Anywhere) bailywick. So I like that. I also like the fact that it's a fastish Fat Wreck style punk song, with singing. In short: It is a compact punk song with a chorus that will bury itself in your brain. It deserves to be taken into people's hearts and warm when the goddamn concrete is too cold and the winter is too frosty. And, of course, it won't. Or it won't warm as many people as it could have.

When I hear Tsunami Bomb, I think of Allie and Sonia. I think of high school. And even saying that, I type Reel Big Fish. Sonia's a biologist or something. She makes money in science. I imagine it makes her happy and I smile, easily. Ditto for Allie. I don't think they've spoken in years and I was once their band's biggest groupie. Don't start a band, kids.

I remember, in flashes, all of these, with the mere mention of those bands. These things were important once, and now, I laugh and toast to their sailing on.

There's a girl. Between occasional cigarettes, she tells me that she's so disappointed in the studies here that she feels like her vocabulary might be atrophying in its disuse. I laugh. I laugh so hard because she's probably right. But I see it differently. I think you gotta, gotta give these kids a shot. Which is pretty mediocre language or at least malleable and pedestrian, I'll admit, but it serves a purpose. If someone is looking to be disappointed, they'll just look for things to confirm their thesis and they'll miss cool things.

And after reading Planetary, I want to live in a strange world. I want to read Indian noir (that is to say, noir from the country of India and not something that resembles the incredible Vertigo series, Scalped) in the hopes that I will see things, whether with my eyes or with my mind, I honestly don't care. I want those new experiences, because they will be new memories and there will be songs to go with them.

My voice is shot and raspy. I am still sick and though I feel much better, it looks like it's all finished except being cold and not being able to eat, so I write this a little bit deliriously.

I have forgotten much. Was much of what I forgot unimportant? Do the important bits stick with me? I hope so, but I fear not. Inevitably, a song will come up and it will jog a memory. And I sure as hell don't want the memory to be pedestrian or another moment of inscrutable reticence. I get pedestrian or incalculable reticence by being anonymous and talking about Things with People. Maybe even if they don't entirely get it.

(Often times, I don't either. I didn't mention that to the girl because I didn't think of it.)

I'm pretty sure that all of us here (hello, whoever you are!) has had a really crucial conversation in our lives with language we weren't exactly sure of. We're constantly using words imprecisely, or ones we barely know at all.

Phonecall 4 a.m. I have to imagine that 4 a.m. is a knowing reference to Avail's 4 A.M. Friday. Here, though: It's a torch song (there is a lyric "lighting a fire in a darkened tomb", for god's sake!), with the vocabulary of stabbing at a dependency. My favorite lyric from this song, and one I always think of when I see a certain girl (not the one in this update), is "I'm not gonna lie. You know the truth. Please, believe, I've lost myself inside of you."

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