So I am back to musing about rock and roll again.
What brought this about? Well, per usual, an inspirative spark. In this case it was my drive home from work Friday afternoon when I was wrung out from eight hours of meetings and dysfunction. My brain was done; there was no more for it to give, and my only thoughts were how to negotiate nine miles of I-4 and what I was going to buy at the grocery store…and even those thoughts were hard to cull.
So I plugged my mp3 player into my car’s stereo and hit shuffle. Here was the first thing that came up –
Where two miles earlier I was trying to not fall asleep behind the wheel, I was transformed into a head-banging, energy-overloaded pool of Angst DNA. Instead of gently trying to maneuver my car through the morass of Orlando traffic, I became an urban warrior in an up-plated Humvee, daring people to take me on.
Don’t tell my insurance company.
This is the power of music, and specifically rock and rock. Sure, all genres of music have that power and I am not trying to dis them, but rock is my drug. Case in point – my dear friend is going through a break-up, and her way of dealing with it was an evening of Mike’s Hard Lemonade, Blake Shelton and Lady Antebellum. If she was sad before, she was damn near suicidal afterwards. So in this instance her choice of country music (I’m sure the alcohol had nothing to do with it, heh) enhanced the mood she was already in.
And hey, if that’s how she wants to roll, roll with your bad self. But speaking only for myself, if I am sad the last thing I want is something that enhances the sadness. And if I am happy, I want something that makes me continue to feel happy.
Now, I can hear your fingers typing – “Ministry, Jer? Really? That makes you happy?”
Yes. Yes it does.
Why? Because it – and rock music in general – demands you to be happy. Sure, there are exceptions to this; one that comes to mind is Mumford and Sons, as they tend to get me thinking too introspectively about opportunities lost and of better times. My son played M&S as we were driving the Niagara Falls last month, on the same day we decided to call in Hospice for my mom, and halfway through the second song I demanded my son to change it to Green Day. I was not having a real good day, and Little Lion Man kept reminding me about the traumatic decision my siblings and me had to make earlier that day.
I mentioned Green Day. Virtually all their songs make me happy. The only one that doesn’t is Wake Me Up When September Ends, which is as melancholy as Billy Joe Armstrong gets. My son told me he wanted that played at his funeral; well that pretty much killed that song for me. I can’t hear it now without thinking of the awful possibility that I may have to one day bury my son.
Sorry dude, that’s not going to be my job, it will be your job to bury me.
So back to being happy (Please!). If it’s Green Day, give me Holiday (“The representative from California has the floor” – awesome interlude).
“I beg to dream and differ from the hollow lies!”
Fuck yeah. Again.
Last point. I get this sometimes – “Doesn’t angry music, like N.W.O. or Holiday, make you angry, Jer?”
Nope. It makes me move. It instills an anthemic to-the-core beat deep in my bones that manifests itself in purposeful striding and increased blood pressure. It makes me feel alive.
So take that, Lady Antebellum. And take a little Helmet with ya -